Sharing What I Find

Instructional Design and Technology in Education

Interactive presentation using Smithsonian Learning Lab

The Smithsonian Learning Lab is an interesting website where you can create interactive collections using media from the Smithsonian archives (over a million items) along with adding your own images or files (various image file formats as well as word docs, powerpoints and spreadsheets). Intersperse your own quiz -type questions (true/false, multiple choice, short and long answer and upload a file) within the content to give students a chance to reflect on that content.

As a teacher, you could create a learning lab collection as a way to provide learning content for students. Create a roster of student names and share a link with your students. After students create their own account, you’ll be able to monitor their quiz answers.

One of the great features of this product is that you can view collections that have already been created, make a copy of that collection and then edit all of the content to make it your own. You could actually create a collection template and then ask students to make a copy of your template and have them add to it. And in addition to teacher use, this could be a great solution for assigning a creative assessment that students could build themselves and share with the class.

Here’s an example created by one of the Smithsonian curators about the Historic Iditarod Trail.

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Each of these thumbnails is either an image, file or a text annotation. The thumbnails with the orange icon are slides that have quiz-type questions attached to them. One nice feature is that you can also create hotspots on images so you could highlight specific areas of an image for closer inspection and identification.

Author: Heidi Olson

Heidi enjoys working with content experts in developing eCampus courses to provide alternatives for students. Her other interests include faculty training in best practices for eCampus and researching eCampus tools to help fulfill learning outcomes. Having worked in the distance education arena for over 20 years, she has a wide range of experiences in supporting students and faculty as technology and pedagogy evolve.

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