Smithsonian and the National Art Education Association Partner on Teaching With Smithsonian Digital Resources

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Three-Year Agreement Uses Smithsonian Learning Lab as a Platform To Combine Smithsonian Content With Art Educators’ Expertise

Smithsonian Learning Lab

Smithsonian Learning Lab

The Smithsonian and the National Art Education Association (NAEA), the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators, announced a three-year agreement to work collaboratively on educator professional development and to support teacher creation of model curriculum.

The first major project under the collaboration is two full days of Smithsonian programming during the NAEA National Convention, March 2-4, in New York City. Smithsonian educators from the center and from the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, Freer/Sackler Galleries, and the National Museum of African Art will offer professional development sessions such as

  • Creating a Collaborative 3D Paper craft
  • Connecting Art to Historical and Cultural Contexts
  • Responding to Asian Art within the Advanced Placement Art History Framework
  • Responding to African Art for Elementary Students

A full list of sessions is available at

Educators attending the sessions will use the Smithsonian Learning Lab, an online toolkit to find, customize and share digital museum resources with others, using technology devices provided by Lenovo. The Learning Lab offers free digital access to nearly two million diverse resources — including artworks, interviews with artists, videos with curators, and artists’ papers and archival records — with simple-to-use tools to organize, augment and personalize them. The Smithsonian and NAEA collaborated on a webinar on the Lab, “Discover Digital Museum Resources through the Smithsonian Learning Lab,” which is available at the NAEA Virtual Art Educators Website.

About Smithsonian Institution
Since its founding in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution has been committed to inspiring generations through knowledge and discovery. The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. There are 6,500 Smithsonian employees and 6,300 volunteers. There were 30 million visits to the Smithsonian in 2016. The total number of objects, works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 154 million, including more than 145 million specimens and artifacts at the National Museum of Natural History.

About National Art Education Association
Founded in 1947, the National Art Education Association is the leading professional membership organization exclusively for visual arts educators. Members include elementary, middle and high school visual arts educators; college and university professors; university students preparing to be art educators; researchers and scholars; teaching artists; administrators and supervisors; and art museum educators—as well as more than 54,000 students who are members of the National Art Honor Society.

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Michelle Smith

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