he Institute of Museum and Library Services is pleased to announce the launch of a new online resource center featuring dynamic digital museum content for K-12 educators searchable by subject and grade. Teachers across the country can now find resources that feature engaging activities from a growing number of museums all aligned with national education standards.
Originally funded as a pilot project through an FY 2018 National Leadership Grant to the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, Museums for Digital Learning (MDL) is a collaboration of IMLS, Newfields, the Field Museum, and History Colorado. The project brings together museums of various disciplines, sizes, and geographic regions to contribute to a shared digital platform offering K-12 educational resource kits developed from museum collections.
Over the course of the last two and a half years, the MDL team designed a platform that would build and strengthen the capacity of our nation’s museums to serve the larger K-12 education community. Working with K-12 educators, the team created templates that would be easy for any museum to populate and add to the site as Resource Kits. There are now 23 museums committed to participating and 29 Resource Kits.
With the website’s official launch, hundreds of museums have the opportunity to contribute to MDL, making it a rich resource for K-12. MDL features and opportunities for contributing museums and K-12 educators include:
- Inquiry-Based, Interactive Learning: Resource Kits are made up of several activity types through which museums can choose to present their content. These may include narratives, hotspots, slideshows, annotations, timelines, games, and e-books. Museums decide on the number of digitized objects they want to use in a kit and the types of activities they want to include.
- Curriculum Aligned: All Resource Kits are curriculum aligned and searchable by grade level and subject.
- Collaboration: MDL offers a unique opportunity for two or more museums to co-create a Resource Kit with digital assets from their institutions around a single theme or topic.
- Flexible Content: MDL welcomes museums of all kinds: collecting and non-collecting, and those with inanimate or living collections. Museums can use objects, audio, video, and even exhibition panel texts.
- Power of the Whole: A shared platform makes it easy for educators to visit, browse, and gather teaching resources from one place, rather than having to explore hundreds of individual sites. Time and ease of access are two key needs of teachers.
How to Participate
The MDL team holds regular training webinars for museums who are interested in contributing content, and videos and other resources are in the museum section of the platform.
As the project expands, the MDL team continues to work with a dedicated group of educators to create greater awareness about this resource for teachers and school librarians across the nation.
About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.