This report describes the outcomes of the Digital Learning Resources Project, a research endeavor of the Smithsonian Center for Education Museum Studies (SCEMS), supported by generous funding from a Smithsonian Youth Access Grant administered by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Education and Outreach, with contributions by the Pearson Foundation, Brokers of Expertise of the California Department of Education, and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

A series of studies grounded in a literature survey and environmental scan, and consisting of two phases of teacher interactions, informed the design and final specifications for the smithsonianeducation.org next generation prototype. Findings are discussed for two phases of the Digital Learning Resources Project (DLRP) with teacher groups. The first, found in Part A of this report, describes the findings from a Teacher Research Group (TRG) of 20 educators in California in the spring of 2012. The second, found in Part B, describes the prototype testing of 69 teachers in Washington, DC in the summer of 2012. The patterns of behavior observed and recorded during these two phases enabled developers to design initial prototypes grounded in research and then test and revise those prototypes.

The resulting prototype design provides more efficient and intelligent search and visualization features and ways for users to save, share, and annotate personalized “collections” on the site. The prototype also offers alternatives to the fully assembled lesson plans available on the site by incorporating a set of lesson-building tools and interactive modules that can be wrapped around those collections.

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