Smithsonian Receives $2.2 Million Gift Commitment from Pearson Foundation for Next-Generation Learning

Mobile Learning Institute Programs for Students and Teachers Begin This Summer
May 5, 2010
News Release

The Smithsonian has announced a three-year, $2.2 million commitment from the Pearson Foundation for an innovative education program for teens and teachers. Beginning this summer, young people and educators will attend workshops at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the National Postal Museum.

During the workshops at the museums, young people and educators will collaborate with content experts from the Smithsonian and digital-media experts from the Mobile Learning Institute and the Pearson/Nokia alliance, which brings mobile and digital technologies directly to school classrooms, museums and libraries. Participants will develop and share ways to use mobile technology in a museum setting, using Smithsonian exhibits, collections and experts. They will also share the results of these next-generation learning investigations with local educators and with visiting teaching teams from across the United States.

In addition, the Mobile Learning Institute and the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies will host a series of leadership conferences in Washington. Mobile-learning experts and university researchers will share their knowledge and findings about how to use social networking, game-based learning and related learning approaches in classrooms and after-school programs.

“We’re grateful for this support from the Pearson Foundation and the opportunity it provides the Smithsonian to better serve students and teachers across the country,” said Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough. “In this cooperative effort, we will reach out to young learners in new and creative ways with our vast collections and inspiring experts.”

“For educators inside and outside of the classroom this is a particularly exciting time—one in which we can all take part in reimagining the ways in which young people learn and share information,” said Mark Nieker, president of the Pearson Foundation. “We’re looking forward to working with the Smithsonian and are expecting to see some fantastic new ideas that will no doubt make their way into classrooms across the country.”

The financial support will vary from year to year and be supplemented with professional and technical-support personnel, equipment and software.

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