Smithsonian Commons Prototype - Experience Brief
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Story #2: 4th Grade Teacher + Family


K-12 Teachers visited Smithsonian Web sites about 9 million times last year.
This story shows how the Smithsonian Commons makes it easy for a 4th grade teacher
to include content from across the Smithsonian in her students’ Friday “take home” folder.

“I teach 4th grade and I’m always looking for ways to help my students learn.
I get tons of great content through the Smithsonian Commons and they’re always adding more.
I can search on anything and find new things for all the subjects I teach.
The Commons helps me find new ways to explain things, such as through the eyes of an artist,
a scientist, or by using maps or timelines.
It’s easy to download free, high-rez pictures for my classroom and
parents love it when I send Smithsonian links home.
I know I can trust the Smithsonian.”



Top Left: YouTube sketch/cartoon of the storyboard, in progress. (Has Closed Captions embedded)
Top Right: Version 2 of YouTube sketch/cartoon of storyboard, in progress.
Bottom: a draft of the storyboard doc, via scribd, in progress (click on Full Screen to view)

Transcript of video (.txt file)


Persona Behavior

  • Seek trusted, primary source material
  • Recommend specific Commons pages to others (unique URLs)
  • Learn about nearby Smithsonian exhibits
  • Use various levels of content, from basic to advanced


Key Themes

  • Vast – we have online content relevant to a huge spectrum of teacher/family interests
  • Findable – search/navigation yield relevant results quickly
  • Shareable – no worries that content is restrictively licensed
  • Free – no charges for high-res use at home and in the classroom

Possible Topics for this Scenario

  • Dinosaurs
  • Space, airplanes, flight and lift
  • Mexican holidays, cultural traditions
  • Topic for school assignment, e.g. American Revolution or Native American Plains Indians


Experience Flow (needs updating [M.E. 1-3-09])

This is what the prototype will simulate/demonstrate

  1. Teacher visits the Smithsonian Commons Home Page. She searches for [x].
  2. She instantly sees the depth and breadth of materials related to [x].
  3. She notices teachers have tagged items for use on Smartboards.
  4. She starts to collect some links to include in the “Friday Folder”.
  5. When she’s sharing her lesson plan on [Partners in Learning], the Smithsonian Commons is referenced.
  6. Her student visits a link that was included in the “Friday Folder”. He prints content and uses the data for citation in his paper.
  7. He notices a recommendation to view [x] at a nearby affiliate museum.
  8. His younger brother at home also enjoys the Commons, playing games on parent’s laptop.


Outcomes/Benefits for the Smithsonian

  • We help teachers supplement their lessons
  • We help engage students both inside and outside the classroom (self-directed learning)
  • We become a trusted and recommended resource in classrooms and at home


Smithsonian Commons Prototype - Experience Brief
<< Story #1: Museum Visitor | Table of Contents | Story #3: Millennial >>