We know that students love field trips. They provide opportunities for exciting, real-world, hands-on learning, and break up the daily routine. Unfortunately, logistics, time, distance, and other factors sometimes make them difficult to execute. Fortunately, the rising trend in informal online learning will now allow you to bring the magic of many museums right into your classroom! And we’ve already done the legwork for you! DJLN looked through dozens of museum websites, both Jewish and general, and gathered up the ones that will provide the most engaging and effective learning experiences for your students.
The Birth of the Internet from the National Science Foundation - This site takes users on a multimedia journey through the history of the Internet from 1960 to the 2000s. Included are maps of Internet growth, informational text, and photos of significant people, historical moments and objects pivotal to the rise of the Internet. These materials could be part of a great introduction to a unit on digital literacy or digital citizenship and stimulate discussion on the role of the web in our daily lives.
International Center of Photography - With more than 135,000 prints available online, the site allows students to explore, learn about, and analyze photography from its earliest days to the contemporary period.
Jewish Museum London - In addition to a searchable collections database, this museum website also offers a neat online exhibition, which teaches students about the history of Jewish Britain in 50 Objects.
Museums in Israel - National Portal - This beautiful and highly visual portal offers an incredible array of ways for students to learn. They can search the collections of Israel’s museums by keyword, or browse by item, museum, or exhibition. Since you probably can’t take your class to Israel just for a museum visit, this portal is a wonderful way to bring the many museums in the country to your class instead.
Museum of Fine Arts Boston - Supplement your social studies or art curriculum with the resources on this museum’s website. In addition to the searchable collections, the website also has a great interface, making it easy for students to study art from across time and around the world.
Museum of the Moving Image - Teach your students about film, television, and digital media with the resources on this website. And it’s not just useful for the arts! The site includes a special section where they can view and analyze over 50 years of presidential campaign commercials, which can make a great tie-in for social studies courses.
National Women’s History Museum - With great visuals and an easily navigable design, these online exhibits spotlight the lives and experiences of women in business, science, and government, as well as women who were activists, athletes, and more. There are more than 15 themed online exhibits.
OLogy Science Website for Kids from the American Museum of Natural History - Students can choose their “ology” on the left and then explore that area of science. Included are sciences like zoology, paleontology, and astronomy, and topics of interest like water and Einstein. The site also includes video clip interviews with scientists, informational text and images, quizzes, games, and much more.
Outside the Spacecraft from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum - This online version of the museum’s exhibition celebrates 50 years of humans working in space outside of a spacecraft. Students can navigate through three sections - Floating, Walking, and Working - to find photos, video, and information about astronaut equipment. In the Imagining section, students can view artwork inspired by the exhibit and see more incredible space photos as inspiration for their own art, providing excellent fodder for inter-disciplinary projects!
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art - With a fantastic multimedia section that includes videos of artists discussing their work, podcasts, art talks, and interactive features on dozens of works of art, this website has something for all your students.
The Israel Museum - The website of this famous institution has almost as much as the actual museum. There are searchable collections, a virtual tour of the model of Second Temple period Jerusalem, and online exhibition galleries. A highlight is the incredible Visualizing Isaiah site on which learners can read Isaiah and see related artifacts as well as locate each verse of Isaiah in the ancient Great Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Jewish Museum - A combination of Jewish arts, culture, and history, the site includes a searchable collection in which students can discover all kinds of objects related to Jewish life. Students can also easily narrow down their search by sorting by theme or collection area.
Women of Our Time from the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery - History teachers will love this website, which they can use to teach students about famous 20th century women. Videos about how portraiture captures biographical moments and about the style of photographic portraiture may interest art and photography teachers as well.
Do you have another museum website you use in your classroom? Let us know!