What is Museums for
Museums for Digital Learning (MDL) is a unique learning platform that provides K-12 educators with authentic, curated museum collection resources to help inspire their students. MDL content and interactive features are developed by museum education and curatorial professionals in consultation with classroom educators and technology consultants. MDL Resource kits have multiple activities to engage learners and support national standards in different subjects. All content is free to use and can be shared to a learning management system or on social media.
How MDL Can Help You?
MDL is designed to be a teaching and learning bridge between K-12 educators and museums of all disciplines.
K-12 educators and their students can benefit from the relevant and authentic resources from museums to engage with contextual, interdisciplinary, student-centric learning materials.
Museum professionals can benefit by coming together as a sector, to leverage their digital collections and contribute interactive resource kits to inspire the 21st century learners.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), Newfields Lab of the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields, the Field Museum, Chicago, and History Colorado, Denver developed MDL as a way for museums of all disciplines to leverage digitized museum collections to help K-12 educators and students.
Newfields Lab is managing the overall project and developing the MDL platform and functionalities.
Field Museum, Chicago, and History Colorado, Denver are the lead content partner museums who are developing the MDL Resource Kits and helping onboard additional museums.
If your museum would like to participate in the MDL platform, or for more information on how to be involved as a participating museum, please email us
Learn more about MDL
How Educators are Using MDL
“The MDL project puts the power of authentic learning directly in the hands of teachers and students by allowing digital access to engaging resources that elevate learning through interactive and thoughtful critical thinking activities. These resources make teaching come alive in a time when many museums and collections are inaccessible to our most vulnerable students.
This important and critically needed MDL project levels the playing field for students allowing them access to resources that would be otherwise inaccessible to learning. In a time where these resources are needed more than ever, IMLS and their partners on this project have created a tapestry of primary and secondary sources interwoven with activities that connect these artifacts to learning for children and adults of all ages.”
8th Grade Social Studies Educator, Century Middle School, Adams 12
Five Star Schools, Thornton, CO
“As education budgets become tighter and tighter, taking high school students on field trips has become nearly impossible. The MDL kits are going to provide my students with the opportunity to ‘see’ and ‘touch’ resources from around the country that would other never be available to them.”
High School Social Studies, Overland High School, Aurora, CO
“Teaching remotely requires a unique, engaging, and innovative approach to educating our students. The MDL kits help bridge the gap between the wealth of resources available from museums into the homes and lives of our students. As a contributor to the process, I believe this is a valuable tool that will continue to provide new and engaging strategies to help enhance the learning process for years to come.”
Science educator for grades 7 and 8 at Galileo Scholastic Academy, Chicago, IL
“Whether our students are face-to-face in our classrooms or learning in online spaces, Museums for Digital Learning gives them the opportunity to take virtual trips to museums all over the country. From the Tully Monster mystery in Illinois to the stink pot of China’s Qing Dynasty, Museums for Digital Learning brings students up close and personal to science and history through images, videos and interactive lessons. As a teacher looking for materials to engage my students in making connections between the past and present, I appreciate the classroom resources and lessons that are linked to education standards and offer my students a variety of ways to interact with and learn from these artifacts.”
Laura Bradley, MA
Kenilworth Junior High School, Petaluma, CA