darren milligan

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Darren Milligan is the Senior Digital Strategist at the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Learning and Digital Access in Washington, D.C. He specializes in strategy for educational impact through research and the development of tools and services for making online cultural and scientific heritage resources accessible and useful to educators and learners. His work has included producing educational publications and interactive experiences, such as online games, alternate reality games, and simulations; managing communication and marketing to teachers across the Smithsonian’s museums and research centers; developing methodologies for the creation and dissemination of educationally-relevant metadata; and directing web platforms, including the Webby-award-winning online portal for educational resources at the Institution, SmithsonianEducation.org. Darren is currently the research lead and project director for the Smithsonian Learning Lab, an online software platform that encourages the creative and educational reuse of more than 3 million digitized objects from the Smithsonian collection. The Learning Lab supports hundreds of thousands of educators and students as they discover and integrate the vast resources of the Institution into their teaching and learning.

Darren writes and speaks regularly on topics related to museum outreach and education. Recent publications and talks and have been supported by universities (Georgetown University and Harvard University Graduate Schools), museum conferences and publications (Adobe Digital Government Symposium, American Alliance of Museums, AAM Center for the Future of Museums, Artribune, Museum Computer Network, Museum-Ed, Museums and the Web, Smithsonian Magazine, and SXSWEdu), and educational organizations (ASCD, CoSN, and ISTE). He has received recognition and awards for his work from Tech & Learning, the American Alliance of Museums, EdTech Digest, Common Sense Education, School Library Journal, eSchool News, and the Webby Awards.

Darren was formerly the producer and art director of the teacher magazine, Smithsonian in Your Classroom, distributed to every elementary and middle school in the United States, and codesigned the exhibition, The World of Your Senses, in collaboration with the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and the Exploratorium. Prior to the Smithsonian, Darren worked in corporate marketing for several international software companies, and developed citizen-science programs and online mentoring communities at the Purple Martin Conservation Association in Pennsylvania. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Ethology and Evolution and Latin American Popular Cultures from Allegheny College and a master’s degree in Digital Heritage from the University of Leicester. His nonprofit board and volunteer service includes Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Museum Computer Network and as a voting member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.