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Latest News: New Educational Apps

The Library of Congress, in collaboration with educational organizations, today announced the launch of two new web- and mobile-based applications related to Congress and civics for use in K-12 classrooms.

The Library of Congress, in collaboration with educational organizations, today announced the launch of two new web- and mobile-based applications related to Congress and civics for use in K-12 classrooms.

These new applications transport students through primary sources to some of the most dramatic turning points in U.S. history and immerse them in the related debates.

Students can investigate complex questions through both applications, as well as three apps that launched in 2016. These apps are accessible  at loc.gov/teachers/civics-interactives/.

 “Together, these new applications are a valuable addition to the suite of civics-related tools that our partners have developed,” said Lee Ann Potter, director of the Educational Outreach division at the Library of Congress.

“The ability to weigh evidence and build a sound argument is crucial to informed civic participation, and we are happy to see the effective and engaging ways in which the interactives use primary source documents to build these vital skills.”

Each project takes a different approach to the subjects, but at the core of each are the rich historical primary sources that the Library makes freely available at loc.gov.

The two new civics interactives are:

  • DBQuest, developed by iCivics. DBQuest teaches history and civics through the use of primary source documents and evidence-based learning. It offers a platform, accessible on mobile devices, that reinforces evidence-based reasoning and document-based questioning by teaching students to identify and evaluate evidence, contextualize information and write sound supporting arguments.
  • Case Maker, developed by Bean Creative. Case Maker is a customizable system for inquiry-based learning for K-12 students using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Modeled after the “observe, reflect, question” framework, developed under the Teaching with Primary Sources program, Case Maker guides students to challenge a question, collect evidence and make a case.

 

In 2016, the Library received proposals from a wide range of organizations, including institutions of higher education, cultural institutions and other collaborative partnerships to develop educational apps.

The selected organizations, iCivics and Bean Creative, have long records of success in developing and implementing curricular programs. Both worked closely with the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources program in the creation of their interactives.

For more information about the congressional grant opportunity that supported the development of these apps, see loc.gov/teachers/newsevents/ for updates. A second group of organizations was selected in 2018 – their projects are scheduled to launch in 2020.

For more than a decade, the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program has provided extensive professional development opportunities for educators and enabled the development and dissemination of teaching materials focused on using the Library’s digitized primary sources. In its fiscal 2015 appropriation, Congress allocated additional funds to the TPS program to increase competitive opportunities for developing online interactives and apps for classroom use on Congress and civics, enabling today’s announcement.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States – and extensive materials from around the world –  both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.  Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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