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"Library of Congress launches three new educational apps"

Library of Congress launches three new educational apps

2017-11-18 00:13:00 (GMT)

District Of Columbia, United StatesThe Library of Congress, in collaboration with various educational organizations, today announced the launch of three web- and mobile-based applications related to Congress and civic participation for use in K-12 classrooms.

From stepping behind the camera with photographers who fought against child labor to building a timeline that traces African Americans’ journey towards freedom, students are able to do all these things and more using the set of new free educational interactives.

“We are delighted to see the creative ways in which these three interactives support students’ investigations of government, legislation and the role each of us can play in participating in our nation’s civic life,” said Lee Ann Potter, director of Educational Outreach at the Library of Congress. “Primary sources are uniquely powerful teaching tools, and the Library’s education staff learned a great deal by watching the selected organizations use historical artifacts to illuminate key aspects of national institutions and citizen engagement.”

Each project takes a different approach to the subjects, and each is based on the rich historical primary-source items that the Library makes freely available at loc.gov.

The three civics interactives are:

  • Eagle Eye Citizen, developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. Eagle Eye Citizen engages middle and high school students in solving and creating interactive challenges on American history, civics and government with Library of Congress primary sources in order to develop their civic understanding and historical thinking skills.
  • Engaging Congress, developed by Indiana University Center on Representative Government. Engaging Congress is a series of game-based learning activities that explores the basic tenets of representative government and the challenges it faces in contemporary society. Primary-source documents are used to examine the history and evolution of issues that confront Congress today.
  • KidCitizen, developed by Muzzy Lane Software. KidCitizen introduces a new way for young students (K-5) to engage with history through primary sources. In KidCitizen’s nine interactive episodes, children explore civics and government concepts by investigating primary-source photographs from the Library of Congress. They also connect what they find with their daily lives. KidCitizen includes cloud software tools that let educators create their own episodes and share them with students.

In 2015, the Library received 33 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, Muzzy Lane Software, the Indiana University Center on Representative Government, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and the New Media at George Mason University, have conducted extensive teacher and student testing of their interactives, developed supporting professional-development resources and opportunities for teachers, and are embarking on extensive outreach campaigns.

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 2016; their projects are scheduled to launch in 2018.

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 civic participation, 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.

Press Contact: Benny Seda-Galarza (202) 707-8732
Public Contact: Lee Ann Potter (202) 707-8735

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