The Library of Congress today announced the selection of three organizations that will receive a total of $950,000 during the next two years to support the development of engaging web- and mobile-based applications on the subjects of Congress and civic participation, for use in K-12 classrooms.
The Library received 33 proposals from a wide range of public, private, not-for profit and for-profit organizations, including institutions of higher education, cultural institutions, other educational organizations and collaborative partnerships. The chosen proposals were submitted by teams with a record of success in the development and implementation of curricular programs on Congress and civic participation, and the development and long-term maintenance of successful online interactives or mobile apps for classroom use.
The selected organizations were chosen by panels of individuals with content and technical expertise from government agencies, non-profit organizations, universities, and the Library of Congress. The selectees will work with the Library's Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program to develop the online interactives and mobile apps. They will use and incorporate not only the Library's online primary sources, but also many other resources available from the Library.
The organizations selected for funding include:
- Muzzy Lane Software, of Newburyport, Massachusetts, whose "KidCitizen" project will deliver extensible cross-platform apps for iOS and Android devices and web browsers designed for children in grades K-5. Working in collaboration with professors at the University of South Florida, staff of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) and others, the firm will develop apps to provide authentic, age-appropriate interaction with primary source materials, based on strong research and pedagogy, engaging children in exploring civics and government concepts through historical sources, and connecting what they find with their daily lives.
- Indiana University Center on Representative Government, in Bloomington, Indiana. The center's "Engaging Congress" project will create a series of game-based learning activities for secondary-level students to explore the basic tenets of representative government and the challenges it faces in contemporary society. Working in collaboration with the Center for Civic Education and WisdomTools, the center will use primary sources and other items in the Library of Congress digital collection including text documents, photos, posters, political cartoons, audio and video to draw student attention to issues regarding the effective functioning of Congress and the identification of solutions to common problems currently facing Congress.
- Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Virginia, whose "Eagle Eye Citizen" project will deliver an engaging, online and mobile-friendly interactive for K-12 students focused on Congress and civic participation. Working in collaboration with National History Day (NHD) and educational media designer Big YellowTaxi, the center will develop a project that will present students with thought-provoking questions to draw them into careful analysis of Library of Congress resources, while raising larger questions about Congress and civic participation.
All three organizations will also develop supporting professional development resources and opportunities for teachers and extensive outreach campaigns.
For more information about this grant opportunity, see the "Notice of Funds Availability."
For nearly 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.
The Library of Congress, the nation's first federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library's resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library's website at loc.gov and its specialized educational resource site at loc.gov/teachers/.