Library of Congress Launches Educational Apps for Primary Source Investigations

DBQuest and Case Maker are designed to help students engage with the Library of Congress' extensive catalog of primary resources.

Library of Congress has released two educational apps to teach students about Congress and civics.  The apps are funded through a Library of Congress grant through the Teaching with Primary Resources program, which provides classroom development and professional development to help teachers use the primary resources in the Library's catalog.

  • DBQuest, developed by iCivics, enables teachers to educate students on history and civics through primary-based documents and evidence-based learning. The multi-platform app teaches students how to identify evidence, contextualize information and write supportive arguments.
  • Case Maker, developed by Bean Creative, is a customizable system for inquiry-based learning for students using primary sources from the Library of Congress. The app guides students on how to challenge a question, collect evidence and make a case under a framework developed by the Teaching with Primary Resources program.

Each of these projects are designed to take different approaches to the primary sources that are provided for free through the Library of Congress website. The Library of Congress also released three other apps — Eagle Eye Citizen, Engaging Congress and Kid Citizen — through the program in 2016.

"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 in a Sept. 7 announcement. "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."

About the Author

Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe covering education policy and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.

Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.

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