Citizens, Start Your Tablets: “Congressional Moments” App Is Up

BLOOMINGTON, Ind., Sept. 27 — Most Americans don’t see Congress as having much to do with their daily routine, but a new, free app for the iPad tablet makes the case that our lives are profoundly shaped by the actions of the national legislature.

The “Congressional Moments” app, an Indiana University Center on Congress resource that is funded by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program, offers an interactive tour of landmark congressional accomplishments in six areas — child labor laws, civil rights legislation, women’s suffrage, the Marshall Plan, the National Park Service, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The app, and its Web version — both at http://www.tpscongress.org/congressional-moments/ — earned “New and Noteworthy” billing in the iTunes store when it debuted. It incorporates a wide array of photographs and other primary source images from the Library of Congress’s vast collection.

In the app, two leading National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) teachers explain how to get the most out of primary sources, and there’s an interactive quiz to help students learn about the difference between primary and secondary sources. A key goal of the app is to get students to look at information with a critical eye and be aware that even primary sources are not always completely accurate and trustworthy.

Though developed primarily for the classroom, the app also is of interest to the general public.

“Congressional Moments” is the second app released by the Center through the TPS program, joining “Civic Quotes,” which uses notable quotations from a variety of U.S. political leaders, as well as primary-source images, to teach about representative democracy, the role and impact of government, the democratic process and compromise, and citizen participation. “Civic Quotes,” which also earned “New and Noteworthy” designation in the iTunes store, is at http://www.tpscongress.org/civic-quotes/

“With both these apps, we aim to help teachers, students and citizens use the latest technology to make civics learning interesting and relevant,” said Center on Congress Director Lee H. Hamilton.

Content featured in partnership with the Library of Congress TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of all or any additional content provided by the partner organization.