New Website Brings Civics to Life for Educators and Students

d'Vinci Interactive Partners with the Center on Congress at Indiana University to Re-launch Website and Create New Mobile Apps

Students can now dive into more engaging content on civics and government, thanks to a new website and tablet-accessible eLearning activities created by d'Vinci Interactive for the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

The Center's Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program has for several years been helping students learn about Congress, representative democracy and citizen participation. Now the Center aims to attract even more students and teachers with a redesigned TPS web site which is open to all (no registration required) and which includes new mobile learning activities in its suite of free eLearning resources.

"Unlike many educational websites that become stagnant, the Center on Congress site features new technologies to keep it relevant for teachers and students," said Mason Scuderi, chief operating office at d'Vinci Interactive. "Opening up all the content without registration makes the site an even more valuable learning tool," he added.

d'Vinci partnered with former Congressman Lee Hamilton and the Center on Congress to develop student activities and tablet-accessible media which collectively form a "digital classroom" where teachers assign work and grade students through an online management system.

The activities are designed to help teachers access and use the digital primary source materials of the Library of Congress. There are more than two dozen activities, including: Analyzing Political Cartoons, Understanding Persuasion Techniques, Understanding Historical Context, Exploring Primary Sources, and The Virtual Congress. Also, there are two iPad apps - Civic Quotes and Congressional Moments.

"When we educate our young people about Congress and our representative democracy, we enrich their lives and enrich our country through their engagement," said former Congressman Lee Hamilton.

The Civic Quotes iPad app recently made the Top 5 List in AppoLearning's Middle School Government and Civics category. App reviewer Abby Nowakowski said "Too often statements such as these [civic quotes] can be passed over without pause, but this app gives students context, and encourages critical thinking on all civic issues." Since the app's launch in January 2012, more than 16,000 people have downloaded it from iTunes. The Civic Quotes app also recently won a Horizon Interactive Award for eLearning activities.

About The Center on Congress

The Center on Congress at Indiana University is dedicated to improving public understanding of the role that Congress plays in our everyday lives. It also seeks to improve civic engagement, especially among young people, as a way to strengthen the basic foundation of government. Working with the Library of Congress, the Center has developed an online eLearning project titled Teaching with Primary Sources. Intended for use by high school teachers and students, the project consists of a series of interactive online activities designed to engage students in learning about Congress through the use of the digital primary source materials of the Library of Congress. Teaching with Primary Sources is a project for the Center on Congress at Indiana University.

06/07/13