Library Announces Its First Online Conference for Educators

Sessions Include Photographer Carol Highsmith, Use of Primary Sources in the Classroom

The Library of Congress will bring teachers and education experts from across the nation together in its first online conference for educators. This free two-day event, “The Library of Congress and Teachers: Unlocking the Power of Primary Sources,” will be heldOctober 27-28 from 4-8 p.m. EDT, and will be open to K-12 educators from across all instructional disciplines.

The two-day event will include 15 one-hour sessions facilitated by Library specialists, instructional experts from the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium, and other recognized K-12 leaders. Sessions will cover topics ranging from literacy and historical thinking to historic newspapers and the Civil Rights Act, and will all focus on the effective use of primary source documents in the classroom.

Primary sources have unique instructional power, according to the Library’s director of Educational Outreach, Lee Ann Potter: “By analyzing primary sources, students can engage with complex content, build their critical-thinking skills and create new knowledge. The Library’s online conference for educators will allow teachers to learn how to access Library of Congress resources and to discover new strategies for integrating primary sources into their instruction.”

The keynote speaker for the event will be photographer Carol Highsmith, who will discuss her decades-long project of documenting the United States in a one-hour conversation with Helena Zinkham, director of Collections and Services at the the Library.

Library experts will include specialists from the World Digital Library, the Chronicling America newspaper archives project, the Prints and Photographs Division, the Veterans History Project and more.

Other presenters will include Sam Wineburg and Joel Breakstone from Stanford University, Barbara Stripling from Syracuse University and Dan Rothstein of the Right Question Institute.

After the live online conference, the Library will make recordings of all sessions available to the public on its website. Teachers will be able to earn up to 15 hours of CEU/PDU (Continuing Education Units/Professional Development Units) by participating in or viewing online conference sessions, and certificates will be available when each session is completed.

Participants may register here and interested educators can follow the preparations for the conference on Twitter at @TeachingLC and by following #LCTeachConf. Through its specialized educational resource site, the Library of Congress offers classroom materials and professional development to help educators effectively use primary sources from the Library’s vast digital collections in their teaching, including detailed lessons plans that meet Common Core, state and national standards, a series of Student Discovery Sets (interactive ebooks for tablets), and a series of Summer Teacher Institutes, all at no charge.

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. The Library serves the public, scholars, Members of Congress and their staffs. Many of the Library’s resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s website at loc.gov.

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