Friday, October 18, 2013

The Best Thing Since Shakespeare!


Having struggled with reading in my youth, facing the works of Shakespeare was a daunting experience.  Reading and re-reading got me through it, but there was limited understanding and hardly a grasp of subtle context.  Unfortunately, I never developed a love of Shakespeare as a younger reader.

Now, there are apps that help students engage with Shakespeare in a more interactive way.  Check out Shakespeare in Bits, an app for iOS.  It is a multi-media approach to learning Shakespeare.  


SIB offers the reader a number of tools that bring five of the Bard’s plays to life.  The in-line translator substitutes common terminology for those hard-to-understand phrases.  There is analysis, plot summaries, and notes.  Most helpful is the biographies of the main characters.  My favorite feature is the family/relationship tree. 

This app offers the perfect opportunity for flipped learning. Classroom discussions and more transformative strategies that reach for deeper learning can take place when students have the comprehension piece nailed down.  This app will take care of that to a high degree.  Please note that the app is free, but each play purchase is $14.99.

The unabridged text is enhanced with images and audio.  Plays currently available include Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar.  This app is great for both the student and the recreational reader.  And yes, I have already started Romeo & Juliet!

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