The Bard can be daunting for most students, not to mention for many teachers teaching his works in the classroom. Since Shakespeare will always be a part of our curriculum, these online tools and apps can assist teachers prepare lessons and lead their students through an exploration of Shakespeare’s canon with enthusiasm.
Swipespeare; iOS, Android and Windows Phone
Students who complain bitterly about the difficult of Shakespearean language will love this app. Users can swipe across a passage of a Shakespearean play or sonnet and translate it into modern language; another quick swipe and the classic language returns. While the app is free, each play requires an in-app purchase. If students are struggling mightily with understanding Macbeth or As You Like It, it may be worth the investment.
Explore Shakespeare; iOS
Published by Cambridge University Press, the Explore Shakespeare app features the distinctive Cambridge approach to the plays. The free version of the app features the opening scene of six of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, to allow comparison, and the full text of each play can be purchased in the app itself. Once purchased, those plays feature not only the full text but also visuals and a full video performance.
Blogging Shakespeare; Web
This online resource is an excellent way to show students how alive and well Shakespeare is in our culture today. The blog contains a number of Shakespeare-related articles, including many that intersect with modern media and drama. For students who are a bit skeptical that Shakespeare matters at all to their modern lives, Blogging Shakespeare may prove an eye-opener.
This online compilation of links and resources can help any scholar—teacher or student—of Shakespeare better find necessary information. The site provides aid to a researching student by offering headings for the most likely questions: authorship debate, biography, the Globe Theater, historical information, and, most importantly his works.
This app features not just the text of the sonnets, but also multimedia performance pieces as well. The app highlights the text as one member of the all-star cast performs the sonnet, allowing students to experience the poetry as it was meant to be experienced—aloud and with enthusiasm. This comprehensive app also includes screen shots of the original Quarto from 1609, as well as analysis about the sonnet’s modern-day application.
This free app features the complete works of Shakespeare along with a searchable concordance to make finding the particular line much easier. Users can customize their reading by choosing several colors, fonts, or by moving from scene to scene within a play. The Shakespeare Pro app features, for an upgraded price, line numbers, random quote generator, and an integrated glossary among other features.
Silvia Gallagher is the Head of Content for AvatarGeneration. Her background is in online learning, virtual worlds, and educational games. In her spare time she likes riding bikes over mountains and playing around with new technology.