Sometimes I think I’m the last person in the world to find out about something. Case in point: Shakespeare in Bits. The folks at Mindconnex Learning have take Shakespeare’s most famous plays Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet (Read: those in high school required reading lists) and made them fresh. I think what they’ve done is created a new equation.
Graphic novel + Cliffs Notes + multimedia + some everyday language = Accessible Shakespeare
The Mactrack blog describes Shakespeare in Bits like this:
‘Shakespeare In Bits’ is a new, integrated approach to Shakespeare Studies that promotes quicker learning, deeper understanding, and greater appreciation of Shakespeare’s plays. Leveraging the full capabilities of iOS devices and the Mac platform, it presents an interactive, unabridged version of the play’s text alongside a fully animated presentation. It also includes a full range of innovative study features, including dynamic translations of difficult terms, full synopses and study notes for each section, and a character map highlighting the relationships between the characters.
The iPad prices are what I would consider steep. Macbeth iPad is $14.99. However, there is a Romeo & Juliet iPad Lite version for you to check out for free. They also have them for Windows and Mac desktop versions in their catalog and they are also in the Mac app store. However, if you’re going to be replacing a book, mobile is the way to go. With their desktop versions, they do have institutional pricing. However, I couldn’t tell on their apps if they were part of the Apple institutional app pricing or not.
I’ve decided to let my guilty-self off a little. As I perused the Shakespeare in Bits blog, I found out Macbeth was new in January 2011.