Michael Lo Monico
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Shakespeare 2.0

Below are some of the Web 2.0 tools I use when leading a Shakespeare and Technology Workshop.

Film School:
A few years ago I created a series of units for the Independent Film Channel. They wanted unit plans for English teachers to integrate film in their standard literature units. You could find these somewhere on IFC's site, but here they are: 
Film School Teaching Units

One simple technique I have students use is Hypertext to look closely at the words. Here’s an example of a King Lear Hypertext passage. Here’s a simple video on How to hypertext.

Word Clouds:
I have found that using 
Wordle or Tagxedo is an excellent way to focus on word frequency in the text. This is a fairly uncomplicated process: simply take a piece of text, copy it, and paste it into Wordle. Here’s what Edmund’s “Stand up for bastards” soliloquy from Act 1, scene 1 looks like in Wordle. You can even take the entire play and see what happens. Of course the results are much better if you eliminate all the names in the speech prefixes.

Here's what Sonnets 1-17 look like in Tagxedo.

You might even have your students enter their essays in Wordle to discover how often they use certain words.

Comics and Animations:
Pixton to create scenes from a play is a simple way for students to explore Shakespeare’s texts in a graphic format. Here’s a passage from Macbeth  and Hamlet's soliloquy created by two of my students. Comic Life uses photos and is a good alternative.

There are also several animation programs that students love to use. Here's a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream set on the Jersey Shore using Animoto. 

Images: Using Images from the Folger Collection is another way to enhance your lessons. You’ll find over 50,000 images including production photos, artwork, and quarto pages.

Voice Annotation:
Another free program that teachers have discovered is VoiceThread. It allows you to post text, pictures, videos, or a Website and then lets users add comments in written, voice, or video formats. Here’s one I created for my students comparing two versions of the Prologue from Romeo and Juliet.

Voice Discussion Threads: 
VoxoPop is a great way to get your students to speak online. With a simple microphone, they'll be able to discuss, comment, recite,or even perform a piece of text in the privacy of their bedrooms. Here's one teacher's examples and another's.

Creating Soundscapes with Audacity or Garageband is another excellent activity. One of my Folger colleagues, Chris Shamburg, has created a video and an excellent tutorial to guide you and your students through it. Here's one my students created from Hamlet.

Photo Stories:
I have had some wonderful results with PhotoStory 3 and I have created a video called How to Create a PhotoStory. Here is an example from Henry V with a lesson plan.

There are literally thousands of student-made Shakespeare videos on YouTube. Many take great liberties with the language and the plots, but there are some outstanding ones as well. Here are a few from students at Roslyn (NY) HS.
Romeo and Juliet trailer
A Midsummer Night's Dream trailer
A "Yak Track" for the opening scene of Ian McKellan's King Lear.

Finally, here is my PowerPoint Presentation on Shakespeare and Media.
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