Posts Tagged macbeth

Shakespeare is pretty much synonymous with literary masterpieces these days, which is great. However, in all honesty one can only read the same plays so many times before the need for something “different” sets in. Hence WordPlay’s Shakespeare series, which has just released Macbeth.

What makes this version different than the rest? It’s all in the juxtaposition of text and video. See, what WordPlay does is give readers the ability to read the eBook’s text while simultaneously watching a video of the play. In this case it’s the complete play, managed by a Juilliard director and sitting right next to the words you’ll be reading. Neat, huh?

“Half the Page is a Stage” indeed!

macbeth

Educators face a common plight, regardless of what they teach: how to inspire their students to be interested in the subject matter. Perhaps it’s down to human nature, that anything that must be learnt is immediately dismissed. I’m as guilty as many others, only truly appreciating the works of Shakespeare when it came to having the choice of reading his work. I’ve got a feeling, though, that if apps such as Explore Shakespeare were around when I was learning, it would have helped.

The Explore Shakespeare series has recently been released by the Cambridge University Press, offering users the chance to read the full play, listen to an audio performance of it (featuring the voices of actors such as Michael Sheen and Kate Beckinsale) as well as explore and analyze the content.

But how does it actually fare with its core market? Headmistress of St. Mary’s school, Cambridge, Charlotte Avery explained to us that the students were immediately enthusiastic during their time with the Romeo & Juliet app, she particularly enjoyed “the ease with which the students can find out the meaning of a word or phrase by simply tapping on it as they read,” as well as a “diagram of all the characters involved in a particular scene,” reducing any confusion that can come from understanding complex fight scenes in the play. The girls themselves explained that they appreciated the color photographs of professional productions “so that you can imagine what is going on” and that it was “fun to use.”

Given the school’s policy of “Bring Your Own Devices” into school, the Explore Shakespeare series looks set to be quite the hit there and hopefully elsewhere, too. Charlotte Avery explained it best that “bringing iPads into the classroom is the way to go!”, pointing out that it helps to “bridge the ‘disillusionment gap’ between what young people experience with technology inside and outside of school.”

It’s an interesting move for education and one that I’d heartily recommend. Anything that brings classic literature to life for a new generation has to be a good thing. The Explore Shakespeare apps are available now. They’re usually priced at $13.99, but currently on sale at $8.99 each.

$6.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-10-10 :: Category: Education

$6.99
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2012-10-10 :: Category: Education

This week at 148Apps.com we closed out the month of January, and thus our month of focusing on health-related apps, with a special article on iOS and special needs by Lisa Caplan. She writes, “In keeping with January’s health & fitness theme I’m taking a stab at some self-disclosure. I have a spinal cord injury with a host of related 14-karat diagnoses. I don’t use apps for the disabled, though, like those to help remind me to take my meds, find handicapped parking, get medical information or find online support communities. I don’t think anything on my iPad – including pictures – would hint that I have “special needs.” Nonetheless, iOS devices and apps have improved my health, both physical and mental.”

Read all of Lisa’s commentary at 148Apps.com.

Amy Solomon at GiggleApps.com reviewed Thumbnail Theater: Macbeth this week, and she had some very positive things to say about it: “Thumbnail Theater: Macbeth is an app that I greatly enjoyed, both on its own merits and also because apps for older children are not as common as I would like in iTunes. I highly recommend this app to any student who is reading Shakespeare as well as to adults who would like to know more about this time period in general.”

Read more about this iOS adaptation of the “Scottish Play” at GiggleApps.com.

$2.99
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2011-12-10 :: Category: Education

Finally, 148Apps.biz site editor Rob LeFebvre reported on recent trends in app costs. He writes, “Fiksu, Inc. released their latest report today on the mobile app economy, and found all time highs for marketing costs as well as iOS downloads in December. They attribute this data to advertising bidding wars to lock in top rankings before the App Store froze during the 3 day holiday.”

Read the full report at 148Apps.biz.

That’s another week down for the record books. Thanks for reading, and remember that you can keep track of all the latest reviews, news and contests by following us on Twitter or liking us on Facebook. See you next time!

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