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Shakespeare In Bits

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Nov 1, 2012
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Company: MindConnex Learning, 39 Clarendon St., Dublin 2, Ireland; Website: www.mindconnex.com. Follow on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Price: Annual subscriptions are available for a minimum of 30 users with bulk discounts available. It is also available in lab editions, which can be used without internet access. For more information, contact sales@mindconnex.com. A Lite version of each play is available for free download.

Audience: Shakespeare In Bits is for upper middle school, high school, and older students.

Format: Shakespeare In Bits is available for iPad, iPhone, Mac, or PC, in individual or lab editions.

System Requirements: Any system from the past few years (and possibly earlier) should be able to run Shakespeare In Bits without problems. However, the following are an absolute minimum: Windows computers need an Intel Pentium III 1GHz or faster processor, 512MB of RAM with a Pentium 4 2GHz or faster and 1GB of RAM recommended. It should have Windows 7 or newer. Mac machines need OS X or newer with Intel Core Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor.

Description: Shakespeare In Bits uses animated re-enactment, full audio, and unabridged text to present individual plays in a multimedia approach to learning and teaching the plays.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:4 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: This is a matter of going online, paying for the number of licenses needed, downloading the program, and installing it on needed devices. Note that each device will need to access the internet to activate the program except for lab editions.

The activation step verifies the registration key. After the key is entered, the product will check it against MindConnex servers. The entire process is easy, with clear, step-by-step instructions. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: Shakespeare In Bits is a good way to incorporate engaging digital experiences into literature programs. It improves the understanding of Shakespeare through increased student engagement with, and accessibility to, Shakespeare’s works.

Titles are academically rigorous, featuring complete unabridged standard play text, professional audio, and comprehensive notes and analyses. Currently available plays are Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and Julius Caesar, with more on the way.

Each play includes in-line translations for antiquated phrases and words, along with full study notes for every section and analyses, plot summaries, cast biographies, and relationships. Plays are broken into easily digested “bits.”

Each title includes hours of high-resolution animation with professional audio soundtrack and text, presented side-by-side with animated action. It is easy to follow with portions of text being highlighted as spoken in the play. An illustrated character relationship map demonstrates key characters and their interrelationships. An easy-to-navigate visual scene selection menu is also provided to help users get familiar with the play’s sequence of events or to jump to scenes of their choice. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Shakespeare In Bits is ready to use with minimal student instruction. It is intuitive with clear, easy-to-use instructions. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Sections on Getting Started with Shakespeare In Bits and a list of FAQs are available online. Email is available at support@mindconnex.com or via an online form. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: This is an excellent and motivating electronic resource that I recommend for use with all high school students studying Shakespeare. Recommended.

Reviewer: Charles Doe is a 39-year teacher, including 10 as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools. For the past 14 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools. Email: chasgd62@gmail.com.


 
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