By Sept 28 2012,
Pages rustle as everyone flips through their books in search of that spot.
"Usually there's a whole lot of shuffling," says Bryn Mawr professor Katharine Rowe. But not if the class is using an app she and Notre Dame professor Elliott Visconsi built. In their app of Shakespeare's Tempest students can just enter "1.2.398" and be transported there immediately. Or, alternatively, search for the words: "Full fathom five thy father lies."
That tool "gets my students on the line, at the same time, almost instantly. That's a big deal for a Shakespeare prof," she says. "We get our brains faster into the text that way."
And this is just a simple search. The features of their Tempest app go far, far beyond search. Readers can listen to actors perform the script (and the text will scroll along as they do). For key passages, they can compare a set of alternative theatrical interpretations. They can see expert commentaries embedded in the text's margins. Teachers can leave their own comments and questions for their students. Students can respond, ask questions, and chat about the text. It is a fully realized digital book, an embodiment of a pedagogy that values interaction between a reader and an author and among readers themselves.
"It's premised on the idea that you learn best when you create," Visconsi told me.
Last year, Rowe and Visconsi founded a startup, Luminary Digital Media, for building the app. The company received initial support from Notre Dame, which funded software development at the university's Center for Research Computing.
Full story at The Atlantic