Best Practices for Implementation & Deployment of
“The short and the long of it” is that the New Book Press has created a revolutionary new iBook (accessible on both the Mac and the iPad) that seeks to inform the language through the performance by providing Shakespeare’s text side by side with a custom production.
“BUT REALLY… WHAT THE DICKENS IS WORDPLAY SHAKESPEARE, YOU SAY?” “As good luck would have it”, Alexander Parker kindly spent some time with our Freshman and Senior teachers showcasing the WordPlay books as well as sharing some pedagogical nuggets for utilizing the books in the classroom with students.
This Way Comes...
Teachers and Students
The courtship to get this iBook in the hands of students took almost six months from phone calls and emails with Alexander to classroom visits with teachers and invoice verifications and deployment navigations.
Planning and professional development began with Alexander meeting with our English department and culminated with classroom visits from me highlighting for students how to access and utilize the book.
A Look at the
The best laid plans for the bard and an iPad can be smattered with revisions. Initially, we opted for deployment through Casper's Self Service app:
- Casper and JAMF: We encountered compatibility issues with iOS versions and Casper versions with this option.
- iTunes U: Fortunately Manor ISD had had success with threading the file of the book through iTunes U for deployment and then sharing an internal enrollment code to a private course. This proved to be effective and offered added benefits of extra features such as discussion, supplemental resources, and access on multiple devices.
- iBooks: Another option we are exploring for a greater size deployment is to work with the developer to offer the iBook free for a day (we have already paid a licensing fee with the developer for a specific number of copies) and have students access it as a direct iBooks download.
iPad Space Limitations...
Before sharing out the book with students... it is wise to make them aware of how much room they will need to free off from their iPad (see video below). From there, deleting games and uploading photos and videos to online storage seems to free up enough space. (See Lori Robert's Smore for additional tips.) Note how much storage is needed for the two plays
We had two teachers, Jeff Montgomery and Alison Scacco pilot the book with their on-level Senior classes. Classroom use and integration varied from offering a companion hard copy of the text and supplementing it with an alternate audio version to reading the WordPlay version as a whole class and having students perform live scenes with props.
Things to Consider...
Some things to consider (based teacher inquisitions) when initiating a pilot of this nature are:
- Longevity: How long will we have this tool? How long will the students have this tool?
- Transferability: How can I easily transfer my handwritten notes in existing plays to this tool? How can I easily transfer my digital notes and highlights within this tool once i am using it?
- Teacher Access: While every teacher has an iPad, we do have a mix of teachers that have a PC or a Mac. The teachers with Macs can easily open the plays using the iBooks Mac app. However, the teachers with PC's that would like to project the play with their computer required access to the online version of the resource.
Ebooks vs Paper
Before I reveal the student data and infographic from our pilot with the Shakespeare iBook, I thought it interesting to get a frame of reference. Carolyn Foote had surveyed seniors at our 1:1 iPad HS on their use and preference for eBooks and compiled the data below.
Keep these statistics in mind when you peruse the student survey of their preference and use with Shakespeare WordPlay iBook.
Student Reflections and Data
Beth Keith, our Director of Humanities, suggested a student survey to collect data and reflections on how students were using the books so I created a Google form to gather this information and threaded it through the iTunes U course.
iBook Data Compiled in Infographic
Elevating & Integrating the Bard...
I have collected, curated, and compiled countless resources, examples, and projects to inspire elevation and melding of technology and Shakespeare within the Smore embedded below. Multiple student projects designed with apps like iMovie, Tellagami, Puppet Pals, Minecraft, Thinglink, Comic Life, Prezi, Vine, Haiku Deck, and more are included.