Using the Best of the Web in Your English Classroom


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Brady Wood, VP at Shmoop, presented tips for English teachers who want to use online resources in their instruction. Includes 15 literature and poetry websites as well as an overview of Shmoop's resources for English teachers.

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Using the Best of the Web in Your English Classroom

  1. 1. Using the Best of the Web to Teach English in Your Virtual Classroom Brady Wood VP of Marketing & Business Development Nov. 16, 2009 Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential “ Best of the Internet”
  2. 2. What We’ll Cover Today <ul><li>7 Student Resources </li></ul><ul><li>8 Professional Learning Resources </li></ul><ul><li>Using Shmoop in Your English Classroom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overview of Shmoop Literature, Poetry, Biography, Music </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shmoop’s Best of the Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shmoop Writing Lab </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sneak preview of Shmoop Teacher’s Editions </li></ul></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  3. 3. and Poetry Foundation <ul><li>Academy of American Poets </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full texts of poems, close readings, poet biographies, glossaries, writing and reading tips, local poetry events, mobile phone apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>National Poetry Month (April) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Poem in Your Pocket Day” (April 29, 2010) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Poetry Foundation </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Articles, news, events, multimedia, Poetry magazine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poetry Tool allows you to find poems by categories, occasions, use of literary devices </li></ul></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  4. 4. Poetry 180 <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>One poem per day for American High Schools </li></ul><ul><li>From the Library of Congress </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  5. 5. The Victorian Web <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Rich resource for Victorian literature, poetry, & history </li></ul><ul><li>Texts, short articles, book reviews, suggested readings, links </li></ul><ul><li>Biographies, historical, economic & social contexts, science, technology, religion, visual art </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  6. 6. Reading Multimedia Texts <ul><li>Teen Diaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teens record diaries of their lives. Edited by NPR and presented on “All Things Considered” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This American Life </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcast available on iTunes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quirky, funny audio essays from NPR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Now also on TV (Showtime) </li></ul></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  7. 7. GoodReads <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Online community for readers </li></ul><ul><li>Reviews and discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>Help students discover other books they might like </li></ul><ul><ul><li>YA book lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Books by categories and themes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recommends other books you might enjoy </li></ul></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  8. 8. Our Favorite Professional Learning Resources for English Teachers
  9. 9. PBS Teachers <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Great lesson plans </li></ul><ul><li>Guide to PBS video </li></ul><ul><li>Educator community </li></ul><ul><li>Widgets for your classroom website </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  10. 10. The English Companion <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Thriving online community of 1,000s of English teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions and mini-groups devoted to specific topics </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers share advice and lesson plans </li></ul><ul><li>Led by Jim Burke, HS English teacher from Burlingame, CA </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  11. 11. Blogs & Webcasts <ul><li>Blog: Free Technology for Teachers </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews of free instructional resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each review includes suggestions for classroom applications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Video Webcast: Palm Breeze CAFE </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcast: search iTunes Store for “Palm Breeze Cafe” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software & website reviews and tutorials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Listserv: </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community of Shakespeare students and scholars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scholarly papers, reviews, discussion, teaching ideas </li></ul></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  12. 12. Arts Edge from the Kennedy Center <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Standards-based lesson plans for theater, music, visual arts, dance </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  13. 13. The Center for Digital Storytelling <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>3-5 minute digital stories </li></ul><ul><li>First-person narratives, collect still images, video, and music </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher workshops, certificate programs, textbooks, online resources, and custom program development </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  14. 14. An Overview of Shmoop
  15. 15. Students & Teachers Say… “ All of my friends would use this.” - Tanya, 15 “ Shmoop makes me actually want to work. ” - Stephanie, 19 “ Shmoop is intentionally about the joy of learning .” - Paul, HS teacher Quotes from Shmoop focus groups of HS and College students, April 2008 Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential “ This website is my dream come true ” - Noel, 20
  16. 16. Experts Say… Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential “ Smart and consistently humorous” – Academy of American Poets “ Best of the Internet ” - PC Magazine Official Honoree in Education (along with BBC, PBS, CBC) - 2009 Webby Awards &quot;The language is totally student-friendly . A very cool site.” - School Library Journal “ Makes the learning process fun .” - San Francisco Chronicle
  17. 17. What is Shmoop? <ul><li>Fun digital textbooks and learning guides </li></ul><ul><ul><li>8 subjects and growing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Literature, Poetry, Bestsellers, Music, Biography, US History, Civics, & Spanish translations of literature guides </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis, summaries, trivia, multimedia, quotes, and loads of links </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A resource teachers & students use in the classroom & at home </li></ul><ul><li>Written by educators and experts – primarily Ph.D. students from Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley </li></ul><ul><ul><li>>90% of Shmoop writers have taught at the high school or college level </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Shmoop (v): to push something forward (Yiddish slang of our founder’s grandmother) </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  18. 18. Things You’ll Learn on Shmoop Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential The Portrait of a Lady (written in 1880) shares a lot in common with TV’s “Gossip Girl” Emily Dickinson was a packrat Ernest Hemingway and James Joyce picked bar fights together in Paris Albert Einstein's 7th-grade teacher told him he &quot;would never get anywhere in life.&quot; True story. M.I.A.’s 2008 hit “Paper Planes” borrows its chorus line from the early 90s rap hit “Rump Shaker”
  19. 19. My, How We’ve Grown Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential Sept. ‘08 <ul><ul><ul><li>Nov. ‘09 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Private Beta </li></ul><ul><li>3,369 Unique Users / mo </li></ul><ul><li>40,880 Page Views /mo </li></ul><ul><li>Resources for students </li></ul><ul><li>2 subjects </li></ul><ul><li>140 titles </li></ul><ul><li>Public Beta </li></ul><ul><li>703,025 Unique Users /mo </li></ul><ul><li>3,000,000 Page Views / mo </li></ul><ul><li>Resources for students, teachers, librarians </li></ul><ul><li>8 subjects </li></ul><ul><li>1,100 titles across Web, iPhone, Kindle, Nook </li></ul><ul><li>Named “Best of the Internet” by PC Magazine </li></ul><ul><li>Webby Award Honoree in education (along with PBS, BBC, CBC) </li></ul>
  20. 20. Lit, US History, Poetry <ul><li>Tripled the number of guides in Literature, US History, Poetry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Covering the HS cannon </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expanding into Middle School </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Now the largest Poetry analysis site on the web </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential “ Smart and consistently humorous” - Academy of American Poets (
  21. 21. Shmoop Literature <ul><li>Help make literature fun and relevant for your students </li></ul><ul><li>“ Why Should I Care?” </li></ul><ul><li>Themes </li></ul><ul><li>Quote analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Plot analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Character analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Literary devices </li></ul><ul><li>Study questions </li></ul><ul><li>Trivia </li></ul><ul><li>Best of the Web </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  22. 22. Shmoop Poetry <ul><li>Demystify poetry with Shmoop’s fun, plain-spoken analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Text of the Poem </li></ul><ul><li>Close Reading (line-by-line) </li></ul><ul><li>Deep analysis of Symbolism, Themes, Meter, Sound, Setting… </li></ul><ul><li>Trivia </li></ul><ul><li>Study Questions </li></ul><ul><li>Best of the Web (primary sources, photos, audio, video, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Shmoop Poetry Primer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to Read Poetry </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is Poetry? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Poetry terminology (glossary) </li></ul></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  23. 23. Shmoop’s “Best of the Web” <ul><li>Links are carefully selected by Shmoop’s writers </li></ul><ul><li>Audio, video, photos, art, primary sources </li></ul><ul><li>Television and Film productions </li></ul><ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li>Coming Soon: student assignment based on “Best of the Web” </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  24. 24. NEW Shmoop Bestsellers Let Your Inner Fan Feast <ul><li>Use “Pop Lit” to teach students literary analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Twilight, New Moon, Harry Potter… many more coming soon </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  25. 25. NEW Shmoop Biography Get to Know the Big Cheeses <ul><li>31 bios and counting </li></ul><ul><li>Authors, poets, political leaders, inventors, … </li></ul><ul><li>Back-stories, fun anecdotes, multimedia, personal letters </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  26. 26. NEW Shmoop Music Listen and Learn <ul><li>Analyze lyrics like poetry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rhyme, meter, allusions, symbolism, themes… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Historical context and “behind the music” stories </li></ul><ul><li>Technical analysis of rhythm, songwriting, instrumentation </li></ul><ul><li>How have you used music in your classes? </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  27. 27. NUEVO Shmoop Literatura <ul><li>Spanish translations of our most popular literature summaries </li></ul><ul><li>A “bridge” for ESL students, or great practice for students learning Spanish </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  28. 28. NEW: Shmoop on iPhone, Kindle, Nook Put a Ph.D. in Your Pocket <ul><li>Shmoop is now </li></ul><ul><ul><li>#2 educational iPhone App developer (soon to be #1) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>#1 HS publisher on Kindle </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Largest multi-platform educational publisher </li></ul><ul><ul><li>400 guides on the Web </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>300+ eBooks on Kindle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>250 iPhone/iPod Apps </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>250 eBooks on B&N nook </li></ul></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  29. 29. Shmoop Writing Lab (BETA!) <ul><li>Interactive essay-writing guide that helps students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Articulate opinions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organize thoughts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support arguments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Construct a cohesive essay with transitions, parallel structure, introduction, conclusion, etc. </li></ul></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  30. 32. How to Cite Shmoop <ul><li>Shmoop automatically generates citations for students in MLA, APA, or Chicago formats </li></ul><ul><li>Our About Us section includes our background and academic credentials to help establish authority </li></ul><ul><li>Shmoop teaches students about the perils of plagiarism and encourages original thought </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  31. 33. Shmoop for Educators <ul><li>A tour of Shmoop designed for educators </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas and examples from teachers who use Shmoop in the classroom </li></ul><ul><li>More about Shmoop’s teaching philosophy , our teaching experience, and our academic credentials </li></ul><ul><li>Our tribute to great teachers who inspired us </li></ul>Shmoop University, Inc. Confidential
  32. 34. <ul><li>More Info at: </li></ul><ul><li>On Twitter: @helloshmoop </li></ul>© 2009, Shmoop University, Inc.