Thursday, May 8, 2014

Course Redesign Update: May 8 - Library, La Fontaine

I worked mostly on La Fontaine today, along with developing library pages for my sources.

La Fontaine Unit. It took a chunk of time (almost the whole day today), but I am very happy with the La Fontaine unit! I decided to use a children's version of La Fontaine in English verse, and then some fables from an actual translation of La Fontaine into English (La Fontaine's fable output is HUGE, so choosing what fables to include was not easy). Lots of illustrations, too: I used an illustrated edition of Larned; for the Wright translation, I drew on my huge collection of Aesop illustrations at Flickr. I hope the students will enjoy this one! I still need to proofread and add the notes, but the texts come from good online sources so I'm guessing the proofreading will be easy, and writing the notes on Aesop is always fun. I'll work on that tomorrow maybe! Meanwhile, it feels wonderful to be doing more with Aesop. There is the Classical Aesop unit available for Week 2, and now at the end of the semester, there is another chance at Aesop with La Fontaine as a European option in Week 14. I'll also be doing an English Aesop in Prose and Verse as an option for British Isles in Week 12! So, for people who like Aesop (and a lot of the students really like Aesop), they will get an in-depth knowledge that was not possible in the old version of the class. Here is an illustration from the Larned book:

Library pages. Each time I create a new unit, I create a post for the text source for that unit (or posts if the unit draws on multiple sources, as happens occasionally). When I create the post, it's very barebones, just the title, authors, and year of publication, plus a link to my online source. Later, though, I go back through these posts and expand on them, adding links to other online sources along with audiobook versions if available. It is so exciting to see the variety of formats in which the public domain materials are available! My reason for doing this is that I can imagine some students might want to read on their Kindle or using a Kindle app on another device, or they might want to grab a PDF and mark it up with a PDF reader on a tablet (I use GoodReader on my iPad), or they might want to listen to an audio version. Best of all, they might want to explore more of the book, beyond just the stories I selected for the unit. By finding different formats and linking to them, I want to make it easy for students to read and explore using whatever devices they prefer. BYOD! You can see the Library pages I have created so far (Blogger labels make them easy to find), and I was especially excited to discover this Lit2Go project at University of South Florida's College of Education. In a word: WOW. 

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