Monday, May 20, 2013

Librivox

Have I really not mentioned Librivox on this blog yet?  Let me rectify that immediately. Librivox is an amazing student resource for high school and college.

In short, Librivox is a project dedicated to making every public domain work available as an audio book.  Volunteers from around the world choose works, record, upload, edit, and release these audio books that can be listened to easily on the site, www.librivox.org, or downloaded for free in itunes.

It's AMAZING, it's FREE, and it has every public domain classic on there already.

How can you use this?  Say one of your students misses a day reading Othello and you don't want them to miss out on hearing it out loud?  What if your student needs to be able to read Pride and Prejudice while doing chores or working out?  What if you want your kids to hear Heart of Darkness out loud but  your students and you yourself are tired of reading orally?

Now, these are volunteers, so some of them are not exactly professional readers.  For instance, me!  My first collaboration in reading a book for Librivox was released recently.  Although you probably won't be using this title for class, you can check me out reading chapters 12, 13, 49, 52, and 53 of Mr. Scarborough's Family.

Mr. Scarborough's Family

However, some of these readers are professional, or at least became so after their amazing work at Librivox.  Elizabeth Klett is wonderful and has read pretty much all of Jane Austen and Edith Wharton for Librivox.  Here is her version of Pride and Prejudice, just because, you know, it's Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice read by Elizabeth Klett

And for an example of one you are more likely to use in your classroom, here is a version of Romeo and Juliet with a different reader for each part.  (There are other versions where one reader reads the whole thing.)

Romeo and Juliet
Finding a book on Librivox is easy.  Just go to the catalog, type in your title, and hit search.  Try it.  You will LOVE it.

One way I have not yet used Librivox is to get a class involved in releasing a recording together.  How cool would that be though?  Digital citizenship, classic lit, and new technology all rolled into one authentic classroom experience.  Maybe one day...





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