Monday, August 27, 2007

Week 9, Thing 22

Looking at the Gutenberg Project was both fun and frustrating. The link from the 23Things list didn’t work (I did this Thing in July), but I am assuming the result of a Google search was the same site. The concept of putting out-of -copyright material online where it can be freely downloaded and read on a computer has the potential for saving people (especially students) money and being ecologically sound. On the day’s Top 100 list was a book, Encyclopedia of Needlework by Thérèse de Dillmont (131), which I have in my personal library. As an illustrated volume, it seemed like a good test of the download process. The first download I tried was a format that my computer didn’t recognize. The second was HTML and worked great: a file of images and the document itself worked together to create a lovely copy of the chapter on macramé. It was, however, only a chapter. After trying some other options, I downloaded the zip file. It turned out to be the whole book plus an image file with all the images, but they didn’t integrate when I tried to read the book. This, of course means that I will need to do further research.
On LibriVox I listened to the beginning of Oliver Twist. It was really easy to access the file and the reader for chapter 1 had a pleasant voice. Audio books are a big help to students who are ELL. Some of our teachers have been reading parts of the lit books to their classes. Assigning students to access books and listen as homework, would free up class time for discussion and analysis of the story.
I’m all in favor of free resources and I know that my students will like the idea of being able to read and listen to free copies of books.