Monday, August 31, 2009

Shmoop is Just In Time for the Start of School!

So, what is this Shmoop thing?
This site is a pretty amazing, easily accessible, often entertaining yet not fluffy, resource that appears aimed at middle to high school (or above?) students. So far there are six categories to tap into: Literature, U.S. History, Poetry, Bestsellers, Civics, & Biography

According to their About Page: "Shmoop will make you a better lover (of literature, history, life). See many sides to the argument. Find your writing groove. Understand how lit and history are relevant today. We want to show your brain a good time.

Our mission: To make learning and writing more fun and relevant for students in the digital age."

For example, if you (or anyone near and dear to you) has been bitten by the Twilight bat be sure to check out the "Bestsellers" tab for more than you could ever want to know (into, summary, themes, quotes, study questions, characters, literary devices, did you know?, best of the web, & opinions) about this novel.

Schmoop is free to use but signing up for an account (also free) lets you have access to cool stuff like stickies, outlines, clippings, folders, sharing, citing, etc.

Who or what is behind Shmoop?

From the Schmoop for Professors, Teachers, & Librarians page:

"Shmoop is a labor of love from people who love to teach. Ph.D. and Masters students from top universities (including Stanford, U.C. Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale) have spent sleepless nights dreaming up Shmoop.

We love literature, history, and poetry and we want to help you use today's technology and culture to bring these subjects to life for students."

Miss Bun just loves the Schmoop teaching philosophy....especially the part where they vow to "convince students "why they should care" about each topic we cover". (A valid question often heard falling from the lips of long suffering students!)

FYI: There are some obvious commercial tie-ins to be found on this site but the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

Oh, and check out the Shmoop blog and their social networking opportunites too!

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