George Bernard Shaw in the digital age – schools rediscover literary icon

Photo of Bernard Shaw taken by Elliott and Fry at 1910.  We would like to thank Professor Stanley Weintraub for allowing us to use this photo from his collection.
Photo of Bernard Shaw taken by Elliott and Fry at 1910. We would like to thank Professor Stanley Weintraub for this photo.
TORONTO – In the first digital learning collaboration of its kind, students and teachers throughout Ontario and across
Canada will soon enjoy exclusive access to newly digitized and interactive resources on George Bernard Shaw and his works.

The ORION-Shaw Project, part of York University’s new Sagittarius initiative, is partnering with the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), to produce and share newly digitized resources on two Shaw Festival 2009 season plays: The Devil’s Disciple and In Good King Charles’s Golden Days.

Students and teachers will be able to access annotated texts and resources for the plays directly from their classrooms, complete with the production details, classroom resources, contextual documents, research materials, quizzes and activities, a search engine, and study guides tailored to the Ontario school curriculum. Reference materials by world renowned Shaw scholars will also be available.

The pilot project is available exclusively to the over 800,000 Ontario students in schools and institutions connected to Ontario’s next-generation ORION network, and to several thousand more students in schools across the country connected through CANARIE, Canada’s advanced research and education network backbone.

“This project introduces a whole new dimension for students, teachers and researchers, especially in access to and dissemination of research materials,” says Professor Kelly Thomson, Associate Dean Research of Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies, York University, and Chair of the Advisory Board of the Sagittarius Project.

The Sagittarius initiative has the backing of the venerable Shaw Festival and several of Ontario’s largest school boards, including the Toronto District School Board, which is incorporating the materials in its curriculum.

“We are very excited about this new and innovative project,” said Professor Leonard Conolly of Trent University, Literary Advisor to the Estate of Bernard Shaw. “This clearly has the potential of not only expanding appreciation and understanding of Shaw’s work, but also of making it more accessible to new audiences through new technologies.”

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