A teacher-focused showdown between two popular digital adaptations of Romeo and Juliet.

Does a rose by any other name actually smell as sweet? Can a digital version of a Shakespearean classic really replace -- or even redefine -- its paperback counterpart?

While it's true that Shakespeare's plays were meant to be performed on a stage, there's still a lot we and our students can learn from reading them in class. So how do we, as teachers, bridge this gap? Beyond turning to Franco Zeffirelli's or Baz Luhrmann's film adaptations -- both of which, we all know, have benefits and drawbacks -- teachers now have a bevy of app and interactive ebook options.

In this episode of our EdTech Quick Take series, we'll look at two popular digital tools for exploring Romeo and Juliet: the app from Shakespeare in Bits and an interactive iBook from Wordplay Shakespeare.

Both tools cover the full text of the play and a performance side by side. In the case of Shakespeare in Bits, students get an animated adaptation, broken into digestible chunks; Wordplay Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet: Enhanced Edition offers a more modern interpretation with live, professional stage actors. With either option, students get the benefit of seeing the performance right next to and integrated with the text, offering insights not easily captured in a study otherwise. With either choice, experiencing the play digitally is a great way to redefine how you teach Romeo and Juliet.

Jeff Knutson

As Senior Producer and Content Strategist for Common Sense Education, Jeff helps creates and publish content for teachers aimed at helping them learn new, innovative, and effective ways to use edtech in the classroom. Prior to his work at Common Sense, Jeff was an editor and classroom teacher. He's an advocate for the creative, thoughtful, and responsible use of technology, and he thrives on sharing his knowledge, experience, and perspectives with others.