Saturday, December 30, 2006

Open Culture-- another source for alternative texts

Happy New Year!

As a gift for the new year, I want to share a resource for finding free-to-download audio versions of some classics required by many lit classes.
Open Culture: Audiobook Podcast Collection
is a blog edited by Dan Colman, the Associate Dean of Continuing Studies Program at Stanford University.

The mission statement of Open Culture reads as follows:
• To explore the best of contemporary intellectual life.
• To connect users with free, high-quality online media -- podcasts, videos, online courses, etc. -- that makes learning dynamic, convenient and fun.
• To keep users apprised of new cultural developments and resources worth their limited time.

The site offers links to other sites where users may download the audio versions of many undergrad-required literary classics including Robinson Crusoe, Plato’s The Republic, Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, as well as many others. Additionally, the site also has a good foundation of university podcast resources. While it is a fairly new site, this blog offers a lot of future potential for becoming an additional tool in the tool box of DSS coordinators needing alternative versions of texts.

The site is one where a student can go and download their own alternative text, store it on their computer or audio player, and read it when they are ready.

Granted, the audio version of these classics are just as easily obtained by ordering from some of the conventional sources at your DSS office’s disposal. However, isn’t the goal to empower the students by showing them the resource and to teach them to manage these as their own? It is in this light that I offer the freshly launched blog Open Culture.

So, take a few minutes and click the above link. Peruse the Open Culture web site. Look over the different resources and bookmark the site to come back to later. The site also offers an email update to keep up on the latest information the editor posts.

(Thanks to
The Ranger Station
For this useful resource.)

I hope 2007 brings many good wishes your way. Here’s to an accessible new year!

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