Friday, 20 February 2009

Charles Dickens for eLearning!

Type the name Charles Dickens into a search engine and you will be met with millions of results. One of the best sites and given the thumbs up on a Google search is David Perdue's Charles Dickens Page. It is a treasure trove of information not limited to the man and his work. Historical context is provided to show how the author was informed and inspired. The site includes contemporary maps and images of settings related to locations in Dickens work.

I found David Perdue's page a few years ago when Bleak House was the current dramatisation on BBC1 and thus inspired me to use the internet to find out more about the author. The wonder of the words of a Charles Dickens tale is a fond memory of an earlier age.

My stern and rather scary headmaster read 'A Christmas Carol' to the whole of the junior school over a number of weeks. I never looked forward to assembly so much and never were so many children so quiet for so long in an assembly hall as during those few weeks leading up to Christmas that year. That marked the beginning for me. Since then I've watched TV and film adaptations and read the actual novels too. When searching the net in between episodes of Bleak House on the BBC that winter I found sites that offered full texts of his work like Charles Dickens Online. David Perdue's page is however one I do return to every now and again when I want to read some interesting information surrounding various favourite characters.

Like Sairey Gamp in Martin Chuzzlewitt. This is said not to be one of his best by people who are said to know better but I enjoy the story and the various characters. For Mrs. Gamp there is a brief but informtive description and the option to see a picture as illustrated in the original publication. This follows for all of Dickens characters, though not all with image option.

I recently introduced this site to my manager as one of my favourite sites but possibly one we could consider as an elearning resource to direct students towards. It was a positive experience because he was immediately intrigued with what was offered. A link could be added to our Virtual Learning Environment for our own learners. It is regularly updated so it is a site you can visit again and again and not feel as if you've seen everything. I would recommend this site as a good resource for students of Dickens and for anyone who loves Charles Dickens and just wants to know more.

Has anyone got any better elearning sites for Charles Dickens? I would be very interested especially if you reckon your choice is better than David Perdue's Charles Dickens Page.

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