Thursday, December 16, 2010

Shmoop - a review

I was googling lesson ideas for Lord of the Flies when I came across Right away I liked the site; it just had a different, relevant, user-friendly feel to it.

A bit more interactive, and a bit more tech-savvy.

The first impression I got makes sense, after learning this online resource for teachers and students was launched by Silicon Valley investment big shot David Siminof and his wife (who was the 6th employee at Yahoo!).

Most online sites and resources produced by quick Google searches are all so mind-numbingly uniform: Have the students read, and answer these questions.

However, Shmoop's Lord of the Flies section suggested a cool lesson centered around doing Facebook status updates from the book's main characters ... a lesson I will be quick to borrow. It had several other neat lesson ideas, like movie posters (and the site included links to examples of real posters - a nice, helpful touch).

The site's business model appears to be free content up to a point, such as lesson ideas and study guides, then additional content is available a la carte or with a comprehensive pass ($6 and $100 bucks, respectively).

I'd never pay a dime for content I can think of myself, if I just stand there long enough in the shower.

But I will return to Shmoop for ideas throughout the year. 3 stars out of 4.


  1. hey there, thanks for the nice review of Shmoop! Note that there's no "c" in our name, so it's

    we love hearing feedback & requests - tell us how we can make Shmoop even more useful for you and your students!