Providence E-Learning E-Books – Beowulf Review

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Classic literature is a staple of reading and language arts classes across the world. People fondly claim that reading old literature enhances your knowledge and gives you a better appreciation for ‘real’ writing. This might be true, but it is also an honest fact that most students find ‘classics’ to be boring and confusing. By the time they’re done reading, most of them will have no idea, or understanding of what they’ve just read. Including my 16 year old daughter as bright as she is.

That’s where Providence E-Learning’s e-books shine; explaining these classic literature pieces and their seemingly unrelated morals to today’s culture.

As someone who loves medieval stories, my daughter picked up the video enhanced edition of Beowulf, an Anglo-Saxon epic about a warrior who triumphs over three great monsters (including a dragon!). Now while the premise is, rightfully epic, the writing is at best complicated and at worst gibberish to a teenager in 2013. That, thankfully, is where the ‘video enhanced edition’ of Providence E-Learning’s e-book comes into play. The e-book is amazing, providing the student with numerous resources to help them get a full understanding of the text.

For example, Beowulf is divided into four parts: The Prologue, and then Parts I – III. Before each of these parts the student is given a list of points and a video explaining what they should be looking for (details, main points, literary devices) in each section. Even better, the e-book adds analysis videos in the midst of the part to help them understand small sections of the story (alongside a question to make sure they’re paying attention!).

Beowulf is written in a confusing way that can, if you’re like my daughter, easily space a student’s attention. To help with that, or even with pronunciation, the entire story can be narrated out loud, which makes it easier to follow along and keep focus.

The video enhanced edition of Beowulf by Providence E-Learning is a really, really awesome e-book (so says the daughter!). It helped turn a confusing piece of ‘Olde English’ into an interesting tale of noble character. If, as a student or anyone else, one has issues understanding Beowulf or any of the other e-books Providence E-Learning currently offers, I highly recommend purchasing them. It will make learning a lot less painful, and a lot more engaging.

Tammy Litke received a media sample of an e-book. All opinions are her own.

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