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Troy

Troy DALLAS, TX, United States Member Since 2012

I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.

HELPFUL VOTES
314
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  • "A Public Service for Beginners"

    Overall
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    I write that title with a caveat, which I'll explain. This book is geared to the idea that perhaps you know just a little about the world of opera and feel like maybe you're ready to be dangerous and don't know where to start. Mr. Plotkin offers his credentials as to why he's the right man to be your guide to this strange world, which are impressive, and then he leads you through the basics just as he says he will. He's one part tour guide, one part college professor, and he clearly loves opera. And he hopes you will too.

    The history of opera is offered at Wikipedia speed, broken down for you in sections so you can see how it evolved into what it's become today. He'll even give you pointers on how to attend a performance and get the most out of it, which that alone is invaluable information. Where it gets dicey is that sometimes he forgets he's talking to a beginner when it comes to the actual operas, but he does bring it back down to beginner level sooner or later. A lot of the times, though, you will be expected to rise to the next level up without warning, and where this subject is concerned, that's not a bad thing if you're truly interested. He covers a handful of operas within this tome and explains why he picked them. His insights are well worth it for anyone who wants to dig deep. The thing is, and he'll tell you this up front, he's working from very specific recordings of these works that you will have to hunt down on your own, either in a library or online. Some of his explanation is specific to those recordings. Don't let that disuade you. If you can't find that recording, try another and compare it to what you learn in this book. The point of this entire thing is to help you make the leap from novice to enthusiast with confidence enough to discover more, and where you go from there is up to you. I've heard it said that for some beginners, it's many years - if ever - before they go from hearing an aria or two to listening to an entire opera with anything close to understanding. This book connects the dots if you're willing to meet the author halfway.

    More

    Opera 101: A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Opera

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs)
    • By Fred Plotkin
    • Narrated By Fred Plotkin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    Opera is the fastest growing of all the performing arts, attracting audiences of all ages who are enthralled by the gorgeous music, vivid drama, and magnificent production values. If you've decided that the time has finally come to learn about opera and discover for yourself what it is about opera that sends your normally reserved friends into states of ecstatic abandon, this is the book for you.

    Vilas Boas says: "unmissable introduction to the world of operas!"
  • "The Title Says It All"

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    Maybe I'm biased. Like so many others like me, Christopher Reeve has been a role model for me since Superman first hit the big screen. As I grew up, I got to learn about the man behind the Man of Steel, and his "can do" attitude continued to inspire. Between the accident that left him paralyzed and his death years later, Reeve's inner strength proved the title of this book to be true. Nothing is impossible.

    So many years later, it's still heart-wrenching to hear him speak about his experiences in his own words, so it's no surprise this book packs quite the punch. At the same time, this is one of those stories that only he could tell with all of the humanity and personal conviction he could bring to bear. There's nothing sugar-coated here; the tragedy and the optimism are both as genuine as the man himself. This audiobook is written and presented in such a way that he's speaking directly to you.

    Before the end of his life, Reeve was able to walk again, with assistance, and only a few steps at a time. But it did happen. The force of will to do that is unquestioningly great, and it's something few of us can fathom. This book helps to fill in the picture a bit, and to show that this level of commitment to an idea is not only human, it's within us all. Whatever the situation, whatever the misfortune, we are gifted with untold reserves that help us to adapt and to (as Reeve himself has said) "go forward." This is the legacy of Christopher Reeve. It's a message all of us deserve to hear.

    More

    Nothing Is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Christopher Reeve
    • Narrated By Christopher Reeve
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Christopher Reeve has mastered the art of turning the impossible into the inevitable. In Nothing Is Impossible, Reeve shows that we are all capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable hardships. Published on the eve of both his fiftieth birthday and the seventh anniversary of his spinal cord injury, Nothing Is Impossible reminds us that life is not to be taken for granted but to be lived fully with zeal, curiosity, and gratitude.

    Amazon Customer says: "Book not about"
  • "A Specialized Biography"

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    The author states up front that rather than be the kind of detailed biography you can find anywhere else, this is specifically a look at Elizabeth Taylor's rise to stardom. I think that's a bit disingenuous, as much like any other famous Elizabeth in history, it's impossible to separate the lofty career from the personal life of the woman herself. One defines the other.

    Everything that made Taylor who she was is put under the spotlight for this. Her parents and upbringing within the studio system are detailed, which helps to put her career as an independent actress into proper perspective. Her husbands, friends, colleagues, and even her detractors are all set into her orbit, their worlds revolving around her star. There are a great many quotes, anecdotes, and news clippings within that help round out the basic facts, but at the end of the day, Taylor's star power outshines everything, including the author's attempts to be unbiased. There are some private conversations that are seemingly quoted verbatim, which don't seem to have any supporting documentation, but they are believable and add to the already heightened personality of this story. How much is true? Where a Hollywood legend is concerned, who's to say? There's a great line in the Jimmy Stewart film "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" that pretty much sums up the nature of this book:

    "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

    That's not to say there aren't facts here. If anything, Taylor's life sometimes proves that fact is stranger than fiction, such is the nature of living at her level of prestige. Regardless, if you're interested in the glamour of Hollywood, bigger than life personalities, or just really fascinating stories from a world beyond the everyday 9 to 5, this one's a fun read.

    More

    How to Be a Movie Star: Elizabeth Taylor in Hollywood

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By William J. Mann
    • Narrated By Mark Boyett
    Overall
    (23)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Acclaimed biographer William Mann follows Elizabeth Taylor publicly as she makes her ascent at MGM, falls into (and out of) marriages, wins Oscars, fights studio feuds, and combats America's conservative values with her decidedly modern love affairs. But he also shines a light on Elizabeth's rich private life, revealing a love for her craft and a loyalty to the underdog that fueled her lifelong battle against the studio system.

    Troy says: "A Specialized Biography"
  1. Opera 101: A Complete Gui...
  2. Nothing Is Impossible: Re...
  3. How to Be a Movie Star: E...
  4. .

A Peek at colleen's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1462
 
ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 101 REVIEWS / 151 ratings Member Since 2005 672 Followers / Following 11
 
colleen's greatest hits:
  • Shatner Rules: Your Key to Understanding the Shatnerverse and the World at Large

    "I can't believe he's 80!"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What's not to like. Cute stories about his life and career seasoned with the unique Shatner flavor. I only wish it was longer. If you like William Shatner than you like like this one.

  • Nerd Do Well: A Small Boy’s Journey to Becoming a Big Kid

    "Fun"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not really a straight forward bio but entertaining all the same. If you enjoy SP then you should like this one. Lost a star for the short length.

  • Guts: The Endless Follies and Tiny Triumphs of a Giant Disaster

    "Raw and funny"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked it. It's a little short but i think it's worth a credit. She doesn't pull any punches and takes ownership of her wild choices. Over all a good listen. caution; lots of talk about drug use.

Sean

Sean BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2009
HELPFUL VOTES
267
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REVIEWS
72
49
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
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  • "This is what audio books were made for"

    12 of 12 helpful votes

    As someone with an extremely limited knowledge of music I have always felt intimidated by classical compositions. I could not tell you the difference between a symphony and a concerto, but after listening to these lectures I have a much better appreciation of them.

    The lecturer's delivery is a cross of Lewis Black and George Will--authoritative but wickedly funny. He actually made me laugh out loud a few times. His passion for these works comes through in every lecture.

    The format he follows is a brief bio-sketch of the composer followed by snippets of music and commentary. When he says "notice how the composer uses dissonant harmonies to convey struggle" you can actually hear it. Each lecture is meant to be complete in itself allowing you to jump around, but I found listening beginning to end to be most convenient.

    This is an ideal work for an audio book.

    More

    The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (85)

    Over the centuries, orchestral music has given us a category of works that stand apart as transcendent expressions of the human spirit. What are these "greatest of the greats"? Find out in these 32 richly detailed lectures that take you on a sumptuous grand tour of the symphonic pieces that continue to live at the center of our musical culture.These 30 masterworks form an essential foundation for any music collection and a focal point for understanding the orchestral medium and deepening your insight into the communicative power of music.

    Jacob says: "Really happy with the format"

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    Frodo and the Companions of the Ring have been beset by danger during their quest to prevent the Ruling Ring from falling into the hands of the Dark Lord by destroying it in the Cracks of Doom. Now they continue their journey alone down the great River Anduin, alone, that is, save for the mysterious creeping figure that follows wherever they go.

    Catherine says: "third book of the series"
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    Great American Music: Broadway Musicals  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Bill Messenger

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    Rodgers and Hart. George and Ira Gershwin. Cole Porter. Lerner and Loewe. For most people who've grown up with and shared America's musical heritage, great songs open the floodgates to memories and feelings. Perhaps nowhere is this more profound than in the world of Broadway musicals, with their iconic melodies and memorable lyrics.Revisit the standards, originally written for the stage, that have both delighted and helped mend the broken hearts of Americans for decades.

    L. Burbach says: "The Best of My 23 Audible Purchases So Far."
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    Great Masters: Mozart - His Life and Music  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Robert Greenberg

    Great Masters: Mozart - His Life and Music

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    Even from the perspective of time, it is nearly impossible to grasp the full contribution made to music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his brief and glorious life. He composed his first symphony at the age of 8 and reached full artistic maturity by the time he was only 20. And when he died at the age of 35, he left a legacy of more than 600 works of brilliance - symphonies, chamber music, operas, and more - most composed during an incredibly productive 20-year period.

    Amazon Customer says: "More Great Listening!"
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    The Symphonies of Beethoven  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Robert Greenberg

    The Symphonies of Beethoven

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    Ludwig van Beethoven is justifiably acclaimed as one of the most revered composers in the history of Western music-a genius once characterized as a "Titan, wrestling with the gods." There is no better way for you to understand the full impact of that description than to not only listen to all nine of his magnificent symphonies, but to do so with a full understanding of what this great composer was saying and the circumstances that drove him up to and beyond what had once been considered the limits of musical expression.

    Nezar says: "A Great Course with a Great Caveat"
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    Great Masters: Haydn - His Life and Music  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Robert Greenberg

    Great Masters: Haydn - His Life and Music

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    Almost from the moment it was first set to paper, the music of Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) - technically superb, rich in quality, and widely imitated - has exemplified the Classical style, creating not only the Classical-era symphony but setting the standard, through his own 68 string quartets, against which that form has ever after been judged. And yet Haydn, despite the influence left by more than 1000 works, seems to no longer get his due, Now, in a series of eight vivid lectures, you can learn to understand and appreciate the music of one of the most original and influential composers of all time.

    Russell Bernard says: "Wonderful & Inspiring"
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    The Concerto  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Robert Greenberg

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    The concerto offers a kind of unique excitement no other instrumental music can match. Where a symphony enthralls us with its thematic variations and development, a concerto gives us human drama-the exhilaration of a soloist or group of soloists ringing forth against the mass of the orchestra.In 24 musically rich lectures, Professor Greenberg provides a guided tour of the concerto, from its conception as a child of Renaissance ideals, through its maturation in the Classical age, its metamorphosis in the Romantic era, and its radical transformation in the 20th century and beyond.

    Victoria says: "Better than "How to Listen to...Great Music!""
  • 5.0 (15 ratings)
    The String Quartets of Beethoven  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Robert Greenberg

    The String Quartets of Beethoven

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    • Narrated By Professor Robert Greenberg
    Overall
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    In this musically rich 24-lecture series, Professor Greenberg guides you in a deep encounter with these majestic works of art, offering you the rare opportunity to grasp the musical riches and spiritual greatness of the quartets in a clear and accessible way. Each of these lectures is a rare and life-enriching opportunity to know the scope of Beethoven's genius, his most unforgettable music, and the profound humanity and beauty that live through them.

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    Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)

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    Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

    Tabitha says: "Love it!"
  • Seriously...I'm Kidding (






UNABRIDGED) by Ellen DeGeneres Narrated by Ellen DeGeneres

    Seriously...I'm Kidding

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 7 mins)
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    "I've experienced a whole lot the last few years and I have a lot to share. So I hope that you'll take a moment to sit back, relax and enjoy the words I've put together for you in this book. I think you'll find I've left no stone unturned, no door unopened, no window unbroken, no rug unvacuumed, no ivories untickled. What I'm saying is, let us begin, shall we?" (Ellen DeGeneres)

    Julie says: "Not so much."
  • The Disaster Artist: My Life inside 'The Room', the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made (






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    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 38 mins)
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    Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. The Disaster Artist is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the Citizen Kane of bad movies" (Entertainment Weekly), which is now an international phenomenon.

    Marmalade says: "Great Book"
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    A teen idol at 15, an international icon and founder of the Brat Pack at 20, and one of Hollywood's top stars to this day, Rob Lowe chronicles his experiences. Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last 25 years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable.

    N. Belle says: "Great Book and Great Story"
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  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Robert Greenberg

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    Jesse says: "Ins and outs"
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    Walter says: "Funniest book about Show Biz in A Long Time"
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    Game of Thrones fans watch in delight as the epic battle of Lannister and Stark entangles the Seven Kingdoms. But only the sharpest notice how these houses echo Lancaster and York in the War of the Roses. Druids, Catholics, and even Zoroastrians wander through Westeros, reframing their religions for a new world of fantasy. But how medieval is Westeros? Did lady knights and pirates really battle across Europe? The audiobook Winter is Coming: Symbols and Hidden Meanings in A Game of Thrones explores all this and more, from the echoes of history to the symbols and omens our beloved characters.

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UNABRIDGED) by Jeffrey J. Noonan Narrated by Jack Chekijian

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    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Jeffrey J. Noonan
    • Narrated By Jack Chekijian
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    This volume opens a new chapter on the guitar in America, considering its cultivated past and documenting how banjoists and mandolinists aligned their instruments to it in an effort to raise social and cultural standing. At the same time, the audiobook considers the BMG community within America's larger musical scene, examining its efforts as manifestations of this country's uneasy coupling of musical art and commerce.

  • Breve historia de la música (






UNABRIDGED) by Javier María López Narrated by Juan Manuel Martínez

    Breve historia de la música

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Javier María López
    • Narrated By Juan Manuel Martínez
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    La música es una manifestación artística presente en la totalidad de la historia. Desde el nacimiento de las primeras sociedades tribales hasta la actualidad, ha acompañado al hombre no sólo en los acontecimientos históricos más relevantes, sino en la vida cotidiana de los seres humanos. Es por esto que un acercamiento a la historia de la música es necesario para cualquier hombre, pero muchas veces los conceptos musicales pueden ser complejos o nuevos para el oyente.

  • Maestro Mario: How Nintendo Transformed Videogame Music into an Art (






UNABRIDGED) by Andrew Schartmann Narrated by Kaleo Griffith

    Maestro Mario: How Nintendo Transformed Videogame Music into an Art

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Andrew Schartmann
    • Narrated By Kaleo Griffith
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    "Pa-dum-pum-pa-dum-pum - PUM!" Super Mario Bros. for the NES contains some of the most recognizable tunes in popular culture, and yet it’s safe to say that only a handful of people have thought beyond the music’s entertaining surface. After all, what could possibly be art-worthy about an early Mario score? Or any early game sound for that matter? In search of answers to these questions, Andrew Schartmann takes us on a journey from the primitive "pongs" of arcade machines to the complex musical fabrics woven by composers of the NES era.

  • Journey to Nerdopolis: Or How I Did San Diego Comic Con 2013 (






UNABRIDGED) by Colby Elliott Narrated by Colby Elliott

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    • By Colby Elliott
    • Narrated By Colby Elliott
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
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    Did you ever want to attend the biggest popular arts festival in the United States? Come along on a 5-day odyssey of all things nerdy. Part travelogue, part love letter, Colby Elliott and his traveling companions give you a badge holder’s eye view of the amazing spectacle that is Comic Con. And find the answer to the question: Just how many miles do you actually walk when you’re at Nerdopolis?

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  • Vanity Fair: August 2014 Issue  by Vanity Fair Narrated by Graydon Carter, various narrators

    Vanity Fair: August 2014 Issue

    • HIGHLIGHTS (3 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Vanity Fair
    • Narrated By Graydon Carter, various narrators
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    Vanity Fair is a cultural filter, sparking the global conversation about the people and ideas that matter most. With a dedication to journalistic excellence and powerful storytelling, Vanity Fair is the first choice - often the only choice - for the world's most influential and important audience. From print to social media, the big screen to the smartphone and now on audio, Vanity Fair is the arbiter of our era.

  • Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made (






UNABRIDGED) by Alan Eisenstock, Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos Narrated by Josh Goodman

    Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alan Eisenstock, Eric Zala, Chris Strompolos
    • Narrated By Josh Goodman
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    In 1982, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Chris Strompolos, eleven, asked Eric Zala, twelve, a question: "Would you like to help me do a remake Raiders of the Lost Ark? I'm playing Indiana Jones." Alan Eisenstock's Raiders! is the incredible true story of Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos, how they realized their impossible dream of remaking Raiders of the Lost Ark, and how their friendship survived all challenges, from the building of a six-foot round fiberglass boulder to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

  • Comment Installer un Studio de Photographie [How to Install a Photo Studio] (






UNABRIDGED) by Amber Richards Narrated by Anne-Sophie Marie

    Comment Installer un Studio de Photographie [How to Install a Photo Studio]

    • UNABRIDGED (45 mins)
    • By Amber Richards
    • Narrated By Anne-Sophie Marie
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    Comment installer un studio photographique est un e-Book qui décrit en détails des sujets liés à l'organisation d'un studio photo dans le confort de votre maison. Il renferme des informations sur la façon d'utiliser l'éclairage continu en studio, comment utiliser la lumière stroboscopique pour la photographie ou encore maîtriser des techniques qui permettent aux utilisateurs de contrôler la lumière comme ils l'entendent.

  • Social Media in the Classroom: A Discussion with Dr. Rick Sheridan  by Dr. Rick Sheridan Narrated by Dr. Rick Sheridan

    Social Media in the Classroom: A Discussion with Dr. Rick Sheridan

    • ORIGINAL (34 mins)
    • By Dr. Rick Sheridan
    • Narrated By Dr. Rick Sheridan
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    In this 30-minute interview, Dr. Rick Sheridan, a longtime university professor and author of the book Social Media in the Classroom, helps teachers understand why using social media in the classroom is so important, and the effective ways to use it. Topics include: Why is social media use in the classroom so valuable for both teachers and students. Ways to promote cultural understanding. Developing an online portfolio. What can students and teachers do to protect their privacy online.

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