Shakespeare goes digital with 21st century partnership

Shakespeare partnership
Research news

Monday 13 March 2017

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Shakespeare has gone digital to encourage children to get online and learn about all things Bard thanks to a new interactive partnership for Shakespeare Week 2017.

Mission Shakespeare is a new interactive educational site launched to take the life and works of William Shakespeare outside the classroom and introduce children to new ways of sharing, learning and interacting safely online.

The online collaboration between Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Coventry University and DigitalMe offers primary school children the chance to take part in a selection of challenges, activities and games to earn unique digital badges.

Now open to thousands of UK schools and children, the online badges project replaces the paper Shakespeare Week Passport to recognise pupils’ work and learning during the celebration while introducing them to new digital skills and online safety.

Schools can access their own secure pages for children to upload pictures, videos and examples of their work before tasks are assessed by teachers, shared with friend and badges can be awarded.

The nine badges encourage creative tasks from poetry and rap writing, tasking children to imagine how the writer might have looked with a puppet making task, and even cook up their own Shakespearean recipe.

Mission Shakespeare will form part of a host of cross-curricular activities throughout Shakespeare Week which this year runs from March 20-26.

Jacqueline Cawston, Deputy Director of Coventry University’s DMLL said: 

"This is a really exciting partnership, and to work with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust again has been fantastic.

They have the content and knowledge and our team have the technical know-how and vision to take Shakespeare Week further online and gain interest from a new generation.” 

Jacqui Speculand, Badging Shakespeare project lead said: 

“Mission Shakespeare is taking Shakespeare to a new digital level. Open Badges are an innovative digital micro-credential.

We specialise in experimental learning at the Disruptive Media Learning Lab and it's great to be introducing badges to a younger generation in an exciting and challenging way.”

 Jacqueline Green, Head of Learning and Participation at Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, said: 

“Our creative challenges inspire children to continue their journey with Shakespeare in a fun and meaningful way that may well be the spark to ignite a lifelong interest.”

 Matt Rogers from DigitalMe said: 

“We are dedicated to helping educators use technology for the development of authentic learning experiences, which are relevant, challenging, fun and prepare young people for success in life and work.

Giving so many young people the opportunity to explore and learn about Shakespeare will have an impact both in and beyond the school community.”

Shakespeare Week is organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust as a way to share and celebrate the playwright’s work, life and times with every primary school child in the country. 

Now in its fourth year the initiative provides teachers, home educators and families with free resources to teach and enjoy Shakespeare across all subjects. Register at

The nine digital badges were developed at Coventry University’s Disruptive Media Learning Lab which looks to finding technological and innovative ways of teaching and learning for all ages.

Illustrations for the badges were created by artist Marcia Williams, and each hold three tasks to challenge pupils in a range of subject areas.