During a break today, one of the faculty development instructors decided to chat me up, and suggested that I must find Project Gutenberg really useful for teaching Shakespeare.
No, I said, explaining that the copyright free texts used in such editions are often 19th century Bowdlerized editions, and so not useful. And a good modern edition has notes. But if I want an earlier edition, I use EEBO. Which she'd never heard of. (No reason why she should, except that if you're going to try to make points with your cool technology stuffs, at least think first!)
Then I showed her EEBO. And I showed her how some texts have a transcription, some digital images, and some both. And then I had to explain how about transcriptions a bit.
And I explained that while EEBO is great, for some things it's more useful to bring in a facscimile text (assuming one has one, and I have a number of Shakespeare facsimiles) because having a printed text is easier for looking at in class.
And she asked if I could get Beowulf on EEBO. So I explained that EEBO only does printed texts, but that she could look at the MS of Beowulf at the British Library site, and showed her that.
I get that she was trying to show how neato it would be if only we Shakespeare people would use technology! in our teaching, but I'm so tired of academic who haven't given a single thought to basic print technology, or manuscript technology (and both of those could be plural) and why it just might be useful to think at least a little about both of those.
I trust that these faculty development folks are basically good teachers, but I want to say: if you're going to talk at us for 20 minutes, take the time to think through the lecture so that those 20 minutes aren't just rambling around.