I first started applying technology to my study of classics several years ago. It began with electronic flashcards, which increased my vocabulary learning untold amounts. Then I moved from working on paper to working on computer for reading and annotating texts. But the biggest leap came last year.
For me, a commitment to making classical languages living and active is a underlying burden and principle for both my studies and teaching. I was more than thrilled to see Evan Millner's vast Latinum project take off. It inspired my own more modest efforts to begin podcasting.
In my mind, the internet allows us to overcome several hurdles in teaching classical languages as living languages of one sort or another:
- it provides the opportunity to create and disseminate vast amounts of audio material, which is sorely needed
- it can provide fora for conversations and discussions, whether text-based or audio (skype, for instance)
- it can reduce the barriers of distance and isolation that so inhibit the first two.
This year I'm looking to run a small group of students through a tutorial session 1hr/week on conversational Greek. The ability to provide audio/internet resources to accompany and support that strikes me as a wonderful ability. Likewise, I'd like to see an ongoing multiplication of both resources and 'spaces' for classicists to encourage active uses of language.
There is, of course, a whole other side to technology and classics. Much as my passion exists for the teaching and acquisition of language, I believe ultimately our aim remains to read the literature and study the histories of these people. I look forward to seeing more and more resources become available on that side of the equation - technical resources, available texts, etc..