Course Management Systems (CMS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) are not new to education. Tools like Blackboard have been around for years, and other platforms like Wimba
are offering functionality that can be applied to foreign languages. CMS platforms are normally implemented school-wide (or even district- and state-wide) to allow teachers to manage their classes on-line, 24-7, including offering quizzes and exams, assigning downloadable homework, and even allowing for remote language lab-type exercises which include listening to pre-recorded readings and then giving students a chance to record their responses so the teacher can check pronunciation at a convenient time as opposed to being in the language lab with the class.
So far as I know, no Latin/Greek course of study at the secondary school level (or junior high/middle school) is taking advantage of the above technology to administer Classics classes. With systems like Desire2Learn, students can log in at any time to do homework (including things like Latin crosswords), plus they can read their assigned texts on-line as either their primary site for reading, or as a supplement to their textbooks. I'm curious to learn if I have just made a gross generalization that is wide of the mark regarding the employment of CMS platforms for Classics, and if there are people out there using these systems for pre-college courses. My brother, a math teacher in Maryland, uses a CMS to manage his classes, but he says that many of the older faculty are extremely resistant to learning the new software. My brother is 27, and his younger colleagues have all taken to the CMS like fish to garum.
I would like to hear impressions from eClassics members on the feasibility of implementing a CMS for Classics courses, if it has been done, and if so, what were the results? I know that college Classics programs are implementing CMS platforms for their teachers and students. This also raises the question of technological parity. Can we implement software that all teachers and students are required to use, even if some students do not have access to computers? How do we address equipping those students with the technology that they need to succeed in class? Is there a middle ground?