After reading a recent Antiquist discussion list post from eClassics member Sebastian Heath of the American Numismatic Society (and long-time friend of technology) regarding open publishing of the pottery finds of Troy (with colleague Billur Tekkok), I began to think about how one could apply on-line social networks to a variety of Classics cliques. I am currently writing an article on this, but thought I could sum up two major uses for both Classics teachers and archaeologists of any stripe.
Latin/Greek Teachers: Blogs are being used by a few Latin/Greek teachers at the high school level, but we can easily take this one step further. With on-line social network-creating tools like Ning
(the tool used to build eClassics for Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers), Classics teachers with ZERO web design experience can create a FREE web site for their Latin/Greek classes. These sites can easily be password-protected so that only the teacher and his/her students can access the class-specific web site. Students (and their teacher) can create their own personal pages, and then they can blog for class assignments, participate in discussions, upload assignments, class projects, audio recordings, video, and more at anytime from anywhere. It's a virtual class outside of class that the teacher can moderate and that the students can make their own.
Archaeologists: Web 2.0 tools (like on-line social networking sites) can also enable archaeological sites to create a central repository and meeting place for excavators, administrators, and researchers to gather to exchange notes, ideas and drafts for publications in progress, coordinate meetings, upload scanned field notebooks, photographs and more, plus create groups related to different site components (e.g. pottery, architecture, paleobotany, you name it). Instead of making expensive trips to one conference a year to meet on publications, on-line social networking sites allow all members of an excavation team instant access to information (and to each other) for FREE. And even the most technophobic trench monkey should know how to type in a web address to get to their site's information on-line. If you can point, click, and type, you can use sites like this one, and could even manage your own.
More to follow...