Things were so busy at ACL yesterday that it's only been now that I have found the time to blog on eClassics about what's been happening here. As a colleague said to me once, "sleep is a conspiracy". I wanted to take the temperature of high school and college Latin/Greek teachers and how they are currently using technology and spoke to dozens of people (including several eClassics members) about it. And the news is good!
Many, many people are using overhead data projectors in their language classrooms. PowerPoint and Word are still key software applications in day-to-day language teaching. In fact, there was an excellent session yesterday afternoon from Magistra Susan Belmonte of St. Pius X Catholic High School
called "Beyond the PowerPoint Bulleted List: Become a Techno-Fabulous Teacher". The session covered how to improve PowerPoint presentations, but also looked at other free, fun pedagogical tools like Jeopardy (google for "Jeopardy Templates" and start building your question bank). She also discussed classroom video projects, a few of which will (hopefully) find their way to this site either directly or via TeacherTube
I got the chance to catch up with eClassics member Dr. Lisa St. Louis of Robert Welch University
(distance learning Classics program) who is deep into Moodle. Her colleague, Shawn (of ElectricArchaeologist fame), is deep into Second Life as a pedagogical platform and has been working with the Consultants-E (sponsors of the language teaching conference last week) on creating a learning environment for the school. Safari for interested members to follow VERY soon!
Justin Schwamm teaches Latin in North Carolina and has a school blessed with SMART AirLiners. A few teachers and schools have gone with technology from SMART for their ease-of-use and practicality (save your lectures and whiteboard presentations)! More on Justin's situation after our presentation on Saturday morning.
I also made the acquaintance of Jerard White of Nashville's own Franklin Road Academy
. His school uses tablet PCs for grades 6-12. Jerard has made his tablet his own by creating Latin lessons via Microsoft Journal and One Note, creating java-scripted exercises where students can deconstruct Latin sentences, can drag and drop words to play with word order, and participate in classroom lecture. He is also developing a Flash-based game that includes talking Cicero, and others. Just amazing.
And speaking of tablets, please wish eClassics member Colleen Girouard luck as she waits to hear if her grant request for a tablet PC was accepted. Fingers crossed!