eLatin eGreek eLearn

More wired than a Roman Internet café

Digital Demosthenes: New Pedagogy for Old Languages (ACL workshop)

Today I had the distinct pleasure of giving my first ACL workshop: "Digital Demosthenes: New Pedagogy for Old Languages". My presider was Justin Schwamm who spent about thirty minutes talking about SMART Boards and SMART Airliners. My discussion on tech in the Classics classroom took a catholic approach (pun intended) on evaluating new and emerging software applications to facilitate language teaching and learning. In lieu of a handout, please download my annotated list of links from the ACL page.

Attendees were quite interested in the SMART hardware and in podcasting, and were bemused with Second Life as a language learning platform. Also, thanks to holes in the security of Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, I experienced a live attack of adware for the duration of my talk. Ah, technology.

Questions and comments primarily focused on Justin's use of SMART technologies for his Latin kids, using it for scansion exercises and other drills done in the classroom. There were a number of questions on Second Life ranging from avoiding adult content (answer: use the Teen Second Life grid or go to an education-only island), cost (it's free unless you want to build something or rent teaching space), and tech specs (SL eats bandwidth and likes to run on new hardware -- but it can run on old PCs, too, if you dial down the graphics). One attendee mentioned that he assigns his kids machinima projects where they record accurate historic battles in Roman war simulation and strategy video games. This can also be done in Second Life.

The overall consensus was that technology is here and that people are using it, but in different ways than were previously thought. Virtual platforms (like Second Life), eLearning platforms (like Moodle and Wimba), podcasting oral Latin and Greek, and blogging in the Classics classroom (thanks Bob Patrick for speaking for a few minutes off the cuff about your AP Catullus blog!) are all being used now by Classics teachers.

Thanks to all who came to the session and turned it into a true workshop and an exchange of ideas. When eClassics gets more space on the Ning server, I'll post the slideshow.

See you next year!


PS -- I was unable to attend Dr. Lisa St. Louis' presentation of Moodle and Second Life at her 3-4 PM Saturday session and am hoping she will post her paper here.

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