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ACL Last Day: Arxia Petasos, Neo Petasos

ACL officially ended after the piano singalong reached its logical conclusion of "Auld Lang Syne" (in Latin!). Based on all of the new people who attended (sporting their purple "primum" ribbons) and the comments of the "older" Latin teachers who attended the farewell banquet, it seems that Latin teaching is alive and well and will be well cared for in the hands of a younger generation. I had a delightful breakfast with Tom Sienkewicz this morning, and mentioned that the new generation of Latin/Greek teachers are bringing with them the technology they know: iPods, overhead data projectors, PowerPoint, laptop tech, BlueTooth wireless, mobile phones, and more. They have the knowledge of how these things work and are looking for ways to implement these new tools within their classrooms. Digital video classroom projects, machinima, podcasting, blogging -- much of this is both free and relatively easy to use. And if the teachers are using this stuff, then their students (most of them, perhaps) are right there with them.

The school districts, independent schools, and state and federal educational organizations must recognize this paradigm shift in teaching methods (if they have not already) and make wholesale changes to accommodate for new tech. I'm not saying that the older generation of teachers should give up their tried-and-true teaching methods and tools so they can struggle against technology that is not necessarily transparent to them, but that schools, districts, and organizations must make way for new tech in many (or all) of its varied forms. Events like ACL, APA, CAMWS, CANE, and others should begin offering day-long workshops every year to train teachers on how to use these new tools, preparing them for what is becoming a world populated with digital natives. Let's make new technology arxia petasos (old hat).

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