The American Classical League Summer Institute concluded yesterday with the traditional Latin singalong led, as always, by Stan Farrow. As we sang "Guadeamus Igitur" and other chestnuts, I began reflecting on the Insitute's program, and of the many, many teachers I had a chance to speak with regarding technology and teaching Latin and yes, Greek.
To keep with the focus of eClassics, there were a number of technology-themed papers presented, and a number of handouts have been made available for free download on the ACL's website. Take a look at what was on offer, and see what you can use right now in support of your classes (clicking the links will bring you to the ACL handouts):
Microsoft Word 2007 Macros for the Latin Classroom (Anna Andresian)
Individualizing the Classroom: iPods and the Classics (Ed DeHoratius)
Carpe Tabulam: The Techno-Classical Revolution (Jerard White)
How to Use Latin for the New Millennium: Digital Support (Andrew Re...
Facebook.com: A Great Way to Spend Class Time? (Glenn Reider)
If you attended any of the above sessions at the Institute, please reply to this blogpost to let us know what you thought, and how you might use any of the technology discussed in support of your classes.
I spoke with many of the Institute's attendees about their use of technology in the classroom. While I have no quantitative numbers, I was pleased to learn that in-class technology usage continues to increase; I got a much more positive sense of this than I did at last year's Institute. The two major increases are seen in the presence of data projectors to broadcast the Internet or PowerPoint slideshows onto a classroom screen or wall, and the use of SMARTBoards (and Prometheus Boards), to facilitate classroom discussion and participation. One other major development (which I predict will not back off for the next five years) is the preponderance of iPods and Latin-language podcasting. More and more students and teachers have iPods (or other MP3 players) and use them to subscribe to Latin-language podcasts through iTunes U (via the iTunes store), or to listen to class- or teacher-created Latin-language podcasts.
I started a discussion earlier today on eClassics on what to do for next year's Institute, and am recommending that we do workshops that are hands-on and how-to. Let's make a podcast together. Let's make a classroom blog together. Once we demonstrate how easy this is to do, I think we'll have more and more teachers using this technology both in and out of class. We are nearing the tipping point (apologies for this tired phrase), and by this time next year, I would expect that better than half of all Latin and Greek classes will use technology of some kind in support of learning the language. Survey forthcoming to see if this prediction is borne out.
Director of eLearning