More wired than a Roman Internet café
YouTube. You've probably noticed that there are always a couple of Classics-themed YouTube videos here to entertain you before you dig into the real meat of eLearning and language study. That's a fundamental issue with video hosting sites: quick bites of entertainment, advertising for bands, an archive for classic children's programming. Sites like YouTube are, however, also being used to host brief, educational how-to videos. Take for example a search on "teach yourself guitar." Seven videos appear, ready to teach you "Daughters" by John Mayer, or "Girl Afraid" by The Smiths.
But what about for foreign languages? "Teach yourself French" yields three kissing videos. "Teach yourself Spanish" does have one reasonably professional 10-minute video. But only one. "Teach yourself Russian" retrieves three self-defense clips from the eponymous "Crazy Russian". Changing things up with keyword searching for phrases like "Learn German" is considerably more fruitful (790 videos). "Learn Latin"? 236 clips. Omit anything to do with America and dancing and you get just over 80 -- but still, music and Spanish-themed culture do crop up in between somewhat useful tutorials. There's just not a lot there. And forget about ancient Greek. Searching on "learn ancient Greek" gives you zero hits. Modern Greek is only slightly better, but only if you omit the "how to swear in Greek" fillums.
YouTube can be the vast, untapped resource for distance learning Classics via video. There must be some ABD out there, putting off the ole dissertation to bring the dual nature of the aorist to some heretofore unknown, brilliant clarity via charismatic delivery through webcam. Is it you?
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