I recently attended the American Classical League’s 65th institute in Las Vegas at UNLV. While there, I was able to participate in three presentations, two of which were centered on the Rome In Situ program and the other was a presentation of my Amicitia social network on Romae.org.
After attending the Rome In Situ program last year, I was able to fortify my experiences with technology and their implementation in the classroom. I gained experience using the Gigapan system to take 360 degree panoramic photos of ancient Roman locales while also learning how to better create content for my students to make the subject become more alive. We presented our findings from last year’s workshop in a 3 hour pre institute workshop were I also used the Amicitia to host various resources and continue the discussion going forward into the future. Our group also coordinated using the Amicitia group I set up in order to make our planning more efficient considering that various members of our panel were all over the United States (and one was actually on a trip to Italy).
My presentation, “Amicitia: Using Social Networking to Build a Latin Community”, highlighted the various applications of a social network to augment my classes. I detailed the need for innovation in light of today’s highly evolving technological environment while also maintaining the traditional values found in Classical education. I used my classes as case examples, illustrating various types of assignments being carried out through the groups on Amicitia as well as other collaborative projects my students have undertaken such as the Minecraft Romae project.
See my presentation (source is a PDF file).
What I discovered is that there is a deep swelling of support for this type of project as well as a critical need within the field. Several teachers came to me with interest in getting involved in the project. In fact, several organizations are now coordinating with me to house their projects online via Romae’s network. Stay tuned for more developments; for the next year we anticipate a rise in the activity and application of Romae and the Amicitia in other classrooms.