Tuesday, April 2, 2013

#latinlangchat Twitter Chat

I've had a great time participating in Twitter chats like "CAedchat", with hashtag #caedchat, which happens Sunday evenings at 8pm PST and provides a forum for CA teachers to discuss current topics in education and pedagogy.  As far as I know, there exists no current live chat devoted to Latin and the ancient world, and so capitalizing on the popularity of Twitter chats like this one (cf. this list for more), I'd like to start one.  It seems to me that we Latin teachers don't talk shop with enough frequency, and this could be a great way for us to build community (even Pompeii had social networks, after all!).
Latin graffiti from Pompeii
Given that the hashtag #latinlangchat is already in use by some Latin teachers, it makes sense to continue using it for this purpose.  I've created the #latinlangchat calendar that I'll use to plan our discussions, and I welcome help in any capacity, including co-moderators.  Though we're tagging our discussion with #latinlangchat, it is open to those who teach Greek, ancient history, and any other related fields.  Everyone should feel free to participate as much or as little as desired.

Let's have our first hour-long chat on Tuesday, 4/9 at 6pm PST and talk about the promotion of Latin programs.  How do we convince students to take Latin and maintain our program strength?  Is retention an problem, and if so, why?  Depending on how it goes, we can reconvene every other week at 6pm.

We'll follow the usual chat format and introduce ourselves, before jumping into questions labeled "Q1", "Q2", etc.  For convenience, answers should begin "A1", "A2", etc.  For chats of this sort on Twitter, it is usually suggested that tweetchat.com (vel sim.), which has worked very well for me, be used to monitor the discussion.  Chat digests will be kept using Storify.

Disclaimer:  I am in my fifth year teaching Latin at a middle school in Los Angeles and will be implementing a 1:1 laptop program for our 7th graders next fall.  I'm consequently very interested in discussing the incorporation of technology into our program.  I will again teach our 9th-grade Latin I course, designed for students new to the school or students taking a second language.  Traditionally, we have used the Oxford Latin Course for both the Latin IA-IB-II progression and this accelerated course, but I don't like its pacing for Latin I and will try Wheelock instead next year.  Finally, I teach Latin III to advanced 9th graders, using a reading-based approach that departs from the Oxford texts.  We begin with Balme and Morewood's Cupid and Psyche text, before moving on to one of the Focus Aeneid commentaries, in addition to other supplementary readings.  I am thus interested in discussing textbook choices and other resources for intermediate Latin students.  Based on my own experiences, I'll offer some of tentative ideas for discussion here, but I'd love to know what concerns others have:
  • Building a Latin program
  • JCL club culture 
  • Latin and technology
  • Textbooks and digital resources
  • The AP Latin curriculum
  • Latin-specific professional development opportunities
I can be found at @mosspike on Twitter, and our JCL club lives on at @hwjcl.  I'm looking forward to our first #latinlangchat next week!