Thursday, August 1, 2013

New Tech

Room A526 is getting back into shape for another year of Latin. Centurion Gaius Crastinus and legionary Publius Sempronius Tuditanus have taken up their places in opposite corners of our room, ready to protect the Republic once more. What our authentically armed and armored mannequins may find strange is the cool new technology at the front of our room.

Our room, along with all classrooms at NC, now has an incredible new projector mounted above our whiteboard. It displays everything from my computer much more sharply than before. I tried it out with a scene from Gladiator today, and it looks fantastic.

Ho, hum, you say. Big deal, you say. But wait! There's more! We now have four speakers mounted in the ceiling for strong, clear surround sound. No more of Mr. Perkins turning up the volume to max on cheap plastic desktop speakers that distorted the sound even as they amplified it. Picture and sound combined give us an almost theatre-like experience.

But wait! There's still more! We also have pens that allow us to write on the board. No, I am not talking about our dry erase markers, although we still have those. These pens will interact with whatever is displayed. They are like a combination of mouse and pen. For example, if my desktop is displayed, they can be used to drag icons.

Okay, that's pretty cool, Magister P., you're thinking. But I haven't even gotten to the REALLY cool part! Each teacher has received an iPad. I can interact with my desktop and what is being projected onto the board from anywhere in the room via the iPad. I also send what is on the iPad through the projector for display. Think about it. There we are, talking about some point of Roman history, poetry, mythology, philosophy, politics, military, art, architecture, or whatever, and you have this brainstorm. You remember some great image you once found while researching a project for another class. I hand you the iPad, you call up the image, and we are all seeing it projected almost instantly.

I think the Romans would have appreciated all this. They were the onese gave us the technological innovations of arches made from concrete. I think they would have loved what we are using to study their world.

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