Saturday, November 15, 2008

Reminiscing on Ancient Rome

Found this on my blog travels this morning. Google has created Ancient Rome in 3D. You can actually see what the Forum and Coliseum looked like when they were fully intact. Here's a promo video:



Ancient Rome in 3D includes snippets of information about the various structures that the user can read as she travels through the city. You can:

* Fly into Rome as it looked in 320 A.D.
* Tour the interior of famous buildings.
* Visit the sites in 3D such as the Roman Forum, Colosseum and the Forum of Julius Caesar.
* Learn about how the Romans lived.

And there's a curriculum competition for educators who integrate this new tool into their lessons.

What a great resource for Ancient History for Grade 5 Social Studies, the Grade 11 World History course and English classes who study Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.

And Latin. I took Latin in secondary school (from grade 9 to 11) and part of that course was the study of Roman life, history and great writers. I remember completing a project about life in Rome and I still remember meticulously drawing buildings and clothing as part of the project. It actually was one of my favourite assignments in secondary. I went through an ancient Rome reading kick - I read every historical fiction book that I could find in my school and public libraries (and believe it or not there were quite a few). I remember Miss Stone my grade 9 and 10 Latin teacher - she was a wonderful teacher: young, engaging and she challenged her small group of students to the point where we actually completed 3 years of Latin in 2. And the school system was flexible enough then to allow 3 credits to us. The next year Miss Stone was gone - not enough students took Latin so we had to take grade 12 Latin with Mrs. Closser. Mrs. Closser was ancient and smelled of cigarettes and booze - we were all convinced that she kept a mickey in her desk drawer. We didn't make it easy for her and I feel bad about that now. After losing Miss Stone, Latin didn't quite hold its appeal anymore.

So Latin gradually disappeared from the high school curriculum in Windsor and hasn't been seen since the mid-seventies. There are probably no teachers in our area around anymore to teach it even if there was interest (Latin has a curriculum document in Ontario). I know that I benefited from the study of Latin - it made learning terminology in my anatomy course in university easier because I was familiar with Latin vocabulary.

I wonder what course will be the next to become extinct?

1 comment:

paul c said...

Hi Sharon,
Cool 3D on ancient Rome. The digital universe is reshaping educational possibilities.

I love word etymology. Greek and Latin roots make up so much of our language. Wikipedia has a great post about all the Latin and Greek roots. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_and_Latin_roots_in_English

As for the next new (to change your question if you don't mind) course: Web 2.0 technologies and Greek/Roman Revival.