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CO 76.1 [Fall 1998], pp. 19-21: PowerPoint at ACL Institute; 1997 ACL Computer Use Survey results; Clearvue's Greek Mythology I & II and The Voyages of Ulysses & Aeneas; SVE's The Greek and Roman World; CAES sponsors new shareware Latin Font, GaramondLatin, created by David Perry and Rubicon Computer Lab of Canada; CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, and DVD formats.
PowerPoint Takes the Stage
Hopefully no one left their laptops in San Francisco along
with their hearts, but I wouldn't blame them if they did. The
weather and the topography there combined to make a rather enchanting
environment for a conference. It was pleasantly cooler than most
of us are used to in the middle of summer; but the sun also did
its part to fill out the "classic summer mix," as the
local weatherperson calls it, of alternating fog and sunshine.
Pam Vaughn & Co. certainly deserve a load of thanks for pulling
it all together.
The computer section of the Teaching Materials Display once again offered attendees free access to their e-mail and the chance to play with our ever-changing software library. Edwin Bos and David Maulsby of Aurelium Inc. made an appearance to demonstrate their Compendium software (see CO 74 [Fall 1996]: 25 & CO 75 [Spring 1998]: 108), and Bolchazy-Carducci was there announcing the release of an upgrade to their Artes Latinae CD-ROM series (see CO 73 [Spring 1996]: 99). Version 1.1 of the Level One disk now includes a "Continental Ecclesiastical" prononciation, as well as the original "Restored Classical" and "American Scholastic" pronunciations for all of the audio files in the self-teaching textbook program. Both Level One and Level Two are now available in Windows format at a cost of $270 each. For more info, contact Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1000 Brown St. Unit 101, Wauconda IL 60084; phone: 800-392-6453; web: www.bolchazy.com.
The common denominator at this year's computer workshops seemed to be the use of Microsoft's PowerPoint software for presentations. Bob McClure and I led off with our PowerPoint-based talks on teaching with a Web site and evaluating software for the Classics, soon to be followed by Jane Smith and Joan Jahnige's introduction to using PowerPoint in teaching, as they do themselves for distance learning at KET. The fourth workshop in the labs was a progress report and hands-on demonstration of the VRoma Project, given by Barbara McManus and Judith de Luce. (Note the new VRoma URL: vroma.rhodes.edu)
1997 ACL Computer Use Survey
One of the things I was talking about at the Institute, which
I would like to share with everyone, is the results of the Computer
Use Survey conducted by the Technology Task Force in 1997. This
was a high-priority issue raised by the task force, which sought
to update a survey done in 1991 by the Committee on Educational
Computer Applications. The new survey was designed and compiled
by John Muccigrosso and Glenn Knudsvig at the Univ. of Michigan.
The results may not surprise anyone, but they do provide one
of the most accurate pictures of the status quo for computer use
in our field.
Following are a few of the highlights (first half = 1991 vs. 1997):
· Teachers using computers: 90%--95%
· Students using computers: 70%--97%
· Computer use in lab setting: 70%--83%
· Computer use in classroom: 29%--31%
· Computer types used in 1997 at home: IBM 53%, Mac 44%, Other 3%
· Computer types used in 1997 at school: IBM 47%, Mac 48%, Other 5%
· Average amount of computer use for class: 1 hour per week
· Internet use for teaching: college level 73%, pre-college 38%
Floppy Disks Going Extinct?
When Apple recently introduced the iMac, it's latest consumer-oriented
computer with a revolutionary, all-in-one design (like the original
Mac), a standard CD-ROM drive, and NO floppy disk drive, it seemed
that the writing was indeed on the wall. After all, the original
Mac had shunned the 5.25" floppy disk, which was the standard
at the time, and introduced the 3.5" disk, which went on
to become the new standard. Indeed, it is now difficult to buy
most new software in a floppy disk format, though that option
is usually available by special mail-in request. Both the cost
of blank CD-R (recordable) disks and the availability of inexpensive
CD-R and CD-RW (rewritable) drives has brought the CD publishing
opportunity within the capacities of even the smallest software
Mind you, this doesn't mean that floppy disks are becoming extinct quite yet. They are still handy for transfering most document files, and you will still be able to get floppy installation disks for a while longer. But the convergence of several media formats onto CD-type media is becoming an overwhelming tide of support for a single-mode standard. Audio CDs have taken over the music world. DVDs (digital video disks), which can hold entire movies on a single disk, have a pretty good chance of replacing videotape cassettes, when the economies of scale kick in to make them less expensive. CD-RW drives are demonstrating that CDs can be just as good a recording medium as both audio and video cassettes. (I should caution you that CD-RW disks are not yet at the point of being readable by any computer, the way CD-R disks can be. Give that a little more time.) Doesn't it sound a lot simpler to be able to deal with only one medium, instead of three? Too good to be true, perhaps. We'll see.
New Myths & Legends PowerCD Series
Some of you may be familiar with the "History Through
Art" series, which includes CDs on Greece and Rome (see CO
72 [Spring 1995]: 95-6). Clearvue/eav has once again collaborated
with Zane Publishing and their PowerCD multimedia authoring system
to create a "World Literature" series. The classical
titles in this series are part of a "Myths & Legends"
subset: Greek Mythology I, Greek Mythology II, and The Voyages
of Ulysses and Aeneas.
In keeping with the standard PowerCD format, each of these Cds offers a 30-60 minute frame-by-frame audiovisual narrative presentation with captions (somewhat like a filmstrip) which you can control with a number of "push-button" options. The "feature presentation" can be paused, exited, or stepped forward and backward. References can be called up on screen, including a glossary of names, a concise encyclopedia, and even a basic dictionary. Interactive work includes multiple-choice questions in both "Q & A" and quiz modes--the former providing corrective feedback for wrong answers, the latter giving scores, but no feedback, for a set of 10-20 questions.
Each of the first two titles covers five stories. Greek Mythology I (fig. 1) includes Orpheus & Eurydice, Jason & the Golden Fleece, King Midas, the Labors of Hercules, and the Wanderings of Ulysses. Greek Mythology II (fig. 2) includes Daedalus & Icarus, the Trojan War, Baucis & Philemon, Theseus & the Minotaur, and Perseus & Andromeda. The illustrations for these two disks are colorful, stylized drawings. The third title (fig. 3) speaks for itself as a synopsis of Homer's Odyssey and Vergil's Aeneid; its illustrations are mostly photos of statues, vases, and other appropriate artwork, along with a few useful maps on the presumed route of those great journeys.
The Greek Mythology disks are sold either separately ($100 each) or as a pair ($180) with a single-user license. The "Voyages" disk costs $120. All three come in hybrid Mac/Windows format. For more info, contact Clearvue/eav, 6465 N. Avondale Ave., Chicago IL 60631-1996; tel. 800-253-2788; Web: www.clearvue.com.
Welcome to Society for Visual Education
Another CD with classical applications has appeared from a
new name in our field (but an old company, founded in 1919), the
Society for Visual Education, now a sister company to Clearvue/eav.
The Greek and Roman World (fig. 4) was also developed in conjunction
with Zane Publishing using their PowerCD format, and it appears
to provide a historical component to complement the literary material
summarized in the other three CDs discussed above. It divides
Greek and Roman history into four sections: Aegean Greeks, Mediterranean
Greeks, Italian Romans, and Imperial Romans. Another CD, called
Cradles of Civilization, goes further back into anthropological
studies, but it also includes material on ancient Egyptian empires.
These CDs are available in hybrid Mac/Windows format as single copies, lab packs (set of 5), or site licenses: Cradles of Civilization, single $60, lab $180, site $900; The Greek & Roman World, single $70, lab $210, site $1050. For more info, contact SVE, 6677 N. Northwest Hwy., Chicago, IL 60631-1304; tel. 800-829-1900; Web: www.SVEmedia.com.
CAES Sponsors New Latin Font
David Perry of the Rye (NY) High School has been working arduously
for lo! these many months to accomplish a noble task--the publication
of an inexpensive font with everything a good Latin teacher needs:
macrons, brevia, apices/stress marks, common inscriptional characters,
scansion characters, and a few medieval/religious symbols. He
has been working under the aegis of the Classical Association
of the Empire State (CAES) and in conjunction with Rubicon Software
of Canada. The package contains an original variation on the popular
Garamond font, to be known as GaramondLatin, in TrueType and Type
1 formats for both Windows and Macintosh. Future releases may
add true italic and bold versions of the font, if there is enough
interest. There is no charge for the current version, but constructive
feedback from users is requested for incorporation in the final
To get more information, see a JPEG (.jpg) file of the character set, or download the font, visit the CAES homepage at web.syr.edu/~dhmills/caes/. Send comments and questions to David Perry (firstname.lastname@example.org), and grab this chance to finally have some real fun with macrons!
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