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FRIDAY, MAY 05, 2017

Caesar Wins: A Recap of Martia Dementia 2017

Hades got the victory over Athena and like, about half of the participants ripped their brackets in half. Cicero felled last year's champion Homer in the second round and finalist Augustus exited in the third. The door seemed wide open at this point but Zeus, ruler of the skies, and Caesar, ruler of everything on earth, proved most determined to advance to the finals. Advance they did, but int he end there could be only one, and that one was Caesar who, with a 431–54 victory, made history by becoming the third winner of Martia Dementia! Much like previous years, many narratives came out of the bracket as voting created conflict between these authors, philosophers, political figures, and gods, and there was plenty of opportunity for tothers. Who could have predicted Mark Antony and Caesar would meet once again? These narratives and the success of Martia Dementia happened all thanks to our participants.
This was the third and by far the most successful year of Martia Dementia. I would like to thank all the teachers, professors, friends, students, and anyone I may have left out for their participation. I would also like to take time to acknowledge and congratulate the following for their success in this year's competition. First, to Thomas Howard of St. Ignatius College Prep-Chicago, IL. Thomas correctly picked all but fifteen picks in this year's Martia Dementia, including finalist and second-place competitor Zeus! Congratulations, Thomas! Second, to Michael Niebling, a student at Brophy College Preparatory School in Phoenix, AZ. He also managed to get only fifteen picks wrong and correctly guessed the finalist, and winner, Caesar! Congratulations, Michael! Lastly, to Ian Lobo, also a student at Brophy College Prep. Ian not only managed to correctly pick both finalists and the winner of Martia Dementia but he also managed, somehow, to make only fifteen incorrect picks in the process. This was enough to secure him the first place in our contest. Congratulations, Ian!

Looking forward to next year’s Martia Dementia? Already counting down the days? Want to see an author, politician, philosopher, or deity who did not make it into this year’s bracket? Tweet @BCPublishers what and whom you would like to see and include the hash tag #MartiaDementia, or give feedback in the comments below. Did you have questions or comments about how this year’s competition went? Were you able to find ways to incorporate Martia Dementia into the classroom, or do you have ideas of how you might next year?  

eBook Interactivity: Part Three

Types of Interactivity: Interactive Content
In part one of this series of blog posts I addressed how platform, device, and integration affect the eBook experience. In part two, I addressed the functionality that is internal to the platform. Today I will address interactive content that is publisher and author dependent. The main type of interactive content that can be added to books, especially books that are not being developed with interactivity in mind (i.e., books that have already been published), is embedded content. This includes things like embedded links to audio or video and hyperlinks.
Embedded Content
AudioLinks to audio are already an existing feature of many of our popular textbooks. For example eBooks for Latin for the New Millennium, Levels 1 and 2, have audio links for every chapter reading. Our Caesar and Vergil titles also have audio links embedded. Adding these links is easy and depends only on the content being available to the publisher.VideoVideo links are tougher only because creating the content, at a high enough production level for publisher standards, is difficult. One option we are exploring here is to use videos created from images and slides.HyperlinksHyperlinks are exactly what they sound like—links to a page on the internet. The main problems here are the fact that links can break and that publishers cannot control changes to the content on outside webpages. One thing that you get from a book published by a known company is the assurance of peer review and editing. A link to a webpage removes this assurance. We are experimenting with some links to Wikipedia in a few books to see how they are received by teachers and students. We would love your feedback.
One thing many teachers ask for is interactive exercises. What they mean by this varies, but it mostly boils down to some way to track student interaction with homework or even to have that homework be self-grading. Is this possible? The short answer is, yes. Is this possible for your textbook, from your platform, with your (school’s) gradebook? The answer is, maybe. If you’d like to learn more about this, particularly as it pertains to Bolchazy-Carducci texts, please feel free to email me at bridget@bolchazy.com. I would be happy to discuss current options and future plans with you. 

eBook Interactivity: Part Two

Types of Interactivity: Platform Functionality
In part one of this series of blog posts I addressed how platform, device, and integration affect the eBook experience. Today I will address the types of interactive functionality commonly offered by eBook platforms. These types of interactivity are controlled by the platform and the method of access and/or integration by the user—not the publisher. I’ve split these into two categories. One, basic interactive functionality, covers functions most platforms offer. Two, advanced interactive functionality, covers functions some platforms include or are piloting.
Basic Interactive Functionality
SearcheBooks allow users to search for content. This may seem too basic to be worth mentioning, but it has many implications for learning. Students can easily refer back to explanations of points of grammar while translating or completing exercises. Students can easily pull up dictionary definitions (assuming they can produce the first principal part, the nominative, etc.). Students can utilize the search function for essays or discussions on cultural topics.HighlightsUsers can add highlights to their eBooks. Highlights can be in multiple colors and colors can be labelled. This is great for studying. In particular, students can label vocabulary to study for later. Students can mark passages to study for an exam. Students can highlight a tricky portion of grammar for easy reference in the future. The ability to color code and label means that highlighting can be personalized and organized in many ways to maximize efficiency.Notes 
Advanced Interactive Functionality
SharingNotes and highlights can be shared between users if they are using an eBook platform with this capability and if their eBooks have been integrated into a learning management system that allows this feature. This enables teachers to designate readings/assignments, add comments for students to read outside class time, assign students to comment on their homework as a way to track progress, or even assign students to discuss the work among themselves through comments.Use ReportsSchools or teachers can receive reports on which pages are accessed, when, and by whom.* This function could allow teachers to remotely track and even award grade points to students for time spent on homework. This function can provide teachers and administrators with a new set of data for evaluations both of student behavior and of teaching models.
If you have any questions about these types of interactivity, in a Bolchazy-Carducci eBook you are currently using or considering using, please feel free to contact me (bridget@bolchazy.com). I would be happy to answer your questions or set up a virtual meeting and demonstration.
A forthcoming post will have more information on interactive content—this is the publisher-provided extra content like links embedded in the eBook.
*This is a new function being implemented by VitalSource. Not all VitalSource users currently have access to this functionality. If you are using VitalSource or are considering it and would like to learn  more about this, we would be happy to assist you. 

eBook Interactivity: Part One

Are your eBooks interactive?
I, or someone else here at Bolchazy-Carducci, fields this question daily. Unfortunately this is not an easy question to answer because (a) people use eBooks through different platforms, (b) people have integrated these eBook platforms into their own learning management systems (LMS) in different ways, (c) people access their eBooks through different devices, and (d) people mean different things by interactivity.
In this post I will address, in general terms, the different platforms from which B-C eBooks are available, the different devices on which they can be used, and the integration of these different platforms into learning management systems. In posts that will follow over the course of the week, I will address the different types of interactivity—platform functions and content.
eBook platforms are multiple and ever changing. Publishers put their content on these different platforms but do not directly control what features each provider has. For us two factors determine whether we work with a given platform. One, we seek out some platforms because they meet certain requirements that schools commonly need, such as being IMS compliant or working with Common Cartridge.  Two, if schools use a certain eBook platform and the Latin teacher requests our books on that platform, we make them available, if feasible. The request can be made directly to us by the teacher or it can be made to the eBook provider, who then contacts us. A complete list of the eBook platforms we currently work with and their features can be found on our website
It pays to research the various platforms and what features they offer before committing to a certain provider. However, if your school uses a certain platform, you will likely not have the luxury of choice for your courses or for your classes.
If your school uses a learning management system (e.g., Blackboard, Canvas, Schoology, etc.), eBooks can be integrated with it. This means in effect that your students will access the eBook through the learning management system. Depending on the parameters of your system, some platform functionality may be impacted. If you are curious how this would work in the case of your school we are happy to work with you, your technology department, and your chosen eBook platform to provide answers. Email bridget@bolchazy.com.

March Answer for Roman Calendar

If you have not already done so, check the inside back cover of our 2016–2017 Roman Calendar for a reproducible worksheet that asks students to engage with the derivative-oriented artwork included in the calendar.

For those completing the worksheet, here is March's image, question, and answer.



Question: Dūcunt volentem fāta, nōlentem trahunt.
This line, originally written by the Greek philosopher Cleanthes, was translated into Latin by Seneca. Are there any English words you can think of deriving from Seneca’s translation?

Answer:
Dūcō, the Latin word meaning "to lead" gives English such words as "abduct," "conduct," and "viaduct." Volentem from volens, meaning "willing," gives words such as "benevolence," "malevolent," and "volunteer" to English. Fāta brings words like "fate," "fatal," and "fatality" to English. Trahunt, from trahō, meaning "to drag," gives English words like "abstract," "extract," and "tractor."

Think your students know the answer to the April question on the worksheet? Tweet @BCPublishers the answer by April 25th for a chance to win five of our new buttons. We'll announce our answers, as well as the winner, at the beginning of May. Submit an answer for your class, or better yet, encourage students to participate individually. 

Martia Dementia 2017

Ancient Figures Martia Dementia

The madness is back! Teachers, students, and everybody else get ready, for in the next month we will launch Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers' Third Annual Martia Dementia contest. The tournament has pitted ancient authors against one another and thrown philosophers and politicians into the mix. This year thirty-two ancient deities, who have sat idly the last two years and watched from Olympus, will descend upon the madness and compete against the mortals. With your help, one of them will rise above the others as champion of the Mediterranean. To the victor belong the spoils, and to whomever finishes with the best bracket, spoils await. Before getting to the prizes, here is the way the competition will work. You can participate in this event in two ways.


The Bracket
First is the bracket, then the survey. You will need to download a bracket from below, when it's made available on March 6, and save it as a PDF file. Having done this, simply advance the authors of your choosing through the bracket, writing in your picks and eliminating the others, until one remains above the rest. Send the completed bracket to the email provided on the bracket. The rankings are random. There is no rater’s index or previous statistics to consider, and no author has an advantage over another. The only factor determining an author’s advancement is your participation. Filling out the bracket to be eligible for the prizes is the minimum requirement.

The Survey
The second way to participate is the survey. To further improve your chances of winning, a survey will be available for each round (below) where you can vote for your picks or, as it gets closer to the championship, vote against any picks that might hurt your chances of winning. This aspect is separate from the bracket and not necessarily required, but actively participating in the survey betters your chances at winning. We will determine the victors of each match by who has the most survey votes by the time the survey closes.

We cannot stress enough the importance of voting early and voting often. So when the survey goes live, cast your votes! Get your friends to vote for your picks. Teachers, get your students to stuff the survey with favorable votes!

Be sure to bookmark this post, as we will post the survey links for each round as they become available here.

Victori Spolia
The competition is not solely for bringing posthumous glory to your favorite ancient figure. Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers is offering book prizes for the brackets that most closely resemble the final results; a $100 book credit will be awarded to the first-place participant, a $50 credit to the second-place participant, and a $25 credit to the person finishing in third place. Feeling like you no longer stand a chance? Do not give up! There will also be a $25 credit for having the most abysmal bracket! So get ready, and stay tuned. Brackets will be available Tuesday, March 7, and the voting madness begins Thursday, March 16! 

February Answer for Roman Calendar

If you have not already done so, check the inside back cover of our 2016–2017 Roman Calendar for a reproducible worksheet that asks students to engage with the derivative-oriented artwork included in the calendar.

For those completing the worksheet, here is February's image, question, and answer.


Question:
Quod nēmō nōvit paene nōn fit. This line, aimed at alleviating the remorse of human conscience over bad deeds, comes from Apuleius’s Metamorphōsēs. Can you find any English words deriving from this sentence?

Answer:
Nōvit, which comes from the verb nōsco meaning "to know," gives words such as "connoisseur" and "noble." Words such as "peninsula" and "penult" come from the Latin adverb paene, meaning "almost." Nōn provides English with words such as "nonchalent" or "nonsense." Fit, from the verb fīō meaning "to be made" gives English the noun "fiat."


Think your students know the answer to the March question on the worksheet? Tweet @BCPublishers the answer by March 25th for a chance to win five of our new buttons. We'll announce our answers, as well as the winner, at the beginning of April. Submit an answer for your class, or better yet, encourage students to participate individually.

 

January Answer for Roman Calendar

If you have not already done so, check the inside back cover of our 2016–2017 Roman Calendar for a reproducible worksheet that asks students to engage with the derivative-oriented artwork included in the calendar.

For those completing the worksheet, here is January's image, question, and answer.



Question:
Nec sine tē nec tēcum vīvere possum. Ovid offers this witty description of the emotional difficulties that love brings in his Amōrēs. What English words derive from Ovid’s Latin?