Wednesday, April 26, 2017

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

Search
eBooks 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.
Highlights
Users 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
 Interactive functionality includes adding highlights
and notes, exporting user notes, and searching
the text for certain content.
Users can add notes to their eBooks. The notes appear to the side of the text on the screen and have a separate scrolling mechanic. A student can utilize copy and paste with the note function to keep two sets of information on their screen at once. For example, a student could place the vocabulary for a reading into the notes section and then scroll through the reading and vocabulary individually.
Export
Users can export their notes. This allows students to create customizable study guides as they learn. Students can also add teachers’ comments directly to their eBook. This eliminates the need to keep track of a separate notebook. While doing homework, students can add notes to themselves about what they want to ask in class, reminders on how to translate something, etc.

Advanced Interactive Functionality

Sharing
Notes 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 Reports
Schools 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.

–Bridget Dean, Managing Editor

Monday, April 24, 2017

eBook Interactivity: Part One

Are your eBooks interactive?

Library.Calvin.edu/ The Hekman LibraryI, 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.

Just above our product descriptions there are
lists of the eTextbook providers and direct
links to purchase the eTextbook.
Users can access eBooks in several ways, depending on the platform from which they purchase the book and, if they are purchasing through a school district, their district’s system. A user who purchases from a platform directly can access the book through a browser or through the platform’s app.* The eBook can also be accessed on a variety of devices such as a computer (Mac or Windows), iPad, iPhone, Android, and Kindle Fire. Interactive platform functions tend to be the same whether you access the content through the web or through the platform’s app, although the appearance may vary. One major difference is that if you are accessing the eBook through the app (i.e., if you have downloaded it and are using it offline), you will not get updates the publisher may provide unless you go to your library and sync the book.

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.

Two forthcoming posts (part two and part three) will have more information on interactive functionality—this is the platform-provided content like highlighting and search.

–Bridget Dean, PhD, Managing Editor

*See the chart on our eBook information page to determine which platforms have access through an app. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

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.

To add your name to our mailing list for the 2017–2018 Roman Calendar, email orders@bolchazy.com with the subject line “Roman Calendar”; be sure to include your name and mailing address in the body of the email. Also, let us know by email if you have not received your calendar yet!

Monday, March 06, 2017

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!

-Connor Hart


Bracket

Round of 64

Round of 32

Sweet Sixteen

Elite Eight

Final Four

Championship Round

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

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.

To add your name to our mailing list for the 2017–2018 Roman Calendar, email orders@bolchazy.com with the subject line “Roman Calendar”; be sure to include your name and mailing address in the body of the email. Also, let us know by email if you have not received your calendar yet!

Monday, February 06, 2017

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?


Answer:
The preposition sine provides English with words such as "sinecure." The verb vīvō helps bring words such as "convivial," "revive," and "survive." The verb possum, meaning "I am able," has given English words such as "possibility," "puissance," and "impossible."

Think your students know the answer to the February question on the worksheet? Tweet @BCPublishers the answer by February 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 March. Submit an answer for your class, or better yet, encourage students to participate individually.


To add your name to our mailing list for the 2017–2018 Roman Calendar, email orders@bolchazy.com with the subject line “Roman Calendar”; be sure to include your name and mailing address in the body of the email. Also, let us know by email if you have not received your calendar yet!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Female Polymaths in Latin for the New Millennium, 2nd Edition

Second Edition Coming Soon

We’re excited about the forthcoming Latin for the New Millennium, Second Edition. We’re especially pleased with the addition of two readings from female authors to the workbook for LNM 2. The first edition workbook already included an adapted reading loosely based on a poetic letter, Poem 5, by Sulpicia, a poet who lived toward the end of the first century BCE. The second edition workbook includes readings from the female polymaths Hildegard von Bingen and Anna Maria van Schurman.

Hildegard von Bingen (1098–1179), a polymath, served as leader of a monastic community and was renowned for her wisdom and her counsel was sought by kings, bishops, and popes. She authored treatises on theology, natural history, and what is today known as homeopathy. The “Sybil on the Rhine” was especially interested in musical composition and she wrote musical plays and hymns. The LNM 2 workbook features Hildegard’s hymn O quam mirābilis. Vocabulary aids assist students as they read the nine lines of unadapted Latin.

Five centuries later, Anna Maria van Schurman (1607–1678), was considered the most learned woman of the seventeenth century. She attended classes from behind a curtain at the University of Utrecht and became proficient in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and ten other languages. She corresponded in Latin with scholars across Europe. The LNM 2 workbook presents an adapted excerpt from her letter to the medical doctor Johan van Beverwijck about the term of human life and the possibilities of human interference.

Through the Hildegard and van Schurman readings the other selections from the post-antique legacy of Latin literature, students experience firsthand the cornerstones of western thought.

Visit our website for more details on LNM. For specifics on LNM Second Edition, click here, and scroll to the bottom for a chapter by chapter list of changes.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Additional Exercise in Latin for the New Millennium, 2nd Edition

Second Edition Coming Soon

Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers prides itself on anticipating classroom needs and responding to teacher feedback. In order to develop an effective second edition of Latin for the New Millennium, Levels 1 and 2, B-C reached out to a group of teachers who had enjoyed teaching from LNM. B-C was particularly keen on responding to the need for some additional exercises in both texts. Teachers expressed a desire for two kinds of exercises—ones that featured additional drill and manipulation and others that assisted students learning a complex concept by providing a laddering or scaffolding exercise. For the latter, they regularly suggested the inclusion of a Latin to English exercise. We have to note, of course, that had we incorporated all the suggestions from these enthusiastic LNM teachers, we would have been adding far more pages than what would be practical!

In the end, authors Milena Minkova and Terence Tunberg developed nine new exercises for LNM 1 and six additional exercises for LNM 2. For example, the Level 1 text now includes in chapter 3 a Latin to English exercise for practice recognizing genitive. In anticipation of the revolutionary introduction of the indirect statement in chapter 7 (since Latin for the New Millennium’s readings are adapted passages from Roman authors and the Romans regularly used the indirect statement, the authors introduce the concept at this early stage—LNM students soon become very comfortable working with the indirect statement , Level 1 chapter 6 now includes a Latin to English exercise with the infinitive that gives students additional practice with recognizing infinitives. For LNM 2 the authors constructed a new Latin to English exercise for chapter 10 that gives students practice with forms of the irregular verb īre. Chapter 12 now a scaffolding exercise that has students first write out conditions that use the same verb for the different tenses and conditions.

Each chapter in the student text has seven to nine exercises for the language facts that flow from the authentic readings from Roman authors. The reviews that follow every three chapters also contains exercises that drill the new language facts. In addition, each chapter in the student workbook offers reinforcement with an additional five to six exercises. And, of course, teachers regularly create their own exercises and a number have shared these in the Latin for the New Millennium Teachers’ Lounge.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Derivative Update in Latin for the New Millennium, Second Edition

Second Edition Coming Soon

The second exercise in each chapter
 of the student text has always
 included a derivative recognition exercise.
Students and parents consistently cite “enhancing one’s English vocabulary” as one of the key reasons they have chosen or been encouraged to choose Latin for their second language study.

In the first edition of Latin for the New Millennium, the second exercise in each chapter requires students to use their knowledge of Latin vocabulary to recognize English words derived from Latin. In addition, the test banks that teachers can access through the Teachers’ Lounge contain derivative exercises to help build students’ English vocabulary. Each review in both LNM 1 and LNM 2 features a Mīrābile Audītū section that presents a set of Latin phrases, abbreviations, mottoes, and terms used in English.

When creating goals for Latin for the New Millennium, Second Edition, we decided to enhance the derivatives component of the series. To that end, each chapter in the student text ends with a list of English derivatives for that chapter’s “Vocabulary to Learn.” The Teacher’s Manual provides teachers word histories, etymologies, and sample sentences showcasing the derivatives. Teachers can use this material as they wish to prepare their classroom presentations on derivatives. Exercise 2 in every chapter in the student workbooks feature work with English derivatives.


We are pleased to affirm that the LNM Second Edition builds on the First Edition and features a richer set of derivative-based resources. 

Friday, January 06, 2017

Aural/Oral Activities in Latin for the New Millennium, Second Edition

Second Edition Coming Soon


When our late founder Dr. Ladislaus “Lou” Bolchazy decided to commission an introductory Latin series, he chose Terence Tunberg and Milena Minkova not only for their expertise in Latin pedagogy but also for their international renown as proponents and practioners of active, spoken Latin. For nearly two decades they have offered a summer seminar, the Conventiculum Latinum Lexintoniense, at the University of Kentucky, designed to introduce enthusiasts to the use of spoken Latin. Variations on the conventiculum are offered at various locations across the United States. Tunberg and Minkova thoroughly enjoy serving as instructors for such programs and regularly present on the subject of actively using Latin in the classroom. When chatting to one another, their language of choice is Latin!

Latin for the New Millennium celebrates active Latin. Each chapter of LNM 1 includes a conversation among a group of American high schoolers who chat about an everyday topic like “discussing homework” and “in the cafeteria.” These dialogues present a rich vocabulary of everyday terms and invite students to act them out. In LNM 2 the same students now converse about the chapter reading or the chapter’s unadapted Latin passage from Nepos’s Life of Atticus. These dialogues grow longer and more complex as the students build their confidence in reading Latin.

The Teacher’s Guide offers a bounty of aural/oral activities and exercises. Tunberg and Minkova took pains to make the exercises and activities teacher-friendly with special care for the teacher less confident about incorporating spoken Latin in the classroom. Dictations enhance students’ listening skills, drills build their confidence with a grammar concept, and activities and dialogues encourage spoken Latin. The authors have crafted four to five aural/oral exercises for each chapter of the student text.

Dicīte Latīnē!