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.
Social Media and Editorial Assistant Connor
Hart can't seem to find what it takes to predict the
winning bracket. Maybe next year!

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!

Still disappointed in how your brackets turned out? Want to prepare for a better outing next year? Ian let us know what it took to make his bracket a winning one:
When the dust settled, this is how the Martia Dementia
2017 bracket looked like, with Caesar as the victor.

Well, I wouldn’t call my picks much of a strategy but more like educated guesses. My main way of choosing was who is more known by the people entering this contest, because I felt as if  people would choose who they knew the most, as well as if the person they chose was good or bad. For the ones I didn’t know of, like Hesiod, a quick Google search provided me with the answer. As whether my strategy changed, not really but I just asked friends to just pick Caesar because he needs to win!

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? Comment below—I would love to hear from you!

Monday, May 01, 2017

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

Links 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.
Video 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.
Hyperlinks 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 I would be happy to discuss current options and future plans with you.

–Bridget Dean, Managing Editor