Using an Embedded Neo-Latin Twitter List as a Do-Now

Our assistant principal talked to us about the evaluation process and how his focus this year would be on the beginning of class and how class opened. I have always been conflicted about do-nows; I like the idea but I’m bad at doing little things regularly (like setting up and distributing a do-now) and I like that first few minutes of class to check in with students and build relationships.

I’d been using the Pope’s Latin twitter feed for a while now as a quick check in (when they’re not too proselytizing) and had been noticing neo-Latin / Latin tweets. It occurred to me that I could embed Latin tweets in our LMS and use that as a do-now that the kids might enjoy, that I wouldn’t have to set up, and that I still could use as time to check in with students.

(And, just in case, though I assume that, if you’re here, you have at least a passing knowledge of Twitter, Twitter is a useful language tool because of the 140 character limit, i.e. that limit naturally minimizes the complexity of sentences and language.)

First the technical. I’d embedded twitter feeds before, but they had always been my own tweets (back when I used Twitter instead of the much preferred Remind (101)); I quickly realized that I couldn’t (at least as far as I could tell) embed a twitter timeline. With a little research, however, I learned that I can embed a Twitter list, likely a better alternative to embedding the timeline because there is more customization available.

A Twitter list, in case you don’t know, is simply a curated timeline; it allows you to customize which accounts are included. (In the interest of full disclosure, before I knew what a list was, I revised a dormant account that I had used for class with the intention of customizing that timeline, not realizing that I could create a list and embed it via my existing account). So I gathered about 20 or so accounts that tweeted largely in Latin, and created a list. (And my Latin teacher Twitter account is @dehlatinteach rather than the account associated with that list, if you’re interested in following.)

So I embedded that list on the home page of my Latin course’s LMS:

Screen Shot 2017-10-16 at 7.43.59 AM

Students choose a tweet or two from the timeline / list and submit it to a discussion board (so that everyone can see them and so that I can gather them under one heading, i.e. instead of having a separate submission for each day for each student, I have all of a given students’ tweets in one place).

Here is the list embedded [for some reason it’s linking rather than embedding; working on that]:

 

And so far it’s gone well. My concern about do-nows, that essentially they are a hoop I’m forcing students to jump through, seems to have been addressed: not only are students completing the assignment, but they also seem excited to do so.

The bigger picture goal here of course is to focus on proficiency (buzzword, I realize), so we minimize talk of translation and focus more on meaning, which we all appreciate as well.

So so far so good with the embedded Twitter list do-now. If you can get over / figure out the technical aspect on your end, it’s a great way to start a class.

Advertisements

Legonium Tweet

I could probably post tens, if not hundreds, of tweets from Legonium / @tutubuslatinus, but I happened upon these tonight and their use of visual plus Latin made them worthwhile (again, pure happenstance that I, well, happened upon this particular one).

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 10.33.10 PM

Screen Shot 2017-07-06 at 10.37.06 PM

Manuscript Week and Swivl’s Recap

So a bit more technology perhaps than Latin, but I’ll return to some Latin below. I’m a Swivl Pioneer and so was alerted to the launch of Recap, a website that allows students to interact via video with questions the teacher poses. (I’ve heard this is similar to VoiceThread, which I know of but with which I am not directly familiar.)

In my Medieval Lit class, we’re focusing on manuscripts for the next few weeks, and so I thought I’d turn my class loose with Recap and some introductory videos on MSS to see how Recap works.

Once you’re logged in to Recap, you make classes:

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 9.00.49 AM

There’s my Medieval class.

At the upper right of that screen is the ‘Add Recap’ button, which allows you to write questions for your students to answer and you can set the length of max response (2 mins max).

When I first started writing the questions, I was sticking to largely objective questions (because they were the ones that came to mind) but I realized that it seemed somewhat wasteful for students to record answers to objective questions (though I was happier with the video responses to those questions than I expected; more on that below). As I went on, however, I made more open-ended questions, including questions that required physical props; this, it would seem, is the real advantage to Recap, is the ability to hold before the camera in a dynamic way objects to enhance a response.

Once the students answer and submit, the teacher has a summary screen:

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 9.25.00 AM

(At the risk of sounding defensive, the students were working in groups, which is why the percentage is so low.)

You can see too that students are able to rate their understanding with a simple visual key and student videos are available for watching at the bottom.

Here’s a screen-scroll of all of the responses / summary screens:

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Recap also produces (and I mean that to some extent in the technical sense as well) a ‘Daily Review Reel’ (at upper right) that puts together the videos with some music, borders, and the question at the beginning. (I’m not quite sure why all of the videos didn’t make the review reel but I did find that you could add or subtract videos from the reel; perhaps they try to keep the review reel on the shorter side?)

Here’s a link to the video (Recap provides this; no embed code as far as I could find). And here’s the screen-grabbed video:

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

In the end, I’m always trying to assess whether a new tool like this has staying power. Is it an effective tool for me and my students to make more efficient and more successful my teaching and their learning? The easy answer is I don’t know. They were initially skeptical (at best) of videoing their answers but, once they got used to the idea, they produced good responses in a more natural and comfortable way. I enjoyed listening to the answers because their personalities came through. And even for the objective questions, which, as I said above, I felt like was a bit of a waste for this kind of format, it seemed like they had a better handle on that objective information than they would have if they were writing it down, filling in a blank, etc. I will try to do circle back to this information later to test that sense, but that was an initial impression.

So a good first foray. I think finding the right kind of assignments for this is important, but I’ll continue to experiment with it. I’m excited to try it with Latin because I feel like it could be a good way to get more students involved in a more natural way for open-ended material, i.e. students can interpret text, offer different readings, speculate on grammatical usage, etc., in what feels like a much less pressured environment (the video response) than in front of the whole class.

Latin Movie Trailers

At long last, the Latin Movie Trailers. Here they are in all of their glory (or lack thereof). In no particular order (except I did put Rogue One (Furcifer Unus) first because I believe the BluRay comes out today or hereabouts). Enjoy.

Rogue One

Inception

 

Despicable Me

 

Toy Story 3

 

Song of the Sea

Baby Boss

My Movie – Small from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Slumdog Millionaire

FCB2A039-8796-48FD-B413-4808E570CBE0_HQ from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Sleeping Beauty

Movie Trailer from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast Latin from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Jungle Book

Latin Movie Project (1) from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Wall-E

WALL-E Latin Project from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

To Kill A Mockingbird

Latin Movie Project-1 from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Wallace and Grommit

Beauty and the Beast (a different one)

Princess Mononoke

Grand Budapest Hotel

Apple Distinguished Educator Denial

I had applied to be an ADE this time around and just found out yesterday that I was not chosen. A bummer, to be certain, but not entirely surprising; it is a difficult admission to achieve and I wasn’t entirely confident in my video. With that said, as I made the video, going through old materials, reviewing my own career with technology, I will admit that I felt more confident as the process went along than when I decided to apply.

I write this really for two reasons. One, for the simple act of transparency. I did it. It didn’t work out. Here it is. Two, a bit more tricky. Here is Apple’s email:

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 10.27.06 AM

Perhaps I’m being a bit sensitive here, but, as a humanities teacher and believer, I find the primacy of ‘Everyone Can Code’ in the opportunities-to-engage-with-Apple suggestions a bit disconcerting. I understand too that the code movement is not entirely a STEM phenomenon and that the humanities in many ways have been at the vanguard of technology expansion and exploration. I’m also not saying that I wasn’t chosen because of my humanities interest and teaching.

With all of that said, however, assuming that there are plenty of humanities teachers who applied and were denied, it does seem a touch tone-deaf to lead with something so antithetical to their training and day-to-day work (however much Apple may want us to expand our horizons), especially in this era of STEM-dominance and humanities-survival (or lack thereof).

Am I bitter? I’m not sure that’s quite the right word, but I will reluctantly admit that I am on that spectrum. I guess I’m just concerned that everyone has forgotten how many STEM advancements were made with the simple yet powerful training that the humanities provide (and, lest we forget, science and math and their offshoots are part of the humanities) and, as we move farther and farther away from that training, I wonder what we will lose as we gain other things.

Sed de hoc satis. On to the video. I’ve embedded it below. I thought it was a bit rushed (I was hoping they’d hit the pause button a few times) and I suspect it focused a bit too much on me and not enough on my students and the impact of (Apple) technology on them. That’s my utterly anecdotal assessment.

ADE Video from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

More Latin Movie Posters

I wrote here about my Latin Movie Trailers projects and I promised more posters (and the videos) to come. Well, a bit longer than I would have liked, here are the other posters. Two disclaimers: 1. I included the ones from the previous post just to have them all in one place; and 2. the new ones are photos of the printed versions from the bulletin board (if they look a little funky). Enjoy.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Latin Movie Trailers, Part 1 – The Poster

The space between midterms and February break is short and choppy, so I thought it’d be a good time to try this project: Latin Movie Trailers.

Here’s the intro:

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-11-25-33-am

I added to that intro a movie poster, to be printed and posted on our bulletin board. (Still haven’t figured out a good way to display / ‘advertise’ the movie trailers.)

I’ll cover the trailers in another post, but I’ll cover the movie posters here.

  • students downloaded the posters…
  • …and opened them in Preview
  • I suggested to students that they find a poster with the text over a relatively uniform background; that will make the next step easier.
  • using the tools –> annotate –> rectangle (or whatever shape works) menu item in Preview, draw a rectangle around / over the text
  • using the outline and fill options, change the color of the rectangle to the color of the background (or thereabouts)
  • you should have now ‘erased’ the original text
  • using the same menu but the ‘text’ option, insert the translated Latin text, preferably in a comparable font
  • save and print

Here is the grade sheet for the poster:

screen-shot-2017-02-16-at-11-30-24-am

And the posters came out great. I’ll include the bulletin board below and then a slideshow of the actual posters below that. The movie posters are the color ones; they are intermingled with the Twitter December Break projects (the white ones).

2017-02-16-11-32-02

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(And, if you pause on the Grand Budapest Hotel one, you can see that he even translated the title over the door of the hotel; it’s small and hard to see but it’s there.)

Trip to the Harvard Art Museum

Today we set off for the Harvard Art Museum for our annual Research-Project-Kick-Off. Great trip as usual. Must admit that I prefer HAM to the MFA. MFA is certainly more extensive in its collection, but it’s harder to deal with and much more crowded. We arrived at HAM right at 10 and were in the gallery by 10.07. No Instagram Scavenger Hunt this year; didn’t need to because of my numbers, but I didn’t talk for too long. Did an overview of sculpture and vases and talked about a few individual pieces but otherwise left the students on their own to wander and explore. Here are a few pics.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Latin on Social Media

On the 23rd, of course the Friday before December break, we had the requisite post-test pre-vacation party. Food was brought in, good times were had by all. I didn’t want it to be completely void of content, however, so I decided we would post to social media about the party.

I copied the food vocab list from Traupman’s Oral Latin and included these instructions on the home page of our LMS (can’t say the Latin’s perfect; the Latin instructions were a last minute decision, so I was writing them largely without checking anything the block before class):

7. Cibus Mediaque Sociālis – Hodiē edēmus et scrībēmus de cibō in mediā socialī. Tu debēs edere et scrībere de cibō in mediā sociālī ut ego litterās videam vel legam. Hīc personae meae mediae socialis:

  • Twitter: @dehlatinteach
  • Snapchat: @edehoratius
  • Instagram: @olivewoodphoto
  • email: edmund_dehoratius@wayland.k12.ma.us

Si tu hōrum nullum habēs et nolīs mihi litteras electronicas mittere, tu potes stylō imaginem delineare.

Quidquid facis, debent esse tuae imaginēs, digitālēs vel in chartā, cum sententiīs diversīs quae habent sequentes:

  • IIIs: trēs casūs; IVs: quattuor casūs
  • verba varia
  • IIIs: unō ablativō (in tōtō quam in utrāque sententiā); IVs: ablativō in utraque

Potes ex rete prehendere verba necessaria hīc.

And the class was much better, to be honest, than I expected. What I mean by that is that they spent a lot more time on / with the Latin than I thought they would, given the food and the Friday before break. Really, the only disappointment was that they didn’t take advantage of the more fun aspects of Snapchat more often; I was hoping for more filters and/or geotags (but a minor complaint).

For anyone out there worried about the social media thing, most of them used Snapchat, at which point I had to accept them as friends (something I wanted to do about as much as they wanted me to). I assured them, though, that I would unfriend them by the end of the day, which I did. So, while I did connect with them on social media, it was only temporary and for educational purposes. I have no more social media contact with my students now than I did before that class.

I’ve also included a gallery below of the snaps that I received. Pretty amusing and decent (though not great) Latin.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Nodictionaries.com & Vocab Lists

I gave my first text-based test to my Latin 3/4 class today and, when we were reviewing, one of my students asked whether we were getting vocab for the test. I considered it for a moment, really contemplating whether I could or wanted to make a list that was both helpful and fair, especially since, in a mixed class, I really should have different lists for the 3s and the 4s. And then I remembered nodictionaries.com, a website that essentially customizes a glossary to a given text, whether a pre-loaded text or a text you provide.

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-10-23-00-pm

I’ll use Petronius’ Matron of Ephesus as an example, the text that I was testing and for which I was making the vocab lists. If you click on the ‘dozens of Latin authors’ link, it brings to you a list of pre-loaded Latin texts:

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-10-26-14-pm

Once you click on a text, you’re given intextual vocabulary for that text:

screen-shot-2016-12-22-at-10-47-44-pm

Here’s the nice part, though. That blue box at the upper right lets you customize what is provided and how it is provided. Most important, the farther to the left that slider bar is, the less vocab is provided. The farther to the right, the more vocab is provided. All the way to the left and no vocab is provided. All the way to the right and all words are provided (even sum in that first line).

The buttons at the bottom right of the blue box allow you to make a print-friendly version. So I used the setting above (minimum vocab) for the vocab list for my Latin 4s and did the second-to-most vocab setting for the Latin 3s. Print them out and vocab lists generated.

You can too paste in your own text, but I’ve never tried that. I suspect it recognizes the words and provides vocab accordingly.

A few caveats. The vocabulary is not text-specific (probably obvious but just in case), i.e. the definitions are general and will not necessarily cover any context-specific definitions. And that minimum of vocab setting above does provide a bit more vocab than I would like. I would love an in-between setting between this and the no vocab setting.

Nonetheless, the advantages of nodictionaries.com far outweigh any minor disadvantages if you want to create customized-ish vocab lists for practice or assessments.