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:

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(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



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 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.

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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:


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:


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).


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(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.

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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:

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. & 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, a website that essentially customizes a glossary to a given text, whether a pre-loaded text or a text you provide.


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:


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


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 far outweigh any minor disadvantages if you want to create customized-ish vocab lists for practice or assessments.

Creating Vocab Frequency Lists

I’m working on a project for the AP syllabus and am trying to create vocab frequency lists. I knew going in that I needed a spreadsheet to do it, but I wasn’t sure how to go from text file to spreadsheet without a lot of manual labor on my part, i.e. copying and pasting every non-first-word into the same column. No thanks.

Excel has an import function. I figured that was the place to start. And I was correct. But not yet successful. I need a .txt file as opposed to my .docx file. But that’s doable. Save as and off we go. So here are the initial (relatively straightforward steps).

  1. Copy the desired text. I took mine from
  2. Paste into a Word (or other word processor) document.
  3. Save as a .txt file  (using the Save As… option).


This doesn’t do much, however, beyond giving you an import-able file. If you import the .txt file as is, the process looks like this (towards the end, I skipped a few screen shots in which nothing changes):


The text above is not particularly useful. There is a lot of that manual labor I mentioned above to get it into a usable form. The goal is to get each word into the left column. But how to accomplish that goal? Back to the .txt file and Word.

The Replace function (the subset of the Find function) can find and replace-with non character features of the text. So ‘Find’ a space and ‘Replace’ with a <return>.


The image above is what you end up with. And this should be workable with Excel. The steps remain the same (as above) but the result is much more helpful:


At this point you select all, sort the data alphabetically, and end up here:


There is still some clean up to do. All of those words with quotes before them or brackets or parentheses need to be edited, but that is a relatively low number. Once those edits are done, resort, and you have your alphabetical list.

At that point, I manually count. There are too many variables in forms to let Excel do it. In the column next to the word I put the number of occurrences and in the column next to that the vocab header word. And I put those in each row / occurrence of the word rather than just the top or the bottom occurrence, so that at the end I can sort by that middle column (the number) and have all occurrences of the word next to each other. If nothing else, this is important for ambiguous forms, e.g. adeo: with all of the forms of adeo together, I can determine whether it is the verb or the adverb. I also, when I find a form of a word elsewhere in the list, e.g. fero vs. tuli, adjust both occurrences, so that if I have 3 in the fs and 2 in the ts, I make them both 5, again so that the final list will sort correctly.

And with that you can generate, with some work, but considerably less than otherwise, workable vocab frequency lists for large blocks of text.