Sunday, November 20, 2005

WiAOC - Randall Davis on audio online

Randall Davis mentioned several good sites and tools that I will simply list here--

EZ slang site:
has short audio with slang expressions. One thing he cautioned is that 20 sec. to 4 min. is about the max that you can do with audio without other kinds of support (e.g., photos or video or script). Listening is just plain hard, as I learned when testing Chinese EFL teachers years ago--they were scoring 80-90% on the practice TOEFL grammar, and 10-18% on the listening part.

Questions for student discussion/interviews by Randall Davis:
This is a great site also for students to use as TOPICS for making their own video projects.

Here are some of my experiences with Audacity, which I have begun to feel is workable on the Mac (OS 10.3 or 10.4):

Open Audacity, hit Record button. Click Yellow >Stop button when finished.
Select >Export as...mp3 for smallest file size.
You will need the LameLib plug-in to export to mp3, which is accepted by most players, including RealPlayer and QuickTime, but not Windows Media when you are in a Mac. (LameLib can be found on a number of Apple sites, I believe--google it.) I assume the PC version of Audacity exports to .wmv files.
You can also play the Audacity file while recording it in WireTap, which creates a much smaller .aiff (QT) file.

For a tutorial in using Audacity to respond to student writing:
PC Tutorial -
MAC tutorial -

WiAOC - Virtual Learning Environments

This session showed a lot of potential for language scaffolding (although that term wasn't used, as I recall). Some research is being conducted and you can join the Chinese students on the Quest to restore the planet.

Quest Atlantis on the Univ Indiana server
You need to download the interface software at the entry portal first (PC only, unfortunately.

Self-contained (hence safe) environment at Indiana Univ, and students are assigned specific quests and tasks. The introductory video is very beautiful, and inspires students to find ways to save the environment of the mythical planet (aka earth). The script of the video is found in comic book form for lower level learners. Good help apparatus: Quck Start Guide, Teacher Manual, Starter Quests, etc.

Contact Mike DongPing Zheng to join the QA research or explore the Quest with students.

For research check: