Audacity Audio Effects

I installed Audacity, got myself a microphone and recorded my voice. I wanted to try some of the audio effects built in to Audacity. I played around and have compiled the following effects:

  1. Echo
  2. Speed up and down
  3. Echo
  4. Delay
  5. Reverb
  6. Reverse
  7. Stretch

Here’s the “Add Media” version:

and the <audio> version:

I installed the Lame.dll to allow export to .mp3 format. I added all the track tags like artist name, track title etc. to see if/how they would display in a blog page.

Audio in a web page – test

Test of 4 alternate methods of including audio in a WordPress site.
1. First using the Add Media button:

2. Here’s the first HTML version. Uses <a> tag
Bill Withers – Use Me 1972

3. This version uses <audio> tag

4. The last version uses <embed> tag

Notes:

  • Number 2 opens player in window
  • <embed> version #4 works but persistently autoplays so I disabled it.
  • Numbers 1, 3 and 4 can play at the same time.

Resize an image for a thumbnail

Thumbnails are used to provide a small icon representing a larger image. On a web page it is common to make the thumbnail a link to the larger image, very similar to the common text link. A thumbnail can be a scaled down version of the large image or a cropped section of the larger image, or some combination of both.

Here I’ve used a scaled down and cropped image for this thumbnail of a squirrel photo. This picture was taken by my daughter in our backyard and won first prize in an SPCA contest. The full sized photo appeared in their 2015 fundraising calendar.
SquirrelThumb Uses:
width = “75”
target=”_blank” so that the full size image opens in a new window
title=”Click for full size image” to give users a tip on Mouseover to click to get the full size image 

Graphic Layers

I used GIMP to create a graphic with layers. This is straightforward as GIMP makes a layer out of every object you add to the picture.The challenge is making only 2 layers. Luckily, GIMP has a “Merge Down” tool that allows you to combine layers. I put all of the text layers together (except the title) and all of the graphical layers together and saved 2 versions with and without text. I put the two version together in a “image swap” to turn the text off and on. This an effective technique that adds some functionality to an otherwise static graphic.

Mouse over to see the captions

Uses:
<img src=”http://image1.jpg”
onMouseOver=”this.src=’http://image2.jpg'”
onMouseOut=”this.src=’http://image1.jpg'” />

Graphic: Moon Phases

I’m always surprised by the number of people who don’t know how the phases of Moon “work”.

I think a picture really helps visualize the physical reality that underlies what we see from the surface of the Earth. It would be almost impossible to explain Moon phases without pictures (or waving your hands around).

Both the Earth and the Moon are half lit on the side facing the Sun. The Earth rotates once every 24 hours and the Moon orbits the Earth every 28 days. The Earth only faces the Moon 12 hours a day so we get 28 distinct moon phases. Keep in mind that the same side of the Moon always faces the Earth, like it was on a string.

In addition to Moon phases you can also learn from the graphic that:

  • There is always a dark side of the Moon, as there is always a dark side of the Earth.
  • There is a side of the Moon we never see, but it’s not always dark.
  • How eclipses happen. A solar eclipse is the Moon’s shadow on the Earth and a lunar eclipse is the Earth’s shadow on the Moon.
  • The half Moons look the same from this viewpoint but from Earth are opposite.

Bonus question: What does the Earth look like from the Moon. Does it have phases?
MoonPhases

If you search for images of Moon phases you find way better graphics than I could ever make, but the purpose was to create an educational graphic, so I used GIMP and started from nothing. My goal was to create an interpretive graphic representing a point of view we never get to experience. From this viewpoint in space the Moon phases are much easier to understand.

 

Photo Cropping

Photo cropping was one of the oldest and easiest ways to edit a picture even before digital photography and editing software.mepic

Here I’ve used GIMP to create a picture of just my head that is useful for a profile or avatar.mePic2

Or alternately you could use crop to eliminate the ugly parts of the picture and just have the beautiful landscape.

cropped-mePic1.jpg

Resource Analysis

The exemplary media resource I have chosen is a video on Fibonacci numbers from Vi Hart’s Doodling in Math series on YouTube. In the video, Vi seemingly doodles with pen and paper to explore  how the Fibonacci sequence shows up in nature. She later uses glitter glue on a pine cone to illustrate the Fibonacci sequence. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahXIMUkSXX0[/youtube] The video is deceptively simple; she uses only pen and paper, glitter glue and some naturally occurring Fibonacci spirals like those found in:

  • flowers,
  • pine cones,
  • artichokes,
  • broccoli,
  • and pineapples.

Behind the simple look of the video is artitistic talent combined with clever multimedia production. There is nothing in this media resource that would limit the educational context where it could be used. The narrator is a young woman using simple language to logically describe the actions. The demonstration effectively ties math and nature and serves to enliven the theory for a wide range of audiences. I cannot imagine a text version that would be remotely as effective. vihart1The narration and video are recorded separately and only Vi’s hands appear on screen. I’m guessing the hardware involved would include only a camera, tripod and microphone.  Video editing software is used to create a sped-up, time lapse to demonstrate in seconds what must have taken hours to record.  Software would also be used to mix the video and narration.    

Format text to enhance learning

A computer connects to the world around it in three different ways:

  1. Input/output devices
  2. Ports
  3. Networking
Aside using div tag

The components inside your computer need a way to interact with the user and the outside world. This interaction is called input/output (I/O). The most common types of I/O in PCs are:

  • Monitor: the primary device for displaying information from the computer.
  • Keyboard: the primary device for entering information into the computer.
  • Mouse: the primary device for navigating and interacting with the computer.
  • Removable storage: allow you to add new information to your computer very easily, as well as save information that you want to carry to a different location. There are several types of removable storage:
    • Flash memory – Based on a type of ROM called electrically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM), Flash memory provides fast, permanent storage.
    • CD-ROM – CD-ROM (compact disc, read-only memory) is a popular form of distribution of commercial software. There is also CD-R (recordable) and CD-RW (rewritable), which can also record. CD-RW discs can be erased and rewritten many times.
    • DVD-ROM – DVD-ROM (digital versatile disc, read-only memory) is similar to CD-ROM but is capable of holding much more information.

Bluetooth and wifi are common, but many computers still have ports to help you connect to a wide selection of peripherals. While there have been others, the most common found on computers are:

  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) – The most popular external connection, USB ports offer power and versatility and are easy to use usb
  • FireWire (IEEE 1394) – FireWire was a very popular method of connecting digital-video devices, such as camcorders or digital cameras, to your computer. firewire
  • SATA (serial ATA (Advanced Technology Attachment)) – an internal and external connection used mainly for mass storage devices such as hard disk drives. sata

A Call-out

Design choices to enhance learning.

  • Verdana sans serif font
  • Font size; 9 pixels or higher
  • Dark text on light background
  • Left-justified
  • Graphics in support of text
  • Information chunking

(callout box using div tag, width: 80%, background-color: #ffffcc, list-style-type: square)

Introduction

mepic
My name is Rick King and I live in Kamloops B.C. I grew up in Vancouver and moved to Kamloops in 1986 (Expo year). After a series of educational and occupational adventures I became an instructor at TRU in the Computing Science department in 2003

I teach introductory level lab courses in a variety of Computing topics including MS Office software, Digital Media, Computer Maintenance, Animation and HTML/CSS. These are all “hands-on” courses taught in a computer lab.

I am taking this course as part of an M.Ed. degree and am curious to see how the current media technology can be used to enhance teaching. I begin with an open mind and no expectations.

My email is: Rking[at]tru[dot]ca

[youtube]https://youtu.be/7wFi1AsZ1WU[/youtube]

Traditional vs. Authentic Assessment

In general, new technologies and methods bring opportunities and challenges. So, it is logical that changes in education will have the same characteristics. As technologies bring new methods and opportunities to distributed learning there will be new challenges. One such challenge is assessment of distributed learning. There is a trend to move away from traditional assessment towards more authentic assessment. Continue reading