Archive for September, 2009

How to use your office computer in the classroom


  • Click , click , type “mstsc”, click .
  • In the field of the upcoming window, enter your office computer’s IP number (you have to do this only once, the teacher computer will remember the number).
  • This will connect you to your office PC, and if you run mstsc (Microsoft Terminal Services Client) in full-screen, it appears pretty much like working on your office computer.
  • To find out your office IP number, on your office pc, Click , click , type “cmd”, click . cmd. On the command line, type “ipconfig”, your “IP address” appears .
  • Problems? Tell OTS with a link to this post.


  • use your local configuration with which you are most familiar also in class (e.g. US-international keyboard);
  • prepare windows for classes in your office at leisure (windows will show in the state you left them in the office), saving class time;
  • use the computer in class more, saving class time.


  • does not work well with multimedia. Workaround: switch mstsc to window mode and play multimedia from the  local desktop of the classroom PC:
  • make sure you do not have any windows open in the office which you do not want to display in the classroom
  • set your online status to “busy” in Office Communicator and other instant messaging applications, or else others might send disrupting text message pop-ups while you teach
  • possible screen size incompatibilities (mstsc can automatically accommodate for differences, within limits)
  • always test before going live.

No- and Low-cost Language Labs in a Tough Economy. Presentation EUROCALL 2009

Or digitizing the London Metropolitan University City-of-London Conference Interpreting center.
Or download a screencast of my presentation.

PowerPoint: Can you apply a different Master Slide by “ Copy and paste a slide master from one presentation to another”

I am not too much into form(atting beyond what follows function), so I lifted this straight from the PowerPoint 2007 Help file – is deleting the original master slide a way/the best way to apply the new master slide to all slides? Comments (below) welcome

  • “ Open both the presentation that contains the slide master that you want to copy and the presentation that you will paste the slide master to.
  • In the presentation that contains the slide master that you want to copy, on the View menu, in the Presentation Views group, click Slide Master.
  • In the slide thumbnail (thumbnail: A miniature representation of a picture.) pane, right-click the slide master that you want to copy, and then click Copy.  Notes 
    • In the slide thumbnail pane, the slide master represents the larger slide image, and the associated layouts are positioned beneath it.
    • Many presentations contain more than one slide master, so you may have to scroll to find the one that you want.

    This list of slide layout thumbnails contains one slide master and two layouts.


  • On the View tab, in the Window group, click Switch Windows, and then select the presentation that you want to paste the slide master to.
  • In the presentation that you want to paste the slide master to, on the View menu, in the Presentation Views group, click Slide Master.
  • In the slide thumbnail pane, to click the location where you want the slide master to reside, do one of the following:
    • If the destination presentation contains a blank slide master, right-click the blank slide master, and then click Paste.
    • If the destination presentation contains one or more customized slide masters, scroll to the bottom where the last slide layout resides, right-click below it, and then click Paste.
  • To copy and paste additional slide masters, follow steps 1 through 6.
  • On the Slide Master tab, in the Close group, click Close Master View.” (PowerPoint 2007 Help – press F1).
Categories: office-software Tags: ,

How to distribute learning materials using the Blackboard Content System

I needed to make a large set of textbook mp3 files accessible to myself in the classroom, as well as to students and myself from dorm/home.

The Blackboard Content System makes this easy, while observing copyright restrictions.

Below is a 6-minute narrated screencast on how to set up and use the Blackboard Content System to easily (work on batches of files on the web, just like on your computer, access from office, classrooms or home office) and securely (allow access only to qualified students)  handle multimedia files

The example involves numerous mp3 files from a Textbook Audio CD previously only accessible from the LLC computers)).

This would work as well with your self-created teaching materials, from text handouts to video recordings.

If you need better management (many files, reuse across terms) than the standard course document upload can provide.

See the video file name for a brief table of contents:


If the teaching material item is already in the content collection, to publish it to a new course:

  1. add a new item to a content area of the course,
  2. follow the numbered steps 1-4 in this screenshot:
  3. then click submit twice: first close the content system window with , to automatically give your students access to the files: , then finish adding

London Metropolitan University Shortcuts

Archived Interpreting Links:
Williamssound bidules
Usage policies
Translation Links:
Swift FAQ
e-Infrastructure Links: network shares
J: or \\\lgu$\londonmet departments
K: or \\stushare_server\StuShare
O: or \\\lgu$\multimedia student\mmedia\
X: or \\venus\homes
To message me, in MG, click “Start”, “Run”, paste: “C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe”, click “OK” or see bottom of this page or read .more.

Language Lab Techniques for Producing Audio Learning Materials

2009/09/18 1 comment

If you have a digital audio lab, beginning and intermediate SLA classes can benefit from you creating audio learning materials of type model/imitation or question/response:

Your students will speak more and can get more (automated and immediate) feedback for comparison. Instructors will evaluate and grade faster.

While students will likely use the audio recorder which comes with your digital audio lab, for both creating and evaluating learning materials, I recommend the free audio editor Audacity.

Also download the lame mp3 encoder and point audacity to it when your first export to MP3 from the file-menu.

Here are 2 screencasts to get you started :

  1. a basic recording and editing introduction (audacity_introduction.wmv) as well as
  2. a typical post-production task to  ready the recording for use in the audio lab (audacity_inserting_gaps_notifications4students.wmv).

Also see this post about evaluating student output with audacity.

Categories: e-languages

How to configure a re-imaged (syspreped) Sanako Lab 300

2009/09/17 1 comment

1.    On each of the 30 student computers in the main lab MH441, log in as user “llc-staff”.

2.    In the Windows taskbar, click “start”, “run”, type: “c:\Program Files\Sanako\Lab\Lab300\duo\config.exe”, click “OK”.

3.    In the “Media Assistant Duo” window that opens, change the field “Workstation number” to the last (one or two: omit leading zeros) digit(s) of the white label at the edge of the monitor that you are working at:


5.    Click button “Finish”, then restart the computer.

Bonus hint:

If your lab goes down again in the middle of the term, check whether your IT department has set up new computers on the sub-network whose network names conflict with the Crossroad naming scheme of the Sanako Lab 300, as seen in the above dialogue and set in the Lab 300 crossroad settings dialogue. 

Digitization of the SAVILLE analogue Conference interpreting recording facility: Lecture/Floor recording and CCTV streaming

The original conference interpreting lab setup had no provision for digital video recording of the lecture/floor. A workaround used on of the booth VCRs for analogue recording, with video form an ELMO dome cameras and audio from a lectern microphone – an audio installation which ran in parallel to the main DSI conference interpreting facility (and covered only the lectern, not the conference table).

A home-brew add-on was based on a consumer handheld digital camera for video. Experiments with different add-on microphones for audio from the lectern and floor were less than successful.

The DIS system however provides an audio out of the lectern an/or floor audio, as well as the capability for the conference administrator to open or mute floor microphones and for the technical administrator to set the maximum number of open microphones, and control their gain.

For the digitization of this system, I used

  1. an already retired standard university student lab computer
  2. to which I added an old spare ATI All-in-Wonder video card
  3. to which I connected a TEVION home TV switch as a poor man’s (~5£) video splitter into which I fed
  4. the (hitherto unused) DIS audio out balanced stereo, using an RCA adapter, as well as
  5. the ELMO video, using  a coax to RCA adapter (video signal was split into the ATI as well as back into the original SAVILLE Kramer AV switch).

While originally coming with its own digitization software, the ATI All-in-wonder also works well with Windows Media Encoder.

Two wme configuration files were created:

  1. this file on the computer connected to the central rack, then double-click it in order to start Windows Media Encoder, then click the Record button in the top menu – no custom GUI was deemed necessary for this non-student operated recording)  for recording to files that can be played with Windows media player, whether on Windows or on Mac OS X.
  2. (again, simply find this file on the central rack computer, then double-click it) for streaming CCTV live to the back office. An onsite admin office was one of the usual features of a teaching lab which was missing in this installation. CCTV allows to keep an eye on teaching activities in the conference interpreting lab, proactively spot support needs ands absorb feature requirements which instructors tend to have problems articulating (or even seeing the need for articulating). A (lower quality archived stream is created on the side and can be picked up, post-processed and archived at TBA).