Archive for the ‘announcements’ Category

Protected: LRC old software inventory

2014/03/07 Enter your password to view comments.

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Protected: LRC old media inventory for spring cleaning

2014/03/07 Enter your password to view comments.

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How LRC assistants now help maintain LRC functionality with routine checks

Oral assessments have begun this week in the LRC. Please note that when using the LRC you may see LRC assistants going through the rooms doing a variety of chores (if need be, we can remind them that they must not disturb classes and other user activities).


We have written a large number of procedural guides, check lists with spreadsheets and illustrated parts lists (linked below)  to train 7 groups of experts (varying in size between 2-6) in how to regularly inventory, test and maintain functionality of LRC equipment and services:


1.       Daily LRC walkthrough check

2.       Weekly headset test

3.       Weekly film equipment check

4.       Weekly staff and equipment calendar check

5.       Biweekly faculty equipment check

6.       Film collection maintenance (work in progress)

7.       Help desk supervising


Samples of issues that we hope to address this way:

a.       You check out a headset for recording learning materials over the last weekend before classes start and do not want to find it  broken.

b.      Your students come to the LRC for a quiz assignment/distance education  and in the middle of it find the headset does not play audio while the timer/class is running.

c.       You hold a recording class in the LRC and do not want to spend the first several more minutes – after the computers logged in – troubleshooting individual headsets that do not play or record.

d.      Your students, when setting up film equipment for  a film project (with location, actors/interviewees scheduled) have to find that the lights cannot stand essential since screws are missing.

e.      Films cannot be located.

f.        Etc.


I hope you will find experiencing fewer such issues a simplification in your interactions with the LRC .


How LRC assistants help maintain the film collection

‎Tuesday, ‎January ‎21, ‎2014, ‏‎10:14:54 PM | plagwitz

Protected: How LRC assistants help with LRC room and resource mailboxes

‎Tuesday, ‎January ‎21, ‎2014, ‏‎11:17:00 PM | plagwitz

New supervisor role for senior LRC Assistants

‎Monday, ‎January ‎13, ‎2014, ‏‎7:09:36 PM | plagwitz

Daily LRC walkthrough

‎Friday, ‎January ‎10, ‎2014, ‏‎10:45:32 PM | plagwitz

LRC headset tests

‎Friday, ‎January ‎10, ‎2014, ‏‎8:52:51 PM | plagwitz

LRC headset test on PCs

‎Thursday, ‎January ‎02, ‎2014, ‏‎9:34:08 PM | plagwitz

LRC headset test on iMacs

‎Thursday, ‎January ‎02, ‎2014, ‏‎9:00:44 PM | plagwitz

LRC daily walkthrough for all computers

‎Thursday, ‎January ‎02, ‎2014, ‏‎9:38:44 PM | plagwitz

LRC daily walkthrough for classroom PCs

‎Thursday, ‎January ‎02, ‎2014, ‏‎9:34:03 PM | plagwitz

LRC daily walkthrough for iMacs and printer

‎Thursday, ‎January ‎02, ‎2014, ‏‎9:31:03 PM | plagwitz

LRC daily walkthrough for listening and group room stations

‎Thursday, ‎January ‎02, ‎2014, ‏‎9:30:24 PM | plagwitz

Protected: A checklist for our regular equipment inventories

Checklist for the LRCCamera15

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎11:43:29 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for the LRC Camera16

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎11:32:25 PM | plagwitz

Checklist LRC Tripod13 small

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎11:19:13 PM | plagwitz

Checklist LRC Tripod14 middle

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎11:15:42 PM | plagwitz

Checklist LRC Tripod15 large

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎11:14:29 PM | plagwitz

Checklist transcription foot pedal

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:58:52 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for Voice recorder 03

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:54:45 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for Voice recorder 01-02

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:43:35 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for light kit (08-11)

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎10:15:00 PM | plagwitz

Functionality tests for LRC microphones

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎7:05:13 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for Vixia cameras (11-14)

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎6:59:00 PM | plagwitz

LRC Wireless microphone basics

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎5:59:04 PM | plagwitz

Checklist shotgun microphones

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎5:25:24 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for light tripod (05-12)

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎4:27:07 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for lavaliere microphones (01-03)

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎3:29:47 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for heavy tripods (01-04)

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎3:26:20 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for lights (01-07)

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎2:24:28 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for Rebel cameras (17/18/19/20)

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎12:46:44 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for microphone booms

‎Monday, ‎December ‎23, ‎2013, ‏‎12:34:00 PM | plagwitz

Checklist for light-kits

‎Wednesday, ‎December ‎11, ‎2013, ‏‎3:02:51 PM | plagwitz

Faculty Workshop Fall 2013: Creating Mahara language learner portfolio pieces in the digital audio lab

    1. Thanks to all who came out to this workshop.
      1. You have already been emailed your portfolio pieces, like your students will be, by the LangLabEmailer.
      2. Converting your recordings to a file for Question/Response exams will take a little longer, let me know if/when you would like to use it.
    2. In addition, here are the workshop files:
      1. my slide handout as PDF with clickable links (includes “Can do”- Statements aligned with the Common European Reference Framework for language proficiency levels, which can help operationalizing your ePortfolio strategy)
      2. my slide deck embedded:
      3. my slide deck as a downloadable PowerPoint show: you can click through the animations at your own speed, view the animated GIFs, and listen (or jump over!) to my full presentation narration (both as of yet not supported in PowerPoint Web App)
      4. a screencast of the back stage view (Sanako tutor mostly), full HD resolution (big, but streaming), with complete uninterrupted (and unedited! please fast forward manually through the hands-on parts) audio . To facilitate your navigation, here is a table of contents :
        1. 0:00: Table of contents
        2. 2:30: Portfolio Pedagogy
        3. 13:47: Technical infrastructure: Moodle Mahara portfolio, Sanako, LangLabEmailer
          1. 17:47: Q&A
        4. 19:45: Option 1: presentation as screencast, examples from 1st-year Russian
        5. 34:50: Option 2: Free-form conversation audio, Examples from 2nd-year English  and 2nd-year Japanese
          1. 52:00: Q&A: Why a LangLabEmailer?
        6. 53:00: Option 3: question-response audio, examples from 4th-year Spanish.

LRC hosts help desk for students to register on their McGraw-Hill Connect online textbook website

This special Help desk will be sign-posted in the LRC on the day of the events. For now, consult the calendar of the iMacsand Group Room1, 2 (see is the documentation:

LRC Fall 2013 announcements

  1. The LRC has upgraded to Windows 7 and Office 2010.
    1. Benefits:
      1. Your students can use the computer interface from the default English to  about 20 languages, including non-Western.
      2. Your students can also use speech recognition (in English, French, German, Japanese, Mandarin, and Spanish), e.g. for dictation exercises (Example videos:  very bad French, decent German). Students can train the computers to their voice and take their training data with them.  I’d love to explore with you possibilities for pronunciation practice with automated intelligent feedback .
      3. Your students can use old and new MS-Office Proofing tools.
    1. Caveat:  W are still trying to restore some former functionality (e.g. no Google Arabic, Farsi and Russian IME etc.). Please bear with us while we deal with the new college tech infrastructure. 
  1. The LRC has upgraded its Sanako digital audio lab software.
    1. Because of budgetary constraints, our software agreement had to end  with version 5 . This summer, the vendor presented us with a free upgrade to version 7, with compliments for my blog posts about using the Sanako.
    2. Benefits:  We decided to implement the upgrade lest you and your students need relearn in the middle of the academic year and since Version 7 adds valuable language learning :  which I would love to explore with you: Vocabulary exercises  and Pronunciation exercises which  make use of the computerized text-to-speech capabilities we just implemented with windows 7
    3. Caveats:
      1. We are still trying to restore the old Sanako configuration. E.g. Pairing recording is not working currently.
      2. I hope to upgrade my LanglabEmailer software to support the new version after the term is underway.
  1. For students attending distance classes with Saba Centra in the LRC, microphone audio on listening stations fixed, no more 30 minute delay  when joining class.
  1. UNCC is upgrading to Moodle 2. The CTL is investigating how the LRC Metacourses for audio materials I created can be converted to Moodle 2. If you need the audio materials from the metacourses,  we can help you upload them into your individual courses temporarily. 
  1. Classroom AV: We found a temporary workaround for the projector image quality and are investigating permanent solutions. Currently no VHS video and doc cam display during classes  (we would love to  scan your text anyway and distribute them digitally).
  2. LRC Calendars and Booking:
    1. In the LRC Room and Equipment List, your will notice some new film studies equipment (calendars requested from ITS).
    2. We added new calendars to the Quicklinks on LRC home pageTutors and LRC assistants. Please keep checking how we fill these open positions over the next few weeks, and use the help they can offer you.
    3. When booking, you can
      1. get help at the LRC reception desk;
      2. book yourself  from anywhere,
      3. or have your “delegate” book (planned; setup requested from ITS).
  1. I will continue next week with the biweekly Sanako Clinic to aid teachers with their LRC class preparation. Please consult the LRC calendar if you want to drop in, or reschedule one with me for your needs.
  2. I am also offering LRC introductions for your class during the week 2 and 3 on a “first-come, first-served” basis, and à la carte (I suggest consulting a one-sheet menu with an overview  of LRC facilities that I am  preparing.) Please let me know if you are interested.

LRC offers generating audio files from your foreign language texts

2013/03/01 2 comments
  1. Would you like to expose your student to L2 listening materials beyond the audio learning materials that come with your textbook?
    1. Materials customized to the learning needs of your classes? From current affairs maybe?
    2. Would you prefer no to send them to  internet audio that may be difficult and time consuming to integrate?
    3. Do you lack the time to record speaking cues, oral exam questions or reading models yourself?
    4. Do you need audio files that you and your students can rewind/fast forward/replay, edit and record into with voice insert?
    5. And would you prefer using audio in your classes that comes with aligned text, whether that audio that has been transcribed or vice versa, to create glossaries,  captions,  multimedia assignments?
  2. The LRC now offers generating audio files from your foreign language texts in many languages.
    1. The service is based on the quality voices of Google Translate text-to-speech (better (simpler) than its actual translation portion, let alone its naïve use).
    2. Unlike Google translate, the service persists longer than 100 character texts to audio files (mp3) that (and the underlying digital text) we can work with further, in your syllabus, the LMS and the digital audio lab.
    3. Technical background and samples.
    4. Languages that are available in good quality: See links under this post;  other languages: please test with me..
  3. To request an audio file generation for your class, send the following information to the LRC
    1. regular reading/listening materials: plain digital text should do;
    2. SANAKO oral exam cues: please enter the text in this MS-Word table and add information in the additional columns for exam customization.

Looking forward to the Digital Humanities Unconference at UNC Charlotte

  1. Why I come to THATCamp Piedmont:
    1. I am looking for practitioners of NLP in a language and literature teaching context since I am working on Using NLP tools to automate production and correction of interactive learning material  (presented at Calico 2012)
    2. for the Learning Exercise Creation Engines (presented at EUROCALL 2007) I developed.
  2. A little about myself:
    1. My Ph.D. thesis expanded the close reading of textual variants in the German editorial schools of Hans Zäch and the use of the computer-generated textual concordances in the interpretation and selection of textual variants into a corpus linguistic-inspired approach, that traced Leitmotifs in the work  (partially first digitized by myself) of the foremost Swiss-German classic as a digital corpus using Regular Expressions programming.
    2. I have since applied my corpus linguistic approach to
      1. the use of machine translation software
      2. the automation of learning material creation  (glossing, question generation, differentiation) on the basis of natural language processing of textual  (film subtitles, news) corpora.