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Posts Tagged ‘automation’

How to ease editing work in MS-Word by automating search/replace operations

  1. If you frequently have to edit documents according to a large number of editorial rules and regulations
  2. and if you can partially automate these edit operations  (or at least highlight suspicious passages for human review) with Word’s search/replace,
  3. I can recommend an add-in that can automate even the repeated search/replace operations (like the 57 in the video below)
  4. and even help you manage your search/replace strings and regular expressions in a spreadsheet which it can load from:
  5. Greg Maxey’s VBA Find & Replace Word Add-in. See it in action (click for full size):
  6. vbareplace
  7. Two Three Caveats: :
    1. At this point, I cannot get the add-in to work only in Word 2010. Even if I lower Macro security and allow programmatic access to the VBA project, when trying to launch the add-in from the ribbon, Word 2013 complains: “The macro cannot be found or has been disabled due to your macro security settings”:image.
    2. The automation is only as good as your underlying search/replace operations. (Hint: “Some people, when confronted with a problem, think ‘I know, I’ll use regular expressions.’ Now they have two problems.”)
    3. I think I will refrain from search/replace during “Tracking changes” – as in the video – , and rather use “Compare documents” after the replace operations – too many quirks otherwise…

Introducing the LangLabEmailer

  1. The LangLabEmailer helps integrating the digital audio lab (still widely operating based on files and network shares)  into the departmental language teaching and learning process by automatically forwarding  (audio, text) assessments and assignments collected in the digital audio lab to teachers and students via campus mail (using MS-Exchange automation).
    1. Easy on the Language Lab Manager who can "set up and forget": 1000s of assessment files will reach their originating students and teachers in near real time without you lifting a finger.
    2. To earn "extra credit", show your teachers how they can override the default LangLabEmailer behavior by adding “_noemailing” or “_nostudentemailing” to the folder name when saving their digital audio lab collections.
  2. Status of the language lab and purpose of the software
  3. Features
  4. Prerequisites
  5. Downloading
  6. Installing
  7. Configuring (and sharing back)
  8. Running or scheduling
  9. End User options
  10. Troubleshooting
  11. Requesting features
  12. Getting Updates
  13. Uninstalling
  14. Samples & questions at my IALLT 2013 session.

Protected: How you can automate giving your teachers access to your Sanako language lab in the offices and from home

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How to batch download all submissions as a zip file from a Moodle: Gradebook File-upload assignment column.

  1. I have no file upload assignment with submissions handy in my own Moodle course, so I am patching this together from other universities (thanks, umass.edu, cotc.edu).
  2. “ Another time saver you can use is the Download all assignments as a zip link.  This will package all uploaded documents from any submissions in the assignment into
    a zipped folder that you can download. Once downloaded, you can unzip the file and  access each paper. This can be a real time saver!”. Image:
  3. Extra: This procedure will add the student’s name to the file. No more wading through submitted audio files named by students trying to identify submitters.

Automating language learning listening material creation with Google Translate text-to-speech: The technology

  1. A digital audio lab heavily depends on the availability of, but does not usually come with digital learning materials (and recent exceptions are exceptions for a reason)  Some digital audio materials that come with your textbook may be adaptable. “Rolling your own” has all kinds of advantages (allows for personalization, for both teachers to express themselves, and for students to learn), but can be a chore.
  2. Can the LRC find a workaround?  Here is one attempt: making Google translate (too often abused by students in its original interface) text-to-speech (unusable for learning material in its original interface since severely crippled) usable for digital audio learning material production, provided you have a source text in the target language. image
  3. GoogleTTS can serve as the gateway to better suiting Google Translate text-to-speech features to the needs of the LRC:
    1. imageGoogleTTS allows for arbitrary-length input text (it chunks it automatically).
    2. GoogleTTS produces intermediate local audio files which we can postprocess.
    3. Google Translate’s automatic language recognition remains a sore point: it is not reliable. Unlike Google Translate, GoogleTTS has no interface to set the language manually when the automatic recognition fails.
  4. Batch-download the files from Google Translate, using MS-PowerShell: <
    $global:folder = 'G:\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5'
    $filter = '*.mp3' # &lt;-- set this according to your requirements
    $global:destination = 'G:\conf\programs\GoogleTTS\mp3'
    $global:path
    $global:path1
    $currenttimeFunction MonitorAndMoveFile{
    $fsw = New-Object IO.FileSystemWatcher $folder, $filter -Property @{
    IncludeSubdirectories = $true # ja, brauch ich für googletts i&lt;-- set this according to your requirements
    NotifyFilter = [IO.NotifyFilters]'FileName, LastWrite'
    }
    $onCreated = Register-ObjectEvent $fsw Created -SourceIdentifier FileCreated -Action { # the even monitored is file created - to force recreation of files by googletts, you may have to clear watched folder of all mp3 &lt; 100kb first
    $global:path = $Event.SourceEventArgs.FullPath
    Write-Host $global:path -ForegroundColor Magenta # this works also
    $name = $Event.SourceEventArgs.Name
    $changeType = $Event.SourceEventArgs.ChangeType
    start-sleep -Seconds 2 # The OnCreated event is raised as soon as a file is created.
    if ($global:path -ne $global:path1) # it is a createdevent on a different file from last time - just in caseon oncreated not firing clear cut, but it seems to
    {
    $currenttime = Get-Date -Format yyyy-MM-dd-hhmmss
    Write-Host "attempt copy $global:path1 to $cuurrenttime" # try copying the past file
    # Copy-Item -Path $global:path1 -Destination "G:\conf\programs\GoogleTTS\mp3\$currenttime.mp3" -Force # that worked with the last generated file, wait: the last one is the one that remaisn behind, earlier ones get overwritten
    Copy-Item -LiteralPath $global:path1 -Destination "G:\conf\programs\GoogleTTS\mp3\$currenttime.mp3" -Force # that worked with the last generated file, wait: the last one is the one that remaisn behind, earlier ones get overwritten
    # use parameter -literalPath because files in the temp folder have usually [ and ] inside the name which acts as wildcards characters
    $global:path1 = $global:path
    }}
    while (1) {
    sleep -Milliseconds 100
    write-host $global:path # this works
    }}
    MonitorAndMoveFile
    #Unregister-Event -SourceIdentifier FileCreated
    
    
  5. Merge the downloaded files (wisely numbered sequentially):
  6. image
  7. Fix minor errors in your audio editor:
  8. image
  9. Done:
    1. Here I have a lot of questions for a speaking exam in ESL, and with a much better accent than my own.
    2. Nifty, plus output sounds even better for German than for English. Note, there is no attempt to parse sentences semantically. Some languages chunk better than others (I made some little improvements in this regard to the original program). Other common problems include numbers and in German I find myself, when listening, tending to look up once in a while and shake a high school students by the shoulders, asking him: “Do you actually understand what you are reading?!” Smile– which in my eyes is an indicator to the progress made in speech-synthesis.
    3. Other examples include French,
    4. Hindi,
    5. Italian,
    6. Spanish.
  10. So can the LRC relieve teachers from recording their cue files for the digital audio lab listening comprehension and exam? Within limitiations.

How to batch watermark your images for free with Irfanview

batch-watermarking

– just to be a bit more concise than this useful, but long post on yet another great feature of this free program (shout-out to Kai). Not shown here: after making your settings here, click button “Start batch”.

Automatically download all documents/files/images linked from a web page

2011/01/24 2 comments

You can easily do this in FireFox with a free extension from Braunschweig (Germany): DownThemAll:

  1. Right-click on your page with the media you want.
  2. Make your choices:
  3. sdownthemall
  4. Lean back (or do something else!):
  5. downthemall1
  6. A chime will alert you when your downloads are ready for consumption. Enjoy!
  7. downthemall2