Posts Tagged ‘langlabemailer’

How to create screencasts of student presentations for the language learner ePortfolio in the digital audio lab


  1. Students can now easily video-record their own screens during class presentations – not only when using PowerPoint; instead students could demo a website, like their Facebook page.
  2. Last year, we were limited to PowerPoint’s record slideshow with timing and narration feature, and either send the PPSX (small, but requires the PowerPoint viewer) or the “Save as” video (new in PowerPoint 2010; computing intensive and large file size).
  3. Now with MS-Community Clips, screencasts are
    1. minimal effort to create (keyboard shortcut WIN+ALT+R or T; save on desktop; drag/drop into Sanako homework folder)
    2. and little effort to distribute:
      1. Students could have uploaded to a Moodle’ file upload assignment (default file size limit: 64MB) or Kaltura file upload assignment (not sure whether there is a size limit). This seems more suitable for assignments with screencasts recordings.
      2. In this instance
        1. Sanako collected the Homework files to the Sanako share,
        2. my langlabemailer emailed them as attachment (so far tested to allow for 25MB attachment size, the equivalent of 7-8 minute screencast, a hefty space to fill in L2!  We also established: 45MB is too much… Smile)  to the originating student and teacher, for review, grading –
      3. and – provided it passes muster as an attractive and significant piece – possibly for re-use in the student’s language learner ePortfolio.
  4. In addition,
    1. Before the presentations, the teacher easily collaborated on proof-reading the slide decks of individual students, by using the Sanako Remote control screen sharing feature.
    2. During the presentation, students followed more closely – which seemed to increase their attention and comprehension -, thanks to audio and screen being shared to them from the presenter, using the Sanako’s  “Model student” feature.

Sanako Study 1200 version 7 datetime format of file saves has changed

  1. The top items are samples from “before” (ver 5.2, XP), the bottom of “after”(ver 7, Windows 7): image. Somewhere in between (not sure when, we skipped  Sanako Study 1200 version 6 and MS-Windows-Vista), the default file naming of Sanako has changed.
  2. I found out that Sanako version 7 now uses settings from the Windows Regional settings.  This seems to make sense, but likely should have been always the case (it breaks or rather forces me to extend my langlabemailer), and has some disadvantage.
  3. So if you want a different datetime format in the file names that Sanako creates when collecting student assessments and assignments, you need to change it in Windows Regional settings now.

How to test the LangLabEmailer

  1. The LangLabEmailer, when run, displays no GUI. To monitor:
    1. the progress, view the trace-listener.log;
    2. the results, view:
      1. “_sent” filenames in your assessment file store. NOTE: the LangLabEmailer will rename assessment files, by adding “_sent” to the end of the filename (for easy tracking;no deletions). If this is an issue for you, do not run it!
      2. “sent” items folder of mailbox used ( = mailbox of user logged into AD-domain-joined computer). NOTE: The LangLabEmailer will email assessment files from the language lab collection! (That is its primary purpose.) Specifically, it will send 
        1. as you configured: within your campus email system (unless your campus mail administrator allows mail forwarding),
        2. as you configured:  from the campus mail account you have the right to send from (I have the right to send ca. 3000 messages per day; you may want to inquire with your MS-Exchange admin about your limits),
        3. as you configured:  from the student collection file share classroom data (which has special, relaxed FERPA rules),
        4. per its design – which is primarily based on file ownership which itself is based on who logs in on the originating lab computers and the digital audio lab software’s saving rules for pair and group work, but also by making some honest guesses about the intended recipient, based the file name and, as you configured, the list of teachers using your lab (since from experience these also happen to be logged in for students at times) – , primarily to the presumed originator and to her teacher (and in special cases, as a fallback, to whoever you configured as language lab admin).
        5. If this sounds a tad scary: just start with configuring
          1. a few “dry” test runs (no sending, no renaming, just logging what would happen)
          2. then some limited test runs (small time window and dummy files)
          3. and examine the results which the langlabemailer logs for you in either mode, and you will likely find, it is not scary.
          4. Next: Run. Or up:Langlabemailer table of contents.

Status of the language lab and purpose of the LangLabEmailer

2013/06/07 3 comments
  1. Status of the language lab: Modern language labs – digital audio labs with integrated computer classroom management systems, like the Sanako Lab 300 and Study 1200 –
    1. are great tools for driving the use and benefit of computer technology into the face-to-face language teaching classroom,
    2. but for years have been sorely lacking integration with the rest of the digital campus workflow, mostly through the web-based LMS
      1. Sanako once had a Blackboard integration that allowed to bring media files stored in Blackboard to the file, but not upload student assessments into the gradebook.
      2. I once ran a Sanako Lab 100 that acknowledged that need by providing USB thumb drives for students, and a mechanism to load class recorded files to them at the end of class.
      3. Online  components being developed by language lab vendors seem to be lacking the face-to-face teaching component.
      4. Synchronous distance education software (like Adobe Connect, Blackboard Wimba, or Saba Centra) – if not just used like a giant loud speaker in supporting lecture presentations, interspersed with calling up individual students for responses – seems currently best positioned to bring some of the benefits of computer technology to the synchronous teaching arena, but in a different (not applicable to what is still the non-distance norm in language instruction), actually more challenging non-face-to-face setting, and – first and foremost – without special consideration (and tools, like a remote controllable dual track recorder) for language learning.
  2. Purpose of this software:
    1. The LangLabEmailer combines knowledge of
      1. how teaching and learning is done in modern language departments
        1. including common issues in the lab (late students)
        2. needs outside the lab
          1. grading from home
          2. documenting longitudinal language development for eportfolio initiatives
      2. how (some: you can help us!) digital audio labs save assessments,
      3. how AD tracks ownership,
      4. how MS-Exchange can be automated.
    2. in order to
      1. let the language lab classroom activities (summative assessments, but also formative in the widest sense made so easy by digital audio labs) break out of their isolation in the lab and enter the learning workflow,
      2. by automatic immediate (we have set to 16 times daily) distribution of assessment files (recordings and writing)
        1. to teachers
        2. and – without or with added teacher feedback, including aural – to students via campus email ;
      3. in 30000 digital audio lab equipped classrooms in the world 
        1. minus the ones that do not have MS-Exchange infrastructure
        2. plus the ones from other vendors than Sanako – for the above number of classrooms is from SANAKO –, if you share your lab’s configuration back.
  3. Next: Features. Or Langlabemailer (table of contents).

How to troubleshoot and get help with the LangLabEmailer

  1. LangLabEmailer logs its activities automatically.
    1. image
  2. Please consult the log files which you can find
    1. if you search C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Local\Apps\2.0\Data
    2. for the files
      1. trace-rolling.log” (contains activity log messages).
      2. and, should you run into an Exception, “exception-rolling.log”.
    3. Useful information about the LangLabEmailer working with your MS-Exchange configuration is automatically kept in the same folder:  EwsResponseHttpHeaders.txt, AutodiscoverConfiguration.txt, AutodiscoverRequest.txt, AutodiscoverRequestHttpHeaders.txt, AutodiscoverResponse.txt, AutodiscoverResponseHttpHeaders.txt, EwsRequest.txt, EwsRequestHttpHeaders.txt, EwsResponse.txt.
  3. Next: Request features. Or up:Langlabemailer table of contents

What are the features of the LangLabEmailer?

  1. Ver
    1. emails as attachments new (hitherto unsent) audio recording or writing assessment or assignment files from the language lab student collection file share to originating student and teacher
    2. attempts to automatically
      1. skip sending small files created during microphone and similar systems tests
      2. reroute email address for files of late students that have been collected under teacher login (simple delimited list, manually editable), but renamed to valid address
      3. reroute files that have been sent under position number rather than student names (including at least to one student of a student pair or group recording)
      4. puts meaningful course name in the  email subject to  easily integrate with email workflow that teachers and students will already be familiar with
    3. provides options to
      1. exclude files from sending
        1. language lab manager: using file name patterns and extensions
        2. teacher:
          1. by marking individual files  as _sent or, preferably, put them in the subfolder
          2. not sending or delay sending until after grading (with inserting feedback, written or voice-insert recorded aural feedback)
          3. send to students only
    4. and more…
  2. Not implemented yet:
    1. Full Support for Sanako ver 6 save files under “last name, first name”
    2. Send to teacher only
    3. Support of Exchange Online.

Which prerequisites you need for the LangLabEmailer

  1. MS-Exchange (2007 and up) email-server (on-premise; sorry, no Exchange online yet) with Active Directory;
  2. A login to an on-campus domain-joined office PC (tested on Windows 7);
  3. MS-.Net 4.5 (how to find out which);
  4. Preferably a digital audio lab file saving scheme that uses the username (more robust and flexible than always going via file ownership).
  5. Next: Download. Or Langlabemailer (table of contents).

Protected: How to run the LangLabEmailer

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