Monday, August 14, 2006

PowerPoint Presentation Problems

They're fixed but it has been an interesting day.
  • The hearing aid powerpoint in the web page did not have pictures. I had to resave it and now it has them. I don't know why it didn't work the first time.
  • It turns out that people without the new beta version of powerpoint can't view the powerpoint shows, so I had to resave the ones in the download file in to the older version.
  • After I did that I put the new zip file online but for some reason it would not replace the old one so everyone was still getting the old version when they downloaded it. I finally removed it completely from the old file and changed the name. Now they can get the usable version.
I'm not sure why any of these things happened but I am hoping that everything works right now. I do hate posting new stuff online becasue so much can go wrong and you don't know it until someone on another computer finds it and lets you know about it.

I also changed the color for unvisited links on the page with the downloads. I took the code from the graphics file and it turned out that all links were set for the same color as the font. Now they are a purplish/blue and are more noticeable.

PESDHH PowerPoint Presentation Posted

I got everything posted from my presentation. Hopefully it's not too cutesy-I don't have graphic arts experience so I borrowed from someone else. Thanks Grace.

Here's the link.

Kool Kids Sign is really spreading out. Someday I will have to get back to the main site and link all the subdomains into it.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

New Blog Look

I got tired of my background-it was too pink/purple so I went searching to see if I could find something I like better. I saw several things I liked but this one from Point of Focus was the only one that was clear on what to keep and what to throw away. And I love butterflies.

I'm not sure about the colors of the fonts as far as visibility goes, but I wasn't in the mood to fool around with it any more. I need to finish getting the PowerPoints posted from my PESDHH presentation.

Just pulled the blog up in Firefox and the right side bar shows up way down the side instead of where you can see it easily. I will have to play around with that later.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Next Year's PESDHH

My mind is working overtime thinking about next year. I think digital video is the way to go. The topic came up this year in one of the workshops so I think this will be where to go. I will need more time though. Last night's meeting talked about having something in the morning for the people that are here for Low Incidence workshops which have nothing on Wednesday. The 9-12 slot would be good-still not as much time as I would like but it would be a start. Of course that would mean we would not have a drop in tech lab with software reviews. Or at least not run by me.

I also need to check on computers to see how much memory they have and if they can do firewire.

Also need someone to help me who can do this stuff...

I still think Pattan itself should offer this-it could be a whole day training.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

PowerPoint Games Training/PESDHH

I finished my first training. Only 6 or 7 people came-there wasn't really a description of the different workshops for the day so no one really knew what to expect. That was enough people for just me to manage.

What went wrong? What didn't go wrong!

First my computer wouldn't work with the LCD projector so I turned my screen and showed the sample games that way since it was such a small group.

Tech was able to get a different computer working with the projector by the time I was finished with the demo part so I switched to that one to teach making a PowerPoint game.

I was using a different version of PowerPoint on the new computer so things were different than I was used to but they were similar enough that I was able to work with them.

I had put two graphics on all the machines I thought, but I was wrong so I had to quickly put them on two different computers for the people using them.

When we went to insert clip art the computers we had borrowed did not have any clip art on them and the internet connections was not working so we couldn't get them from microsoft-I explained how to do that normally and I showed them how to add sound although mine did not work right.

What else went wrong? NOT ENOUGH TIME which I knew probably would happen but the directions were very exact so they should be able to follow them on their own.

All things considered it wasn't bad. The people were very interested and asked questions especially as we ran out of time so I gave quick examples of the unfinished steps.

Amazingly enough I was not at all nervous unlike last year when I did the Quizdom training for Rosemary, Julie and Bill during my internship. I thought I would feel nervous but I didn't. I was more nervous facilitating for the next session than doing mine.

One woman said she wished I could come do a training where she is (on the other side of the state from me) because even though there are people who could do it they are (not my words) mostly men and they don't break it down enough for someone who is not real skilled at a computer. I take that as a compliment that my directions and handouts were that helpful. :)

I think next year I will do something again but this time I will ask for a double session for whatever I decide to do. I'm thinking maybe something with video (I might be able to get cameras from the same place as I got the computers-got a whole year to plan but this time I will have to write a call for papers since I won't be on the planning committee for it.

Our drop in tech lab was also helpful. I had different software installed on the computers and people were able to play with them to see what they were like. They liked many of the different ones that I had.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

PowerPoint Games Presentation and One Note 2007 Beta

Well, I'm going to do it. I am scheduled to do a 90 minute training/presentation at the Pennsylvania Educators of Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing Convocation at State College, PA on August 2.

I am going to show different games that have been made and then show them how to make a game.

I downloaded Microsoft Office 2007 beta and One Note 2007 beta to see what they are like. They do not save files in the traditional format anymore and the beta will become unusable in February when the final version releases so everything will have to be specially saved to use with old versions or buy the new version.

Anyway the point of that was that One Note 2007 beta has made making handouts real easy. Instead of having to do a Print Screen and then put it into a graphics program and then crop the picture to the part of the screen I want, you can start One Note and then click the Windows key and the S key and then just highlight the part of the screen that you want to copy and paste it into the program you want to use it in.

ABC Game Auditory Finished

Long time no post.

I finally had time to work on the auditory version of the ABC game. I only have one version so far using a female voice. I had trouble remembering what I was doing with flash it had been so long. I had to search through the old games to figure out how to unload a movie.

I want to put the ABC song in the preloader but so far I haven't found a royalty free version. I'm not even sure that the song would be available royalty free. From what wikipedia says I think it may be copyright free-it was copyrighted in the late 1800s which seems to put it in public domain.

Anyway here is my latest game.

If you find anything wrong drop me a note here. I'm going to try it out a few times from different locations before I list in on the website.

Friday, January 06, 2006

ABC Game

The capital letter version of the game is finished!

I recorded a male voice for the auditory version yesterday which I will edit and put into the game today. I have made arrangements to record a child's voice and hopefully for the preloader with the ABCs I will be able to add the ABC song which the child will also record. I looked online for a free sound file of it but much to my amazement there is porn attached to that search topic.:(

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

I saw something today that reminded me of the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? It's very popular in kindergarten and 1st grades. They usually read the book and then make a class book following the same format.

I thought of a two ways to do that using sign language, both using technology.

Idea 1-Using a digital camera photograph each child full body. Remove the background from around the child on the computer and make a picture with two children. Photograph the first child signing "I see (child's name) following me" and put that on the bottom of the page. On the next page add a third child to the line of children and have the second child sign the sentence.

Idea 2-Using a digital camera photograph each child full body. Remove the background from around the child on the computer and make a picture with two children on a powerpoint slide. Videotape the first child signing "I see (child's name) following me" and put that on the bottom of the page. On the next page add a third child to the line of children and have the second child sign the sentence. Here's a rough idea of what I mean. I just did it real fast in flash to get the idea since Powerpoint doesn't post video online.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Kool Kids Sign and ABC Game

Bad news. I finished reading the grant information and Kool Kids Sign does not qualify for a grant. Maybe some day I will find a grant.

I worked on the ABC game again today. I made a capital letter version and a matching capital and lowercase version. I ran into a problem with some of the capital letters being too big. I need to go back through and adjust the background to accomodate that. I tried just changing the size of the font but it doesn't look right. Maybe by tomorrow night I will be done and can post it to the Kool Kids Sign website. Then I will burn a cd for Ruth who took time to let me videotape her for the game. I will also send Rosemary the final version too. And finally one of the preschool teachers asked for a capital letter version so I need to make her one too.

Oh I forgot. I wanted to make an aural version for the hard of hearing and cochlear implant kids. I still need to do that too. I guess I will hold off on the cd's for now. I had talked to our Auditory Verbal teacher about that version. I think I want to make a female, male and child version of the words and letters. I need to make a list of what I want to record and then find people to do them. Maybe I will use my daughter for the female version.

BTW Saturday I take the Praxis reading, writing and math test to prove to the state that I can do those things so I can get my certification for instructional technology. I'll know there if I pass the reading and math but I will have to wait for the writing score. I'm a little worried about the writing part. I am not a strong writer and looking at many of the sample questions I would not know what to write.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Kool Kids Sign

Kool Kids Sign in a concept I came up with a couple years ago while interpreting for a deaf middle school student. My idea was a combination of a daily video segment and a website. The daily video segment would be only a few minutes long and would teach sign language over the school's closed circuit tv during homeroom. Along with that I thought a website would be a good idea to reinforce the daily lessons. If the schools did not have a closed circuit tv system then the tape could be shown in individual classrooms.

Well the student I was working with and a friend of hers filmed a couple weeks of video to show in school but the website never really got started. I found that I can draw some what but I am so slow that the pictures that I drew never were posted. Then I found out about Sign Smith Studio. It's an authoring program using sign language and avatars that would allow me to post the words I wanted online and moving (my drawings were not animated.) Unfortunately Sign Smith Studio is expensive, as are all authoring programs, and I could never afford it.

I may have finally found a possible way to get it. I found out about a grant that I may be able to qualify for that might work. I had thought about grants before but none would really work. The only thing is that I don't know if I would be able to sell the videos or not-which would be the ideal way to spread the program to different schools.

I came up with this idea because so many deaf students are mainstreamed with interpreters these days. As they get older they really don't want an adult around all of the time and to be perfectly honest there are somethings I really didn't want to know. By creating a way for the hearing students to learn sign language the interpreters may be able to step back. The ideal, of course, would be for the deaf student to teach their friends but many are too shy to do so. A lot of times the hearing kids will learn the alphabet and that is all. Also only the immediate friends tend to learn any sign. With this program the whole school would be able to learn signs.

The program starts off with the alphabet, then goes on to teach common phrases or requests-such as do you have paper, pencil etc. It does not concentrate on American Sign Language per se but more on functional vocabulary.

I will post my write up for the grant online as I try to refine it for the final version.