Reflections on EVO (2009 and later)

My first professional blog

Archive for February, 2010

Working with sound

Posted by Mariel Amez on February 9, 2010

 Week 5 for Digital Material Preparation for TESOL is about Producing audio for ESL materials, and  we were introduced to Aviary as a sound editor. This site purports to be also and Image, Vector and Effects editor, but I have not tried those functions. The goals of the week are

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • locate and use an online tool-Myna to create a single track recording
  • use Myna to add additional tracks then “mixdown” tracks for publishing
  • use Myna to create alternate modes of audio distribution
  • post an audio poem to a Moodle forum

I chose the sonnet  “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”
by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) and made a recording on Aviary. The first attempt was not loud enough, so I re-recorded it.

Then I had the idea of adding some background music, so I started looking for some tune licensed under Creative Commons, and I found Michael David Crawford’s page, downloaded a beautiful song called Emergence, but failed to integrate it with my recording in a way that would make the result public. So I double-checked, and found that Aviary itself offers a long list of recordings, available in mini-files for better arrangement to fit a predetermined length.

I was successful, as you can see in How do I love thee, but – of course! – the embedding uses Flash and won’t embed in WP. The link takes you to the page where all the elements used are outlined.

I decided to accompany the recording with a Flickr Creative Commons photo, inserted below.

Uploaded to Flickr on November 6, 2008 by mikebaird

Before finishing, I fortunately remembered good old Posterous. I downloaded the mp3 Aviary file, attached it to an email. pasted the poem, inserted the photo and … magic! It worked.  You can play my recording with background music while you follow the words in this post.

I believe this activity can work very well in my Literature classes. In fact, I invited students to create a poetry anthology last year, including images, so they could complement this with background music in a post.


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Working with sound: Podomatic

Posted by Mariel Amez on February 9, 2010

While trying unsuccessfully to upload an audio file in another post, I remembered last year I had managed to do so in My E-Portfolio: 3- Plans and Goals, so I checked, and discovered  I had only included a link to Podomatic. Looking for an embed code for WordPress, which was not available, I created this post directly. I then added this introductory paragraph from the WP dashboard.

The recording below was made about a year ago, at the end of Multiliteracies 2009.

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Working with photos

Posted by Mariel Amez on February 6, 2010

I’ve been silent for a while because I was away on holiday. I travelled to Colombia: Cartagena de Indias and the island of San Andres.

I have owned a digital camera for about a year, and never really sat down to work out what to do with the photos. As part of EVO 2010 I decided to learn a little while reminiscing about the wonderful days spent in these dreamlike locations.

First of all, with Windows Live Photo Gallery (which I discovered was installed on my netbook) I set out to enhance the pictures: I removed shadows, added sharpness, cropped some “unwanted participants” out of the photos.  I used Corel Photo-Paint (also lying dormant on my hard disk) to blur the faces of every person appearing in crowd scenes.   Then I tagged, named and rated the hundred photos I had taken, and  found out that WLPG would directly export pictures  to my Flickr account, where I created two albums, one for each location, with a selection of the higher rated photos.

I had used Flickr before, but resented the impossibility to embed in WordPress blogs (only linking is allowed). Looking at Michael‘s  “Journey of Light” blog, I had the idea of inserting a thumbnail together with the link, which would improve the effect.


See Cartagena slideshow.




See San Andres slideshow.


After that, I turned to Slide to go on experimenting. It turns out it’s much easier to “borrow” pictures from Flickr than to upload them again, which is possible as long as they have been marked as “Public”. I created a Funpix (click to see it), using as many tools as possible (Glitter Text, Effects, Skins, Themes).

Slide seems quite similar to Picnik Flickr‘s default individual photo editor. The main difference seems to be that, unlike Slide, Picnik does not require an account and  allows you to download  your creation. I had tried other editors for DMPT, as I recorded here.  

Finally, I created this “fun” slideshow complete with music and all (skins, themes, effects) on Slide, which does provide a WordPress code – provided you are working in English, but not if your language is Spanish.

I really need to start catching up with the sessions, but I feel I have learnt quite a lot through these picture selections.

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