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  1. 1. Article Summary Assignment O’Rhonda Ingram Spring 2009 FRIT 8532 Dr. Kenneth Clark
  2. 2. O’Rhonda Ingram Article AssignmentArticle Summary #1 Integrating text-to-speech software into pedagogically sound teaching and learning scenariosRughooputh, S. D. D. V., & Santally, M. I. (2009). Integrating text-to-speech software into pedagogicallysound teaching and learning scenarios. Educational Tech Research Dev., 57:131-145.doi:10.1007/s11423-008-9101-xTo break away from the traditional and limited educational approaches, a text-to-speech software isintroduced. The text-to-speech software is a new technique to deliver class instruction. It is believed thatit will transform the teaching and learning of on-campus, blended or online modules. This software ismore than reading aloud typed text. A real face-to-face lecture with the same tonality and different verbalcues of the lecturer will be simulated. The text-to-speech software (TTS) is embedded in the lecture slidesthat are going to replicate the lecture’s delivery. Music, videos and animation can also be incorporated.The TTS is based on a speech synthesis software that is used to generate a read aloud version of typedtext from a variety of document types such as emails, e-books, documents, and web pages. Multiplefunctions, such as sound file generation, speed and volume adjustment, multiple types of voices in anumber of languages, pauses, swapping of voices at different slides and a pronunciation editor, will beincorporated. There is no need to purchase a particular software from a particular company. AnyPowerPoint presentation, TTS, and presentation to video converter software can be used. The outcomewill be the same.Education policy makers and researchers have been questioning the roles of traditional universities andmethods of teaching in the 21st century. Debates have come up about quality assurance in theinstructional delivery of the lectures. In face-to-face lectures, the lecturer is seen as the person who knowsall about that particular subject. Students feel they have to attend the lecture to master the content. Atape recording will not suffice. Since lecturers most likely teach the same again, they will use the samematerials. They can improvise when needed.An instructional design model is a set of stages and tasks that need to be carried out by a designer ifeffective instruction is to be delivered. Instructional design has played important roles in distant learning.Even though independence and autonomy is promoted during distant learning, some want to recreate thefamiliar connection of the student and the teacher. Also, distant learners want to utilize newcommunication methods and delivery media. An advantage of delivery based-educational material is thatthe same content can be delivered to a number of students and can be accessed almost anywhere.In the first step, the lecturer must define his content. Next, with the help of instructional designers, thelecturer must write down his well planned lecture or speech. The next step consists of the use of the TTSsoftware to generate the complete lectures prepared in sound format. The course designer has thepossibility to play and replay the sound any number of times until satisfied. Pauses can be inserted toprevent the lecture from becoming a recital of text. If words are mispronounced by the TTS searchengine, the software has a pronunciation editor. It contextualizes the systems way of speaking the words.An advanced function gives precise control over how the words are pronounced by the search engines.Once the sound file is incorporated in the presentation, an optional next step is converting the PPT tovideo. This step can be accomplished by any computer user with basic skills. Depending on theprocessing capabilities of the computer used and the desired screen resolution, the process may be timely.
  3. 3. Benefits of this method include: the ability to replay any slide at any time, the use of MP3/MP4 formatssuitable for student mobility, lecture prepared without having expensive equipment, cater to learners withdifferent styles as well as those with auditory and visual disabilities, and teaching can be carried outexactly as the lecturer wants. Instructors may find that they are spending a lot of time at the initialinstructional design and development stage. Once at the delivery stage, instructors will find themselveswith more time for research and tutorial time for the students. To ensure that the instructors are usingthis time for student support, quality assurance mechanisms are put in place.Critique #1Skimming the title and the article, I assumed the text-to-speech software was simply a read aloudsoftware. I determined the software has more capabilities than a read aloud. As educators, we understandthat students learn differently. The software is beneficial in that it help all types of learners achieve.Also, with most individuals experiencing some financial strains, the TTS can be used without purchasingexpensive equipment. The TTS does not compromise the educational environment, on the contrary itprovide a better education for some. It encourages new ways for students to interact amongst themselvesfor group work and independent work.The article was extremely informative. At times, too informative. The details about the make-up of theUniversity helped the reader understand how the methodology fit into their curriculum. When furtherresearch is developed and policies are put in place, the text-to-speech software will be beneficial to allcolleges. High schools could even put the software to use.I do not see any problems with the software. At the beginning, until the instructors learn the software, theprocess will be time consuming. The software has components to reach all learners, even those withdisabilities. Students that are unable to purchase expensive equipment do not need to worry. Distantlearners are able to use MP3 or MP4 players or any other mobile device to listen and learn while they areon the go. I like a variety of modalities of instruction and learning. The TTS software would be of use tome. I have a hard time listening to an instructor on CD or tape. However, if it is a PowerPoint withanimation, music, and I am capable to replay it when necessary, that is different.
  4. 4. O’Rhonda Ingram Article AssignmentArticle Summary #2 Image, Word, Action: Interpersonal Dynamics in a Photo-Sharing CommunitySuler, John. (2008). Image, Word, Action: Interpersonal Dynamics in a Photo-Sharing Community.CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11(5), doi: 10. 1089/cpb.2007.0153This article examines the dynamics of personal expression via images in Flickr. It explorers howphotographers use text descriptors to supplement their images, and how different comments onphotographs influence interpersonal relationships. The psychological study of online imagisticcommunication has been made possible by the availability of high speed internet. It has made it possiblefor the psychological study of online imagistic communication. Studying the ways visual images havebecome a popular tool for expression. Typed text is not the only means of communication.The purpose of the research was to explore the interpersonal dynamics of image, word, and action in thepopular photo-sharing community known as Flickr. Flickr has millions of members and millions ofimages, and thousands of groups devoted to various photography topics. Members might find theselimitless possibilities exciting, at some point, they must develop strategies for managing theirinterpersonal relationships. The distinction between imagery and verbal functioning, as well as personalpreferences and strengths in visual versus verbal thinking, can help explain why people choose onlineenvironments that emphasize visual communication and how people interact in these environments.Without any elaboration by text or action, an image can be a powerful vehicle for communication.Members try to describe important aspects of their world and capture it through their photography. Theimage is a way to express feelings, share memories, and emotions that are not easily verbalized. Sharingone’s photography for some is a means of validation. The photographer hopes others will find andconnect to the personal meanings they created. The uploading of images to Flickr is an act of goingpublic. Members find images that grab them or ones where they find a connection.Members use creative text, or titles to describe their image. The image title can be a creative componentof the communication process. “Tags” can be used to help users easily locate the images using searchengines. Many members believe that a title makes or breaks an image. Photographers tend to feeldisconnected from visitors who indicate they did not pay attention to text descriptors. Their dialogues onthe discussion board form collective appreciation and understanding of the image and for thedevelopment of interpersonal relationships. Comments can range from praise, personal reactions toquestions and critiques.Critique #2I enjoyed reading this article, I learned a lot. Through this article, I became aware of the importance andthe usefulness of Flickr. I realized that it is more than a site to merely store pictures (which I thought).Members are able to present their images to a group, as an expression of their self. In return, relationshipsare formed by those with commonalities. I personally like the Fav button. Members are able to storeother’s images in their library. They are also able to trade images. I believe everyone could benefit fromthe article and Flickr. Especially those that need to reach out to others for support. I was able to locate aknown child member that is a cancer survivor. I got an update of her condition. For people that are notcomfortable with computers, I believe the author could have included a short Flickr tutorial.
  5. 5. O’Rhonda Ingram Article AssignmentArticle Summary #3 Implementation of Sprite Animation for Multimedia ApplicationThant, Y (2008).Implementation of Sprite Animation for Multimedia Application. Proceedings of WorldAcademy of Science, Engineering and Technology. 36, 770-774.This article examines a method of blending different animations together in real time. It presents andanalyzes a solution using Weighted Skeleton Animation (WSA) resulting in limited CPU time andmemory waste as well as time consuming for the animator. It is both time consuming and expensive tocreate animations. Reusing old animations or blending different animations together saves valuable time.Animation is the illusion of motion that is created by displaying a series of images or frames over a briefperiod of time. Producing animated graphics used to be limited to a professional, now with the aid ofreadily available animation software anyone has the means to create animated graphics. Animatedgraphics are no longer only in movies and television cartoons. Animation has made it mark all over theInternet, cell phones, desktop software, and computer games due to the digital revolution.There are two different types of animation that can be broken down in Java. Frame-based animation is asimpler type that involves simulating movement by displaying a sequence of static frames. Cast-basedanimation, or sprite animation, involves objects that move independently of the background. Its usage ispopular in games. Some major advantages of certain types of animation are that the animation data ishuge in size even when compressed. Linked Skeleton Animation is used to decrease the size ofanimations and to make alterations easier between frames.In this article, Weighted Skeleton Animation (WSA) is mainly used. WSA is used to blend animationstogether without a jerky motion between frames or different animations. Jerkiness in a skeletonanimation system can be defined as movement of bones between frames or movement of bones atdifferent speeds during a short time. WSA solves the problem by attaching a weight to each bone thattells it how important it is to the overall animation.Frame rate and timeline are the main parameters for animation systems. The higher the frame rate, thefaster the animations speed. Therefore, the lower the frame rate is defined, the slower the animatedspeed. The more timeline is defined, the smoother the animation. Whereas, the less timeline, the rougherthe animation. The frame and timeline can be changed at will. The standard frame rate is 12 frames persecond.Incorporated in the article was a flowchart that displayed the testing of sprite animation using WSA.First, still background images were added, then, sprite images were added to animate. The requiredresources were added and linked and then the sprite animation was displayed. This particular animationcould be used for game, advertising and cartoons. Combined with sound it could be used for multimediaapplication.Critique #3The author of the articles assumes that the reader is familiar with all the terminology and methods beingdiscussed. From our readings from this class I was familiar with some of the statements and terms.However, the article was overwhelming. I have more reading to do before our animation project is due.Since it is an article I was unable to view the animation that was shown. The article is helpful. It detaileddifferent methods and types of animation and their advantages and disadvantages. Also, I received agood understanding of the parameters of frame rate and timeline.
  6. 6. O’Rhonda Ingram Article AssignmentArticle Summary #4 WebQuests: Tools for DifferentiationKossow, B., & Schweizer, H. (2007). WebQuests: Tools for Differentiation. Gifted Child Today, 30(1),29-35. Retrieved from ERIC (at EBSCO host) database.The article explains and examines WebQuests. A WebQuest is defined as an inquiry-oriented activity inwhich some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet.They can be a powerful supplement to a teacher. Eventhough many teachers struggle to find meaningfuland appropriate ways to effectively use computers, WebQuests offer students an original way to integrateinformation gathered through the Internet. WebQuests can address the three areas of modification:content, process and product. They are useful tools for differentiating for all students.The five components of a successful WebQuest were detailed. These components coincide with ateacher’s lesson plans. An Introduction is used to create interest in the upcoming lesson or activity. TheTask or Problem is where the students are exposed to the open-ended activity and their role. The Processwill outline the steps to complete the assignment. Teachers usually devote more time to this step and it ismost like a lesson plan. If additional resources or background information is needed, it will be includedhere. The next component discussed is the Evaluation. The Evaluation should allow the students to judgethe quality of their own work. A scoring guide or rubric should be included to assist the students withunderstanding how their work will be graded. In the Conclusion, the teacher states what the studentsshould have learned through the activity.While the article seems to aim mostly toward gifted students, the author does admit that students fromdifferent levels and areas of intelligence, different backgrounds, and different learning preferences areallowed to excel through WebQuests. WebQuests are proven to deepen the students understanding andstretch their knowledge about a topic.Suggestions are given to help create and publish WebQuests. Creating a WebQuest from scratch can betime consuming, using an existing WebQuest to help get started was recommended. They can bemodified to a teacher’s specific needs. A search page was given that features more than 1,500WebQuests. E-mailing the author of the WebQuest to inform them of your intentions to modify it isrecommended.Critique #4This article is valuable to any educator that is in the classroom, media center, and technology lab (andothers). It gives valuable insight into WebQuests and their key components. I like that the author warnedthat hyperlinks should be checked daily. I have created WebQuests and later find out that certain linkswere no longer available or changed. Also, web blockers are in place. Also, I appreciated that sites withpreviously created WebQuests are included.As a teacher of gifted and high achiever students, I know they have to be challenged and given theopportunity to enhance their higher level thinking skills. I believe all students can benefit fromWebQuests and display their higher order thinking skills. If any student is given the opportunity they canbe as creative and gifted in different ways. The possibilities for creative outlets in Webquests are endless.They are not limited to a particular student. I do realize the journal is geared toward gifted students.
  7. 7. O’Rhonda Ingram Article AssignmentArticle Summary #5 Using digital photography and image processing for the creation of notes from the blackboardBrunn, E. (2009). Using digital photography and image processing for the creation of notes from theBlackboard. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 46(1), 83-90. doi:10.1080/14703290802646255This article examined the use of a combination of traditional chalkboard and digital photography toproduce lecture notes from the blackboard. Teachers and students are in search of effective methods toproduce inspiring presentations with material that is later distributed to students for self-study.The article examined disadvantages and advantages of the use of Microsoft PowerPoint by students andteachers. An old-fashioned alternative to PowerPoint is the blackboard. The article describes anexperiment that combined the advantages of the use of the blackboard with the advantages of PowerPointslide availability on the Web. The blackboard notes were made available to the students as photos. Theexperiment was carried out at a Technical University where lectures account for one-third of the course.Problem-solving and labs account for the other two-thirds. Advanced computer programs are used in thelab exercises and old-fashioned blackboards are utilized in the lectures.In previous years, the particular being tested was presented partly using the blackboard and partly usingPowerPoint presentations. The students preferred the availability of the lecture notes from the blackboardwas used primarily for the lecturing and assisted occasionally by an overhead projector andtransparencies. After each lecture, the blackboards were photographed and lecture notes were prepared.Throughout the lecture, about 6-12 blackboards were filled and collected into a Microsoft Word file withcaptions. To make them easier to read, the photos were converted from white text on the black board toblack text on a white background.At the completion of the course, the students were evaluated. The students remarked on the improvementof the white text on the black background. They found the method acceptable and more than halfpreferred blackboard notes over PowerPoint slides. The students used the notes as a supplement to theirtextbooks.Critique #5This article was interesting. The facts would appeal to all teachers. Any teaching method or alternativestyle should be researched and tested. I personally feel that the PowerPoint slides would be at anadvantage. You are able to fully experience illustrations and complex figures. Also, in preparing thenotes on the blackboard, the teacher can’t make errors. If errors are made the teacher would have tocontinuously start over. I would have to start over quite often. However, both are time consuming.Whiteboards and Interactive Boards are alternatives, if the funds are available. The blackboards would beless expensive. More testing on the subject needs to be completed before an accurate analysis is given.
  8. 8. O’Rhonda Ingram Articles AssignmentArticle Summary #6 “Making Time” for Reading: Factors That Influence the Success of Multimedia Reading in the HomeJay, J., & Oakley, G. (2008). Making Time” for Reading: Factors That Influence the Successof Multimedia Reading in the Home. The Reading Teacher, 62(3), 246-255. doi:10.1598/RT.62.3.6This article examined electronic talking books (ETBs). ETBs are texts on the Internet or CD-Rom. Theyfeature the text and multimedia elements such as animation, narrations, video and music. Some havehighlighted text to help the reader follow along. The authors had a desire to investigate the results ifETBs were used instead of traditional basals and library books at home with reluctant readers. Reluctantreaders were defined as those that showed little excitement for reading, did not take library books home,and spent little time at home reading. It has been proven that reading at home is linked to higherachievement in reading. They sought to discover what factors influenced the implementation of ETBhome reading programs. Since they often experience a slump in reading, students in middle andelementary school were the focus, 8-11 years of age.Enhancing the student’s motivational value was a reason for introducing ETBs. Research evidence hasshown that ETBs can facilitate comprehension through the use of narrations, illustrations, and animation.Reading interest and motivation should promoted by comprehension. Control, choice, and activeparticipation motivate students also. ETBs offer the student choices and control over their actions.Video, animation and sound in the ETBs motivate and are appealing to students who are used to theaction and visuals in video games. The privacy factor of a computer, especially with headsets, eliminatesembarrassment barriers for students.Also, the authors wanted the parents to be involved in their children’s reading. Family literacy programsenhance children’s reading performance. Sixty six percent of the students in the experiment read for anhour or less a week. They reported that they did not have enough time to read more. At the beginning ofthe project, each student’s reading attitude was measured using the Elementary Reading Attitude Survey(ERAS) and parent surveys. Parent feedback forms were collected at least once a week to monitor the useand length of time of the ETBs.The project, which consisted of educational software, instead of edutainment software, concluded that thestudents enjoyed the ETBs and had read more than usual. Some were not always reading, they werelistening to the narrations and looking at the pictures. However, they were engaging in reading instead ofwatching TV or playing video games. A few students preferred the traditional way of reading becausethey could carry the books around. A consensus from the parents agreed that the children enjoyed theETBs but they did not feel they increased interest in reading.Critique #6I enjoyed reading this article. I believe involving the classroom teacher would encourage the program.The teacher could reinforce what should be occurring at home. It would be extremely difficult to try topin down the reason a student is reluctant to read. I agree that a parent’s lack of time and limitedknowledge of how children read is an issue. I am glad that they studied students from varioussocioeconomic backgrounds. The shortcomings of the project should be studied and the projectconducted again. The next project should be longer than the original 10 weeks.
  9. 9. O’Rhonda Ingram Article AssignmentArticle Summary #7 The effectiveness of multimedia programmes in childrens vocabulary learningAcha, J (2009).The effectiveness of multimedia programmes in childrens vocabulary learning. BritishJournal of Educational Technology. 40(1), 23-31.An experiment investigated which presentation mode of multimedia programme would help in learningmore vocabulary in a second language: one with pictures, one with words, or one with a combination.Previous research on the same topic using adults, presenting words and pictures simultaneously was moreeffective than presenting only words or only pictures. Designers of multimedia programmes face thechallenge o adapting programmes to the learner’s characteristics as well as making certain theprogrammes are effective.135 Spanish children participated in the experiment. All children were tested at the beginning of theexperiment and each child was judged by his or her teacher as being at grade level in the Englishlanguage. The students were presented with an interactive multimedia short story that consisted of 101English words. Different types of multimedia annotations were available for certain words to help withthe meaning of the words. Verbal annotations consisted of text translations and visual annotationsconsisted of pictures illustrating the word.To begin, participants were given a 60 English word pretest to complete at their own pace. Students wereinstructed to write the meaning of the words they knew. The next day, the spatial ability and verbal testwas administered. The story with the multimedia was read. Students were randomly assigned to the threegroups (word-only, picture-only, or word and picture). At the PC, they were given an overview of theprogramme.Findings determined that those with low cognitive abilities, learning may be worse when a picture isadded in a multimedia programme. Results show that in a second language vocabulary learningmultimedia programme, presenting a word is more effective than presenting the word together with thepicture or only picture. Recall of word translations was better than those who only received verbal thanthose that received simultaneously visual and verbal annotations or visual only. It casts doubts on addingpicture information to educational multimedia programme. The obtained data will have directimplications on the use of words and pictures to create valuable multimedia tools with educational aims.Critique #7The article was very informative. As an educator and parent, I am interested in ways of buildingchildren’s vocabulary and my vocabulary. Parents and teachers can easily be overwhelmed by the largenumber of programs that claim they will build a student’s vocabulary. These programs need to be testedto prove their effectiveness. This experiment concluded that children are delayed by limited workingmemory. Since most of the previous research was conducted on adults, more testing results on childrenshould be compiled. Due to the demand of different programs, it is necessary to test them all beforeimplementation. Instructional material used to enhance learners’ experience should consider theprocesses involved to impose the minimum cognitive load. Some programs include too much animationor graphics. It distracts the learners from the content that should be learned.
  10. 10. O’Rhonda Ingram Article AssignmentArticle Summary #8 Memory-aware dynamics voltage scaling for multimedia applicationsChoi, J, & Cha, H (2006). Memory-aware dynamics voltage scaling for multimedia applications. IEE-Proceedings-Computers & Digital Techniques. 153(2), 130-136.This article focused on the development of a dynamic voltage scaling (DVS) policy that considers thenon-linear performance, the memory-wall problem that is common in handheld devices when runningmultimedia applications. Memory-bound multimedia applications are becoming popular in handhelddevices. DVS is a technique used to prolong the life of batteries in handheld devices. The memory wallproblem is when system performance is degraded because of lower speed memory device compared withprocessor speed. Earlier studies did not consider the interaction between the memory and the processor.The experiment demonstrated that the proposed memory-aware dynamic voltage scaling (M-DVS) systemreduces more power consumption than the conventional DVS. M-DVS is proven to lower the processorfrequency when detecting the memory wall problem. Also, it showed that the behavior of the mainmemory should be considered in developing an efficient DVS policy. The results can be applied tohandheld devices such as cellular phones and portable media players. Further study will be neededbecause the speed of handheld processors increases often.Critique #8I chose this article because it was a title that I knew little. Reading the article I realized the importance ofthe experiment discussed. The development of energy-saving mechanisms for battery-operated devices isneeded. Almost everyone uses some type of handheld device and would benefit from the results of thearticle. This article was so confusing. I understood what was being tested and its purpose. Then, itstarted getting too technical with too many algorithms. The article should have used less algorithms tokeep the attention and understanding of all readers. I will have to investigate more to get a betterunderstanding of all the procedures being tested.
  11. 11. O’Rhonda Ingram Article AssignmentArticle Summary #9 Beyond Presentations: Using PowerPoint as an Effective Instructional ToolWet, C (2006). Beyond Presentations: Using PowerPoint as an Effective Instructional Tool. Gifted ChildToday. 29(4), 29-39.Technology is a different way of presenting instruction someone else designed. This article examined thevarious components of PowerPoint. It discussed advantages and disadvantages of its usage by teachers.The purpose was to demonstration effective ways to use PowerPoint to achieve the objectives ofeducation.The software PowerPoint is wizard-driven and conceptually simple to master. Previous studies onPowerPoint usage in the classroom discovered that students found the presentation lectures to be moreinteresting than traditional lectures. Since the presentations can be used in various ways, prior to theircreation presenters must decide on what is to be accomplished. Is it going to be an introduction, a review,a way to develop enrichment, or a tutorial for individual students?Student comprehension can be increased through visual learning, so PowerPoint can be an effectivemeans of teaching instruction. Presentations are easy to change because of the design and layouttemplates. Attention can be grabbed by adding clipart, animation, transitions, and timing. Hyperlinks canbe used to add media to create a multimedia presentation. Action buttons are used to go back and forth toreview information. A show can run independent of an assist. It can be used to publish information onweb pages, also.PowerPoint does have its drawbacks. Teachers can overload slides with information and distract studentswith inappropriate animation and clipart. Sometimes the printout of the slides gives the students themisconception that they only have to know the material from the slides. Some slides are hard to read dueto the small text (use at least 28 point), or cursive fonts (use sans serif fonts).Critique #9I included this article because I love using PowerPoint presentations in my classroom. I wanted to learnmore so I could incorporate it in my classroom or in my course work. I have realized several times that Ihave overloaded a presentation and had to make changes. Using the outline and the storyboard helps mecreate and organize details I want on my slides. Also, outlines are given to my students when they createa PowerPoint for my class. I believe the article is beneficial to everyone. It could assist any presenter,not only educators. A PowerPoint presentation can be used for manuals or training procedures. A linkwas included if the reader wanted help in creating a hyperlinked presentation or to use a storyboardorganizer. I do not think the article needed to include anything else.