Picture and Sound Lesson Setup

Picture and sound lessons are setup using the data panel on the right side of the ACORNS window frames. On the top of the panel, there is a secondary toolbar used to customize the lesson. Click here for a detailed description.

Step 1: Insert a picture

You need to first insert a picture before you can execute (play) a lesson. One way to execute the insert image command is to click on the edit menu and then select the image option from the insert submenu. An easier way is to simply click on the ACORNS application toolbar. A third way is to drag and drop; when you have an operating system folder open, select a picture; next drag to the ACORNS application frame and release the mouse. The picture will insert into the lesson. If you choose to insert using the first two of these approaches, a file chooser dialog will appear, which is similar to chooser menus that other application programs use. Browse to the folder containing the pictures, and then click on the desired picture. Note that if the folder contains lots of pictures; it sometimes takes a while for the list of files to display.

Remove a picture

Click on the edit menu, then click on remove, and then on image. The picture will be deleted from the lesson. Of course, if you want to change the picture, you can just repeat the insert procedure. (there is no need to first remove the old one.)

Step 2: Attach audio to places on the picture

Pick a place on the picture that contains something that you want to describe and click on that spot. A dialog will appear which will enable you to record or to retrieve a prerecorded audio file. For more information, there is a help web-page called Recording and Maintaining Audio that describes this procedure in more detail. After you complete this process, you will see an acorn icon appear at the spot you clicked.

Remove or adjust an acorn

You can adjust the position of an acorn by dragging it. Simply click on the acorn and while the mouse is depressed, drag to the desired position. When you release, the acorn will be in the destination location. Should you want to remove an acorn, drag it off of the ACORNS application frame and it will disappear.

Step 3: Attach links to other lessons

You can create links between lessons in a single ACORNS file during the setup process. These function like hyperlinks do on the Web. There are two ways to make a link. Both of these use options on the secondary toolbar and are described below.

Step 4: Execute the lesson

Once you have inserted a picture and attached some audio to places on it, your lesson is ready to execute. To execute, click on the icon that looks like a lightning bolt ().

Note: Recovering from errors

If you make a mistake, ACORNS can help you recover. For example if you remove an acorn inadvertantly, click on the undo icon on the ACORNS toolbar at the top of the frame. The acorn will return. The undo operation can also recover from changes made when you record sounds. After undoing, the redo button becomes active. You can redo an operation if you change your mind.

Secondary toolbar options

At the top of the setup panel, there is a secondary toolbar as shown in the picture below. This toolbar contains a series of grapic components and we will describe the purpose of each.
This option copies acorns and links but without any data. You will need to record sounds and type in the link names after you finish the operation.
When you click the help button, this page displays. The title you gave to this lesson when it was created appears to the right of the help button
All ACORNS lessons can have multiple layers; each layer has an entirely separate list of acorns and links. This feature can be useful to create lessons with multiple dialects. By switching between layers, the student can learn each dialects using the same lesson. This option can also be used to assign more difficult lessons to the higher layers. The slider on the control bar enables you to set up a lesson with multiple layers. Simply click on the slider to move to the desired layer. The layer numbers are numbered as shown on the picture to the left.
The rotate button allows you to rotate the selected picture in ninety degree increments. This feature accommodates pictures taken with the camera rotated. Click to select the picture, and then click the rotate button.
Picture and sound lessons allow you to scale images from twenty percent to five hundred percent of their original size. This is especially useful to fit the image to the full screen size when the lesson executes. ACORNS preserves scaled images across file open and save operations, so they are perminent unless you wish to change them.

To scale an image during lesson setup, click on the combo box menu and choose one of the options. You can also type a scale factor of your choice if none of the menu options are appropriate.
In some cases you might want the acorns and links to be in the same place in the different layers in your lesson. The Copy and Paste Acorns buttons allows you to copy acorns from one layer and then paste them to another. Use these buttons as follows: (1) Move the slider to the layer containing the acorns and links that you want to copy; (2) Click the copy button (the one shown on the left); (3) Move the slider to the layer where you want to paste the acorns; and (4) Click the paste button (the one on the right). Your acorns will appear in the new layer.

To create a link within the picture, first make sure the button with the 'link' icon is pressed. Initially, the acorn icon appears depressed and the chain link icon is not. Click on the icon that looks like a chain link so that it will display depressed. You are then ready to make links to other lessons.

Click anywhere on the picture where the link should appear. ACORNS will then display a dialog box where you enter the name of the lesson that you want to link to. The name field is one of the header fields that you fill in when you create a new lesson. (You can modify it later if you didn't.) It shows in the lesson display area on the left of the ACORNS application frame.

After you click OK to the link dialog, a chain link icon will appear on the picture. As with acorns, you can drag it to reposition its spot, or drag it off the application frame should you want to remove it. If an illegal name is entered, the link will appear when the lesson executes but will not be operational.

When you are finished adding links, it is a good idea to click on the acorn icon on the secondary toolbar. This will cause the acorn icon to become depressed; you are again ready to add more acorns.
The link button allows you to connect this lesson with another lesson in the file. Clicking on this button causes a dialog window to appear. Enter the name of the lesson you want to link to. The name field is one of the header fields that you fill in when you create a lesson. (You can modify it later if you didn't.) It shows in the lesson display area on the left of the ACORNS application frame. After you click OK to the link dialog, the name of the linked lesson will show in blue on the secondary toolbar.