Story Book Lesson Setup

Story book setup require an audio story (usually thirty seconds to a couple of minutes long), a picture that describes the story, and the text translation that you enter.

Story Book 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 a pplication 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 at a spot when you see a small white rectangle appear by 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. After you insert your picture, you will see it show in the background of the sound panel.

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: Record or load audio

Sound Panel

In the center of the display appears a sound Panel, as we show above. Around this panel are a series of buttons and controls. For example, there is a slider and a drop down menu on the bottom of the panel. The slider is used to select the layer that you want to work with. Story Book lessons support ten layers of translation of your story. The drop down menu lets you pick an appropriate font for displaying one of the layers of translation.

Selecting a portion of a sound recording

The buttons around the sound panel provide limited sound editing capabilities. Many of these work by first selecting the portion of interest. This procedure is used consistently in this program, so it is a good idea to get familiar with how it is done. First, drag your mouse over the desired portion of a recording. If you click the play back button () you will hear the audio corresponding to the section of the sound wave that you select.

The picture below shows a portion of the panel that is selected. Notice that the highlighted area is shaded. If you click the mouse again the selection is released.

Annotation Panel Buttons and Controls

If you make a mistake, error messages display in red at the bottom of the panel. Sometimes ACORNS acknowledges what it is doing by displaying a message in this area. The Error page describes the kind of messages that can display.

While you are setting up a Story Book lesson, there are a series of buttons to assist. As you move your mouse over the various buttons, you will see a short description of the component. This can help if you forget what a particular component does. We have help pages that describe the operation of of the various buttons. You can click on the image links below to learn how these buttons and controls work.

Recording Buttons
File Control Buttons
Edit Buttons
Recording Speed and Volume Control Buttons
Zoom Control Buttons
Selection Control Buttons
Annotation Controls
Undo and Redo

Step 3: Enter the Story Text

At the bottom of the setup panel is an area where you can type the text for the story. When the story plays, the words that you type will highlight. However the program makes its best guest which word to highlight. It does this based on the length of words compared to the length of the audio file, the highlighting might be slightly off. Hear and respond lessons enably you to exactly annotate the sound wave with the words of a story, but those lessons take more work to setup.

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 inadvertantly delete part of an audio, click on the undo icon on the ACORNS toolbar. The deleted portion will return. The undo operation can also recover from changes you make. After undoing, the redo button becomes active. You can redo an operation if you change your mind and want the change to take effect after all.

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.
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 Story Book lesson layer has separate translation. 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. 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.
This control enables you to insert a background picture to the lesson. This gives you more control as to how the lesson looks when it executes.
This option allows 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.
These controls allow you to control background and text colors that are used when the lesson executes. If you click either of the two left buttons, you will see a color palette display; simply click the color you want and then click OK. The button with the capital A is for the text color and the one with the three boxes and hand is for the background color.
The font size drop down menu enables you to choose how big the text is when it displays while the lesson executes. Either pick a size from the selection or enter your own.
The justify buttons enable you to ether center or left justify the text while the story plays. By default the text is left justified. When you click on one of these buttons it will display depressed to indicate that the option is active. The justification applies to a active lesson layer.
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.