Setup for Lessons with Multiple Pictures

There is a common setup procedure for creating lessons containing multiple pictures. The setup panel fills the right side of the ACORNS window application. On the top of the panel, there is a secondary toolbar. Click here for a detailed description.

Step 1: Insert at least four pictures

You need to first insert at least four pictures and record audio into each image 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 one or a group of pictures; next drag to the ACORNS application frame and release the mouse. All of the pictures 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 adding a picture to a lesson, you can add additional pictures by repeating the procedure just described.

Remove a picture

Should you want to remove a picture from the lesson, first click on the one that you want to delete. You will see its border turn red as a result. Now you can remove the picture in two ways. The faster method is to click again on the picture and while the mouse is depressed, drag the mouse off the ACORNS application frame. When you release, the picture will be gone. There is also a longer way to do the same thing. The other approach is to click on the edit menu, then click on remove, and then on image. The picture selected (with the red border showing) will be deleted from the lesson.

Reordering pictures

To reorder the pictures, first click on the one to be reordered to see its border turn red. Then depress your mouse over the picture and drag to the desired position. When you release the mouse, the picture will be moved to the nes position.

Step 2: Attach audio to each picture

To execute a lesson, there must be at least one sound clip attached to each picture. You are not limited to one sound clip, however. Any number of sound clips can be attached. First select a picture by clicking on it. This will cause its border to turn red. A sound dialog will then appear which will enable you to attach audio to a picture, or modify what you did previously. For more information, there is a help web-page called Recording and Maintaining Audio. that describes this procedure in more detail.

Step 3: Execute the lesson

Once you have inserted at least four pictures and attached at least one audio to each picture, 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 a picture inadvertantly, click on the undo icon on the ACORNS toolbar at the top of the frame. The picture will return. The undo operation can also recover from changes made when you record sounds, and attach them to one of the pictures. 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.
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. 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.
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.
The drop down menu shows ways to scale a selected picture to its display area. There are five ways to scale pictures.
  1. Scale and center sizes the picture to the display area and centers it. There is no distortion, but part of the display area can be blank.
  2. Fill with distortion stretches the picture to the display area. This option fills the entire display area, but the picture can appear distorted.
  3. Fill and truncate. This option fills the entire display area without distortion, but crops a piece out of the middle.
  4. Stretch vertical. This option stretches the picture vertically but leaves the width as is.
  5. Stretch horizontal. This option stretches the picture horizontally but leaves the height as is.
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.
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,t 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.
In some cases you might want to move all of the recorded audio from one layer to another. The Copy and Paste Acorns buttons enable allows you to do this. Use these buttons as follows: (1) Move the slider to the layer containing the audio 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 recorded audio will be present in the new 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.