The middle of the 20th century was an exciting time for foreign language study in the United States. During World War II, the army created the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) to provide education to officers with strategic wartime skills, including foreign language proficiency. Following the scholarly opinion among linguists of the day, who believed that language was acquired through habit, the ASTP taught language primarily through oral drills. As the ASTP spread to institutions of higher education throughout the country, the army developed audio discs in dozens of languages.
New at the PARC 2015/2016
Welcome back to a new school year! It has been a busy summer at the Performing Arts Resource Center getting ready for it. I am excited to let Reed know of new hardware available for immediate checkout at the PARC.
We now have microphones! They have been chosen for their flexibility and multiple configuration possibilities. Remember, each microphone has its own character; no two mics are the same. Also, placement and process (which DAW you are using, your signal flow, and your instrument and instrumentalist quality) are huge parts of your final product. Experiment, use your ears, and have fun! Continue reading
Educational technology is by nature a collaborative effort, with faculty, students, and staff working together to build an effective learning environment within and beyond the classroom. In order to foster relationship across campuses, in May 2015, Reed and Lewis & Clark co-hosted the first collaborative instructional technology event sponsored by the Northwest Five Consortium* (NW5C). We dubbed the conference “729 Miles of Technology”, a name taken from the distance of one route connecting the five campuses. (You can view the full program and other conference details at the project website.)
In my last post I talked about zooming into and cropping an entire video clip in iMovie and Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). Another approach to this is to use zoom as an effect to “crop” into your image while panning in your video clip, an effect if not originated at least made very famous by Ken Burns. In both iMovie and FCPX there is a function to do just this, appropriately named the Ken Burns Effect. This will let you create an animated pan (the effect of motion within a video clip) to a crop that has a smooth flow from one section of your video to another. Continue reading
On May 29th/30th, Reed is co-hosting the inaugural instructional technology conference of the Northwest Five Consortium (NW5C). I am leading a workshop on maps, mapping, spatial analysis, and spatial thinking; materials below.
From an educational philosophy perspective, learning to program is well aligned with what we strive to teach our students. Becoming proficient in statistical programming requires the ability to think critically about complex problems, to develop scientific research questions, and to apply rigorous analytical methods to answer your questions. I believe these skills are key elements to a strong liberal arts education. We want our students not only to be able to think critically about the world around them, but to have the skills to critically engage with the world. Continue reading
In my iPad post regarding video creation on the iPad, I hinted at using software to zoom instead of using the digital zoom available on the iPad. This is because the iPad (and iPhone) use digital zoom and not optical zoom. Continue reading
Playing an instrument is an analog experience: a tangible act based in physical reality. Because of this, when instrument simulating apps (soft synths or virtual instruments) can use the touch paradigm available on iPads, musicians can find themselves having more of an analog experience with that technology. This is useful as music creation has traditionally started via an analog process: playing a string, wind, or percussion instrument, for example. Because of touch technology, the process of playing digital instruments is now able to become more seamless.
This is a guest post from Kelly Holob, class of 2014
At Reed, I was a Classics/Religion major (’14), maybe not the sort of person you’d expect to see on a technology blog. But I worked with computers a lot — and not just because I was a T-Watcher. My field’s been developing tools like the TLG, which can search nearly the entire corpus of Greek texts, since the 1970s, and almost anyone who’s taken a class in Latin or Greek knows about Perseus, a easy-to-search collection of public domain classical texts and translations, including lexicons. There’s also Logeion, another lexical tool, which my current school, the University of Chicago, is still developing. Digital Humanities tools have been useful for exploring new ways to learn, interpret, and discover information about everyone from Plato to Plotinus for a long time. Continue reading
As a language learner myself, I often struggle with the unique sounds in different languages. Humans are culturally-bound language learners; this means we are able to hear and identify all human sounds when we were born, but we gradually lose this ability as we get older. For example, Japanese speakers and some Chinese speakers have difficult identifying the English “r” and “l,” while English speakers have difficulties identifying the Chinese “j,” “q,” and “x.” When I taught Chinese a few years ago, I had students arguing that there is absolutely no difference in the Chinese “j,” “q,” and “x,” and I had a hard time explaining how the sounds are produced differently.
Language has a critical period for learning: babies and children are naturally talented in language learning, but from birth to age 7, there is a systematic decline in language learning. Adults struggle more with language learning, but it doesn’t mean foreign languages cannot be learned. This means there needs to be more effort put into language learning. Luckily, technological tools can help in this process. Continue reading