Using Woices to Create Custom Audio Tours

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OverviewInstructionsResourcesActivity Management

Woices is a free program that allows you to combine photographs, custom maps and voice recordings to create beautiful, interactive virtual tours.  Tours can then be watched on the web, embedded on personal sites, or viewed on mobile devices.

Units

Audio Tools, Presentation Tools

Duration

1-2 hours

Standards

Communication, Cultures

LEVEL

Beginner, Intermediate

WEBSITE

Visit Woices Website

OS

PC or Mac

PREREQUISITES

  • Use of microphone for recording voice
  • Downloading and saving images

OBJECTIVES

  • Learn how Woices works and what kinds of tours it can create
  • Create a virtual tour with Woices
  • Discuss ways that Woices can be used in the World Languages Classroom

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Microphone
  • Images for Slideshow

Step-By-Step Instructions

Before you begin using Woices, you’ll want to make sure that you have a working microphone that will allow you to narrate the different sections of your audio tour.  You will also want a series of images that you can use for each location in your slideshow.  Make sure to use images where you are not violating any copyrights – we have a great list of locations listed on our tutorial on Downloading and Using Images.Lastly, with all audio work, sometimes it helps to have a list of scripted talking points before you begin.  You may want to take a little time before you begin this lesson to come up with a series of locations that you’d like to talk about and some ideas for pictures to accompany each location.  Write these talking points out in Word and then use them to help you guide your narrations as you record your audio.

  • You’ll want to begin by visiting the Woices website at http://woices.com.
  • Click on the Join Woices link at the very top right-hand corner of the screen.
  • A menu will pop up prompting you to set a username and password.  Choose something memorable and use an email account that you have access to.
  • Click Create Account.
  • You will be taken to your Profile page.  From there you will see a large Google Map.  This map is what you will use to pick locations (anywhere in the world) to talk about.  Woices calls these voice recordings about individual locations echoes.  You can put a series of echoes together to form a mini audio tour, which they call a walk.
  • To record your first echo, click on the Create tab at the top of the screen and choose Record or Upload a New Echo.
  • Double click on the Google Map to zoom in on a particular area.  You may also use the navigation buttons on the upper left-hand corner of the map.  Keep zooming until you find a particular location that you would like to talk about.
  • Once you are zoomed in to the location that you would like to talk about, click once to place the icon of the pink talk bubble right in the center of the space.
  • Click on the Proceed arrow to continue.
  • Give your audio recording a title and a short description.  You can also enter a series of tags so that people can easily search for your echo.
  • So that people can better envision what this location looks like, you can upload a photo that relates to the location.  To do this, click on the upload button on the top right.  Click Browse and then find the photo saved to your computer.  Click Put It to add the photo to your recording.  When the thumbnail for the picture appears on the screen, click Close.
  •  When you are ready to record the audio portion of your echo, click the pink circle button to Record.  You may see a message from Adobe Flash Player asking to access your microphone.  Click Allow.
  • Begin to speak into the microphone, making sure that your echo is no longer than 10 minutes.  When you are finished speaking, click on the pink square to Stop the recording.
  • At this point, you can click on the purple triangle to Play your recording.  If it is to your liking, click Send It.  Note that the Send Itbutton will only appear if you have recorded the minimum required amount of audio (usually a couple of seconds).
  • If you would like to re-record the audio, click on the pink circle button to Record.  When the prompt asks if you want to save over your previous audio, click Ok.
  • If you are having trouble recording or see a message saying that the program cannot detect the microphone, click on theConfigs tab at the top of the recording box.  Follow the steps to test your microphone and then click Close when you are finished.
  • Once you’ve sent your echo, it will spend a little bit of time being processed by Woices.  Once it is finished, you can play your audio.
  • To share your echo, you can send users the URL in the address bar, or even use the embed code below the audio recording to add the echo to your website.
  • When you create a new echo, you also have the option of uploading a file that you have already recorded.  A great way to utilize this feature is to record audio in Audacity and layer it with music.  Use that mixed music/narration file instead of just a static audio track.
  • To combine several echos together into a full tour, you’ll want to create a walk.  Click the Create tab at the top of the screen and then choose Create a new walk.
  • Give the walk a title and a description and then click on the pink arrow to continue.
  • Now that your walk has been created, you’ll need to add some echoes.  Click on the add more here link in the yellow bar at the top of the screen or the Edit List of Echoes link on the lower right side.
  • You’ll see a menu with your echoes on the right.  Drag the echoes that you would like to include into the walk on the left.  You can drag the echoes up and down to resort them.  When you are finished, click Return to Walk.
  • Your walk is now complete!  You can share this URL or you can share the embed code, just as you can an individual echo.
  • As you continue to populate the Woices database with your own echos, you may want to create a profile for yourself.  You can access these profile settings by clicking on the You tab and then choosing Account Settings.

Additional Resources and Works Cited

Woices Community

Activity Management

None

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