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Home> Technology > Active voice in concept maps

Voice is our primary means of expression. It is the way that we communicate with others. Yet even when we are by ourselves, we still use our voice. There is no definitive time for the onset of voice... it begins as soon as we are born, the cries of a newborn are the first signs of voice. Throughout life, voice changes and reflects attitudes and changes, and it gives instantaneous cues to vitality and personality. 

Our voice is perceived by two senses: we not only hear voice, we also feel it.

Voice has both a broad and a narrow definition. In the narrower sense, all sounds of speech that we make are either voiced or unvoiced; in a broader sense, it is information transmitted over telecommunication links.

Voice, is important!

Knowledge Master
includes the vocal synthesis support. Vocal synthesis directly converts written text in most Knowledge Master concept maps and knowledge bases to audible voice, that may be listened through common computer loudspeakers or earphones.

Knowledge Master objects currently "sensitive" to this service e are:

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Concepts: passing the mouse over the concept symbol, tells the concept name and its type or category, if defined.

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Descriptive texts of concepts: in the descriptive text window, clicking the "Listen" button starts vocalizing the text.

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Relations: passing the mouse over the relation box, tells the relation name.

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Semantic paths: during the initial path presentation, the name for every elements is vocalized, step by step.

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In the Assessment questions function: the question and the answer as well are vocalized synchronously.

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Most interface menus.


Main uses of active voice in concept maps and overall in learning

The interaction of students with the cognitive structures represented in the concept map, (that may include multimedia) is already an improvement for all students, with widely demonstrated advantages, and even more it does for students with learning disabilities, mainly to those affected with some degrees of dyslexia or Attention Deficit Disorder (DDA), in acute and barely perceptible cases.

The conjunction of the active voice to express the map cognitive structures, beside its value as a technological advancement, an augmentation of the map multimodal (the use of several communication channels) aspect, for the average student it means a raise in the perception and motivation threshold, and for the students with learning disabilities it also offers the possibility of enhancing their interaction with the represented knowledge, with positive results in the development of their personal cognitive potentialities and learning.  

In addition to the positive effects of these developments on most students and to those having some learning disabilities, it enables the access and interaction with the represented knowledge also to visually impaired students.

The end user can customize some selectable parameters (for instance the language [11] the voice gender and diction speed) and voice quality (for instance pitch, pitch fluctuations and deepness).

Active voice will work with all map objects, it is not necessary any additional work.

The benefits of using the active voice

General characteristics

Though it is qualified technology, it is not about previously recorded words or phrases, but real artificial voice, So, any written word or "character string" will be pronounced exactly as written, included pauses and intonation resulting of punctuation. This renders feasible for several languages an endless linguistic extension, enabling the auditive perception of every cognitive concept map component.

System requirements for the active voice

Nevertheless the refinement of this technology, active voice works a PC with only:
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Any computer running Knowledge Master

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Sound card with loudspeakers or earphones, or USB audio

With Windows NT v. 4, it is necessary the Service Pack 5.



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