Here is information on how to build your own Shockwave text reader, similar to the ones I built for the AP Catullus and AP Horace poems.

To use this program, you must have access to Macromedia® Director, version 6.0.2, or later. The full-blown version is very expensive. I purchased my educator's edition of version 6 for only $100. (It might cost more now.) You might be able to find an less expensive copy on the web (e.g., eBay), or maybe your school has a copy.

Director is a fantastic program, but it has a wicked learning curve, much steeper than what most educators have time for. I have easily spent 150 hours learning Director and Lingo, Director's scripting language. Fortunately, for those of you who would like to use what I have built, it will not require knowing all that much about Director.

Along with a copy of Director, you need a copy of the reader (88 k), which you can download here. This is a greatly trimmed-down version of a reader I built to conduct a study on the effect of gloss use on reading rate and reading comprehension.

When I built the full-blown version of this reader, one of the ideas I was kicking around was to use it in a Latin learning community. For example, users of Cambridge could write additional stories about the characters in the text, which would be posted online for others to read, thus increasing the size of the “text.” In fact, a learning community could change the idea of a text from that of a discrete unit to an ever-increasing corpus, a work in progress. Stories could be based on the cultural information the students researched; stories would have to be historically authentic and adhering to the characters in the existing text. (That would require some editorial board of teachers in the learning community to make sure that was the case.) Not that one would need this reader to do that, but I just like the idea of providing texts with hypertext lexical support (principal parts, definitions, grammatical information, etc.) that would help a person read text that might otherwise be "above" his/her level.

The purpose of this reader is to make glossed texts that people can access on your website. If you don't want to "shock" your movies, but would prefer that your students to use them without having to go on the web, you can also save your work as a projector. A projector is a free-standing Director movie, i.e., it will play on a machine that does not have Director loaded onto it.

All I ask in return for releasing this reader is that you give me credit for having made it. Please do not delete the credits notice on the reader. I also ask that you use it for educational purposes, and do not adapt it for commercial use.

Please write to me to tell me where I can clarify my instructions, or if there are problems (e.g., it doesn't work!). It might be good to have those people who already have access to Director to try it out first, and see if things are AOK.

There are four steps in making a Shockwave reader:

1. Preparing the gloss.

2. Preparing the text.

3. Inserting the gloss and text into the reader.

4. Inserting the Shockwave document into a HTML document.

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last updated December 09, 2003
comments, corrections?