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The Teleprompter is a device that "shouts" a script (not a programming script) so that the instructor does not have to type out an entire class. The advantages are that course material will be presented in an approved and consistent manor and of course, free of typos.
The Instructor Teleprompter is worn as a HUD attachment and has "DVD" like controls.
- The leftmost button toggles PLAY and PAUSE. ( > and || )
- The |< button resets the script back to the beginning.
- The ^ and v buttons increase and decrease the speed of the playback. (Generally 5-6 seconds is good)
Note that when you change the speed, you will see the new setting in the chat area but the information is only sent to you. Your students will not see the messages.
When you touch the PAUSE button, playback will continue until the end of the current line being spoken and then pause. This will allow you to answer a question or interject during the playback. It is also useful if you notice lines of text coming out in the wrong order due to lag. This is a very rare problem, though.
There are some limitations to the Teleprompter. The most significant is that I am really the only one that can prepare a course for use. I am not willing to release a modable version. I do not charge UF Starfleet for the use of my device but I am not willing to release it into the public domain either. Another limitation is that I have to specially format the "script" so that it works with the teleprompter. If you plan to submit a script please take note of the following:
Write the copy as if you are speaking it. For example it is better to say: "Welcome to UF Starfleet Academy. I am Lieutenant Commander Zed Drebin. Today we are going to discuss bleh, bleh, bleh..." rather than jumping right into course material. I also like to emote in the copy i.e. *looks about the room* or *smiles*, etc...
You can also speed up the process of me producing a teleprompter by doing some of the formatting of the text before you send it to me. The llscript uses the "~" (tilde) character to insert a 1 second pause in the playback. It should be placed on a line by itself. It is also important to keep the lines of text sufficiently short as to make sense when played back as speech. Here is an example of how the copy should look:
*looks about the room and smiles* ~ ~ Welcome to UF Starfleet Academy. I am Lieutenant Tiny. Today we are going to discuss bleh, bleh, bleh... ~ Now is the time for all good PADDs to come to the aid of their users. The rain in Spain lies mainly on the plain. ~ ~ In conclusion I would like to say that bleh etc etc etc... I will now open the floor to questions and discussion. ~ *smiles*
By varying the placement of the tildes, you can create a more natural looking speech. I will try to spruce them up as I produce teleprompters, but the best way to judge is to run a playback and watch it carefully.
It is also helpful if you email the copy to me at zed [at] councilofnine.org rather than sending a notecard. Notecards are easily lost. If you rather not use email than please send me the notecard in a folder so that it is easily visible in my inventory.