Parachirp is a unique educational developmental product designed originally in 2013 by M Adams to facilitate high quality birdsong recordings without specialist equipment. The original project was in support of a 'Planet Birdsong' team project with non-verbal young adults at Brockford Barn Suffolk. It was subsequently key to work with Hopton Primary school where children used birdsong recordings for creative purposes.
The device proved valuable in achieving more accurate recordings of birdsong than was possible with an omnidirectional microphone. We worked with Neuro-diverse children to record birdsong and used slowed down recordings for the learners to mimic and explore making sounds with their voices.
After a number of years use with lavalier microphones in 2019 we modified the product for use with a variety smartphones and thereby enable accurate birdsong recordings without specialist electronic technology.
ParaChirp was kindly tested in 2019/2020 by a group of adults, Home Educated students and birdsong experts. The results were impressive. The challenge was to package it for self assembly and maintenance using cost efficient low volume techniques. Parachirp was due to be rolled out as an educational resource in 2020 but due to national events this was postponed until Summer 2021.
Parachirp is laser cut from 3mm sheet timber for the frame and polypropylene 'petals' that form a sound reflector. No glue is required for assembly. Our latest version P22 can be quickly assembled and disassembled in the field or for transport. It now comes in a draw-string bag.
It is anticipated that Para Chirp will encourage a greater public interaction with and greater awareness of birds. Central to this is the ability to record and process birdsong on smartphone apps to reveal the incredible complexity of the sounds that birds make. Some devices allow 'monitoring' of the sound with headphones or ear-buds etc
Parachirp is designed as an educational experimental product - so we anticipate students learning from the way it works to produce their own versions from various materials. We encourage customisation and a community of ParaChirpers who share recordings and ideas. ParaChirp has other uses - such as video movie making. The latest version has accommodation for a selfie stick to use with a second phone recording the video.
We sell ParaChirp at a small profit above manufacturing costs to cover R&D and promote our up and coming tour of the UK. If you want one there are various options and we can customise one just for you! We have published this concept and registered it to avoid it being monopolised by commercial industry which could prevent educational access at a fair cost.
We hope ParaChirp will contribute to national bird surveys in future.
One of the issues in obtaining authentic recordings of wild birds around the world is 'being there' at the right time and place. We hope that Parachirp is a product that can be sent to and assembled by people who may not have access to more expensive recording technology - so that they can be ready for the occasion with a basic smart phone to make that recording that would otherwise be lost.
ParaChirp does not claim to be the last word in recording technology but it may be the first word in use of smart phones for this worthy activity.
Please do not expect it to be the finished article. It is a prototype, not a toy and should by used by children only with appropriate supervision.
No responsibility or liability is accepted by Time and Space Learning for injury, loss or damage howsoever caused by this experimental produce or its use. This includes the failure to secure your smart phone properly or subject to moisture etc in the use of ParaChirp.
ParaChirp is designed to acomodate a wide variety of smartphones including the larges known smart phone. If your's does not fit please contact us and we will try to accommodate your need or provide a bespoke part.
Ultimately this is about learning - so to some extent it is up to you to make it work!!
With all this in mind we think that ParaChirp will impress you by its effectiveness.