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"Anything" Containers as Notepads

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by MARK WEST 02/09/10

Mac Tips

Special Keys

The Mac Command Key

You probably call this the "Apple Key", but it's officially called the Command Key and it is located near your spacebar. It is used on a Mac much like the control key is used on Microsoft Windows®; example: control-c on Windows copies and on a Mac we use command-c; control-v pastes on Windows and command-v pastes on Mac OS.

The Option Key

The Option Key is located near the Command Key and is sometimes called the ALT key. This key can frustrate a Windows user, as it doesn't work as a Windows ALT key does (you'll often use the Command Key on Mac where ALT is used in Windows), such as when tabbing through open applications: on Windows it's ALT-Tab, on a Mac it's Command-Tab.

The Control Key

The Control Key is located near the Command Key and has special funtions on a Mac (see "Right Clicking" below).

Exiting A Bad Program

On Windows, Alt+F4 will quickly terminate a program.

On Mac OS, Command+Q will quickly terminate a program.

The "3-Finger Salute"

On Windows, when a program stops behaving properly, you can press Control+Alt+Delete to invoke the Task Manager to make an application stop.

On Mac OS, you can accomplish the same thing by pressing Command+Option+Escape; this invokes the Force Quit menu and you can make applications stop.

"Right Clicking"

Sometimes you need to right click. On most computers it's easy, as they come with a two-button mouse. On Mac OS, you typically find a single-button mouse.

You can plug a two-button mouse in to a Mac and it will work. The reason is because two-button mice work on Unix and Mac OS is a Unix variant that uses parts from FreeBSD's and NetBSD's implementation of Unix.

You can also "right click" on a Mac with a single button mouse. To do so, you can do either of the following:

  1. Press and hold the Control Key while clicking.
  2. (This one only works if you have a Mac with a touchpad - usually a laptop) place two fingers on the touchpad while clicking.

This type of container could be easily incorporated into a teacher-directed comparrison task as explained on p. 11 of Marzano, Robert J.; Gaddy, Barbara B. and Dean, Ceri. What Works In Classroom Instruction. © 2000 McREL. Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

The GIMP is an excellent tool for making and editing graphics.

Not familiar with the Gimp? There's an online "book" called Grokking the GIMP by Carey Bunks available under an Open Publication License (where Grok means getting a complete understanding of; the word was coined by Robert Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land).

For those familiar with the GIMP, here's what I did

To create the corkboard:

  1. Create a new file 1600 x 1200
  2. Fill the image with a neutral-yellow color (such as #e7cf9f )
  3. Filters -> Artistic - Apply Canvas (use defaults).
  4. Add a layer
  5. Fill the layer with the same neutral-yellow color (such as #e7cf9f )
  6. Filters -> Artistic - Clothify (use defaults).
  7. Change layer mode to Overlay
  8. Add a layer
  9. Select -> ALL
  10. Select -> Shrink (by 50)
  11. Select -> Invert
  12. Fill the selection with a border color (such as #a51008 )
  13. Filters -> Decor - Add Bevel (use defaults).
  14. File -> Export as PNG

To create the weird-shaped posting notes:

  1. I drew the shape with pencil and paper and scanned it in with a scanner.
    a note pad page
  2. I used the fuzzy select tool ("wand") to select the shape's interior
  3. Edit -> Copy
  4. Edit -> Paste as New Image
  5. I used Kward1979UK's rusted paper as the interior.

Posting Notes

This will allow teachers to adapt an ACTIVboard lesson to approach Bloom's Taxonomy level 6 (evaluation).

A cool (and useful) feature of the container object is to contain anything. This allows you to have a "posting note" upon which you can make an annotation, insert text, videos, pictures, etc. You move the container and all that it contains is moved with it.

  1. Set the background. Go to the Edit menu and choose Page Background. From the popup window, choose Image and then Browse to the background image. The image I used was:
    a corkboard
  2. Using the Insert Media from File tool, I import the posting note image.
    a POSTING note
    To resize it, click the image, use the Properties Browser, choose Position. Set the Width to 310 and the Height to 680.
  3. Change container to ....
  4. Click on the picture below the word containers. Using the Properties Browser, choose Containers.
    do this
    Change Can Contain to Anything.
  5. Then, using the Marquee Handles Toolbar, I made two duplicates, so that I would have three scratch/note pads.

At this point you can place anything, even notations, on the notes and everything will move when they are moved.

Example In Action

Sample Flipchart

A link to the flipchart or if that's messed up, here's A link to the zip archive of the flipchart.