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Google Lit Trips

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by MARK WEST 08/18/10

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.

Google Lit Trips

Ever want to tie in Social Studies into Reading and Language Arts? Here's an easy how to.

An offshoot of the Google Earth project is "Google Lit Trips". It uses Google Earth and creates an interactive experience for experiencing a book. Wouldn't it be nice to see the area the book was describing to help bring the written word to life in the mind of a reader? That's exactly the idea behind a Google Lit Trip.

Two websites you will need to visit before beginning is:

Note: you do NOT have to run ActivInspire unless you need to make annotations over the desktop. As with any other piece of software, you can use the software on your computer and display it on your Interactive White Board so that students can gain this experience.

KMZ file?

The KMZ file type is a zip file (a file archive) and KMZ stands for Keyhole Markup Zip file. On a Mac, you'll download it and it on many browsers, the download file will end with "". Don't unzip it (open it).

If I don't unzip it, then what do I do with it?

  1. Open Google Earth.
  2. Drag the file over the globe in Google Earth.
  3. On the left side, under Places, under Temporary Places you will see your lit trip and you can click on a location and zoom to it. Often it will pull up an information screen with text, pictures and weblinks; this can be dismissed by clicking on the blue X in the upper left-hand corner of the white information box:
  4. You now have an interactive map of the area that you can scroll around and zoom in and out of. In some cases, such as historic sites that are no longer standing, you'll see that the author of the lit trip has used Google Sketchpad to give you an idea of what the place looked like, as is the case with Troy in Homer's Odyssey:
  5. You can now navigate the places panel (by clicking on various locations) to see the areas in the story.