Mistakes I Learned From Today

Being a non-typical Monday, this being the last week before Christmas Break and the students are a little bonkers, I got to learn quite a bit today. In no particular order, here are a few tidbits that I learned from the mistakes my Monday classes had to suffer through (sorry kids!).

  • When printing a map in Google Earth that your students have been working on for quite awhile, and are really excited about showing off, don’t use the 3D View option. Sure, it sounds cool, and you may get a larger picture, but if you stick with the Folder & Placemark Description View, the option on the bottom, you get the map, all of the placemarks, and a really nice smaller close up image of each individual placemark along with its description. 3D View gives you nothing but a plain map, ugh!
  • Trying to complete the simplest of tasks, such as copying and pasting an image, will often result in having “egg on my face” if not properly tested several days beforehand. I can copy and paste images online at home in all of my web browsers, I can copy and paste images online at school with Internet Explorer, but have the students all working in Firefox with multiple tabs open, a simple copy and paste just won’t work. Must make a mental note to stop blindly trusting that the school computers will function like mine at home, despite appearances otherwise.
  • KidPix is one of those truly rare unholy programs that not only insists on dominating your entire screen, it also manages to provide you with the best multimedia experiences of 1998 for $20 a workstation, while many completely free multimedia websites offer tools that appear to be from the whiz-bang magic of the future.

I did manage to find a really awesome video about copyright, and had a great time with the 4th graders, which I’ll write about tomorrow. Time for some more offline reflection this evening.


  1. Ben-

    Been there, done that multiple times. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do.

    I went to give a presentation the other night. I was supposed to intro a DVD. Naturally I tested it on several computers before hand. They all worked but being paranoid (due to things like you mentioned in your post) I brought a second DVD.

    I got to the presentation early. Tested DVD one. It failed to play. Tested DVD two. It worked. Wrapped in smug preparedness I prepared to present only to have DVD two fail ten seconds in.

    To make things worse the presentation was on what great technology support etc. we have at the university.

    I’d be interested in that copyright video as well.


  2. Ben,

    I also was a great lover of KidPix and then I was forced to buy a new computer for my presentations that has Vista. I cannot get KidPix4 to work on it and cannot get anyone at Broderbund to help me at all. Their tech support is terrible. I would love to use the original KidPix (I think it was the best) but it will not work on XP or Vista. Any suggestions? I love your blog!

  3. It is annoying when simple things don’t work on school computers, isn’t it. I had created a del.icio.us list that I was going to use in class to help the students do research online – only to find out that the old Macs with even older Internet Explorer mis-rendered the del.icio.us website.

    For some reason, the website was crammed into about 10% of the screen width all the way to the right – making it pretty near unreadable. Funny how some old browser handle modern css.

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