Trails: Mississippi Frequently Asked Questions
This sections attempts to
help you with any technical problems you may experience. A number in
parentheses indicates the page number of the Teacher Guide where you
can find more about the topic. If you don't see a solution to your problem
here, visit the companion
Guide is another valuable resource for you. PDF files of the Teacher
Guide, Producer Handbook, and other materials are available on our Web
Help! We're stuck in the program
Finding content within the program
Starting the program
the program on a machine running Windows XP, the program does not
may have failed to install QuickTime. You will need to install QuickTime
for the program to run. The installer for QuickTime version 4 is
provide on the CD-ROM, or the latest version (5), can be downloaded
for free on the Web at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/
got stuck in the swamp at the "Priority Problems" computer
in the shack.
When at the Priority
Problems kiosk (computer desk), the "EXIT" and "RETURN"
buttons disappear, leaving the student no way to exit the kiosk.
This happens particularly when the student loads saved sessions.
There is a FREE upgrade
that fixes this problem (found only on version 1.2) If you chose
not to install the upgrade, use the travel feature of the Amadeus
Media Composer to travel to different location.
| The students
relaunched the program and entered their passwords, but their assignments
a FREE upgrade that fixes this problem (found only on version 1.2).
If you chose not to install the upgrade, have your students load
their sessions using the "load session" button in the
OPTIONS menu. Do not open a session from their saved folder located
on your desktop - go through the OPTIONS menu instead.
The Web site isn't loading correctly.
Check to make sure
you have a browser (e.g., Netscape, Explorer) installed.
Check to make sure
you have Internet access.
reinstalling QuickTime from the CD installer disc. If that doesn't
work, reinstall the program.
is asking for a plug-in and system profile.
be a problem with your plug-ins if you haven't used Internet Explorer
before. Go ahead and set up the profile, but you don't have to save
the browser as your default browser.
do not play smoothly.
may not be fast enough to handle the movies.
Make sure QuickTime is installed correctly.
(IOWA ONLY) This is a conflict with Mac OS 9. Download the free
update to resolve this issue.
do not play at all. I get an error message.
didn't load properly. Quit the program and reinstall QuickTime from
I am experiencing
the following problems on a Windows machine:
-The program does not
play sounds correctly.
-The program does not play any sound.
-The program crashes.
sure that QuickTime is installed. The installer can be found on
the Earth Trails: Mississippi River CD-ROM. If these problems persist,
this may be due to a problem with your Sound control panel. To solve
1. Close the Earth Trails: Mississippi River application if it is
2. Open the "Control Panel" folder (start\settings\control
3. Double click on the QuickTime control panel.
4. Select "Sound Out" from the popup menu
5. Select 'waveOut' from the "Choose a device for playback"
6. Close the "QuickTime Settings" window
7. Restart the Earth Trails: Mississippi River application.
Only) I click on the application icon located on the CD-ROM, and
this icon only works if the program has already been run once. You
must first make sure the program is installed. Once installed, you
will need to first run the program from the hard drive (located
within the Mississippi River folder on the hard drive). Once you
have run the program the first time, you will then be able to launch
the program from the CD-ROM.
What activities does this package include?
There are thirty-four classroom activities for you to use in your language
arts, math, social studies, and science classrooms. A list of brief
descriptions is available on this Web site and in the Instructor Guide.
How do I use the activities
with my students?
There are teacher and student versions of each activity. If you can,
hand out student copies. Each activity has a background section, vocabulary,
instructions, and assessment.
What are assignments? (14 - 33)
Assignments are the projects students work on while in the program.
A complete list of assignments is available in the Teacher Guide. Each
assignment has four section (six in the teacher version): Topic, Information,
Requirements, and Rubric (Overview and Trail Mail in the teacher versions).
Assignments are always available to look at within the program except
for the assignment rubrics. Assignment rubrics are available in the
Producer Handbook (for students) and in the PDF files located on the
Where are assignments
saved? (back cover)
Assignments that your students work on during their sessions are saved
to a folder called "Saved Sessions." This folder is saved
within the Mississippi River folder. You can also direct students to
save their assignments to another location, like a server or alternate
My students can't find
The default location of all assignments is in the Mississippi River
folder located on the hard drive of the computer. There should be a
folder called "Saved Sessions."
How do I assess the students'
assignments? (34 - 35)
An assessment rubric is available for every assignment. In addition,
there is an assessment rubric called Cornerstones of Quality that assesses
grammar, usage, and mechanics; content organization; content accuracy;
and media selection. You can also create your own assessment rubric.
There is a template in your Teacher Guide on page 35.
How can my students work on a feature production?
Students can work on a feature productions after they have completed
and submitted three assignments. A feature production is, in essence,
a blank assignment template. Students working on feature productions
are responsible for everything, including the topic and assessment.
CONTENT INSIDE THE PROGRAM (36 - 38)
Everything the students see can be used to complete their assignments.
They can read books, magazines, posters. They can use computers. They
can visit kiosks. They can watch movies. Content is eveywhere.
My students say they can't
find content to finish an assignment.
The Teacher Guide has a Theme Grid. Most of the content related to one
of the following themes is listed in the theme grid (also the themes
of the assignments). Only you have access to this grid. This grid allows
you to find content based on its theme, descriptive title, media type,
There are two types of navigation (getting around) in the program. You
can either navigate within a location or between locations.
How do I navigate within
Look at your mouse cursor. It will show up as one of the following:
Click when your cursor is pointing left to turn left.
Click when your cursor is pointing forward to move forward.
Click when your cursor is pointing right to move right.
take a closer look/view a detail
Click when your cursor shows up as a magnifying glass to take a closer
look at an item.
How do I navigate between
In the lower right corner of your screen is an icon that (usually) looks
This is how you pull
up the Amadeus Media Composer. The Amadeus has a travel feature.
- Open your Amadeus by
clicking on the icon, and then click on the Travel button.
- Highlight a location on
- Click on that location.
Travel is automatically arranged. Close your Amadeus and you will
find that you have arrived at your destination.
What are the requirements for installing the program?
The technical requirements are:
· Macintosh (PowerPC, G3) running MacOS 8.5 or greater
· or Windows 95/98 (Pentium or comparable)
· Sound enabled (headphones or external speakers are recommended)
· 32 MB of RAM memory
· 8x or better CD-ROM drive
· Hard disk with at least 50 MB available for installation
· Internet connection and Web browser installed for Web access
Can I install this program
on my Mac?
Yes. The same disc installs on either Macintosh or PC.
Can I install this program
on my PC?
Yes. The same disc installs on either Macintosh or PC.
How do I install the program?
You have to install the program on the computer's hard drive. Put the
CD-ROM in the computer. Double-click the Install-Mississippi River icon
on the CD-ROM. A series of windows will come up that will guide you
through the installation process.
Where do I install the
You can save the program anywhere on your computer that you want. The
program installs on your hard drive by default.
If you have a Macintosh,
the program installs in the Mississippi River folder on the hard drive.
If you have a PC, the program installs in the Mississippi River folder
within the Program Files folder on the hard drive. A shortcut to the
program installs on the computer's desktop.
How long does the installation
This depends on the speed of your computer, but usually only one to
How do I check the student's assignments?
You have a special feature called Instructor Mode. This feature allows
you complete access to student files. You can view anything the students
have done, but you cannot make any changes to their files. You need
two things in order to use instructor mode: (1) the location of the
student's saved file (i.e., computer desktop, hard drive, disc, server),
(2) a computer with the program installed.
How do I get into Instructor
- After you have installed
the program on the computer you are using, go to the Options menu
and click on SETTINGS.
- Select INSTRUCTOR MODE
from the list. You will be asked if you want to save your sesion.
Skip this step if you don't have a need to save your work.
- Enter the instructor
mode password: MOZART.
- Close out of the SETTINGS
options. You are now in Instructor Mode.
How do I load a student
- Get into Instructor Mode.
- In the Options menu,
click on LOAD SESSION.
- A window will open. Find
the location of the session you wish to load.
- Select the session with
the student or group's name.
- Start the program.
- Repeat steps 2 - 5 to
open other saved sessions.
What happens if students
forget their passwords?
Use the Instructor Mode feature to look up student passwords. Open the
student's files while you are in Instructor Mode and click on SHOW PASSWORD,
located in the upper right corner of the screen.
How do I know which assignments
my students have completed?
The Amadeus Media Composer keeps track of the assignments your students
are working on. After starting in Instructor Mode and loading the student
session, open the Amadeus Media Composer, the icon located in the lower
right corner. Click on the Assignment button to view the list of assignments.
Your students click a submit button when they are ready for you to check
their assignments. In their list of assignments, the submitted assignment
changes from green to red. Any assignments your students are working
on will be green. Any assignments your students have completed will
STARTING THE PROGRAM
How do I run the program? (8)
Double-click the application icon within the Mississippi River folder
on the hard drive.
Use the Start menu and select Programs/ Earth Trails / Mississippi River.
After a brief introduction,
you will see the OPTIONS menu. This menu allows you to do many different
tasks like: saving your session, changing the settings, printing your
session information, and launching your Web browser to the student Web
site, Earth Trails Productions. (link to student site)
Where do the students
start? (8, 18)
After a short introduction, you will see the OPTIONS menu. Click the
START button in the lower left corner. You will find yourself at the
Earth Trails Production House. This is where your students (and you)
will find the staff who will direct the students on their mission and
tell them where to begin.
Students are strongly encouraged
to view the video that shows them how to use the Amadeus Media Composer.
This is the tool they will use to do all of their multimedia production.
The video is located on a television in their office space (just across
from Fritz's office). Have them watch the video before they do anything
If you have time, have your
class take the Scavenger Hunt. It is on page 18 of the Producer Handbook.
An answer sheet is available in the Teacher Guide on page 12. The Scavenger
Hunt is a great way to learn how to get around and use the Amadeus Media
There are many words which may challenge your students' vocabularies.
There is a glossary of terms at the end of the Producer Handbook that
defines and illustrates these terms. Also, many of the books that students
come across within the program come with their own glossaries.
If you have a question that
isn't addressed, contact us,
and we'll do our best to reply promptly