A State Of Sanity For Journalism Teachers

I don’t know about every state, but here in Texas we have a great resource in the UIL and it’s journalism arm ILPC.   They have a great number of resources, publications and a spring convention.  They also critique yearbooks, newspapers and broadcasts each year.  It is well worth the entry fees.  Find your state’s organization and join today!

Mr. C

Everyone Takes A Picture – Yearbook Picture That Is!

I ran across a fun site filled with celebrity yearbook photos.  The site itself does have some Not Safe For Work elements and language (NSFW), so you will want to check this out at home.  But you can probably frame grab a few photos to use as examples in class as long as you delete them after you use them. (Here is a safe for work lower resolution version)
I think students need to know that every photo in the yearbook belongs to a potential famous actor, music star, president of the US, NBA or NFL star, etc.  You really want to take care in the yearbook to make sure that the names are spelled correctly and the photos are decently cropped with good quality.

Everyone wants to be treated like a star, so make sure picture day is as special as can be for your student body!

Mr. C

You’re Not My Typeface, Teaching About Type

This year, I’m going to start my yearbook class off with design.  I usually leave it for last, as in the best for last.  But I notice that often my yearbook kids get bored with writing and struggle with photography.

So if I am going to begin with design, then this site should be a great help when I get to discussing Type.   It has a great deal of information on typefaces, grids and other printing info.  It even has a section just for teachers with a bevy of great handouts in PDF format.

So, even if you are not going to start off with design – you’ve got to teach it some time.

Mr. C

Boot It Up In Windows

I’ve listed a ton of utilities for the Mac, but since I don’t use Windows much, I don’t have a lot of good resources for the Microsoft side.  Here’s one site that seems to have a ton of great utilities.

Mr C

Get Ready, Get Set, School Start Time

Today was my first day back to school officially.  We have five days of inservice and then the kids come back on Monday.   This is prime time to get ready and my server is being fussy.  I may have to reinstall the software Wednesday.  I’m using OSX server and sometimes it just mystifies me when it doesn’t want to work.

Now that school is about to start, I’m not sure how often I will want to post.  But I plan to post at least once a week.

Mr. C

Getting A Head Start On Your ’08 Yearbook

As I mentioned before, yearbook is a year round activity.  Hopefully by now you are thinking about how to get started.  Really, you are already behind if you aren’t started now!

But don’t panic.  My first year as a yearbook adviser, I didn’t have a theme until mid-September and wasn’t sure who would take our school pictures until after the school year had started.

So, what should you do first?  Meet with your yearbook representative.  This is the person that your yearbook company has assigned to you to help you go from A to Z with your yearbook.  If you don’t know who it is, call their local or regional office and find out.  Set up an appointment to meet ASAP!

Next, read your contract.  Find out what you are entitled to for support from your yearbook company.  Many school districts bargain collectively with the companies and get extras thrown in or breaks on the pricing.  You won’t know unless you have read the contract.

Go to their corporate web site.  All of the big yearbook companies (Walsworth, Jostens, Friesens, Taylor, Herff Jones) have a web site.  Most of the companies are offering online proofs, online submission, some even have online page layout or image storage.  And they all have lots of online curriculum help and downloads.

Once you have your staff together, you need to begin choosing a cover, designing your pages and choosing a theme for this year’s book.

Mr. C

Apple Ruins iMovie: Bad For Scholastic Broadcasting

If you use Macs, then don’t be too excited to “upgrade” to the new iMovie.   So far, the reviews are in and they are bad.  The new iMovie stinks.  It has lost so many features that we have grown to love and depend upon.

I have not yet seen or played with it, but I hope to soon.  I have 2 new Mac Minis on their way.  But the reviews are all over the net -  herehere – and here.   Andy’s is the most comprehensive, the NY Time’ is very good and Multimedia Shooter has the best headline – Apple is Dumb too.

But a sneaking part of me thinks this is all in an effort to sell more copies of Final Cut.  Too bad, because I love iMove and now it seems that Apple has turned it into MovieMaker.

Mr. C

Fear Is The Mind Killer and The Media Killer

When we are in our production cycle, be it yearbook, broadcast or web design we have little mini conferences. Many times I come to a student who hasn’t turned in the assignment yet and I ask them why they haven’t got anything done.

There are many answers, but like this story on copyblogger says – they mainly boil down to fear. How many different kinds of fear do our kids have?

1) Fear of failure. If they don’t do it, then they didn’t fail. They just didn’t try. It sounds like twisted logic, but it is true.

2) Fear of looking stupid. If they do it and it is dumb, then they will look stupid in front of their peers.

3) Fear of criticism. Sometimes they are perfectionists. They want it right the first time. They can’t handle criticisms.

4) Fear of wasted time. They fear that their first draft is a waste of time, because they know they will have to do it again anyway.

5) Fear that it will be too hard. They don’t want to do it because they feel it is just too difficult.

6) Fear of talking to people. If you don’t like to talk to people, it is hard to interview and collect information.

7) Fear that is doesn’t matter. They don’t want to do all this work and then find out that no one really cares.

8 ) Fear that they can’t think of a good lead. Many of them put so much pressure on themselves to make every lead the very best one. So they never get started.

9) Fear of research. They don’t want to actually have to do any work to get the information for their story. They just want it all to fall in their lap.

10) More fear. Sometimes they don’t know what they are afraid of, they just are afraid of the story.

As an adviser, we must be aware of our student’s fears and help them learn to overcome them. It’s all part of the job.

Yearbook: Make A Magic Book For YB Vocabulary

Here’s a great, fun and cool little activity that you can do on the day that you introduce how a yearbook is made. Have everyone make their own magic book!

After you make the magic book, then you can use it to demonstrate how books are put together. And while your at it, introduce yearbook terms for them to know and write down in the magic book.

There is also a great episode of the Science Channel’s “How It’s Made” (Season 3, Episode 6 or Episode #32 if you are counting from the start) that has a five minute segment on book binding. It seems that they are currently running seasons 1 and 2, but there are six seasons and they often have marathons, so keep your eye on the schedule.

Mr. C

Get Mashable Photo Tutorials From Photojojo

Photojojo would be more correctly called photo mojo. This is a cool service that you can subscribe to or just visit their web site. If you choose the email subscription, you get one email a week with a cool, new photo tip.

Their tips range from interesting how to’s for photoshop to more arts and crafts kinds of projects you can do with photos. Plus much more. Their archive is full of great ideas.

Check out Photojojo and have some fun with your photography class this year.

Mr. C


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