Cool Links #66: The Web is Everywhere But Our Schools

In an effort to “protect” our children, we block anything and everything on the internet at school.  I’m not saying blocking pornography, graphic violence and profanity is a bad thing.  But many schools go way beyond that.  They block any site that allows commenting, opinion or “unfiltered” content.  They also block bandwidth “hogs” like video and multimedia.

Think of just about any Web 2.0 tool and it is blocked at many schools – Twitter, Wikis, blogs, Skype, YouTube, Flickr, etc.

And yet it doesn’t stop them.  So many students come to school with the internet in their pocket.  They have smart phones that are web enabled, they just go around that AND they can get the other stuff too – the stuff we really don’t want them accessing at school.  But because we have made the internet useless, they just bring their own.

Now on to the links that many of us won’t be able to access at school, just like this blog.

1 – Copyblogger says that there are seven harsh realities of the internet that content producers need to know.  Great list, just replace blog with newspaper, TV station, etc.

2 -10,000 Words blog wonders “Do Journalists Really Look Like This?” You really need to check out the hot and nerdiness of reporters on this site.

3 – Mastering Multimedia has 10 Ways To Make Your Photographs Better.  Best take away is know your camera!  But the second best one is use good lenses.  We bought one 80mm Prime lens that has made our photography in the gymnasium 10 times better.

4 – Thanks to the Fail Blog for this newspaper fail.

Headline Fail

5 – This is inspiring, but we’re still not sure how to make hard news pay for itself.  This young single mother turned her make up tips blog into a paying business.

6 – This is true for video shooters, photographers and reporters doing interviews – pay attention.  What else is there to say?

7 – This site is pretty interesting, it is a national “tween” newspaper called the Tweentribune.com.  The stories are tween-focused, but a lot of them come from the AP.  I’d like to see more tween written content on the site.

8 – The Newsosaur has a well composed argument that newspapers are too tradition bound to survive in the internet age because they are always asking, “Who else is doing that?” before they try something new.

9 – The Copy Paste blog has a useful lesson idea that might spice up headline writing.  The lesson uses a painting to help teach students how to summarize.  Great idea.

10 – The Online Journalism Blog has a great lesson idea – Mapped Story Telling.  It is his concept to replace the inverted pyramid with a “tumbled pyramid,” especially in online storytelling.

11 – One of my favorite blogs is Notes From A Teacher.  It has been rather quiet this last six months or so, but when there is a post, the quality is astounding.  This time he equates journalism with playing the violin. And I can’t agree more.  I play two instruments myself, trumpet and French horn.  I loved playing when I was in high school and college.  I also love writing and shooting, designing, etc.  I love journalism.  His best take away – it’s better when done with someone else.  I think that was always the appeal of TV for me.

I enjoyed working for the newspaper, but it was such a solitary existence.  I enjoyed TV so much more, because most of the time you worked with others.  It was rare to work on a project alone in TV, at least in the old days.  But the solo mobile journalist is becoming the rule today, as the one-man-band was the exception back then.  That’s too bad, because I too think that working as a team is best.

I also agree that, like music, journalism takes time and hard work.  One of the things I’m fighting against, is a movement in US high schools to cut out elective classes in the first two years and then jam pack the final two years full of “career preparation.”  This does not give a high school student the longevity with the material that he/she needs to be successful.  One of my most successful former students was the editor of our school’s newspaper and yearbook in her four years in my class.  She went on to edit her junior college newspaper and is now a staff editor at Texas State University.  I wonder how her path would have been changed by only having two years of prep work, instead of four.

12 – The Oatmeal blog has a wonderful graphic on when to use and apostrophe and when to not use one.  This is a big problem for my students and I plan to share this with them.

13 – The Denver Post has an excellent collection of Berlin Wall photos from its construction to those wonderful days in 1989 when we thought that anything was possible and the Iron Curtain came tumbling down.

End of the Berlin Wall

14 – At some point in the future, we are supposed to get our copy of CS4 Creative Design Suite.  But not yet.  When we do, I will be spending a lot of time at Adobe TV.  Lots of tutorials and how to’s.

15 – The Lasolite School of Photography has a huge collection of lighting tutorials.  Well worth a look if you are trying to do studio or portrait lighting. And if that’s not enough, there is the Photoflex Lighting School with even more tutorials.

Wow, that was two days in the making.  Hope you find it useful.

 

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1 Comment

  1. [...] social media, including his own blog, is blocked by the Web filter at his school in the post “The Web Is Everywhere But Our Schools.” Kids are increasingly going around such filters as more and more of them carry Web-enabled [...]


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