Cool Links #92: The One About Training

I’ve taken a little time off from the old blog because I’ve been up to Dallas for nearly a week and it left me fairly exhausted.  I went to the Taylor Publishing Co. Adviser Development Workshop.  It is a great four day training that includes an entire day just to learn technology.  That was great.  I enjoyed it a lot, but with travelling, it was a six day marathon.  But now, I’m back and rested.  So, on to the links.

1 – Free Technology for Teachers definitely understands the conundrum those of us who can’t access Youtube at school face and he has posted several ways to download their vids for later use.

2 – Is the Pen Tool a mystery to you?  Would you like to be a Photoshop Pen Master?  All Web Design blog has a primer on the ways of the Pen Tool for those of us who live in fear of it.

3 – The Pew Internet Project has a super slide show on how the Internet has changed from 2000 to 2010 and it is really instructive to see how just 10 years have changed things.

4 – This would solve a lot of things…

If Only We Could

If Only We Could

5 – Here is a collection of weird and crazy things that have happened to reporters on air or on tape.

This one is the wildest.

6 – Here’s a blog I’m adding to my RSS reader, BillMecca.com.  He’s a video journalist who posts lost of great stuff to his fledgling blog.

7 – Why do Video Journalists do it?  Work the long hours, slinging heavy gear?  Check out this video, it answers all the questions.

8 – The life of a one-man-band, how do they do it all?  Shoot, edit, standup, report, shoot b-roll, upload, live shot.  Whew.

9 – Campfire Journalism has a top notch post called A Few Lessons Learned From Teaching Online Journalism.  And since almost all journalism is online these days, this is a must read for all journalism teachers.

10 – Setting up lights for a portrait shoot, or a group photo day, or for a TV interview?  Sylights has a setup for you - or two or many, many more.

11 – Why is Net Neutrality important?  Check out this video by some internet stars.

12 – There are no boring stories, just bad reporters.  This one is good.

13 – I use Mac, so I don’t know nothing about Windows.  But I do know that all computers get slow once in a while.  Hongkiat has 9 Super Tips To Speed up Windows 7.

14 – I was asked to do a Q&A on the JEA website.  Very cool.

15 – This is a really cool idea – 24 Hours in photos at a Wal-Mart.  What about 8 Hours at your school?

16 – Slow News Day.

Slow News Day

No News Is Good News

17 – Why should we care about HTML5 and why is Apple trying to ram it down our throats and kill Flash?  All your answers to this are right here.

18 – It’s time to embrace the new media, but old media is still lagging – here are five things they just don’t get about new media.

19 – Let’s end with a great video about Teachers, why we need to value them.

Have a great summer.  See you soon.

Cool Links #91: The One About Graduation 2010 and More

Another year has come and gone and another group of students has left the building (along with Elvis).  I’m in a better mood than I was at the end of the last school year.  Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I am.  Graduation almost always puts me in a good mood.  It it so great to see the kids that I have worked with, helped, laughed with and sometimes even cried with walk across the stage and commence the rest of their lives.  When I was a kid, I thought commencement was an ending, it was only my senior year of high school that I learned that it meant beginning.

Next year really will be a new beginning for me and my students.  We will have a new principal, a young and inexperienced yearbook staff and just maybe something wonderful will happen.  I’ve learned in 15 years as a journalism teacher that sometimes you have to pray for rain, but plow your fields.  You can’t just hope for great kids to show up, you have to help the ones you have become great kids.   I’m cautiously optimistic about next year.

So, with that positive, hopeful note – here are some links that I hope will help you too.

1 – This is a great video from a Middle School in Florida (with some help from Full Sail University), they created a reading campaign that is fun.

2 – Adam Westbrook asks the question:  Are Two Heads Better Than One when it comes to creating video journalism.  I think that it is very hard to do it all yourself and do it well.  I’ve worked with and met a number of journalists who were very skilled at one thing, but not great generalists.  I’ve only known a small number of journalists who are good at all aspects of VJ.  Are solo mobile journalists (backpack VJs) the wave of the future – I think yes.  I think that the business of journalism has become a numbers game and two costs more than one.  Is it better journalism – no.  Do we need to train our students to be able to do it – you bet we do.  In a related post, Reflections of a Newsosaur says that journalists don’t know much about starting a business and that most new news startups are doomed to fail.

3 – PetaPixel has this interesting post – Photography According To Google.  They used a google image search on famous photographers to find the photo with the most Google Juice for a specific photographer.  Interesting choice for Ansel Adams.

Ansel Adams Best Image?  Google It.

Ansel Adams Best Image? Google It.

4 – I’m a sucker for Mark Twain, he seems like my kind of fellow – sarcastic, dry humor, wit and yet a hopeful, caring heart.  The Scholastic Scribe has a missive about yearbooks and Mark Twain – worth reading.

5 – Spot the prop.  It seems a group of property masters in the TV and Film biz have been reusing the same prop newspaper over and over again.  Great gag.

Married With Newspaper

Married With Newspaper

Show Me The Newspaper

Show Me The Newspaper

6 – The Knight Digital Media Center is starting a series of posts to help journalists understand how the web is created.  The first part is what we would call deep background, but it gives you a foundation for understanding the rest.

7 – Do people pay for content – no.  They never have, they pay for access.

8 – I am definitely a Mac.  I loved watching this series of ads for the last four years.  John Hodgeman as PC and Justin Long as Mac was a great pairing of comedy.  AdWeek has the complete 66 commercials on their site.  Here are my favs.

9 – The LemonDrop blog has a useful graphic with more information than most high school newspaper stories about prom.  Great looking graphic too.

10 – Mindy McAdams at Teaching Online Journalism brings forth a debate:  Is Journalism School Necessary? or Worth It? I’m of two minds.  I think there have been a number of great journalists who never went or at least never finished j-school.  But there have been an awful lot of j-school grads who have been bad journalists.  I think that the culture of newsrooms is more important than any j-school.  But I don’t think we have the culture today that would teach young kids the ropes and ethics like in years past.  So, that is where j-schools are important.  But if we could develop a better news culture, we wouldn’t need them.

11- Save the Media blog has an insightful post What to Keep and Get Rid of From Old-Time Media.  It’s mostly a list of keep, 5Ws and H, Inverted Pyramid, etc.  The lone toss is background paragraphs.  I agree, but the list could be expanded.

12 – Adam Westbrook says you need to devote yourself to “1000 True Fans.” For yearbooks, especially, I agree.  I’ve been a yearbook advisor for 15 years.  And in that time we’ve never really been able to increase sales beyond 25 percent of our student body.  I think it is because a yearbook focuses on the students who “do” stuff.  At my school, only about 15-20 percent of the students are involved in activities (sports, clubs, band, etc.) What we need to do is focus more on selling to the kids that want to buy and stop scattering our efforts.  I think next year we are going to assign students to hunt down kids in a specific group and ask them to buy a book.  Maximize our target market.

13 – Hey Teacher This is How I Learn is an interesting and thought provoking post.  I wonder how kids decide what isn’t boring.  I honestly don’t know if any teacher could have made me appreciate math, although I did like Geometry.  I’m not against making the content “interesting,” but interest is in the eye of the beholder.  I also think that a lot of kids like computers in the class so they can goof off.  I find it a challenge sometimes to keep my students on task in my 1:1 classroom.  There are 20 of them and only 1 of me.  It is impossible to monitor them all, all the time.  Not sure how to present information in a more interesting way when so many web 2.0 tools are blocked at my school.  Technology is often as much a curse as a blessing.

14 – This came from Photo du Jour – the evolution of news:  newspaper, kindle, iPad.

The Evolution of News

The Evolution of News

15 – Will customized television ads save commercial TV?  Doubt it.

16 – Incredible “edited” time-lapse of Los Angeles streets to create an empty feeling.

17 – Someone needs to let the government know:  High School Dropouts Cost The American Economy Millions.

Wow – what a bunch of links.  Hope you are enjoying your summer vacation.

iPod Touch: Can’t Stop The Music, Podcasts, and Apps

I have been a long time user of my iPod.  I first bought one about three years ago – a silver 4GB Nano.  It held most of my music and more importantly introduced me to the world of podcasts.  I learned so much from podcasts.  I was entertained, informed and it made me more mellow.  I actually don’t mind waiting as much.  I am calmer when I drive and listen to a podcast.

About a year ago, my Nano ended up in my iced tea.  It didn’t work for a week and so I went out and bought a Gold 8GB long Nano.  The new Nano’s are great and it held ALL my music collection plus podcasts.  Eventually my old Nano dried out and began to work again.  So I gave it to my son because his iPod Shuffle didn’t have a screen.  He likes the Nano better.

This week I’ve been borrowing an iPod Touch from my school library.  I’ve been helping them tech out.  She got a dozen of them to begin the eBook transition in our library.  But I’d never used one and could only help her so much.  So, she asked me if I wanted to borrow it for the summer to figure it out.  So, I’ve been using it and loving it.

I need an iPod Touch.  I have been delving into apps, eBooks and mobile surfing.  I love being able to access the Net by Wi-Fi at school, home and Starbucks.  I love being able to read eBook apps for FREE.  There are so many great books available as free apps.  But I also like being able to access my email, rss reader and so much more.  I’m addicted.

I think I will be shelling out some money after the summer is over to get one of these fun and useful little gagets.

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