Cool Links #99: The One About Relaxing

As the song says, “Relax, don’t do it.”  Today is the beginning of the long march to Thanksgiving.  Holidays are few and far between for the next three months.  So, we must take today and relax as much as possible.  I smell a nap later, so here’s the links -

1 – Templates for TV graphics save time and effort, plus make your show’s look have some consistency, but inevitably someone forgets to complete the graphic before air time.

Add Caption Here

Add Caption Here

2 – Why is your fancy new iPad the size of a paperback book?  Or a better question is: where did all the “standard” sizes for books come from in the first place – sheep!

3 – The KRG blog has a list of 12 essential skills for aspiring journalists.  It is a good list, but it is missing one important skill – the ability to monetize your content.  Take some business classes.

4 – I  can’t remember if I have mentioned this resource before.  He does not have any journalism courses, but his story is inspiring. Khan Academy is a super resource for students struggling with math or science.  His free youtube channel has taught thousands.

5 – FORA.tv has a conversation with Bill Gates that focuses mainly on education.  Like so many others who have never taught, they think they can solve all the ills of education.  Gates’ magic wand is charter schools.  He forgets that unlike charters, many students in public schools do NOT want to be there, there is a deficit of parental support and we can not negotiate our way out of special education mandates.  He also doesn’t acknowledge the high burnout rate and lower pay for teachers in charter schools.  He also thinks that a third year teacher is better than a veteran teacher, because they work harder.  Working harder is not always working smarter.  I work plenty hard now, I know I’m a better teacher after 15 years, than after only two.  And finally, he wants to record every minute of the classroom day with a web cam.  How many parents would agree to having their children recorded?  He should stick to software that crashes and leave the classrooms of America alone.

6 – Just for TV Teachers has struck a nerve, or had his struck.  He wonders if all the time, money and attention devoted to high school football is worth it?  There are times where I wonder the same thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I played high school football and in the band.  I enjoy going to games and I love the game itself.  But in many states the insane amounts of money that are diverted to sports at the secondary level could be used to improve the quality and number of teachers, or purchase equipment and instructional materials that are sorely needed.  In a time where many states are slashing education budgets, how many have seriously thought about cutting sports or even cutting their budgets?  When times are good and there is more than enough money for all, sports are a luxury we can afford – but when belt tightening is required, why does the athletic department so often get a pass?

7 – This next post is just for fun – cardboard cameras.   Too bad they don’t work.

Cardboard Camera

Cardboard Camera

8 – News hits home, film at eleven.

News hits home

News hits home

9 – The clone stamp tool can be very useful when doing artistic or touch up work on a portrait – never for journalism.  All Web Design Info offers this tutorial.

10 – Is this the “next big thing?” The merging of TV station newscasts and newspapers.  Who knows, but the blog Reflections of a Newsosaur thinks so.

11 – My local newspaper here in Houston is closing it’s doors for good.  The last issue was tossed on my driveway last week.  It was published for 70 years.  I knew the editor pretty well and I know that the ever shrinking metro the Houston Chronicle never covered our area well before, they won’t be doing a better job with a smaller staff.

12 – Etaoin Shrdlu thinks that newspapers started dying when they stopped offering something of value.  He compares it to Starbucks.  You can get a cup of coffee for way less than $1 almost anywhere, but coffee at Starbucks is usually more than $3 and people line up to pay.  They do so, because Starbucks also offers both customization and a place to drink the coffee in a nice atmosphere.  Newspapers missed out in the past by keeping their price artificially low – this encouraged customers to see news as virtually free, even before the internet.  Since the internet, newspapers have missed the boat on customization.  They should have been creating systems for people to make their own custom news feed/page.  And finally, they also could have been a part of creating atmosphere – they should have found a way to get their newspaper in every coffee house in their readership area.

13 – Random Mumblings blog says that newspapers need to stop thinking about the paper edition.  They should focus on the web, because that is where people get their news today.

14 – If you ever wanted to know how to light a subject for a photoshoot – DIY photography has 13 video tutorials on how to set up lighting.

That’s a wrap – en

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