Cool Links #104: The One During The “Universal Holiday” Break

I heard this on Disney Channel the other day – Happy Universal Holiday.  We have now officially crossed over into the world of Big Corporate and 1984.  It is amazingly sad how newspeak is taking over our language.  When I read the book 1984, in 1984 I never thought it would come to pass.  But now I live in that world.  So, let’s use the interwebs to find something to take our mind off of it all and be better j-teachers after the break.  Here come the links -

1 –  There doesn’t seem to be a way to add xtranormal movies to my wordpress blog, but I can link to them. Here’s a funny one about a young comm. grad who wants to be a big TV news star.

2 – The Principal’s Page has a funny about schools taking the blame for what happens at home.

3 – As journalists and educators, we should be very interested in “What is the best question in the world?”

4 – This is how e-textbooks are created.

5 – If you are a blogger, and you should be, then you should back it up!  FreeTech4Teachers will show you how.  Just backed up mine.

6 – Seen a number of Year in Photos around the web for 2010 – Denver Post, Boston Globe,

7 – My school district recently set up a moodle server and I use it nearly every day.  I love it.  Here’s a chart with the pros/cons of moodle.

8 – If you teach broadcast journalism, then you must watch and subscribe to Austin’s Josh Hinkle who has posted some great videos about what life is like as a solo-mojo on the go in Austin, TX at KXAN.  Thanks Josh.

9 – This post from WDL has a useful Photoshop keyboard shortcut desktop pattern and a color wheel sheet (printable).

10 – WDL has been hitting it with useful posts lately.  Here’s on on apostrophe and quote marks – you are not doing it right.

11 – New Term – PHObar:  Photoshopped Beyond All Recognition.

PHObar

PHObar

12 – Google has a new YouTube channel called Teach My Parents Tech.  It really should be Teach Tech to Anyone, but anyway – it is useful for teaching simple tech tips to people.  Here’s an example

13 – Since I live in Houston, I’ve been following the story of Lamar High School’s library closely and the early stories about it were dead wrong – no books burned, only 20 year old books trashed, 11,000 books kept, nearly 90 laptops for use in the library, not 20, etc.  The Innovative Educator has valuable post on the subject.

14 – As a photo/video-grapher you will have to deal with wet weather if you shoot outdoor sports.  Clifford Oto has a picture perfect post about his dealings with rain this football season.

And The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down

And The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down

15 – Rick Sammon is the online guru of photo.  This post is simply about one thing – GET CLOSE!

Get Closer

Get Closer

16 – Why do all “curriculum planners” act like this?  It seems like everyone has met at least one curriculum planner who has zero knowledge of actual teaching.

Have a great “universal holiday” break.

YLYB #56: Differing Opinions

In the last three days I’ve had two teachers call me stating that students were rude to them during an interview.  This is unacceptable to me and both students were put on notice.  Should it happen again, their privileges to leave the classroom will be revoked.

These are not the first students to ever mouth off to a teacher or be too loud, but I have a very low tolerance for it.  As a journalist, you need to know that you should be very careful before you burn a source.  Sources have a way of getting back at you – so don’t teachers.

What struck me was that neither student felt they had done anything wrong.  They pretended to be hurt that anyone took offense.  But my teaching credentials weren’t printed yesterday, I’ve seen this brand of student before.  They knew exactly what they were doing.  They think a Press Pass is a license to do whatever they want – and get away with it.  They are wrong.  Should they test me again, they will be sitting in the classroom cooling their heals with some sort of book work, while the others go out on interviews.

YLYB #55: Can I Get An Interview?

I’m not sure why, but my TV kids are having trouble getting people to go on camera.  My yearbook kids don’t seem to be having any problem.  At least not so far.

I just sent out my first year kids on their first story assignment.  They are writing student life stories for the 9-10-11 grade panel pages.  As always, I really try to do this in a step-by-step fashion with them.  They need to be taken by the hand and helped along at every step of the way.  So, here we are right now – step 1 interview.

But I did look at their notes today.  Not very good.  We are going to have to review what kind of sentences they have to write and how will they get that from the kind of answers they got.  Not so good at all.

 

Cool Links #94: The One About The Midpoint

Here in most of Texas, we are about mid-way through the summer.  And for many of us, summer will end early because of back to work tasks that can’t wait – like getting all the computers hooked up and running, taking football/band/cheerleader pictures and meeting with the new yearbook rep.  All things we yearbook teachers do off-the-clock and unpaid.  No one has any idea how many hours of unpaid work go into being a yearbook teacher.  Our stipends don’t even come close.  We work from before the year starts until long after it ends and get a stipend that pales in comparison to the lowliest coach.  But, enough about that.  On to the links:

1 – Here is a collection of sad graphics about the decline of the news industry – focusing on the last three years called A Quick Primer on the US News Industry.

2 – Thanks to the Principal’s Page Blog2 for this photo – it really brings to life the computing revolution:  size, price and power ready to take anywhere.  I really miss my old Bondi Blue iMac.  But I love my new iMac even more.  We retired our last bubble iMac from the lab this year – it was 8 years old and still going as a printer server.

iMac v iPad

iMac v iPad

3 – This is a great article for any young, would-be journalist at either the college or high school level to read.  Thanks Ms. Yada, I hope the job search is going well.

4 – OK, yes clip art is so, like the ’90s.  But sometimes you really need a good piece of clip art for a powerpoint presentation.  Here is a royalty free clip art site for teachers.   As always, check the guidelines before reproducing anything.

5 – I’m incensed about the BP oil spill in the gulf.  As of this week, tar balls have been sighted on Galveston beaches.  Just like the Louisiana gulf coast, East Texas gulf coast was hit by hurricanes Rita, Katrina and Ike.  Many coastal towns live on tourist dollars in the summer months to feed them all year long.  Others from shrimping and fishing.  The last thing these towns need is the oil disaster that BP has unleashed upon us all.  The whole gulf coast is feeling it, but BP and the White House keep lowballing the problem and trying to keep journalist from seeing the real devastation.  I hope brave photogs and video crews keep thwarting the rent-a-cops and Coast Guard to publish photos that keep the disaster fresh in our minds.

6 – Here is where our industry is heading, as ad dollars keep shrinking and publications close, those few that remain will be more beholden to the ad money they still get.  This is especially true for trade publications – those magazines that cover a single industry, or group of related industries.  A reporter for Motorcyclist Magazine was allegedly fired because he did a story critical of a major sponsor – a helmet maker.  Who will be watching the watchers?

7 – This confirms something I’ve know for a while, minorities use the mobile web (smart phones/laptops/netbooks) more than Anglos.  I suspect it is because phones and netbooks are cheaper than a traditional desktop or high-end laptop and provide the user the mobility to seek out wifi at places like McDonalds, the public library, schools, Starbucks, etc.  That is a powerful combination for those who don’t own a home (rent) or have a need to be mobile due to their work (truck drivers, construction workers, seasonal laborers, etc.).  I think this is an important finding for those who wish to market to minority groups (yearbook).  You have to go where the customers are – online via mobile.

8 – Everyone has a story.  Eight million people live in the NYC area, each one has a story.  This is a great way to show your student journalists how to get personality profiles.

9 – If you don’t have great video of the event, then you need great storytelling/standups.  The ever-great Kaplitz blog has a superb example.

10 – I ran across this little tidbit while working on a lesson about Matthew Brady – how photos were made in the 1860s.

11 – If you create a web site, then you should validate the code.  This helps to make sure that your page is compliant with all web standards – All Web Design Info has a list of several sites to do just that.

12 – Working with type on the web?  Then you need these Six Super Helpful Typography Cheat Sheets.

13 – Here’s another resource for teachers wanting to learn the Google tools for your classroom – a 33 page guide from Free Tech 4 Teachers.

14 – And we wonder why journalists are held in such low regard and no one wants to pay for our work?  It is no wonder when well-respected publications keep violating the most basic of ethical standards – don’t modify photos.

Economist modifies photo of Obama

Economist modifies photo of Obama

15 – Want to use a popular song in a YouTube video, but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for the rights.  Now you can – Rumblefish is a service that is supposed to sell the musical rights to video creators who want to post to YouTube.  The rights are usually between $2-25 for a song and are only good for YouTube.  Try it out and let me know how it went.

16 – What makes a great teacher? No one thing, maybe these 12 things each contribute to being a great teacher – I think number 5 and 6 are pretty important.

17 – I’m always looking for more of these Photos That Changed The World to add to my collection.  Some great ones in this collection – Ghandi and Brady.

Keep having a great summer.  I just finished an 8 hour InDesign CS4 tutorial that took me about two weeks to complete – up next Photoshop, then Flash.

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.

Cool Links #70: The One Where I’m Not Bitter

This last week the nominations for the 2009 Edublogs were released – and despite reading two of my pal’s blogs where I was nominated, I did not end up on the official nomination list.  But as I said in the title, I’m not bitter.  Maybe I’ll take a page from my friend the Scholastic Scribe and create my own awards. Well, on to the links.

1 – Ever want a cool Twitter Web 2.0 style logo?  Well, now you can create one in seconds at Twitlogo.

2 – If you want to feel old, even if you are a 20- or 30-something, just watch this video of the decade according to 9-year-olds.  You know them, they were the Millennial Kids born in the year 2000.  I know one personally, because he is my son.

3 – This really scares me as a journalism/media teacher – just as it looks like the massive job cuts may be slowing or even stopping in the news business, there are many big news companies ready to outsource production jobs to large central locations, possibly even off-shore.  It really looks bad for kids who want to pursue a career in nearly any type of media.

4 – This next post is going to be useful for me, my kids are weakest at interviewing.  This is especially true if there is any resistance on the part of the subject or if they don’t know who to interview. They’d rather just give up and look for another story, no matter how boring.  They’d rather it be easy.

5 – As a school teacher, we need to see the writing on the wall, or the screen, that delivery of content via print is seriously outmoded.  Video and interactive web content have supplanted text a long time ago.

6 – This is a great post for photography teachers out there from the Digital Photography School – 23 Popular DSLR Lenses.  They have great lists for both Nikon and Canon.

7 – Videomaker Magazine has a super video on YouTube titled, The Seven Deadly Sins of Camerawork.  Well worth your time to watch.

8 – “Print” media really needs this to get here and fast – tablet form factor devices for e-reading of books, magazines, newspapers and more.  This is how media needs to be served in the 21st Century.

9 – Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine asks Is Journalism Storytelling?  The answer is yes and no.  Journalists provide information, but much of that information is now available in other places today.  Journalists must also be storytellers to put all that info into context that people can understand.

10 – The 10,000 Words Blog has a timely post of 20 Must Have Gifts For Journalists.  If anyone wants to buy me the iPod notepads, that’d be great.  Of course an iPod Touch would be nice too.

11 – I’ve always said that photographers are artists.  There’s long been rumors that Leonardo DaVinci used a camera obscura to paint the Mona Lisa and I also love the movie “The Girl in the Pearl Earring.”  But now there is photographic proof that Norman Rockwell was a swell photographer as well as a great artist.  He shot his subjects for his famous paintings.  Here’s a second link to an NPR site about it.

Norman Rockwell - Photographer

Norman Rockwell - Photographer

12 – The Web Show OPEN investigates what makes the TWIT Network operate and why it is so important to the way media of tomorrow will be small, niche and powerful.

13 – I love these.  I may even start my Spring Semester in broadcast journalism with these and have the students adapt them for their own.  They are Jim Lehrer’s 8 rules of journalism.  Full transparency – I used to work for PBS.

14 – Give an Orange a camera and find out what happens.  It may not be journalism, but it is photography.  Yes, I’m now facebook friends with an ape.

15 – PBS.org has also put up a number of their older documentaries – like this one about the LA Times from the 1970s? or 1980s? Definitely set on the wayback machine.

16 – Luminous Landscapes has a number of tutorials about photography posted online, like this one about histograms.  They are thorough, helpful and well-illustrated.

As of today, I’m back to +/- zero for my weight challenge.  So I guess that’s good, now have to keep on the treadmill and see if I can get to negative numbers next week.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 29 other followers