Cool Links #98: The One That Took Two Weeks To Finish

‘Twas the night before school and all through the house, the kids were sad, and so were the teachers.  Not really, but it makes a good scene.  Both children and teachers in this house are ready to go back – mostly.  So, here’s a few last minute links to bide you over the first day back.  Mine is tomorrow.

[Editor's note:  I started this post last Sunday, the night before the first day of school.  I'm finishing it seven days later.  It was a long week - can you tell?]

1 – Journalists in the 21st Century really MUST be jacks-of-all-trades, so says the hiring practices of most media organizations.  Honestly, I was getting this advice back in 1988 – so, really is this a surprise?

2 – Net Neutrality is all the rage right now – thanks Google, you surrender monkeys.  Read, Write, Web has a super graphic with 15 facts about Net neutrality.

3 – More than any other mathematical concept, the Golden Ratio has my attention.  I love the many ways that the ratio is represented in art, music, architecture, nature and more.  It is a divine concept.

4 – The Beaumont, Texas office of Taylor Publishing (Balfor now?) has a cool resource site – check it out!

5 – Tamron video wants to help you use your Flash better in Episode 12 of their continuing series of photography videos.

6 – Free Tech 4 Teachers has a list of 140 user generated ideas for things that teachers are going to try in their classrooms this year.  I’m in the slideshow (yea me!) and I’m going to try Moodle.  My district has started it’s own Moodle site.  I really like it so far.

7 – I stumbled upon DigitalRev after watching a great stress test video that pitted a Nikon vs. a Canon camera.  DigitalRev has a Youtube channel and a great blog too.  I’ve added them to my RSS and Youtube subs.

8 – The Principal’s Page had a great graphic timeline of the History of the Internet.  Huge!

9 – Gizmodo had a good companion to the last link – The Secret History of those $%&@ing Computer Symbols.  My favorite is – of course the Mac Command symbol.

10 – According to Wired Magazine – The Web is Dead:  Long Live the Internet. It’s a Pro vs. Con on the walled gardens or suburbia of the internet – phone apps.

11 – After the Exposure Triangle – dPs wants us to get a little more advanced with our thinking about the exposure triangle = meaning aperture is more than just more light.

12 – The Internet gets news out faster and better right?  Not when Twitter punks the news.  Rumors can run rampant and then CNN and others actually report fake news stories.  Oh Dang, can you say retraction.   And in a related post, The Chive, punked us all with Dry Erase girl.  Supposedly she quit her job with a series of photos posted on a photo sharing site, telling all about her boss.  But alas, it was just a hoax – it did come from the Onion-like Chive site.  Duh.

13 – The Kobrechannel has a list of Five Things They Can’t Believe Every News Video Doesn’t Already Have.  Byline anyone!

14 – The folks over at 2¢Worth are trying to create an innovative online/DVD yearbook mashup.  No printed copy or only as a print on demand product.  I’m interested in seeing how this might work.

15 – Thanks to the Principal’s Page blog for reminding us all of this.  As the year goes by, things get busy and they often get hard.  It’s the hard that makes it great.

16 – I love this. Stickers for the newspaper, with truth in advertising about the news contained inside.  Could be used in yearbook too!  Not as funny as you think.

Quid es Veritas?

Quid es Veritas?

That’s a wrap.

Cool Links #97: Back To School Edition

Here in Texas, most public schools start the week of Aug. 24.  It became state law a couple of years ago, that schools can’t start before then.  That means teachers return next Monday in many districts.  I’m ready to get back to work.  I really do feel the like the long, recently hot, summer is over.  So, let’s cool it down with links.

1 – The wonderfully named Robert Picard thinks Journalism is in Good Health.  I suppose in a Darwinian way, as the number of journalism jobs decrease, those who are serious about the craft will win out over those who are not.  Let’s hope that the Business of journalism will find some health too.

2 – This is something we’ve struggled with – HD video.  We have cameras that do SD, widescreen SD, 720p and 1080i HD.  The One Man Band Reporter tries to explain why using HD in the newsroom is difficult and slow going.

3 – What will happen if yearbooks disappear?  How will we find embarrassing photos of actors and politicians from their high school years?

Who's this good looking young guy?

Who's this good looking young guy?

4 – This is so true.  How can these kids show up looking like $1 million bucks at the first bell and look so bad when they get to picture day?

Yearbook Photo Day Readiness

Yearbook Photo Day Readiness

5 – Adam Westbrook is running a series on Blogging.  How, why and everything else.  So far, my favorite one has been How To Build An Audience.  It’s really not just about blogging, but about appealing to those who want the content you’ve got.  The rest of the series is pretty good, worth putting into your RSS feed.

6 – This is a great little nugget – Lee Hood’s Broadcast Journalism Tips.

7 – This post really hit it right on the head.  So many adults today think that kids are born wired into the computer, but they are not born tech savvy, they are tech comfy.

8 – The JPROF has a super post – Seven Steps To An Audio Slideshow.  I think I will use this with my photojournalism kids this year.

9 – This is hilarious – a soccer team (football across the pond) in England banned photographers from their games and insisted newspapers buy the photos from their official photographer.  So a newspaper covered the game with an artist - like a court story here in the US.  Funny.

10 – PetaPixel has a fun video comparing the new Barbie Cam Doll with a Canon DSLR.

It's A Barbie World

It's A Barbie World

11 – I’ve been trying to find a way to spice up a lesson on historical photographers.  This looks like the kids might enjoy it – A Historical Facebook Page for an historical figure.

12 – This post from Copyblogger – 60 Ways to Increase your Influence online would be worth it just for #1 – David Meerman Scott. “Stop talking about your products and services. People don’t care about products and services; they care about themselves.” -@dmscott

13 – Photo Agency head Neil Burgess says Photojournalism is Dead.  I think that is overstating it a bit.  What I think he is really trying to say is that quality photography is dead.  The tyranny of good-enough is here.

14 – Mindy McAdams has posted a superb example on how to teach the five shot method for broadcast journalism.

15 – This is bound to be useful – a Final Cut plugin to change multiple fonts at once.  Thanks Alex4d.

16 – Black Star Rising has posted part 3 of a series – Why The First Amendment Matters.

17 – The Denver Post has a great collection of images from the 1930s in color – yes color.  Great collection from a time when nearly all the photos are black and white.

America - 1930s in Color

America - 1930s in Color

18 – There are a number of good collections of journalism videos on YouTube including: How to Be a Local Sports Reporter with Jamal Spencer, How to Be a Local TV News Reporter with Bill Albin, YouTube’s own Project Report, and the YouTube Reporter’s Center.

Have a great back to school week!

Cool Links #93: The One About Independence Day

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  If only we could live up to these ideals.  But the first link today shows that we don’t.

1 – The First Amendment is dead.  Just ask Anderson Cooper.  Link via ShortForm Blog.

2 – If you live in Boston,  it may be too much to visit USC or if you are in Washington, then University of Miami is a long commute for a campus visit.  But youniversitytv can help your student get a look at a far away campus they are considering for a college choice.

3 – The Journal Register Company, a small chain of 18 publications is now running it’s entire operation open source.  Check it out at the Ben Franklin Project.  Freedom of the Press is for those who own the presses.  The Press is now FREE!

4 – I hate the pen tool.  In photoshop, illustrator, etc.  I don’t like it.  I don’t get it.  All Web Design Info wants to change that and help me and you learn how to control the pen tool.

5 – Don’t know how to post a video to YouTube?  It’s only seven basic steps away.

6 – Google Apps For Education has some training available for you at the right price – FREE! Learn all the basics for all the Ed Apps.  And then get certified.

7 – Royalty Free music is hard to come by – Adam Westbrook has Five Places for Cheap or Free Music for your video project.

8 – On a day when Freedom is supposed to ring, we are hearing the slow death of freedom.  At a time where nearly everyone carries a camera with them every day in their pocket, a photographer was harassed for trying to shoot video in Miami.  You have to watch this.  I can’t believe this is America, sounds more like the Soviet Union to me – “where are your papers, comrade?”  What scares me the most is that nobody seems to care.

9 – Maybe we need to show this to everyone!

10 – All Web Design Info has a simple series of graphics that explain how CSS3 Properties work.

11 – Great advice for young, starting off journalists from 10,000 words blog.  My advice via my j-prof:  “Get the secretary to like you.  The world is run by the secretaries.”  Best advice since my high school band director – “If you’re early, you’re on time.  If you’re on time, you’re late.”

12 – The Denver Post followed one kid from high school graduation to boot camp, to Iraq and back.  Great photo story telling.

13 – Not sure where I found this presentation about HTML 5, but make sure you start on slide 16 and skip the Java Script stuff unless you need to know about that too.

14 – Adventures in Pencil Integration has Six Lies We Tell Ourselves about Technology.  The biggest lies we teachers tell ourselves is:  If only I had this piece of technology or software, then everything would go smoothly in my classroom.

Have a happy Independence Day.

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 #77: Crash and Burn

I’m not sure why, but Google Chrome keeps crashing hard on wordpress today.  Other than that little problem it is usually my favorite browser.  So, now I have to get all my favorite sites into Safari and that’s a pain too.  So, if you are reading this, it is despite the best efforts of technology to keep it from you.

1 – Jay Rosin, the distinguished journalism prof. from NYU has a short video on youtube about the current state of the New News.

2 – Bob Kaplitz has another great tidbit on how to make the most of scant b/roll.  This is also a touching story, with a super narrative.

But Bob wasn’t done with just that.  He has another video from the Today Show about Master Storytelling about a master storyteller and salesman.

3 – Since I am still waiting for Photoshop CS4 to be ordered by my district and my old copy of PS7 won’t run on Leopard, I’m testing out free image editors.  This go around, I tried Aviary‘s Phoenix image editor.  I created a new background for my Twitter page.  Aviary works fairly well for an online editor, but honestly it is not really as good as iPhoto.  I’ll keep looking until I get CS4.

4 – The Edit Foundry has a great video on the use of Natural Sound in storytelling.  I personally love stories with lots of Nat Sound.  I feel it drives home the realism of the story to the viewer.

5 – The 10,000 words Blog has a collection of Valentines for journalists.  Here’s my favorite:

Words can not describe this image

It's from the heart, really.

6 – Adam Westbrook has a super checklist for news startups, but I think it would work for news stories, yearbook themes, nearly any media idea.

7 – Should journalism teachers be teaching students more about the business of journalism?  Should we still be teaching about the near-religious “wall” between content and advertising?  Newspaper Death Watch has an eye opening post about this very topic.

8 – Tamron Lenses has posted episode four of their beginners guide about shutter speed.

Well, another short list – mainly video and photo.  Let’s hope the links pick up as the East Coast digs out.  Crazy how much snow fell from Dallas to D.C.

Snowpocalypse

Snowpocalypse 2010

What Should a 21st Century Newsroom Look Like?

Suzanne Yada (@suzanneyada) Tweeted a great topic today.  What should a 21st Century Newsroom look like?

If I could have a big pile of money and resources to build a newsroom today, this is what I think I would do for my high school – I think it would also work for a small town or even a community site in a metro area.

- A big pipe:  News in the 21st Century means lots of data on the net, both upstream and down.  Your reporters are going to need to push video, photos, online magazines, and everything else.  The staff and others are going to need plenty of downstream bandwidth too.  So, that means Gigabit switches and something more robust than a simple T1 line.

- Tools and training:  If money is no object, then buy the best tools you can afford – that means the full Adobe suite of media products (Photoshop, Premiere, Lightroom, Flash, etc.) maybe the Apple one too (Aperture, Final Cut) if you are using Macs.  And periodic training to update and improve skills.  There are also lots of great free and low cost products out there too.  But software is only part of the equation.  You need great HD video cameras, microphones, audio recorders, SLR cameras, laptops, desktops, smartphones (maybe tablets too soon).  Every reporter needs to have a kit containing a laptop, video camera, SLR camera, smart phone and an audio recorder.  Plus all the cables, cards, etc. to make it work.  If money is no object, MyFi cards and EyeFi cards too.  Make it all wireless and fast.  Update live as much as you can.

- A place to meet and a place for community.  This needs to be both virtual and physical.  A news organization needs to be able to meet in person some times.  So you need a meeting space, plus a place for reporters to come in and create things that a laptop just doesn’t do justice on.  But you also need to be able to Skype in and meet virtually.  Community is important too.  You need a place for people to come in and contribute – and feel welcome.  Kind of like a public library.  But this is not for people to get free internet access, they can come in and contribute material of nearly any source as long as it is community news.  Get locals to shoot video of stuff you can never devote resources to.   They come in and edit it and then you publish it.  Maybe you have 1-2 community editors who help them until they can do it themselves.  You also need a virtual space too.  News organizations need people to moderate and participate in the comments on their sites.  They should host chat rooms.  They can eventually bring in members of the community to help moderate.  Leo Laporte does it, so can other forms of media.

- A lighter structure.  Newsrooms are too top heavy.  The lesson of the Internet is that we need fewer chiefs and a lot more braves.  You don’t need a lot of editors, you need a few moderators and 1-2 editors to keep it together.  Everyone else is a reporter.  Reporters create content and that’s what we do – make content.

- Sell, partner and hustle.  Newsrooms need to find, create and hustle funding.  Find partners who want to fund the kind of information we can provide.  Talk to the same business that support the local high schools and get them to sponsor your sports reporters.  That’s how it’s going to work.  You will have to work with the community.  Yes, it will rankle some who say that will tarnish our journalistic ethics.  But we won’t have any ethics left if we don’t have any journalists left.  It costs money to make rich media.

- Social, social, social.  You have to be wherever your audience community goes.  Every reporter MUST blog, tweet and Facebook and that’s just for now.  Keep up with the new tech, especially the social tech.  Don’t talk to your community, converse with them.  Give them content they want (and some stuff they need).

So, building a 21st Century Newsroom is part technology, part training, part attitude and a big part social.  Do I even need to mention that you have to have a web site?  I hope not.

Cool Links #72: The One About The End of A Decade

Seems like a lot of end of 2000s stuff in the old link basket this week.  Loads of stuff though, hope you all like it.

1 – The Oatmeal has lots of great graphics and ideas, but some of them are not safe for schools.  I like this 10 Words You Need To Stop Misspelling.  NSFS, but could easily be adapted.

2 – Save the Media has some suggestions for the AP Stylebook – such as Twitterati, Twitterverse and Tweet.  Best takeaway – it is Tweet, not Twitter – when used as a verb.

3 – David Warlick of 2 Cents Worth has some great Questions for the Next Decade.   I agree that they are questions.  I wonder when we will stop wasting money on textbooks, when PDFs would serve us so much better.  When will we really devote more money to technology.

4 – The New York Times made a terrific icon chart with graphics representing various categories for every year of the past 10.  My fav icon – Starbucks.  The most interesting – Movies in the Mail, an industry that came, grew and will soon be gone in less than 10 years.

5 – Poynter Online has a super list of suggestions for Writing Teachers to include in their lessons and in their classrooms.

6 – Good Magazine has another interesting graphic that sums up 2009 in news stories, by showing each major story as a block in relative size to their importance.

7 – I already teach stance and how to hold the camera to my students, but I’ve never thought about teaching it like marksmanship.  Great idea.

8 – A lot of studies recently have shown that in the last 10 years internet use is up.  Really?  Wow.  Of course it is, there is so much more rich content available now then even just 2-3 years ago.

9 – This post is about brainstorming for bloggers, but I’d say these are great rules for brainstorming in nearly any area, especially yearbook and media classes.

10 – If you don’t have a staff application, you should get one for your yearbook, newspaper, broadcast or other class.  And it’s time to move into the online realm – how about an application made with Google Docs?

11 – I love TED Talks and this one is a really great one:  It’s not about the perfect Pepsi, it’s about the perfect Pepsi’s. This is what I’ve been saying about yearbooks for a while.  We need to stop making the Pepsi yearbook.  We need the flexibility to make a Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Slice and even more yearbooks.  With print on demand technology, the yearbook companies need to roll out flexible yearbooks before even more kids stop buying books.

12 – Where did everybody go?  They are no longer going to web pages, but to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube/Hulu.

13 – DSLRs are tough.  This Canon Rebel fell 3000 feet and lived to keep working.

Canon Rebel Falls and Survives

Canon Rebel Falls and Survives

14 – I’ve been looking for this for a long time – a film maker’s dictionary of terms.  Useful if you’ve worked in TV, but only dreamed about movies.

15 – If you’ve ever thought about creating a blog, you should read these 7 Secrets of Edubloging from Free Tech for Teachers – a great award winning site.

16 – I really like reading the new Texas Tribune online news site started just this year.  The Trib is a must read for Texas teachers, because education spending is the largest item in the state budget, so you can bet we take up our part of Texas politics and the Trib covers it.  This article on the divisions between the teaching organizations in Texas was interesting to a 15 year vet who never knew why we had so many.

17 – Again from the 2 Cents Worth blog, what was computing like in 2000 vs. 2010.  We’ve come a long way.

18 – Always funny – 50 Biggest flubs of the Year in Headline writing.  My favorite:

Chance of Rain

Chance of Rain

19 – As we move into a new decade, the Newsosaur says we need to emulate the journalists of the 19th Century, not the 20th.  Muckrakers of the world unite!

20 – Teach Paperless has a list of 21 Things that will become obsolete in the next decade in education.  Lets hope teachers are not one of those things.

21 – Finally, Scott McLeod recently spoke to the NEA and had some interesting things to say.  He recorded both his speech and the Q&A that followed, both are worth a listen.  I only have two criticisms of what he said.  1) He never answered the question of HOW do we get legislatures, Congress and school boards to start spending money in the right places and move the curriculum forward.  2) He also never gave a good answer to what do people do who are not able to master higher level thinking skills after we move to an information/creativity economy.

Unfortunately with all the holiday eating, I’m up to +3.  Ouch.

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