Cool Links #108: Promises, Promises

I know.  I promised to post more often.  I’m trying to keep that promise.  Here come the links.

1 – I saw this graphic and thought of the number of times I was searching for something like, “How to Write A Broadcast News Story.”  Try it, you’ll be deep in the google results before you find something remotely useful.

Deep In The Googleplex

Deep In The Googleplex

2 – YouTube has a fairly good resource called the Copyright Center.  It is focused on video, but has some good videos about remix culture, educational use and fair use.  And of course they have several good videos about copyright that would be useful in the classroom.

3 – Ever wanted to clean your lens the right way?  Nikon has a lengthy video with a how to do it the right way.

4 – As a web designer, I find this funny.

Go Web Go!

Go Web Go!

5 – This is also true, and I tell my broadcast kids this all the time.  No one else thinks your voice sounds weird.

Does my voice sound funny, or am I sucking down helium?

Does my voice sound funny, or am I sucking down helium?

6 – I really like the Iconic Photos web site.  It is a combination of my two favorite subjects History and Journalism.  This photo of Pope John-Paul II’s assassination attempt affected billions of Catholics and others world wide.  The site also provides great in-depth information about the photos, it is terrific.

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II

7 – Do your photographers want to make a living after they leave your classroom, then they must have all five of these key skills for a 21st Century photog – thanks dPs.

8 – Bill Mecca has a video that answers the question:  How long should you leave graphics on the screen? My answer is usually long enough to read it out loud at a normal pace.

9 – HTML 5 is all the rage it seems.  But why bother learning it, when HTML 4 works just fine.  WDL has an entire post devoted to that answer, but here are the bullet points:

  • HTML5 will load much quicker than its older brother because it implements WebSockets.
  • Mobile phone applications will be much more accessible if written in HTML5 because you will not have to write applications for a specific brand of phone but rather can create universal applications for all phones.
  • You have more flexibility in creating your website.
  • Video, audio and images are all easily written right into the code, eliminating the need for any third party software.
  • This language is growing and will only result in more, new, better and faster features that will leave old websites looking outdated.
  • HTML5 simply builds on HTML4, so the old markup can stay in place as you develop the new features.
  • HTML5 and CSS3 together will give you some serious designer credibility.
10 – This is a great behind the scenes video of how they shoot the Super Bowl for Sports Illustrated.
11 – I love this quick way to teach sports photography “two faces and a ball.”  It’s just that simple.
12 – How magical this must have been.  Kids today don’t understand that we used to have to wait to get our pictures back.  Not Polaroids.
You Don't Have To Wait

You Don't Have To Wait

13 – How do you tell a story?  Good question.  Campfire Journalism has a post with three different answers.  Thanks.

Until next week.  Keep the faith.

Cool Links #105: The One About A Long List

I haven’t done a links post in so long I think people have aged since then.  Sorry, but all you yearbook teachers out there understand – this is the crazy season.  Lots of deadlines from now until we finish.  The walking dead are yearbook teachers without enough coffee – real zombies.   So here are some links…

1 – This one is super cool, data – journalism – education – interactive all rolled into one.  The interactive map of ROI on education.  Just check it out, my school district was actually lime green.

2 – The terrific Bob Kaplitz blog has a graphic with the four levels of story-telling.  Very useful, I’m going to share it with my broadcast journalism kids.  Maybe we can move past level 2.

3 – Here’s a sad graphic.  Educators one of the five worst paid jobs with a degree.

4  - The Daily Grind has a response from the trenches to President Obama’s remarks in the SOTU about education.  Worth reading.

5  - This is funny, and yet true in its own way.  Follows the baffle ‘em with BS theory.

6 – Some of us are old enough to remember black screens with green letters and punch cards.  Our smart phones and iPads are nearly proof that we live in the future.  Ars Technica has a lengthy, but good article about the evolution of computer screens.

7 – Thanks to PetaPixel – this is really cool.  They found someone who still shoots old fashioned Ambrosetypes (similar to Daguerrotypes).

8 – This could be my student’s motto:  From Overheard in the Newsroom.

9 – OK, I’ve never heard of useit.com before, but I’ve heard of nearly all the ideas in this article before.  They just packaged it all together in one spot.  They restate what I’ve heard of people who read on the web and what is known about scanning.  This is why journalists must get back to basics on the inverted pyramid and headline writing.

10 – This is great!

Photoshop CS4 Cream

Photoshop CS4 Cream

11 – Thanks to Bellringers for a series of professional development sessions we’d all really love to see.

12 – We have to stop forcing boys (and some girls) into the box of the “good student.”  I learned so much from my own son and two former students from my broadcast journalism class.  All of these students are the get up and go kind of people.  They can’t stand to be sitting down – unless they are playing a video game, musical instrument, etc.  They have to be active.  We can’t keep forcing passive learning on them.

13 – I still think this kind of photo-retouching is wrong.  People used to smoke – everyone knows that.  I don’t think Churchill will make a kid want to take up the cigar.

14 – My students do this all the time…

Stop Printing

Stop Printing

15 – These kids from Quebec have no idea what a record player is for, or an 8-track.  How long until iPods are obsolete?

16 – Maybe if more journalists acted like this, there’d be more readers/viewers/visitors – see Overheard in the Newsroom.

I think I may post again tomorrow.  Getting sleepy – still got lots of links in the hopper.

 

Cool Links #103: The One About the Storm Before The Calm

The days until break are getting short and the work is getting long.  I can only hope we can get 40 pages in before next Monday.  We’ll see.  Maybe chilling out today with some cool links will help…

1 – I do believe that we learn more from failure than from success, but it doesn’t mean that I want to see only failure in my classroom or in my own life.  But these tips can help you appreciate letting others fail on their own terms sometimes.

Pull Quote Fail

Pull Quote Fail

2 – Hand-in-hand with letting students fail to learn (different from flat out failure) is listening to them when they don’t understand or feel overworked.

3 – I am not a fan of the former Vice President Al Gore, but I do think that there might be some value in this project he has started with the likes of the Mythbusters and the founder of FIRST Robotics.  A discussion of how to make school relevant to students.  I think it is one of the two foundational R’s of school – Relationships and Relevancy.  Those must come before Rigor or you are setting students up for failure.

There are three more parts to this video, but part 1 is fairly boring – parts 2, 3 & 4 are good.

4 – This graphic is an interesting look into the evolution of the basic typefaces.  If you are a type geek like me, then you will like it.

Evolution of Typography
Via: VPS

5 – The Newsosaur has a useful post for teaching journalists about the past and about objectivity.  He says it never existed and we shouldn’t try anymore, but instead publicize out bias.  I like it.  I once saw a video of Walter Cronkite sitting in the back seat of a fighter-bomber in Vietnam.  He was trilled by the speed, aerobatics and even the bombing run.  He was supposed to be an objective observer, not a jingoistic voyeur.  Even he admitted it years later.

6 – Students often feel bored in school – some of this goes back to Relevance.  Some of it goes to the rote methodology of memorizing facts, working problems and writing pages of text only to be read by the teacher. Real projects that have real world application bring both rigor and relevance.  But our current Race To The Bottom has so much mandated boredom, I’m surprised any kid survives.

7 – A Russian software firm claims to have broken Canon’s software to verify photos.  I like their photo fakes.

USSR Man on the Moon

USSR Man on the Moon

8 – The dPs had a most in-depth post on the Rule of Phi, this is a modification of the old rule of thirds.  The rule of thirds works well on a more squarish rectangle, but when you are shooting video for widescreen, the Rule of Phi is better.

9 – True in high school or college.

In High School Too...

In High School Too...

10 – Tamron Lenses has another in their series of videos for better shooting – sports.

11 – Photofocus has also been running a series – Photography for Newbies – great post on White Balance.

12 – The edublogs are up for voting and I would like to recommend a few for your consideration – please stop by and vote for:

Best Individual Blog – The Principal’s Page

Best Student Blog – Moo

Best Resource Sharing Blog – Free Technology for Teachers

Best Teacher Blog – The Scholastic Scribe

Best Administrators Blog – The Principal’s Page – The Blog

Best Use of Video – Khan Academy

13 – Need a printable monthly or weekly calendar. ReprintMe has it.

14 – Want your students to see what words they use too much?  Just copy their text and paste it into wordcounter.com and it will tell them.

15 – Right here in my own city of Houston, one local high school ditched all their books from the library.  I don’t know if what they did was cost effective or even effective.  It might be brave or foolhardy – only time will tell.

Have a great week, let’s all get to the break in good health and good spirits!

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 #95: The One About Redoing Curriculum

About two months before school ended for me, I got a comment on my blog.  It said that Windows users could not access my Power Point presentations (.ppt files) because the embedded images were broken.  She asked me if I could post my photo lessons as PDF files.  I made a half-hearted promise to try to do so this summer.  Well, it’s summer…

And I’m trying to make good on my promise.  I have redone and reposted both the PPT and PDF files for about 15 of my lessons so far in the photojournalism syllabus.  But I am also trying to revamp my broadcasting and yearbook syllabi too.  So keep checking back, because I hope to post a few lessons every week until the summer is gone.  Now, the links…

1 – I have a lesson I teach about Paparazzi each year and one of the most famous is Ron Galella and most notoriously for this photo of Jackie Kennedy Onasis.  I’m definitely adding this to my Photos That Changed Journalism.  I’m also adding the blog – iconicphotos to my RSS reader.

Windblown Jackie by Ron Galella

Windblown Jackie by Ron Galella

2 – Photojojo has a list of the Top 50 Movies about Photographers.  I think it is a good list, but it is missing The Killing Fields – a great movie.

3 – Black Star Rising has a great post that states that Photo Manipulation is Not a Sin, but Lying About It Is.  I have to agree.  Just put photo illustration created in Photoshop on photos that are manipulated.

4 – I have seen this site listed on several blogs lately.  So, I had to see Who Do I Write Like? Well, I am not surprised to find out that…

I Write Like Stephen King

I Write Like Stephen King

5 – Free Tech 4 Teachers strikes gold again this week with not one, but two PDF photography texts.  They are not school textbooks, but they could be.  There is not a state adopted text for photojournalism and so I don’t have one, but I really like The Absolut Beginngers Guide To Photography.

6 – Here’s a fun game of Type Recognition.  Ten Magazine typefaces, how many can you recognize – I got six.

7 – Zombie Journalism is another new favorite blog for my RSS reader.  I love their 10 Social Media Guidelines for Journalists, especially number Five – Always remember: The Internet is public and permanent.

8 – Bill Mecca has episode 8 of his Quick Tips – this one is about improving your sound quality.

9 – All Web Design Blog helps to explain and demystify sending Clipping Paths using Photoshop.

Short list this week, but it is still summer.  Enjoy yourselves while it lasts.

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.

Food Revolution: Guest Posting on Fed Up With Lunch

I’ve never guest posted on someone’s blog before.  I guess there has been a certain amount of cowardice involved.  So, when one of my new favorite blogs asked for guest posts, I sent out an email.  And then I wrote my post and waited.  Finally, today is the day – my post went up on Fed Up With Lunch.  On a related note, I saw this graphic and had to post it.  Fed Up often speaks about the use of sporks on her campus with a certain level of disdain.  Please visit the blog, not just to read my post, but because I think that this is an important issue – how and what we feed our students every day.

Uses of Sporks

Uses of Sporks

Cool Links #83: The One About Eternal Installing

I recently was lucky enough to get 22 new iMacs from our district’s bond program along with Adobe Creative Suite CS4.  I’ve never had more than six new computers before, and our district does not really have anyone who does IT for Macs (we are a PC district).  So, that has meant that I have been installing software and getting the computers set up.  It has been a real marathon.  I had no idea.  After nearly two weeks, I think I’m finally at the end of installing, updating, and tweaking.  I never knew that getting what I wanted (and my students needed) would be so much work.  I’ve been falling behind on grading and have had to do a marathon session today.  In addition, Saturday was UIL (state journalism contest – local round) and it is pretty much an all day thing.  So, I’ve been behind on getting this edition of Cool Links out.  Here they are:

1 – 100 Books That Every Teacher Should Read – my favorites are: The First Days of School, Animal Farm, and Charlotte’s Web.

2 – This tongue in cheek list of 25 Ways To Save the Newspaper Industry is a funny, yet almost not funny read.

3 – This should be frightening to anyone working the sports beat, sports writing by robot.  Local sports teams will be able to enter their info via computer, which will then spit out a summary and box score.

4 – DK Publishing put out a video about the future of the publishing industry.

5 – In the wake of the Google/China search pullout, Jeff Jarvis wrote a Bill of Rights for the Internet.  If you create, consume or desire free, independent media – then you might want to read this.

6 – Photojournalism From The Student’s Eye has two new Final Cut tutorials, this time about adding Lower Thirds (titles) to your video.

7 – The best news videographer/blogger in the biz, Viewfinder BLUES has a hilarious post on the deseases faced by those who carry logo’d cameras around for a living.

8 – Tamron Lenses released episode ten – all about how to get a good White Balance.

9 – If  you use a lot of Web 2.0 services like Twitter, Facebook, Gmail or Yahoo mail – then it irks you when you’re not sure if the services is slow, down or if it is your computer or internet connection.  Now there’s help – Downrightnow – they will let you know for sure.

10 – Sir Ken Robinson has been speaking everywhere they will let him about the broken system of education.  Here he is on CNN detailing what he feels needs to be fixed.

11 – Google, best company ever or evil empire?  You decide.

Have a great week – should be a short one for most of us with a long weekend.

Cool Links #81: The One About 500/600

No it’s not a math problem.  But now have more than 600 comments on my blog and am closing in on 500 posts.  I do want to do more “content” related posts along with cool links posts.  And I think April will mark the end of year three of my blog too.  That’s exciting.  Now on to the links….

1 – Viewfinder Blues has a superb video post that demonstrates both the reporter and camera operator during a walk-and-talk.  Check out this excellent blog from a video journalist’s point of view.  Too bad there’s not more like it.

What's wrong with TV News?

What's wrong with TV News?

2 - What’s wrong with TV News? Too much crime, sports and weather and darned little else about city hall, local events, etc.

3 – The BBC has a series of graphics focusing on how the web works.  It starts out with the most basic elements like HTTP and URLs.  It discusses domains, servers and searches.

BBC How the Web Works

BBC How the Web Works

4 – Why do some “call to action” buttons work, while others fail? Who knows, Hongkiat knows and will help you to design a better button in this article.

5 – This is almost too hard to read, but I made it through all 119 Broadcast Cliches in one sentence.  Fun, yet sad.

6 – The Onion NewsNation Shudders At Large Block of Text – Headline in the hilarious, but often right on the mark Onion News Network.  And also from the Onion, a funny video about how 24 news channels just keep feeding the viewer bulls&#* in order to keep something on the screen all day long.  Very funny.

Some Bulls#$* Happening Somewhere

Some Bulls#$* Happening Somewhere

7 – As my students would say OMG.  Oh my goodness.  The Cambridge in Color Digital Photography Tutorials. These graphics will help you understand and teach so many difficult photography concepts, like center weighted metering, depth of field, using levels, and much more.

8 – The Edit Foundry Blog shows you how to take a video and make it sing with simple motion effects in post.

9 – Photojournalism from a Student’s Eye has posted several screen casts that focus on using Final Cut.  Very good videos about the basics.  He also has a series called Photoshop for Reporters and here’s the first one:

10 – The dPS has a great post for photojournalists and others on how to take good head shots.

11 – No cool links would be complete without a spot from the Bob Kaplitz blog, this time on improving spot news coverage by focusing on the  details.

12 – Much has been written this week about Marc Andreessen’s advice to burn the boats of the old media world and colonize the digital world.   I agree with Marc, but only to a point.  We need to burn the boats, but not the equipment they carried to the new world and not with the sailors still on board.  “Old Media” does need to invest heavily in new media and learn how to use it quickly.  The time for fighting against the tide is over.  But at the same time, keep milking the print cow until it dies or until digital media makes more money, then burn it to the water line.

13 – Along the same lines is this post from C Dixon that google does not make money from hard news.  Maybe no one ever did.  Maybe your not supposed to make money from what is essentially a public service.  But we need to find a way to keep paying journalists a living wage in order to provide us that news.

I’m on Spring Break this week and enjoying the sunshine here in Houston.  Also got my new Macs set up in my lab.  Still a lot of work to do getting software installed and tweaked.

New Lab Computers

New Lab Computers

Cool Links #75: The One I Nearly Forgot To Title

We just got our whole shipment of brand new iMacs in at school.  They are pretty, but setting them up is a full time job.  We have 22 new machines and they have to be updated and install Final Cut Express on them first.  In the next couple of weeks we should be getting Adobe CS4 products.  That means more time installing and then setting up the student login account.  Finally we can then switch out all the Mac Minis.  The new machines are so fast and have incredible, huge screens.  So far, the only downside is the wireless mouse and keyboard.  This will mean checking them out each period.  Lost instruction time.  But the cool factor is going to be worth it.  Now, on to the links.

1 – If you teach newspaper or journalism, then you know how difficult it is to get students to write opinion pieces well.  Here’s a great presentation to teach the way to do it right.

2 – Ever had another department want you to shoot their event, edit it, create videos for them and make DVDs too.  And of course they want you to do it all for free.  That’s a lot of wear and tear on the equipment.  I’m not against creating video or any other media for any department, but if it is not news – then we need to charge for our services.  But how much?  I used the FreelanceSwitch Hourly Rate Calculator and it actually gave me a realistic result – $50/hour.  Try it out yourself.

3 – Yearbooks, newspapers, graphic design and video makers all need fonts that are royalty freed.  Here are a couple of sites that offer fonts that you can use.  Dafont.com and Font Squirrel offer contemporary font looks for all your needs.

4 – SF Weekly says we don’t pay for news online because we mainly view it on our work computers Monday-Friday and that we would rather read a real hard copy paper on the weekends.

5 – Straight from the UK, Charlie Brooker has this hilarious sendup of the typical news story.

6 – Photographers have to deal with a dizzying array of alphabet soup:  PNG, JPG, TIFF, PSD, RAW – what does it all mean?  The dPS is always quick with an answer for every photo question.

7 – Natural sound stories can be very powerful ways to sell a story that has strong sound elements.  Advancing the Story blog has a superb list of tips for nat-sound.

8 – Free Tech for Teachers has a super useful post about how to add an RSS feed for any web site in Google Reader.

9 – Adam Westbrook has Five Myths about Shooting Video.  My favorite is Shooting Video is Easy!

10 – The Bob Kaplitz blog is always full of great example videos, both of the what to do variety and the what not to to type.

11 – The Oatmeal comic blog is funny, crazy and a grammarian.  This month it is the semicolon that takes center stage.  Great fun for kids – and they might learn something too.

12 – Tamron lenses has their episode 2 in their DSLR series about focus modes.

Well, I’m going to watch the ‘semi-’pro Bowl now.  Have a great week.

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