A State Of Sanity For Journalism Teachers

I don’t know about every state, but here in Texas we have a great resource in the UIL and it’s journalism arm ILPC.   They have a great number of resources, publications and a spring convention.  They also critique yearbooks, newspapers and broadcasts each year.  It is well worth the entry fees.  Find your state’s organization and join today!

Mr. C

Everyone Takes A Picture – Yearbook Picture That Is!

I ran across a fun site filled with celebrity yearbook photos.  The site itself does have some Not Safe For Work elements and language (NSFW), so you will want to check this out at home.  But you can probably frame grab a few photos to use as examples in class as long as you delete them after you use them. (Here is a safe for work lower resolution version)
I think students need to know that every photo in the yearbook belongs to a potential famous actor, music star, president of the US, NBA or NFL star, etc.  You really want to take care in the yearbook to make sure that the names are spelled correctly and the photos are decently cropped with good quality.

Everyone wants to be treated like a star, so make sure picture day is as special as can be for your student body!

Mr. C

You’re Not My Typeface, Teaching About Type

This year, I’m going to start my yearbook class off with design.  I usually leave it for last, as in the best for last.  But I notice that often my yearbook kids get bored with writing and struggle with photography.

So if I am going to begin with design, then this site should be a great help when I get to discussing Type.   It has a great deal of information on typefaces, grids and other printing info.  It even has a section just for teachers with a bevy of great handouts in PDF format.

So, even if you are not going to start off with design – you’ve got to teach it some time.

Mr. C

Boot It Up In Windows

I’ve listed a ton of utilities for the Mac, but since I don’t use Windows much, I don’t have a lot of good resources for the Microsoft side.  Here’s one site that seems to have a ton of great utilities.

Mr C

Get Ready, Get Set, School Start Time

Today was my first day back to school officially.  We have five days of inservice and then the kids come back on Monday.   This is prime time to get ready and my server is being fussy.  I may have to reinstall the software Wednesday.  I’m using OSX server and sometimes it just mystifies me when it doesn’t want to work.

Now that school is about to start, I’m not sure how often I will want to post.  But I plan to post at least once a week.

Mr. C

Getting A Head Start On Your ’08 Yearbook

As I mentioned before, yearbook is a year round activity.  Hopefully by now you are thinking about how to get started.  Really, you are already behind if you aren’t started now!

But don’t panic.  My first year as a yearbook adviser, I didn’t have a theme until mid-September and wasn’t sure who would take our school pictures until after the school year had started.

So, what should you do first?  Meet with your yearbook representative.  This is the person that your yearbook company has assigned to you to help you go from A to Z with your yearbook.  If you don’t know who it is, call their local or regional office and find out.  Set up an appointment to meet ASAP!

Next, read your contract.  Find out what you are entitled to for support from your yearbook company.  Many school districts bargain collectively with the companies and get extras thrown in or breaks on the pricing.  You won’t know unless you have read the contract.

Go to their corporate web site.  All of the big yearbook companies (Walsworth, Jostens, Friesens, Taylor, Herff Jones) have a web site.  Most of the companies are offering online proofs, online submission, some even have online page layout or image storage.  And they all have lots of online curriculum help and downloads.

Once you have your staff together, you need to begin choosing a cover, designing your pages and choosing a theme for this year’s book.

Mr. C

Apple Ruins iMovie: Bad For Scholastic Broadcasting

If you use Macs, then don’t be too excited to “upgrade” to the new iMovie.   So far, the reviews are in and they are bad.  The new iMovie stinks.  It has lost so many features that we have grown to love and depend upon.

I have not yet seen or played with it, but I hope to soon.  I have 2 new Mac Minis on their way.  But the reviews are all over the net –  herehere – and here.   Andy’s is the most comprehensive, the NY Time’ is very good and Multimedia Shooter has the best headline – Apple is Dumb too.

But a sneaking part of me thinks this is all in an effort to sell more copies of Final Cut.  Too bad, because I love iMove and now it seems that Apple has turned it into MovieMaker.

Mr. C