Another Cool Camera Mount Idea

Here’s a fairly quick and easy way to make a “steady” cam rig for a small DV camera from PVC pipe and a few other items for only $15.

ASNE Arizona Day 11

The final session was very powerful.  We heard from our third former ASNE president.  We started with Tim McGuire on Day 1 who encouraged us to make the most of our training at ASU and to take it seriously.  He really set the tone.  In the middle we heard from Rick Rodriguez who discussed the need for diversity in journalism.  But our closing speaker was Gregory Favre, who was a great motivational speaker.  He really put a cap stone on the enitre experience by cajoling us to keep our standards high and hold our heads up high – journalism is not yet dead.  We are undergoing change, possibly painful change – but journalism is needed today more than ever.

Then we had our graduation ceremony.  It was one of the most emotional experiences I’ve been a part of in my career.  The 36 advisers who attended this Institute became very close in the course of 12 days.  I feel like I have made friends for life from many, if not most of my fellow advisers.  We were thrown together from around the country, not knowing what to expect.  It was challenging – 12 hour days working together, eating together and even having fun together.  We helped each other and encouraged each other every day.  Many of us wondered back on Day 1 if we had made the right decision to come.  For some of us it was a crash course in jounalism.  For others, it was simply a wake up call to put our brains in gear and to find our inner motivation.  But no matter how we were thrown together, we found ways to work as a team and become a family for each other away from our families.

At the final ceremony, we each got to present the next person their certificate and we got to tell the entire group something we learned about that person.  We also had a chance to tell each other what we learned and how it affected us.  It was emotional, inspirational and empowering to hear each of us tell our stories of nervous moments, teamwork, fun times, hard work and overcoming challenges.  More than a few tears were shed.  I know these two weeks will change how I view my job, my students and my peers – in a positive way. Applying to the Reynolds Institute was the best thing I’ve ever done as a journalism teacher.  I’m glad to be going home, but sad that I have to leave my fellow advisers behind.

ASNE Arizona Day 10

Today was deadline day and just like any deadline day with your students, it was mania.  Every technology problem we could have, we did have.  Pictures were CMYK, not RGB, the server went down for an hour, video didn’t want to upload, links didn’t link and more.  Last minute, deadline insanity and I think we all loved it!  It is what journalists do.

Here’s my story and our publication:

And then our reward was to meet Rhonda Weiss from Cypress Bay High in Florida – home of The Paper on MTV.  She was great and has a great program with a great product.

Tomorrow we go home!  After 12 1/2 days, I’m ready for home.  But the ASNE Reynolds Institute is certainly worth it.  I recommend any high school journalism teacher that is serious and wants to learn more about our craft, should apply to attend.  It is competitive, so be serious, but I was picked – so can you!

ASNE Arizona Day 9

Not every day is 12 hours.  Today was a little easier.  We focused on online publications and video today.  The beginners learned iMovie, while the advanced students worked on Final Cut Pro.  I leanred a lot today about where things are and how they work in Final Cut.  I’m looking forward to making the migration this year to Final Cut Express.

Our final drafts of our stories were due today.  Mine was a lot different from the first draft.

We are almost through – we leave on Friday.  I will miss seeing these 35 people every day.  As a journalism teacher, it is so rare to interact with so many other journalism teachers on a daily basis.

But I miss Houston, I’ll be glad to be home.

ASNE Arizona Day 8

We got to see the ASU future home of the journalism school – it rocks!  They will have one of the best multimedia integration labs anywhere.  They are building a new dorm, just for journalism students right next to the new j-school.  The students will live and learn in downtown Phoenix, right next to the sports stadiums, the state government offices, the Arizona Republic and several of the TV stations where many of them will intern.  I can not imagine a better place to be a journalism student.  Their labs will be packed with the latest Apple and Sony technology – state of the art video, web and publishing software and gear.  It is amazing.

We also were given a first class course in Student Law from the Student Press Law Center – I learned more in one day than I learned in a semester of journalism school.  It was a long and amazing day.

ASNE Arizona Day 7

Today it was back to the books – back to work.  The real highlight of the day was our writing circles with our teams.  I enjoyed working with the teachers in my team and our mentor.  It was also very instructive to put ourselves in our student’s places during the critique session.  It was like having a band aid ripped off really fast.  But my team members were good with both positive and constructive criticism.  I know that I will be a better teacher for having gone through this experience.

We also talked about the challenges of recruiting and retaining students in journalism from ethnic communities.  This has been an on-going discussion throughout the institute.

ASNE Weekend Off

We went to the Grand Canyon today and my neck is sunburned like crazy.  Here’s some great photos.

ASNE Arizona Day 6

Wow, everyone was tired today.  We all seemed to move a little slower.  But one of our number from San Francisco got a trip to the Grand Canyon put together for about nine of us for tomorrow.

We trudged through ethics and opinion writing this morning.  Then we had some great training in InDesign from the AZ Republic today.  They have some really talented artists and designers there.  Today’s designer was from Mexico originally and worked as a journalist there before coming to the US.  She taught us so many cool tricks in InDesign that I had to take many notes.

After one week of the Institute, I have a giant stack of handouts on nearly every facet of journalism.  Tonight I’m going to write my rough draft of my story that is due monday and charged a lot of batteries for tomorrow.

ASNE Arizona Day 5

Yesterday we went to the Arizona Republic.  This is one of the papers that “get it” about multimedia.  They are truly going big online.  It was inspiring to see a newspaper that really understands that the future of journalism is not ink on dead trees.

The staff was extreamely friendly and helpful.  They allowed us to watch the editorial board’s news meeting.  We then were taken around in small groups to our Q&A time.  We did a lot of walking yesterday and I’m tired today.  Thank you Arizona Republic staff!

ASNE Arizona Day 4

Today was a pretty good day.  I know I’ve said that at least once before, but I’m feeling more acclimated to the heat – walked about two blocks in the 3 pm direct sun and it didn’t even bother me.  I am also getting used to the 12 hour days.  They do work us hard.  We are earning our three graduate credits.  But we are also learning a lot.  We actually had a great session about grammar – yes grammar.  A copy editor from the Arizona Republic gave us a lot of good tips on how to teach it and the AP Style Guide without going crazy.

I am also going to miss my fellow advisors.  We have only been a group for three and 1/2 days, but I feel a close bond to many of my fellow advisors already.  I will miss not seeing them every day.  I has been so great to have an entire “faculty” of journalism teachers.  I have worked really hard to sit with different people every day.  I am going to try very hard to do this when I go back to school, both with my fellow faculty members and when I am with my students in groups.  It has been a great way to make sure I get to know everyone here.

I got four more interviews for my story today, so I feel really good about it.  I think that I have more than enough material to write a story.  I also got my first story back and was in the good, but you missed great group.  I burried my lead.  Ouch!  I know better.  But I got a lot of congratulations on my speech story photo.  So I feel pretty good.

Lots of homework to do tonight.