Lessons of the Olympics

With the 2008 Olympics in full swing, everyone is thinking about and talking about the games.  This includes Mashable, who had a great, inspirational post titled:  7 Lessons Olypians Can Teach Us.  I borrowed their theme and made a powerpoint from it for my yearbook class.  The lessons really do translate well to any team based organization.

Cool Links #7: These Interwebs Are Full Of Coolness

Don’t ask about the headline – I just have a lot of cool stuff to share!

Walmart – love them (low prices, smiley faces) or hate them (corporate greed, large eco-footprint) has decided that copyright never ends! 😦  I wonder where they got that idea?  Maybe Disney or the government.

Fashion magazines are getting hit just like all the rest of the print industry.  Ad sales and page count is down in the fashion industry.

I love iTunes, my iPod and listening to podcasts – but hey, nothing is perfect.  PC World has a list of 11 Things They Hate about iTunes.

I make use of Wikipedia a lot!  Makeuseof.com has a list of four search engines that make using Wikipedia a lot easier.  I personally like Powerset the best, it even has a Firefox search plug-in.

I’ve become a Twitter fan, even though I didn’t get it at first.  TechCrunch is a atwitter as to why Titter Hasn’t Failed!  Heck the Fail Whale has even become an icon!

Burn Your Web Candle Less

“Time is the fire that burns men’s souls.”  I love that quote, because for those of us who develop media – time is our enemy.

Here is a great post from (Re)Encoded that has 10 ways to save time creating web pages.  I only wish I could find 10 tips for writing, photography and video editing!

Cool Links #6: Too Much Coolness

There is just too much coolness out there on the net today.  Thanks to Notes From A Teacher and Newsvideographer for fresh links to great sites.

Adobe has a really cool tool called a Flash Video (FLV) bitrate calculator.  If you are posting video to YouTube or some other site that uses FLV files, then this will help you compress your video to the correct size.  This goes great with Fresh DV’s table of optimal frame dimensions for video.

Vuvox is a neat little tool that is FREE to use to create moving slideshows with lots of great interactive elements like audio and video.  This tool seems like a godsend to HS journalism programs on a budget, who don’t have the cash or the time to buy and learn to use Flash.

Donnie has uploaded his latest episode of You Suck At Photoshop.  Always funny, but usually irreverant – not something I’d watch on my school computer.  But he does teach some cool skills during his crazy and fun episodes.

Cool Links #5: Potpourri

I haven’t done a cool links in a while, but I ran across some cool stuff in the last day or two.  So, here goes –

The Canadian Journalism Project has a great post called 10 Rules of Writing News For TV.  This is a must read for any HS broadcast student or teacher.

Slate magazine has a thought provoking entry titled What’s Really Killing Newspapers.  Hint – social media and the internet. Are you really surprised?  But it is a good read.

This touching story was Tweeted to me via Twitter.  I couldn’t stop reading it.  The St. Pete Times is always really good at long form, narrative journalism.  This is why newspapers must survive in some form.

If you teach middle, high school or college – then this study from MIT on their brain’s is a must read.  OK, I know half of you are writing it off as too hard already, but it is well designed, easy to read and informative.

Put On Your Earbuds And Crank Up Your iPod

I actually promised this post more than a week ago…Sorry.  Here it is, better late than never.  I’m not used to writing this blog on deadline.  When you are your own boss, you set your own schedule.

This post is for all those teachers who attended my “Wired Journalism Teachers” session at Texas A&M.

I am addicted to podcasts.  Most of the ones I like are audio only, but I do like a couple of video podcasts too.  All the podcasts I listen to or watch are available from iTunes, but I will also include the direct links to their websites where you can download them for a non-Apple mp3 player.

Photography –

Tips From The Top Floor – by “German Guy” Chris Marquardt – this is hands down the best hour each week on photography.  He sometimes comes out more than once a week.

This Week in Photography – a cast of several photographers and industry insiders geek out each week about photography.  Sometimes it is really helpful, but sometimes too geeky.

Education –

GEEK!ED! – This is a technology education podcast put out by four teachers who give great tech ed ideas and FAQs.

Grammar Girl – Can grammar actually be fun and interesting?  It can if Mignon Fogarty has her way.  Grammar Girl is witty, informative and brief.  Just like broccoli, you should try it!

Wicked Decent Learning – Two teachers from Maine who podcast weekly about education – even through the summer, or as they would say summa.  Great work guys – this is my new favorite blog.

Video/Film –

The Grip Guide – Brent Bye gives you a behind the scenes look at behind the scenes on a movie set.  Great info for teaching the technical side of video.

Izzy Video – This video cast by Israel Hymen is a great resource for those learning the basics of video production.

Video Maker Presents – A really good how-to video cast from VideoMaker magazine.  I liked the podcast so much, I started taking the magazine.

Technology –

Leo Laporte – Leo The Tech Guy lives online at Leoville.  He is the guy who knows about technology – as he says anything with a chip in it.  Windows, Macs, phones, video cameras, digital cameras, etc.

WebbAlert – Morgan Webb is the engaging host of this nearly daily video blog about the tech industry.  ou can’t teach in a tech field like photography, video or web design and not keep up with tech.

Extra –

TED Talks – TED stands for Technology Education and Design.  It is just an outstanding forum for brilliant people to discuss the coolest stuff for 30 min.  Cherry pick the good talks.

I personally like to listen to a blog on my commute in and back each day – nearly 20 minutes each way and on the treadmill for my daily 30 minutes.  That is an hour a day or more if traffic is really bad.  I also grab my iPod if I’m going to run errands, sit in the doctors office or any other time I need entertainment.  Now it is not wasted time.

PhotoJ Syllabus Update

I can’t believe I’m nearly done with my Photojournalism Syllabus rewrite project.  Wow.  It has been a lot more work than I thought it would be, but I think that will pay off during the school year.  I’m now 3/4 of the way done.  I’m about to start the Unit 3 test and then kick in on the final unit.

I have to admit that the last week I’ve been a little distracted.  I bought Seasons 1, 2 and 2.5 of Battlestar Galactica – and of course I’ve been spending a lot of time watching them.  I hope to have the final unit done this week and then start on my Video Technology class.  After that I’m thinking Desktop Publishing will be next.  These are taking a lot longer than I thought, but I hope that the work pays off with better teaching and better lessons.

If you download any of my lessons from the PhotoJ Syllabus and fine a mistake or have a question, please post it to this post or the syllabus page.  I welcome comments, criticism and corrections – heck I need them if I am to become a better teacher.