Cool Links #13: Monday The Thirteenth…Aaaggghhhh!

It is not Fridays we should fear, but Mondays – especially Mondays after a long weekend. But since tomorrow is a school day, here’s a cup of wake up and get out of bed links!

1) Jeff at Wicked Decent Learning has a whole host of links at his site to copyright friendly audio and video resources.

2) Black Star Rising has a new e-book/slideshow on Photojournalism ethics.  Worth watching, downloading and sharing with your students.

3) The KRG Blog put up an interesting list of “Guidelines for Journalists” – My favorite is “Do nothing I can’t defend.”  Kind of like first do no harm.

4) The Pulitzer Center and YouTube, now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d hear, but there you go – they have a partnership called Project Report for non-pro journalists.  Some really good videos here.  Check out the final round.

5) Here’s a sad Google Map mashup called Papercuts.  As the name implies it is a visual listing of all the newspaper job cuts in the U.S. during 2008.  Most seem to be east and west coast.  The  center of the country has fewer cuts.  Maybe because smaller towns away from the coastal cities have more responsive small town newspapers that still cover what the public wants to know?

6) It’s not news that MIT is offering a lot of classes online for free.  They have a whole catalog of Comparitive Media Studies.  My favorite course that I’ve seen so far is the New Media Literacies.

7) And this list is brought to you by the letter Z and the number 8.  Just kidding, but it is brought to you by the Idea Shower and their Firefox plugin Read It Later.  I used it to save these ideas for this blog and keep them in one place.  So cool.

Only three weeks until Christmas Break.  Let’s hope my yearbook kids get some pages turned in soon!  Ah, yearbook stress.  Gotta love it.

Sweet Content at Suite 101

Last summer I was lucky enough to attend the ASNE Summer Journalism Fellowship and got to write for an editor again.  It was great to be reminded of what my students go through when turning in work to me.

So, I have been looking for an opportunity to write on a deadline on a regular basis.  I have found it.  I will still keep up my blog, but I am also going to be writing articles about teaching and scholastic journalism at  I chose this web site because it was recommended on a blog I read and trust.  And after registering as a writer, I saw that Grammar Girl, aka Mignon Fogerty is also a writer there.

I am going to set up a link to my content on the new site, I would appreciate any of my regular visitors or irregular visitors going over there and checking it out.

It is Nice To Know Teachers Really Are Smart…

Here’s a portion of the IQ Ranges from the IQ Comparison site.  Notice High School teachers are actually pretty smart.  Who knew?


The Day There Was No News – BBC

Click Here To See No News Today

Click Here To See No News Today

Did You Know 3.0 – Tech And Population Facts

What We Do Can Be So Geeky

Sometimes what we do is incredibly technical.  I just spent the last two days discussing Amps, Watts, breakers and Luminance and it had nothing to do with class.  I just bought four brand new lights for my mini studio.  When we finally got them wired right and hung – we blew the breaker.

I never realized I could get maintenance to show up at my room so fast.  I should blow a breaker more often.

When I designed my new classroom seven years ago, we put in a small TV Studio.  It is barely big enough for a small interview set and a chroma wall.  But it works.  Except we had two problems, not enough light and not enough power.

Both those problems have been fixed.  We now have a studio with four lights and plenty of power.

But I sometimes feel like I spend more time keeping our equipment working, than I do teaching.  I guess most days it is worth it, but some days it does get frustrating when you want to teach, but end up spending you time dealing with balky equipment.

I Need To Pump Up My Manly Mojo…

It is a somewhat feminine career that I have undertaken – journalism teacher.  I learned this at my first scholastic journalism workshop.  At break time, the men’s room was mainly empty and the line for the little girl’s potty was around the block.  Those of us with a Y chromosome are in the minority as journalism teachers. But, I’m OK with that.

But in the last couple of months, I keep getting mistaken for a gal.  First it was the guys over at Wicked Decent Learning and now it is my good pal over at the scholastic scribe.  So, this must be some kind of weird online vibe I have.  Even my students have banned me from using the word cute.

So, I’m going to work on my manly side.

But thanks to the scribe for the blog bling via Eat Your Veggies.

Poptastic Award

Here’s da  Rules & Regs for the bling:

  1. When you receive The Award, please post it on your blog, linking back to the person who gave it to you.
  2. In addition, please link to This Post, which explains the origins of The Award.
  3. Please visit Veggie Mom’s Post , which explains the origins of The Award, and Sign Mr. Linky, so she’ll be able to keep a record of all whose Blogs are Pop-tastic! Feel free to leave a comment, too!!
  4. Pass The Award along to SIX Bloggy Friends, whose creativity merits inclusion in this circle. Link to their blogs in your Awards Post, and notify them that they’ve received The Award!

Here’s my SIX fav blogs (minus the scribe who nominated me)

1 Notes From A Teacher

dkzody’s Weblog

Betty’s Blog: Timely Teacher Talk


Wicked Decent Learning

6 Meranda Writes

2008 Edublog Awards Nominations!

I actually found a Web blog Award that I like, the 2008 Edublog Awards.  Normally, they just seem like a popularity contest and a waste of time.  But I am for any award that recognizes good education blogs.

Edublog Awards Nomination

Edublog Awards Nomination

So, here’s my nominations and you should nominate too.

Best Individual Blog:  The Scholastic Scribe

Best New Blog:  dkzody’s Weblog

Best Resource Sharing Blog:  TeachJ

Best Group Blog:  Classroom 2.0

Best Teacher Blog:  Betty’s Blog: Timely Teacher Talk

Best Education Tech Support Blog:  GEEK!ED

Best Educational Use of Audio:  Wicked Decent Learning

Best Educational Use of Video:  Video2Zero

Best Educational Use of Social Networking:  Meranda Writes

Journalism FAIL!

Right now I would have to say that journalism is failing in two of its primary roles – informing the public and acting as a watchdog over the government.

At church today, our pastor informed us that we should be as generous as we could during a special collection the Church was taking up for Hurricane Ike victims in Galveston.  The reason, he said, was that FEMA is out of money.  FEMA has quietly and privately told the Archbishop this sad fact.

Where is the media attention?

After Hurricane Katrina there was non-stop coverage for months about New Orleans.  Galveston worse off than New Orleans.  The Big Easy was never fully flooded.  Many neighborhoods were flooded, but the downtown areas were not hard hit – the major tourism areas survived.  Galveston was flooded nearly from one end of the island to the other.  There are almost no homes or apartments suitable for people to live in on the island.  Insurance companies and FEMA are not paying out for repairs or are doing so slowly.

Here in Houston, we’ve had it much better, however, there are still thousands of homes with damaged roofs, pulled up carpeting, and walls with sheet rock cut out to deter mold.  There are many families who may never return to their homes or will have to demolish their home.  In several communities, homeowners have been told they will have to raise their homes or demolish them.

During the Ike disaster, the federal government was able to spend more than $800 billion to bail out the banks at the same time FEMA was shutting down PODs (where they handed out MREs, water and ice).  Power had not been restored to more than 500,000 people in the Houston area at the time they were shutting the PODs down.

Where is the reporting on all this?

With all the cutbacks in the media, no one is digging past the boring and banal stories about “Joe Citizen”  living in a tent outside his house on Galveston Island or the press conferences given by FEMA and the mayor’s office.

Now, I think that journalism will survive and eventually thrive on the Internet, but the lack of quality journalism right now is shocking.  It is bad for our democracy. It is allowing the government to get away with bailing out Wall Street fat cats, while they ignore the little guy whose home was flattened by a Hurricane.

And this week the Nation was treated to Chris Matthews saying, “I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work.”  Now, I understand that he is a commentator and not a journalist.  But that line gets blurred a little more every day at MSNBC, FOX and CNN.

And this is happening at the same time that newspapers are hemorrhaging staff and taking a chain saw to page count.  In the midst of this atmosphere who is going to keep the government accountable?

As a journalism teacher, I feel we must hold our students to a higher standard.  We should instill in them a desire to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

Sometimes You Can’t Help But Adore Them…

My newspaper staff was drawing on the board the other day…

Newspaper Family

The photo is bad, but their sentiment was really nice.