Cool Links #31: Mini-Break for Easter Edition

Thank goodness for Easter Break.  Between pre-test madness and my dental problems, I’m frazzled.  Three day weekend plus a teacher work day after is just what the doctor ordered – REST.  But before I chill out, there are cool links to be dished up for all.  Enjoy.

1) Darren Durlach of WBFF-TV in Baltimore, award winning photo says we really need good stand-ups in our broadcast stories.  (Thanks Advancing the Story)

2) This is a shamless plug for Scott Bourne of This Week in Photography and Mac Break Weekly and many other fine media outlets.  He is giving away a Drobo.  If you don’t know, the Drobo is the best-awesomest backup system invented thus far.  It is a little pricey for most school budgets (that’s why I’m hoping to win one).  But if you have a blog, go check out his contest page and enter to win.  All you have to do is link to and   Plus send him a tweet via Twitter at Get drobotized.

3) This little lesson is going into my web design bag of tricks.  I am still new to CSS and DIV tags have been a hard sell for me.  I love my HTML tables no matter how messy the code gets.  My motto is – If it works, don’t fix it.  But this informative article about Table Layout vs. Div Layout in Smashing Magazine has sold me.  I’m going to read it again and again until I get it.  But it is well written and easy to understand. I am determined to get out of table hell.

4) I hope that Advancing the Story does not think I’m link scraping from them, just they’ve had some great resources recently, like this nugget on VJs or Solo Mojos or One-man-bands. Too bad I can’t figure out how to embed Vimeo videos in WordPress.

5) I am so using this post in my Yearbook class next week to kick start a discussion on selling books next year.  Three secrets of persuasion that every kid knows.   Ask for it, give a reason for it and set a deadline.  Simple.

6)  Creating Lifelong Learners blog has an awesome example of the Rule of Thirds both for video and photo.  It is a mashup of a promo for Disney’s High School Musical 2.  EVERY shot is a perfect rule of thirds example.  Wow!

7) Apparently the Daily Bruin is all the Buzz, sorry about the bad pun.  To make ends meet, they sold out, their front page.  Innovation in College Media has they story and both the “ad front” and the actual front page images.  Check it out.  Great ethics topic for discussion.

8 ) With the end of the year in sight, yearbook day is coming.  And with yearbook day, comes the critics.  I am over 40, I have kids, teach kids and worked in the pro media – I have a tough skin.  My students, not so much.  They get hurt when other kids criticize their work.  This is a good primer for handling criticism that all media teachers should share with their students if they are going to make their work public.

9) This summer, I plan to update our yearbook website – make it more user friendly, hip and web 2.0.  But I also want it to SELL YEARBOOKS!  Smashing Magazine (really I’m not link scraping) has a post that will be useful for this and for web designers who want to sell something via their web site.

10) A couple of months ago I ran a post about image editors that can replace Photoshop if you don’t need to create CMYK TIFF images for publication.  But most were Mac-centric, has a very Windows-centric list of image editors that can help those of you on the Microsoft side of the Media house.

11) Many in the media, especially newspapers are screaming that the sky is falling in hard hitting watchdog journalism, but Bill Moyer’s Journal had an internet based journalist on his show who won an Izzy Award for going after the government for both the Iraq War and the financial crisis.

12)  We recently joined School Tube because we needed a place to put our entries for the Brainyflix contest, but there is a lot of great content and student created tutorials on School Tube, such as video shooting basics.

13) eHow and Jamal Spenser have a fun series of videos about Sportscasting that is worth a watch for broadcast students who are into reporting on sports.

14)  Common Craft has posted another video on how to use better search strategies on the Internet.  As always, easy to understand.

15) Don’t want to look like an amature when you take out the camera?  Avoid these top ten mistakes according to

Well, my pain meds are cutting out, so I will cut this edition off short.  Time to go take a nap and some medicine.  Hope my insurance calls with my referral soon.  Until then I’ll be sleepy and unfocused or in pain. But don’t let me stop you from having a great holiday.

If you have a link you want to send me send it in a Tweet on Twitter to @teach_j and put in the hashtag #jlinks.