Cool Links #65: The Parent Post

Parental contact and involvement has been a running thread this week.  I attended the NHS induction for my daughter this week and I read several blog posts which focused on the subject.  I agree and believe that parental involvement can be the difference for kids, but how do you get reluctant parents to participate?

1 – Own the story.  That’s the advice of the Copyblogger, who recreates a scene from Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.  Great story.

2 – The brand new online only Texas Tribune has a great piece on the problem of counting and dealing with high school dropouts.  It focuses on Texas, but it’s not just a Texas problem.

3 – This link feels like that endless chain of kids sitting in a circle repeating the same phrase – but Kirk Lapointe says that Jay Rosen has 10 points about social media that come from various places.  Check them out.

4 – If you use Macs, then has a solution for your problem – whatever it is, all 50 of them. Bonus from me #51, go the Apple Store.  I did today.  Got two cables cheaper than it would have cost me online.  New Macs should be running Monday.  Super take-away:  My CD or DVD is stuck in the optical drive and won’t come out when I press Eject.

5 – FreeTech 4 Teachers blog has this great share – the Washington Post is looking for nominations for the best education blogsNominate your favorite one!

6 – If you don’t already follow FakeAPStyleguide on Twitter, you should.  It is the funniest thing so far since Overheard In The Newsroom. MediaShift has an article about their success.

7 – This is so true and an area where school media can really dominate.

“(Local content) is the number one unmet need online.”

— Lisa Gurry, senior director at MSN, commenting about the brand new, which includes prominent integration of local news, weather, events and traffic.

8 – Business skills and journalism has been another area that seems to be a recurrent theme this week.  I can’t agree more that we need to teach the skills and journalists need to learn them, but salesmanship is also an art.  I worry that the focus on being a writer, videographer, photographer, designer, web master and now business sales guru is asking too much of most people.  I myself am pretty good at the first group, but suck eggs at business.  I also think that this is going to push the field of journalism even more towards PR and cults of personality.

9 – We are now teaching a generation of children who have no recollection of the Cold War.  It is ancient history, like WWII.  But only 20 years ago, pictures like this one changed the world as East met West and Germany was reunified.

The Day the Wall Came Down

The Day the Wall Came Down

I lived in Deutschland (Germany) for nine years on Army bases.  I remember the “Red Menace” and lived in constant state of concern that we would go to war with the USSR (Russia).  What a different world we live in today.  Check out the slide show on the site.

10 – Just got a brand new PC for your media program?  But none of the tools, like Flash or VLC or iTunes are up to date or even installed. is the solution, they will make a custom installer for your PC that will install one or up to 65 utilities, browsers and plugins that media specialists need every day.

11 – If you’re not reading this blog via RSS, then you should be.  Not just my blog, but every blog you read.  Don’t know how?  Check out the 10,000 words blog who will make it easy for you.

Finally, let’s all keep the teachers and students of Killeen Independent School District in our hearts, thoughts and prayers as well as all the families of the troops killed or wounded on that terrible day this week at Ft. Hood, Texas.  I spent five years in KISD schools and lived on Ft. Hood.  Military life, especially in a  time of war is difficult enough.  But this added burden will be with them for a long time.  Long after the TV trucks leave, they will be holding on to the emotions of that day.