Cool Links #75: The One I Nearly Forgot To Title

We just got our whole shipment of brand new iMacs in at school.  They are pretty, but setting them up is a full time job.  We have 22 new machines and they have to be updated and install Final Cut Express on them first.  In the next couple of weeks we should be getting Adobe CS4 products.  That means more time installing and then setting up the student login account.  Finally we can then switch out all the Mac Minis.  The new machines are so fast and have incredible, huge screens.  So far, the only downside is the wireless mouse and keyboard.  This will mean checking them out each period.  Lost instruction time.  But the cool factor is going to be worth it.  Now, on to the links.

1 – If you teach newspaper or journalism, then you know how difficult it is to get students to write opinion pieces well.  Here’s a great presentation to teach the way to do it right.

2 – Ever had another department want you to shoot their event, edit it, create videos for them and make DVDs too.  And of course they want you to do it all for free.  That’s a lot of wear and tear on the equipment.  I’m not against creating video or any other media for any department, but if it is not news – then we need to charge for our services.  But how much?  I used the FreelanceSwitch Hourly Rate Calculator and it actually gave me a realistic result – $50/hour.  Try it out yourself.

3 – Yearbooks, newspapers, graphic design and video makers all need fonts that are royalty freed.  Here are a couple of sites that offer fonts that you can use. and Font Squirrel offer contemporary font looks for all your needs.

4 – SF Weekly says we don’t pay for news online because we mainly view it on our work computers Monday-Friday and that we would rather read a real hard copy paper on the weekends.

5 – Straight from the UK, Charlie Brooker has this hilarious sendup of the typical news story.

6 – Photographers have to deal with a dizzying array of alphabet soup:  PNG, JPG, TIFF, PSD, RAW – what does it all mean?  The dPS is always quick with an answer for every photo question.

7 – Natural sound stories can be very powerful ways to sell a story that has strong sound elements.  Advancing the Story blog has a superb list of tips for nat-sound.

8 – Free Tech for Teachers has a super useful post about how to add an RSS feed for any web site in Google Reader.

9 – Adam Westbrook has Five Myths about Shooting Video.  My favorite is Shooting Video is Easy!

10 – The Bob Kaplitz blog is always full of great example videos, both of the what to do variety and the what not to to type.

11 – The Oatmeal comic blog is funny, crazy and a grammarian.  This month it is the semicolon that takes center stage.  Great fun for kids – and they might learn something too.

12 – Tamron lenses has their episode 2 in their DSLR series about focus modes.

Well, I’m going to watch the ‘semi-‘pro Bowl now.  Have a great week.



  1. I’d love to have Macs again, but the district won’t support them, tech-wise. I’m surprised I didn’t quit more than once, all those years out in the iMac Desert, with all these fabulous computers and no one to fix them!

    • I was very lucky. We had a bond issue specifically for technology. Our IT coordinator asked me what I needed. I took a chance and asked for a new lab full of computers. He said he didn’t think so, but would send on the request. About a month later I have a bunch of new machines. My principal had to bust his rear trying to find the funds for the software, but he agreed it would be a waste to have new machines with no software. I think I will have to make them last for five years or so.

      Our district is a Windows shop, but if the principal agrees we can buy Macs. We don’t get much in the way of support from IT since they don’t know much about them. But I’ve been my own IT for 15 years now. Macs don’t need a lot of TLC, so most of the time I can just teach.

  2. I am very jealous about your new Macs. That will never happen here as we are not allowed to order Macs. Also, no budget for any new equipment or software. This is a big reason I am resigning. I turn in my letter tomorrow. No one has any idea who will do yearbook next year.

  3. I found Bob Kaplitz multimedia journalism training video to be very informative. I think that professors and instructors can lecture all they want about the process to shoot video, but when actually seeing the mistakes and seeing the progress, I find that being most helpful. Many of Kaplitz’ points were great reasoning. I think that most news organizations today don’t receive enough footage or take the time to receive the better angles of the subject or just simply dread editing and that causes them to fill valuable space with stand ups or bullets, just like in Charlie Brooker’s hilarious How to Report News video.

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