Cool Links #78: The One Where You Wonder WTH

There seems to be a lot of What The Heck? (WTH) kind of thinking going on in schools today.  Maybe it’s all the pressure from high stakes testing, maybe it’s all the economic cutbacks, or maybe it’s just plain dumb.  But there have been stories about spying on kids, cranking up the pressure on teachers about testing, and changing their shirts in the yearbook.  OK, on to the links.

1 – Let’s start off with the WTH #1.  Why would a yearbook adviser want to get mixed up in a FREE SPEECH debate?  Shouldn’t a journalist be on the side of freedom of expression?  Especially when it is not disrupting school? J-School profs all over America are sighing and face palming.

2 – If you don’t already read Bob Kaplitz’s blog, then you should.  He has the best tips for MMJ’s (multimedia journalists).  Like this one about using cell/web access and two laptops to shoot video while driving. (Safely we hope.)

This second video is about how MMJ’s can add spice to their writing by writing to the video.

3 – This article was just too interesting to pass up.  The mathematical equation responsible for blockbuster movies.  Apparently there is a way to determine if you can keep an audiences attention based on the length of the cuts in a movie.  Very interesting.

4 – The “Google” Newsroom is an interesting idea.  I think it is the future of journalism.  We have to rethink how we staff a newsroom and how the media products we put together are created, staffed and edited.  We even have to decide which medium a story should be told in – because there won’t be video, photo, writing and online in the future.  There will only be one newsroom for all of it.

5 – From looking forward to looking back at the last 20 years of Photoshop from MacLife magazine.  A great retrospective, including toolbars and splash screens.

6 – The Edit Foundry has a great video over at his YouTube page about using simple transitions with your stories.  Great video.

7 – The Web Design Ledger has these Most Common HTML and CSS mistakes.  Useful for beginners in web design.

8 – This was one of the most fun links this week – how cliches link to typesetting by Seth Godin.

Stereotype

Stereotype

9 – Tamron Lenses has posted Episode 5 for Beginners Exposure and Metering.

10 – Why can’t we all just get along?  I mean, can’t there just be one format to rule them all in photos, video, etc.  I guess not.  And there are new formats all the time.  My favorite conversion site is Zamzar.com, but the Format Factory seems to also be a good backup.  Here is another translator – just for PDF files to Word files.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks promising.

11 – Here’s a quick cheat sheet for Grammar.  Keep the Nazi’s at bay.

Grammar Nazis

Grammar Nazis

12 – The iPad was recently announced by Apple, and many in the print community see it as the savior that they need and that the music industry didn’t see with the iPod.  But the Daily Beast thinks the iPad could actually kill newspapers, not save them.

13 – WTH #2:  If you haven’t already heard the story about the administrators spying on students at home via their school issued laptop cameras, then here it is a great big WTH.

Well, I hope your yearbook deadlines, newspaper and broadcast deadlines are going well.  Good luck.

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