Cool Links #79: The One About Saturday Work Days

This Saturday my district had an official work day.  Now, I know my teacher pals out in California are wondering how crazy I am to complain, since they have furlough days.  It seems weird, but true.  We have 10 days a year of staff development.  My district decided that two of these days would be on Saturdays prior to state testing weeks.  Lucky for me, I got time to work on planning, grading, ete.  I took that time to check yearbook pages.  It took up nearly all of the day, plus I checked equipment that was turned in and put away (some poorly).  It was actually a productive day.  Now the links:

1 – This is a fun read.  A Newsweek magazine writer in 1995 wrote a screed against the internet – mostly about how it was going to fail to bring us online shopping, telecommuting, online ticketing and reservations and how it would fail to replace newspapers, want ads, travel agents or retail stores.  Fun.

2 – A good friend of mine is heading to Portland for a conference, but more importantly is wondering – just like I often do – how the heck do you find a camera that will work with your computer editing gear?  It’s a big problem.

3 – This is an excellent post about the 960 Web grid.  I think almost all good design on the web or off starts with a good grid system.

4 – The excellent Edit Foundry blog has a post about how to use regular text features found in most NLE software to spice up your b/roll in a news story, complete with video examples.

5 – As a kid, I loved School House Rock.  The videos helped me learn the Preamble to the Constitution and what the heck an Adverb was or a Conjunction.  I’m working with my yearbook staff on AP Style and Grammar and some need a refresher on the parts of speech, but I want to make it fun for them, so here are some of the best Grammar Rocks episodes.  I highly recommend purchasing it – possibly from

6 – The ever useful Bob Kaplitz blog has another post about shooting your own stand-ups, something we all need to teach now that everyone is expected to be an MMJ or 1-man-band.

His second video this week was one about constructing a video for storytelling.  Great tips.

7 – As someone who is always trying to find a better way to motivate students to do a good job, I find this Dan Pink TED Talk to be both interesting and depressing.  He shows us how extrinsic motivation is not working, but doesn’t really show us how to use intrinsic motivation to replace it.  I do plan on reading his book Drive soon.

8 – It seems like the Paparazzi have always been with us, at least as long as photography has – here’s a photo from 1932 to show how it was done then.

Paparazzi in 1932

Paparazzi in 1932

9 – Campfire Journalism has a wicked cool video on how to use Garageband for Journalists.  I wish there was a similar video for Audacity too.  They have a ton of other great resources too.

Have a great week.  We are nearly done with the yearbook – can’t wait.


  1. Thanks for the link to Campfire Journalism. An Audacity screencast is coming soon.


  2. The first sentence of this post blows my mind and I don’t even want to know that a furlough day is! Although I do school work in my own home most weekends, I have never, ever been required to actually go to work at the weekend. Ever.

    • I enjoy your blog myself Mr. Teacher. Here in the States, salaried employes often have a wonderful line in their contract, stating they may be required to do “other duties as required.” It opens the door to a lot of fun, like Saturday work days.

  3. Are you telling me that your inservice days are such that you get to do YOUR OWN work? That isn’t the way it is out here in Cali. We never get to do our own work on an inservice day. They administration will hunt you down, and drag you, kickng and screaming, into the meeting to which you have been assigned. Working on your stuff…never.

    • I guess I’m lucky. We often are assigned to meet with our departments. I’m in two departments Journalism and Technology Applications. Both are departments of one – me! So, I met with my department.

      • One person department? We have one of those here–auto shop is the only tech ed guy left. Department meetings, though, have become a thing of the past. We have very prescriptive meetings about very prescriptive teaching.

      • We have a HUGE CTE (Career and Tech. Ed.) dept. but I am not a part of it. I am a Tech. Applications teacher – totally different. And since no one in my district really knows how to teach what I teach, there’s very little in the way of them prescribing what I teach. I know that sounds bad, but really it’s just a reality. I’m the only TA teacher in our district and one of three journalism teachers. It’s more of a case of being too small to be noticed and not responsible for any state testing either. So, I’m more of an unattached gnat. And I kind of like it that way most of the time. But I know our core subject teachers really know how you feel.

  4. Oh, yeah, we have 3 weeks to finish the yearbook and I think we will make it. Only 25 pages left to ship.

    • I’m glad we’ll be done this week. Then Spring Break.

      • We take the week of Easter as our spring break so three more weeks to go. You must get out of school in May? We go to June 12 so we won’t have too much time after spring break. We all like Easter to fall right in the middle of April.

      • We have been locked into taking Spring Break with our local college since we started dual credit classes with them. So that means an early break for us.

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