Here in Texas, we have a journalism convention hosted by the state sports and academics authority (UIL) every spring in Austin on the campus of that Orange and White University. (My sister is an Aggie, so I’m not allowed to say the name of the university in question.) The trip is nearly always fun, entertaining and we learn something too. I attended some great sessions put on by some great speakers from near and far. One of the best parts of the trip is seeing other staff’s t-shirts. My favorite this year was West Orange. Their shirts said “That’s What She Said.” on the front and “You can tell me, I’m a reporter.” on the back. It has taken me an entire week to recover from the lost sleep and insane amount of fun my students and I had on the trip. So, now a long overdue Cool Links episode.
1 – Adam Westbrook says that news organizations are too big to succeed and that we all just need to keep it simple, silly.
2 – Jim Jordan provided one of my links this week in his UIL session last week – 51 Ways to tell the story of your year.
3 – This next link also came from the workshop, from a professor at the University of Nebraska, Scott Winter. I really enjoyed this video about a native American girl, literally fighting to get off the reservation.
4 – The incomparable Bob Kaplitz Blog has another gold nugget – this one shows why viewers hate boring, out of focus video.
5 – I’m not a big fan of script fonts in school publications. Usually they are either overused or used in ways that harm readability. But Web Design Ledger has a super group of 20 that are modern and useful.
6 – The Google CEO says newspapers will make money again – online. They just need to hang on and get through these lean times. I tend to agree with him, but I also understand that the dynamics of the web mean that most newspapers will be smaller, and more focused on local or niche content.
7 – Winning the war of the scrum is more a job for rugby players than photographers, unless you’re a paparazzo. Fun Tuna has a collection of images that illustrate the daily grind of those who hunt stars for a living.
8 – Here’s a blog I added to my RSS reader recently – Local News Queen.
9 – This is the biggest problem with news organizations getting smaller. Too big to fail, also often means too big to sue. Few would willing take on the lawyers at the New York Times. But I doubt many would hesitate to take on a blogger, especially one who makes their bread and butter in a small market. The Newsosaur agrees and the comments on this article are even more engaging.
10 – While I teach in a 1:1 classroom (I have a workstation for every student), I don’t teach in a 1:1 school. I wish I did. I think that students from Title I schools need more than their peers. They need computers in every grade PK-12. But sadly, I see three of the five insights from the Always Learning blog as roadblocks in going 1:1 in a Title I school.
1. Involve All The Stakeholders: Most Title I schools have little or no involvement from parents. Many parents work, some have two jobs. Others have language barriers. Many feel uncomfortable in schools due to their own level of education. It is a recipe for limited parental involvement.
2. School Leadership Must Take An Active Role: School administrators in a Title I school have more problems on their plate than solutions. They have limited time and resources. They are not likely to initiate an expensive program like a 1:1 initiative when they have so many more pressing issues. And mandated testing only exacerbates these problems.
4. Project Based Learning Is Where It’s At: State mandated minimum skills tests take up so much time, effort, staffing and funding at Title I schools, that PBL is not going to be an option unless we change the metrics. We can’t swim against the stream, when we’ve got to deal with the realities of passing a test that is difficult for students with issues that face most Title I schools.
11 – Jeff Jarvis reboxes his iPad. The journalism professor was an early advocate of the device, but now says it is not going to benefit him as a content creator. That’s too bad, because I think that if the iPad had a web cam and a microphone input, it would be a great journalism device.
12 – The Edit Foundry blog deals with the issue of color correction in Final Cut. Very useful tips and tricks.
13 – Journalists are too focused on using ads to make money on the web according to Adam Westbrook. I’m sure this is true, but as I’ve said before on this blog, journalists – especially in America – were told for three generations or more that it was unethical to get your hands dirty with the money making side of the business. News should be clean and keep out of the sales dept. Most journalists have little or no idea how to monetize anything. And it may take an entire generation before that changes.
14 – Is the White House Press Corps dead? The Daily Beast thinks it may be dying.
15 – Is CNN dead? The New York Times thinks that the once great news network (remember the voice of James Earl Jones: This is CNN?) may be on the way out. It’s death hastened by FOX News and MSNBC’s race to opinion based “reporting.”
16 – Several states including California are attempting to make unpaid internships illegal. I want to salute them for that. I remember a number of journalism students that I knew who could not find paying internships. They were forced to work for free, and so did the bare minimum number of hours needed to complete their credit. It didn’t serve them well and was a horrible way to “pay their dues” in the industry.
17 – Pxleyes blog has a fun post with 45 more Photoshop Disasters, some you’ve seen and some you haven’t – some safe for school, but not all. Some are just creepy.
I think that’s going to do it for this week. I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our last day is the first week of June.