New Year, Same Old Blog

I am still amazed that I am still with this blog.  I started it on April 14, 2007 and now we are about to begin 2011.  Come April – it will be four years.  In those four years, I’ve had three principals and five yearbooks.  Things have changed so much.

I started the blog as a simple way to keep organized.  I wanted a cloud solution for all the resources I found for teaching journalism and media technology.  My blog now has 617 posts, 720 comments, 147,000 plus views, and is really a part of who I have become as a teacher.   I almost can’t get by without my blog.

My top posts are about Journalism Movies, my Photojournalism Syllabus and my Yearbook Ladder Template.

I hope I can keep it up through 2011 and beyond – another 600 posts or more.


Cool Links #104: The One During The “Universal Holiday” Break

I heard this on Disney Channel the other day – Happy Universal Holiday.  We have now officially crossed over into the world of Big Corporate and 1984.  It is amazingly sad how newspeak is taking over our language.  When I read the book 1984, in 1984 I never thought it would come to pass.  But now I live in that world.  So, let’s use the interwebs to find something to take our mind off of it all and be better j-teachers after the break.  Here come the links –

1 –  There doesn’t seem to be a way to add xtranormal movies to my wordpress blog, but I can link to them. Here’s a funny one about a young comm. grad who wants to be a big TV news star.

2 – The Principal’s Page has a funny about schools taking the blame for what happens at home.

3 – As journalists and educators, we should be very interested in “What is the best question in the world?”

4 – This is how e-textbooks are created.

5 – If you are a blogger, and you should be, then you should back it up!  FreeTech4Teachers will show you how.  Just backed up mine.

6 – Seen a number of Year in Photos around the web for 2010 – Denver Post, Boston Globe,

7 – My school district recently set up a moodle server and I use it nearly every day.  I love it.  Here’s a chart with the pros/cons of moodle.

8 – If you teach broadcast journalism, then you must watch and subscribe to Austin’s Josh Hinkle who has posted some great videos about what life is like as a solo-mojo on the go in Austin, TX at KXAN.  Thanks Josh.

9 – This post from WDL has a useful Photoshop keyboard shortcut desktop pattern and a color wheel sheet (printable).

10 – WDL has been hitting it with useful posts lately.  Here’s on on apostrophe and quote marks – you are not doing it right.

11 – New Term – PHObar:  Photoshopped Beyond All Recognition.



12 – Google has a new YouTube channel called Teach My Parents Tech.  It really should be Teach Tech to Anyone, but anyway – it is useful for teaching simple tech tips to people.  Here’s an example

13 – Since I live in Houston, I’ve been following the story of Lamar High School’s library closely and the early stories about it were dead wrong – no books burned, only 20 year old books trashed, 11,000 books kept, nearly 90 laptops for use in the library, not 20, etc.  The Innovative Educator has valuable post on the subject.

14 – As a photo/video-grapher you will have to deal with wet weather if you shoot outdoor sports.  Clifford Oto has a picture perfect post about his dealings with rain this football season.

And The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down

And The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down

15 – Rick Sammon is the online guru of photo.  This post is simply about one thing – GET CLOSE!

Get Closer

Get Closer

16 – Why do all “curriculum planners” act like this?  It seems like everyone has met at least one curriculum planner who has zero knowledge of actual teaching.

Have a great “universal holiday” break.

YLYB #89-94: Tested by Tests

This is the week of finals and I have already lost track of how many YLYB posts I’ve missed.  I was doing pretty good at posting every day of yearbook, but I’ve missed a few.  I do hope to catch up on cool links over the break, but other than that – NO YEARBOOK stuff allowed for two weeks.

YLYB #88: The Lack of Party People

I have been encouraged enough by the progress made by the staff, that I allowed them to bring food while we finished pages today.  Few did.  It was the most depressing lack of participation in a party I’ve seen in a long time.  Sad.

YLYB #87: The Second Saturday

Last Saturday, we held our second saturday meeting of the year and had very poor attendance, less than half the staff.  So many excuses, so little time.  I am going to hold them to their deadline and dock their grades accordingly if they don’t finish.

YLYB #86: Deadlines Amuse Them

I am seeing more students in the yearbook room after school, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like we are making progress fast enough.  Other times, I’m amazed at the amount of work they get done in a class period.  I think that they enjoy the crawl-run, crawl-crawl, run really fast pace of it all.  And here it comes, we have a deadline!

I may need some Starbucks before next week is over.


YLYB #85: In The Beginning…

My first year, yearbook staff members are working on their first layouts now – panel pages.  It is going to be an interesting week with them going through all the fits and starts of first time designers.  The panel pages are templated out pretty well, but someone always finds a way to make things difficult.  It just happens that way.

YLYB #84: All in a Days and Nights Work

Yesterday was a long day.  I got to work at 6:30 a.m. and I left school at 8:30 p.m.  My daughter had a choir concert and there was also a basketball game.  Lots of photographers taking photos.  I also wanted video of the choir.  But I forgot to post, so there it is.

YLYB #83: Clean Up, Do Your Part

I got a lot of stuff cleaned up today around the classroom and in my office.  It sometimes seems like cleaning, organizing and installing is all we ever do.  But I had several students putting in time after school today, so I wanted to get something done while they were there.

I also called B&H Video and our publisher’s tech. department.  I did get a lot of stuff done and things organized/cleaned.

YLYB #82: Missing Post-age

Last week, I missed a YLYB post, mostly because one day I came home and was dog-tired.  I just didn’t get to it.  So, there was one missing post.  If you’ve been following this thread, then you know that I’ve been trying to post every day that we do something yearbook related – school days, Saturday meetings, photo assignments, workshops, etc.

As of today, I’m at 83 days and counting.  It looks like I’m going to hit 93 days before we leave for Christmas Break.  I can’t wait for my 100 YLYB post.