Cool Links #99: The One About Relaxing

As the song says, “Relax, don’t do it.”  Today is the beginning of the long march to Thanksgiving.  Holidays are few and far between for the next three months.  So, we must take today and relax as much as possible.  I smell a nap later, so here’s the links –

1 – Templates for TV graphics save time and effort, plus make your show’s look have some consistency, but inevitably someone forgets to complete the graphic before air time.

Add Caption Here

Add Caption Here

2 – Why is your fancy new iPad the size of a paperback book?  Or a better question is: where did all the “standard” sizes for books come from in the first place – sheep!

3 – The KRG blog has a list of 12 essential skills for aspiring journalists.  It is a good list, but it is missing one important skill – the ability to monetize your content.  Take some business classes.

4 – I  can’t remember if I have mentioned this resource before.  He does not have any journalism courses, but his story is inspiring. Khan Academy is a super resource for students struggling with math or science.  His free youtube channel has taught thousands.

5 – FORA.tv has a conversation with Bill Gates that focuses mainly on education.  Like so many others who have never taught, they think they can solve all the ills of education.  Gates’ magic wand is charter schools.  He forgets that unlike charters, many students in public schools do NOT want to be there, there is a deficit of parental support and we can not negotiate our way out of special education mandates.  He also doesn’t acknowledge the high burnout rate and lower pay for teachers in charter schools.  He also thinks that a third year teacher is better than a veteran teacher, because they work harder.  Working harder is not always working smarter.  I work plenty hard now, I know I’m a better teacher after 15 years, than after only two.  And finally, he wants to record every minute of the classroom day with a web cam.  How many parents would agree to having their children recorded?  He should stick to software that crashes and leave the classrooms of America alone.

6 – Just for TV Teachers has struck a nerve, or had his struck.  He wonders if all the time, money and attention devoted to high school football is worth it?  There are times where I wonder the same thing.  Don’t get me wrong, I played high school football and in the band.  I enjoy going to games and I love the game itself.  But in many states the insane amounts of money that are diverted to sports at the secondary level could be used to improve the quality and number of teachers, or purchase equipment and instructional materials that are sorely needed.  In a time where many states are slashing education budgets, how many have seriously thought about cutting sports or even cutting their budgets?  When times are good and there is more than enough money for all, sports are a luxury we can afford – but when belt tightening is required, why does the athletic department so often get a pass?

7 – This next post is just for fun – cardboard cameras.   Too bad they don’t work.

Cardboard Camera

Cardboard Camera

8 – News hits home, film at eleven.

News hits home

News hits home

9 – The clone stamp tool can be very useful when doing artistic or touch up work on a portrait – never for journalism.  All Web Design Info offers this tutorial.

10 – Is this the “next big thing?” The merging of TV station newscasts and newspapers.  Who knows, but the blog Reflections of a Newsosaur thinks so.

11 – My local newspaper here in Houston is closing it’s doors for good.  The last issue was tossed on my driveway last week.  It was published for 70 years.  I knew the editor pretty well and I know that the ever shrinking metro the Houston Chronicle never covered our area well before, they won’t be doing a better job with a smaller staff.

12 – Etaoin Shrdlu thinks that newspapers started dying when they stopped offering something of value.  He compares it to Starbucks.  You can get a cup of coffee for way less than $1 almost anywhere, but coffee at Starbucks is usually more than $3 and people line up to pay.  They do so, because Starbucks also offers both customization and a place to drink the coffee in a nice atmosphere.  Newspapers missed out in the past by keeping their price artificially low – this encouraged customers to see news as virtually free, even before the internet.  Since the internet, newspapers have missed the boat on customization.  They should have been creating systems for people to make their own custom news feed/page.  And finally, they also could have been a part of creating atmosphere – they should have found a way to get their newspaper in every coffee house in their readership area.

13 – Random Mumblings blog says that newspapers need to stop thinking about the paper edition.  They should focus on the web, because that is where people get their news today.

14 – If you ever wanted to know how to light a subject for a photoshoot – DIY photography has 13 video tutorials on how to set up lighting.

That’s a wrap – en

Cool Links #98: The One That Took Two Weeks To Finish

‘Twas the night before school and all through the house, the kids were sad, and so were the teachers.  Not really, but it makes a good scene.  Both children and teachers in this house are ready to go back – mostly.  So, here’s a few last minute links to bide you over the first day back.  Mine is tomorrow.

[Editor’s note:  I started this post last Sunday, the night before the first day of school.  I’m finishing it seven days later.  It was a long week – can you tell?]

1 – Journalists in the 21st Century really MUST be jacks-of-all-trades, so says the hiring practices of most media organizations.  Honestly, I was getting this advice back in 1988 – so, really is this a surprise?

2 – Net Neutrality is all the rage right now – thanks Google, you surrender monkeys.  Read, Write, Web has a super graphic with 15 facts about Net neutrality.

3 – More than any other mathematical concept, the Golden Ratio has my attention.  I love the many ways that the ratio is represented in art, music, architecture, nature and more.  It is a divine concept.

4 – The Beaumont, Texas office of Taylor Publishing (Balfor now?) has a cool resource site – check it out!

5 – Tamron video wants to help you use your Flash better in Episode 12 of their continuing series of photography videos.

6 – Free Tech 4 Teachers has a list of 140 user generated ideas for things that teachers are going to try in their classrooms this year.  I’m in the slideshow (yea me!) and I’m going to try Moodle.  My district has started it’s own Moodle site.  I really like it so far.

7 – I stumbled upon DigitalRev after watching a great stress test video that pitted a Nikon vs. a Canon camera.  DigitalRev has a Youtube channel and a great blog too.  I’ve added them to my RSS and Youtube subs.

8 – The Principal’s Page had a great graphic timeline of the History of the Internet.  Huge!

9 – Gizmodo had a good companion to the last link – The Secret History of those $%&@ing Computer Symbols.  My favorite is – of course the Mac Command symbol.

10 – According to Wired Magazine – The Web is Dead:  Long Live the Internet. It’s a Pro vs. Con on the walled gardens or suburbia of the internet – phone apps.

11 – After the Exposure Triangle – dPs wants us to get a little more advanced with our thinking about the exposure triangle = meaning aperture is more than just more light.

12 – The Internet gets news out faster and better right?  Not when Twitter punks the news.  Rumors can run rampant and then CNN and others actually report fake news stories.  Oh Dang, can you say retraction.   And in a related post, The Chive, punked us all with Dry Erase girl.  Supposedly she quit her job with a series of photos posted on a photo sharing site, telling all about her boss.  But alas, it was just a hoax – it did come from the Onion-like Chive site.  Duh.

13 – The Kobrechannel has a list of Five Things They Can’t Believe Every News Video Doesn’t Already Have.  Byline anyone!

14 – The folks over at 2¢Worth are trying to create an innovative online/DVD yearbook mashup.  No printed copy or only as a print on demand product.  I’m interested in seeing how this might work.

15 – Thanks to the Principal’s Page blog for reminding us all of this.  As the year goes by, things get busy and they often get hard.  It’s the hard that makes it great.

16 – I love this. Stickers for the newspaper, with truth in advertising about the news contained inside.  Could be used in yearbook too!  Not as funny as you think.

Quid es Veritas?

Quid es Veritas?

That’s a wrap.

Cool Links #96: The One About Busy-ness

I’ve been busy.  It seems that summer too can be a busy season.  I’ve had meetings and phone calls and my son’s football camp.  Lots to do, lots to do.  So, cool links haven’t bubbled to the top of the to do list until now – nearly a week late.  And to add insult to injury, my read it later password expired and I didn’t notice for several days that items were not being added to my read it list.  So, some cool links have been lost forever.  Sad face.  Here’s the links I’ve been able to add, re-add or just plain found by brute force search.

1 – Teachers At Risk has a top notch post – Nine Things My Students Have Taught Me. If only it were just nine, but a great list.  Best take away – 1. I’ve learned that students need me to be a teacher and not their friend.

2 – And to piggyback on that post, from the same source comes Nine Questions I Ask My Students On The First Day.  Best take away – 1. When have you felt particularly successful in school?

3 – Common Craft has several helpful videos on YouTube for those that teach anything to do with the Web.

4 – The Digital Photography School should be in every media teacher’s RSS reader – because of nuggets like How To Work With Locked Pixels.

5 – Seems like this is a favorite topic right now – extending the school year or eliminating summer vacation.  Time magazine has a long article that goes around the topic, but never really decides what to think.  I see both sides to the argument.  Summer would be very expensive in the south – A/C would run non-stop.  The travel industry would be hurt badly and the traditional vacation plan would have to be rethought.  But there are upsides to changing the summer schedule.  More days in the calendar might take some pressure off and allow more in-depth teaching.  Fewer days off would lessen the effects of lost retention.  But most teachers would want more compensation for more days and it would only be fair.  Plus, as it happened in Texas, you really can’t have just some of the schools go to a year-round schedule and others stay on a traditional one.  It won’t work.  It has to be all or nothing.

6 – Copyright Office says that jailbreaking and re-mixing are OK!  And they said that teachers and students can remix and reuse with few if any restrictions.  Read about it at Free Tech 4 Teachers.  Fair Use Win!

7 – I’ve been looking for a good online “text” for Web Design for a while, and the Web Styleguide is it.  It’s 12 chapters seem to cover all the basic areas that a designer needs to know.  I only wish it were available in a PDF format.

8 – Tamron lenses posted their second video about Photo Composition – give it a look.

9 – I just had to share this – the long weekend theory of summer vacation from An Untenured Teacher.  I’m still hanging on to Saturday, but Sunday morning is just days away.

10 – Teachers At Risk seems to be my favorite blog today – lots of great content, for example How The Web May Be Spoiling Our Students.

11 – This has to be one of the best ideas that has ever been on MTV, since they stopped playing actual music. If You Really Knew Me is a show about a program that focuses on character education in high schools around the country.  I’ve only watch the first episode, but I can see the power that this program could have in almost any school.  Make sure to start with episode 101.

12 – If you are a journalism or media teacher and your students are not publishing online, then you definitely need to read the Innovative Educator’s post about Sticking It To the Man and Publish Online.

13 – OK, be honest – how many of you have had a broadcast, newspaper issue or  yearbook that ended up like this?

Insert Image Title Here

Insert Image Title Here

14 – Peta Pixel blog has a great post about a music video made for $500 done in one take.  Not only is the video cool, but they also have a behind the scenes video too.

15 – Why do they do it?  Why do photojournalists doctor photos and then claim they just mistakenly sent in the wrong image?  Seems like there is a lot of it going around right now and BP just can’t seem to do anything right.

16 – Worried that photos you post to the internet will end up on a billboard, or in an ad somewhere and you didn’t get paid or even a photo credit?  Google is releasing a new service called TinEye – a reverse image search, so you can find out if your photos are being used somewhere else.

17 – Want some advanced InDesign and Photoshop Tips for Yearbook – The Yearbook Connection has a great resource page.  Check it out.

18 – If you are from Texas and you don’t know Hal Schmidt, then you need to meet him.  He works in Houston for the office of Taylor Publishing, and he knows his tech.  His page has all kinds of great resources and teaching tips.  Hal is your Pal.

19 – I love these A to Z yearbook terminology cards.  I am going to download them all – thanks Yearbook Ladies.

20 – Is solo reporting too much for reporters, with the always on deadline 24/7/365 news cycle?  The Journalism Classroom Notebook thinks that today’s journalists are likely to face lots of burnout and possibly change to other careers more quickly.

21 – Black Star Rising blog has a superb review of the history of the First Amendment and why it is so important to keep defending it today.

Wow, I guess I had more links than I thought – of course now I won’t have anything for Sunday!  lol.  I hope you are still enjoying your time off – I start back at school on Aug. 16 (no students until Aug. 23).  Hoping to enjoy my last few weeks off.

Cool Links #94: The One About The Midpoint

Here in most of Texas, we are about mid-way through the summer.  And for many of us, summer will end early because of back to work tasks that can’t wait – like getting all the computers hooked up and running, taking football/band/cheerleader pictures and meeting with the new yearbook rep.  All things we yearbook teachers do off-the-clock and unpaid.  No one has any idea how many hours of unpaid work go into being a yearbook teacher.  Our stipends don’t even come close.  We work from before the year starts until long after it ends and get a stipend that pales in comparison to the lowliest coach.  But, enough about that.  On to the links:

1 – Here is a collection of sad graphics about the decline of the news industry – focusing on the last three years called A Quick Primer on the US News Industry.

2 – Thanks to the Principal’s Page Blog2 for this photo – it really brings to life the computing revolution:  size, price and power ready to take anywhere.  I really miss my old Bondi Blue iMac.  But I love my new iMac even more.  We retired our last bubble iMac from the lab this year – it was 8 years old and still going as a printer server.

iMac v iPad

iMac v iPad

3 – This is a great article for any young, would-be journalist at either the college or high school level to read.  Thanks Ms. Yada, I hope the job search is going well.

4 – OK, yes clip art is so, like the ’90s.  But sometimes you really need a good piece of clip art for a powerpoint presentation.  Here is a royalty free clip art site for teachers.   As always, check the guidelines before reproducing anything.

5 – I’m incensed about the BP oil spill in the gulf.  As of this week, tar balls have been sighted on Galveston beaches.  Just like the Louisiana gulf coast, East Texas gulf coast was hit by hurricanes Rita, Katrina and Ike.  Many coastal towns live on tourist dollars in the summer months to feed them all year long.  Others from shrimping and fishing.  The last thing these towns need is the oil disaster that BP has unleashed upon us all.  The whole gulf coast is feeling it, but BP and the White House keep lowballing the problem and trying to keep journalist from seeing the real devastation.  I hope brave photogs and video crews keep thwarting the rent-a-cops and Coast Guard to publish photos that keep the disaster fresh in our minds.

6 – Here is where our industry is heading, as ad dollars keep shrinking and publications close, those few that remain will be more beholden to the ad money they still get.  This is especially true for trade publications – those magazines that cover a single industry, or group of related industries.  A reporter for Motorcyclist Magazine was allegedly fired because he did a story critical of a major sponsor – a helmet maker.  Who will be watching the watchers?

7 – This confirms something I’ve know for a while, minorities use the mobile web (smart phones/laptops/netbooks) more than Anglos.  I suspect it is because phones and netbooks are cheaper than a traditional desktop or high-end laptop and provide the user the mobility to seek out wifi at places like McDonalds, the public library, schools, Starbucks, etc.  That is a powerful combination for those who don’t own a home (rent) or have a need to be mobile due to their work (truck drivers, construction workers, seasonal laborers, etc.).  I think this is an important finding for those who wish to market to minority groups (yearbook).  You have to go where the customers are – online via mobile.

8 – Everyone has a story.  Eight million people live in the NYC area, each one has a story.  This is a great way to show your student journalists how to get personality profiles.

9 – If you don’t have great video of the event, then you need great storytelling/standups.  The ever-great Kaplitz blog has a superb example.

10 – I ran across this little tidbit while working on a lesson about Matthew Brady – how photos were made in the 1860s.

11 – If you create a web site, then you should validate the code.  This helps to make sure that your page is compliant with all web standards – All Web Design Info has a list of several sites to do just that.

12 – Working with type on the web?  Then you need these Six Super Helpful Typography Cheat Sheets.

13 – Here’s another resource for teachers wanting to learn the Google tools for your classroom – a 33 page guide from Free Tech 4 Teachers.

14 – And we wonder why journalists are held in such low regard and no one wants to pay for our work?  It is no wonder when well-respected publications keep violating the most basic of ethical standards – don’t modify photos.

Economist modifies photo of Obama

Economist modifies photo of Obama

15 – Want to use a popular song in a YouTube video, but you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for the rights.  Now you can – Rumblefish is a service that is supposed to sell the musical rights to video creators who want to post to YouTube.  The rights are usually between $2-25 for a song and are only good for YouTube.  Try it out and let me know how it went.

16 – What makes a great teacher? No one thing, maybe these 12 things each contribute to being a great teacher – I think number 5 and 6 are pretty important.

17 – I’m always looking for more of these Photos That Changed The World to add to my collection.  Some great ones in this collection – Ghandi and Brady.

Keep having a great summer.  I just finished an 8 hour InDesign CS4 tutorial that took me about two weeks to complete – up next Photoshop, then Flash.

Cool Links #91: The One About Graduation 2010 and More

Another year has come and gone and another group of students has left the building (along with Elvis).  I’m in a better mood than I was at the end of the last school year.  Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I am.  Graduation almost always puts me in a good mood.  It it so great to see the kids that I have worked with, helped, laughed with and sometimes even cried with walk across the stage and commence the rest of their lives.  When I was a kid, I thought commencement was an ending, it was only my senior year of high school that I learned that it meant beginning.

Next year really will be a new beginning for me and my students.  We will have a new principal, a young and inexperienced yearbook staff and just maybe something wonderful will happen.  I’ve learned in 15 years as a journalism teacher that sometimes you have to pray for rain, but plow your fields.  You can’t just hope for great kids to show up, you have to help the ones you have become great kids.   I’m cautiously optimistic about next year.

So, with that positive, hopeful note – here are some links that I hope will help you too.

1 – This is a great video from a Middle School in Florida (with some help from Full Sail University), they created a reading campaign that is fun.

2 – Adam Westbrook asks the question:  Are Two Heads Better Than One when it comes to creating video journalism.  I think that it is very hard to do it all yourself and do it well.  I’ve worked with and met a number of journalists who were very skilled at one thing, but not great generalists.  I’ve only known a small number of journalists who are good at all aspects of VJ.  Are solo mobile journalists (backpack VJs) the wave of the future – I think yes.  I think that the business of journalism has become a numbers game and two costs more than one.  Is it better journalism – no.  Do we need to train our students to be able to do it – you bet we do.  In a related post, Reflections of a Newsosaur says that journalists don’t know much about starting a business and that most new news startups are doomed to fail.

3 – PetaPixel has this interesting post – Photography According To Google.  They used a google image search on famous photographers to find the photo with the most Google Juice for a specific photographer.  Interesting choice for Ansel Adams.

Ansel Adams Best Image?  Google It.

Ansel Adams Best Image? Google It.

4 – I’m a sucker for Mark Twain, he seems like my kind of fellow – sarcastic, dry humor, wit and yet a hopeful, caring heart.  The Scholastic Scribe has a missive about yearbooks and Mark Twain – worth reading.

5 – Spot the prop.  It seems a group of property masters in the TV and Film biz have been reusing the same prop newspaper over and over again.  Great gag.

Married With Newspaper

Married With Newspaper

Show Me The Newspaper

Show Me The Newspaper

6 – The Knight Digital Media Center is starting a series of posts to help journalists understand how the web is created.  The first part is what we would call deep background, but it gives you a foundation for understanding the rest.

7 – Do people pay for content – no.  They never have, they pay for access.

8 – I am definitely a Mac.  I loved watching this series of ads for the last four years.  John Hodgeman as PC and Justin Long as Mac was a great pairing of comedy.  AdWeek has the complete 66 commercials on their site.  Here are my favs.

9 – The LemonDrop blog has a useful graphic with more information than most high school newspaper stories about prom.  Great looking graphic too.

10 – Mindy McAdams at Teaching Online Journalism brings forth a debate:  Is Journalism School Necessary? or Worth It? I’m of two minds.  I think there have been a number of great journalists who never went or at least never finished j-school.  But there have been an awful lot of j-school grads who have been bad journalists.  I think that the culture of newsrooms is more important than any j-school.  But I don’t think we have the culture today that would teach young kids the ropes and ethics like in years past.  So, that is where j-schools are important.  But if we could develop a better news culture, we wouldn’t need them.

11- Save the Media blog has an insightful post What to Keep and Get Rid of From Old-Time Media.  It’s mostly a list of keep, 5Ws and H, Inverted Pyramid, etc.  The lone toss is background paragraphs.  I agree, but the list could be expanded.

12 – Adam Westbrook says you need to devote yourself to “1000 True Fans.” For yearbooks, especially, I agree.  I’ve been a yearbook advisor for 15 years.  And in that time we’ve never really been able to increase sales beyond 25 percent of our student body.  I think it is because a yearbook focuses on the students who “do” stuff.  At my school, only about 15-20 percent of the students are involved in activities (sports, clubs, band, etc.) What we need to do is focus more on selling to the kids that want to buy and stop scattering our efforts.  I think next year we are going to assign students to hunt down kids in a specific group and ask them to buy a book.  Maximize our target market.

13 – Hey Teacher This is How I Learn is an interesting and thought provoking post.  I wonder how kids decide what isn’t boring.  I honestly don’t know if any teacher could have made me appreciate math, although I did like Geometry.  I’m not against making the content “interesting,” but interest is in the eye of the beholder.  I also think that a lot of kids like computers in the class so they can goof off.  I find it a challenge sometimes to keep my students on task in my 1:1 classroom.  There are 20 of them and only 1 of me.  It is impossible to monitor them all, all the time.  Not sure how to present information in a more interesting way when so many web 2.0 tools are blocked at my school.  Technology is often as much a curse as a blessing.

14 – This came from Photo du Jour – the evolution of news:  newspaper, kindle, iPad.

The Evolution of News

The Evolution of News

15 – Will customized television ads save commercial TV?  Doubt it.

16 – Incredible “edited” time-lapse of Los Angeles streets to create an empty feeling.

17 – Someone needs to let the government know:  High School Dropouts Cost The American Economy Millions.

Wow – what a bunch of links.  Hope you are enjoying your summer vacation.

Cool Links #87: The One About Prom Craziness

Last night was Prom.  Yesterday was insanity day.  We had our seniors out most of the day to get ready for Prom.  Some of the sophomores were at a Field Day, the Ballet Folklorico dance team was performing somewhere, there were AP Tests, and we were getting ready to prep for Yearbook Day!  Too much craziness for one day.  So, after another 16-hour day, it was time to sleep.  Now, it is time for cool links!

1 – As a yearbook advisor, I’m always on the lookout for a way to sell more yearbooks.  I think I may have found an advantage.  According to businesspundit.com, women make 70 percent of consumer purchases.  That is not a typo – 70 percent.  So, even though they are about 52 percent of your student body, the girls or the moms will make the decision to buy most of your yearbooks.  This may explain why girls dominate yearbook staffs.  Yearbooks are a consumer purchase.  They’re just more into it.

Women Make 70 Percent of Consumer Purchases

Women Make 70 Percent of Consumer Purchases

2 – If you teach video production or broadcast journalism, then you know how difficult it can be to get cutaways or b-roll.  Then you’ve got to watch this video. (mildly not safe for school)

3 – Is journalism about access?  In some ways it seems that the only journalism making any money these days (business, sports, entertainment) is about access.  Adam Westbrook takes this debate up with a piece on his blog.

4 – I love PHDcomics.com and this one is spot on.

Things You'll Never See In A Newspaper

Things You'll Never See In A Newspaper

5 – The JEA has a good presentation about the reasons why students should think internet publishing first.

6 – With Youtube changing from FLV to HTML5 on their site, I need a new way to download Youtube videos to use in class.  I prefer to use the Google Chrome browser, but you will need to download Firefox for this one, the Easy YouTube Video Downloader.  It works pretty good and lets you choose several formats to save your videos in.

7 – Dateline: Silver Age is an homage to both the “Silver” Age of Comics and to the many journalists who have had to pen a headline in a newspaper.  I love the site, it is so much fun.

Police Baffled By Newspaper Headlines

Police Baffled By Newspaper Headlines

8 – When you are creating a web site, you need that site to run in a lot of places.  I’m not talking about Denver and Boston, but Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Explorer.  And you need it to run on mobile devices too.  Noupe.com has a terrific list of sites that can help you optimize your web site for every type of browser and platform.

9 – I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but the SnapFactory Blog has some great tutorials, called Digital Photography 1-on-1.  They are for beginning and intermediate photographers.  They are available on their Youtube channel too.

10 – Want a simple way to develop grid-based web design systems?  Webdesignledger has everything you need – tons of links for grid based web design tools.  And who doesn’t like to design on a grid?

11 – Wired Magazine is stepping up for fair use.  In an online article, they note a study that says Fair Use of copyright material adds nearly $7 Trillion to the US economy alone.  So, I wonder just how much damage has the DMCA done to our economy?

12 – Where do computer threats come from?  You’d be surprised.

Where Computer Threats Come From

Where Computer Threats Come From

13 – Just funny.

Hall Monitor

Hall Monitor

14 – I’m a big fan of Rebooting The News, which comes from the author of Scripting The News.  I love his idea of creating three simple rules for computer standards that are similar to the rules for robotics by Isaac Asimov.

Have a great Yearbook Week and I hope you get your books in soon or finish your Fall books soon.

Cool Links #84: The One About Sleeping In

I really enjoyed my day of rest on Friday.  We didn’t have any school and so I took the time to sleep in and enjoy a day of peace and quiet.  I did go up to the church to see the recreation of the passion.  It was well done and inspiring.  I am energized and now ready to go back to school and finish up the year.  I’m even ready to deal with another trouble ticket for the yearbook on Monday.  It’s all good and so are the cool links.

1 – Thanks to ShortFormBlog for this link to Weird Al Yankovic’s short Youtube video with a grammar lesson.

2 – This speaks for itself.  Not sure why it would be censored?

Censorship = Evil

Censorship = Evil

3 – In the last week or two, I’ve become a fan of using non-destructive forms of editing in Photoshop, especially layer masks.  This tutorial has most everything you need to know to apply layer masks for adjustments.

4 – This video is about a printer who decided to reprint the engravings from a really old Webster’s Dictionary.  He did all the work by hand with old-fashioned letterpress printing equipment.  Even the book binding is done by hand.  Great video for yearbook kids to see how it used to be done.  I’d love to show it to my students, but Vimeo is blocked at my school, and I don’t know of any way to download from that site.  Any ideas?  Please send them to me.  BTW I use a Mac, so PC only software is out.

Bookbinding the Old Fashioned Way

Bookbinding the Old Fashioned Way

5 – The great design blog Hongkiat.com has a post about the 52 Worst Photoshop Mistakes.  I’ve seen a ton of them before on Photoshop Disasters.  But it’s great to revisit some old favorites.  Beware, a few are NSFS.

52 Photoshop Mistakes

52 Photoshop Mistakes

6 – As a yearbook photography teacher, I’m constantly dealing with photos that have to be shot indoors, with unflattering light, in low light or mixed lighting conditions.  DPs as is their habit, has another super post 5 Tips for Consistently Good Indoor Photos. Best Takeaway:  Make friends with your flash and learn how to maximise natural and manmade light.

7 – This is what I worry about the future of media: that it will become a literal walled garden for only the wealthy.  This is both for content creators and consumers.  Basically, as serious well-reported journalism shrinks, and fewer agree to pay for content, that content will increase in price and decrease in availability.  And as that happens, only the wealthy will care about and support serious journalism.  And the corollary to this is that journalism schools will shrink, disappear or become the territory for the rich.  For only the rich will be able to support themselves while they earn the right to work at one of the few elite media outlets that actually pays a salary.  Most middle class and students who come from poverty simply can not afford a life without a paycheck.  Many struggle now without loans and suffer under the requirements of a (usually) unpaid internship.  This means a summer without a summer job and the income that affords them.  As a journalism teacher in an urban high school, I see that as a terrible future.   Our country once saw equality of opportunity as a guiding principle.  Too bad that is not likely in the future.  Money has always been a big help in journalism – buying newer and better equipment.  Now it will be the only thing that matters.

8 – Want to learn HTML coding.  Here’s a great site that shows you how, step-by-step and in an interactive way.  Davesite.com also has CSS and Design tutorials too.

Have a great week and don’t let the testing demons get  you down.  Just a few more weeks until school’s out.