Cool Links #92: The One About Training

I’ve taken a little time off from the old blog because I’ve been up to Dallas for nearly a week and it left me fairly exhausted.  I went to the Taylor Publishing Co. Adviser Development Workshop.  It is a great four day training that includes an entire day just to learn technology.  That was great.  I enjoyed it a lot, but with travelling, it was a six day marathon.  But now, I’m back and rested.  So, on to the links.

1 – Free Technology for Teachers definitely understands the conundrum those of us who can’t access Youtube at school face and he has posted several ways to download their vids for later use.

2 – Is the Pen Tool a mystery to you?  Would you like to be a Photoshop Pen Master?  All Web Design blog has a primer on the ways of the Pen Tool for those of us who live in fear of it.

3 – The Pew Internet Project has a super slide show on how the Internet has changed from 2000 to 2010 and it is really instructive to see how just 10 years have changed things.

4 – This would solve a lot of things…

If Only We Could

If Only We Could

5 – Here is a collection of weird and crazy things that have happened to reporters on air or on tape.

This one is the wildest.

6 – Here’s a blog I’m adding to my RSS reader, BillMecca.com.  He’s a video journalist who posts lost of great stuff to his fledgling blog.

7 – Why do Video Journalists do it?  Work the long hours, slinging heavy gear?  Check out this video, it answers all the questions.

8 – The life of a one-man-band, how do they do it all?  Shoot, edit, standup, report, shoot b-roll, upload, live shot.  Whew.

9 – Campfire Journalism has a top notch post called A Few Lessons Learned From Teaching Online Journalism.  And since almost all journalism is online these days, this is a must read for all journalism teachers.

10 – Setting up lights for a portrait shoot, or a group photo day, or for a TV interview?  Sylights has a setup for you – or two or many, many more.

11 – Why is Net Neutrality important?  Check out this video by some internet stars.

12 – There are no boring stories, just bad reporters.  This one is good.

13 – I use Mac, so I don’t know nothing about Windows.  But I do know that all computers get slow once in a while.  Hongkiat has 9 Super Tips To Speed up Windows 7.

14 – I was asked to do a Q&A on the JEA website.  Very cool.

15 – This is a really cool idea – 24 Hours in photos at a Wal-Mart.  What about 8 Hours at your school?

16 – Slow News Day.

Slow News Day

No News Is Good News

17 – Why should we care about HTML5 and why is Apple trying to ram it down our throats and kill Flash?  All your answers to this are right here.

18 – It’s time to embrace the new media, but old media is still lagging – here are five things they just don’t get about new media.

19 – Let’s end with a great video about Teachers, why we need to value them.

Have a great summer.  See you soon.

Cool Links #72: The One About The End of A Decade

Seems like a lot of end of 2000s stuff in the old link basket this week.  Loads of stuff though, hope you all like it.

1 – The Oatmeal has lots of great graphics and ideas, but some of them are not safe for schools.  I like this 10 Words You Need To Stop Misspelling.  NSFS, but could easily be adapted.

2 – Save the Media has some suggestions for the AP Stylebook – such as Twitterati, Twitterverse and Tweet.  Best takeaway – it is Tweet, not Twitter – when used as a verb.

3 – David Warlick of 2 Cents Worth has some great Questions for the Next Decade.   I agree that they are questions.  I wonder when we will stop wasting money on textbooks, when PDFs would serve us so much better.  When will we really devote more money to technology.

4 – The New York Times made a terrific icon chart with graphics representing various categories for every year of the past 10.  My fav icon – Starbucks.  The most interesting – Movies in the Mail, an industry that came, grew and will soon be gone in less than 10 years.

5 – Poynter Online has a super list of suggestions for Writing Teachers to include in their lessons and in their classrooms.

6 – Good Magazine has another interesting graphic that sums up 2009 in news stories, by showing each major story as a block in relative size to their importance.

7 – I already teach stance and how to hold the camera to my students, but I’ve never thought about teaching it like marksmanship.  Great idea.

8 – A lot of studies recently have shown that in the last 10 years internet use is up.  Really?  Wow.  Of course it is, there is so much more rich content available now then even just 2-3 years ago.

9 – This post is about brainstorming for bloggers, but I’d say these are great rules for brainstorming in nearly any area, especially yearbook and media classes.

10 – If you don’t have a staff application, you should get one for your yearbook, newspaper, broadcast or other class.  And it’s time to move into the online realm – how about an application made with Google Docs?

11 – I love TED Talks and this one is a really great one:  It’s not about the perfect Pepsi, it’s about the perfect Pepsi’s. This is what I’ve been saying about yearbooks for a while.  We need to stop making the Pepsi yearbook.  We need the flexibility to make a Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Slice and even more yearbooks.  With print on demand technology, the yearbook companies need to roll out flexible yearbooks before even more kids stop buying books.

12 – Where did everybody go?  They are no longer going to web pages, but to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube/Hulu.

13 – DSLRs are tough.  This Canon Rebel fell 3000 feet and lived to keep working.

Canon Rebel Falls and Survives

Canon Rebel Falls and Survives

14 – I’ve been looking for this for a long time – a film maker’s dictionary of terms.  Useful if you’ve worked in TV, but only dreamed about movies.

15 – If you’ve ever thought about creating a blog, you should read these 7 Secrets of Edubloging from Free Tech for Teachers – a great award winning site.

16 – I really like reading the new Texas Tribune online news site started just this year.  The Trib is a must read for Texas teachers, because education spending is the largest item in the state budget, so you can bet we take up our part of Texas politics and the Trib covers it.  This article on the divisions between the teaching organizations in Texas was interesting to a 15 year vet who never knew why we had so many.

17 – Again from the 2 Cents Worth blog, what was computing like in 2000 vs. 2010.  We’ve come a long way.

18 – Always funny – 50 Biggest flubs of the Year in Headline writing.  My favorite:

Chance of Rain

Chance of Rain

19 – As we move into a new decade, the Newsosaur says we need to emulate the journalists of the 19th Century, not the 20th.  Muckrakers of the world unite!

20 – Teach Paperless has a list of 21 Things that will become obsolete in the next decade in education.  Lets hope teachers are not one of those things.

21 – Finally, Scott McLeod recently spoke to the NEA and had some interesting things to say.  He recorded both his speech and the Q&A that followed, both are worth a listen.  I only have two criticisms of what he said.  1) He never answered the question of HOW do we get legislatures, Congress and school boards to start spending money in the right places and move the curriculum forward.  2) He also never gave a good answer to what do people do who are not able to master higher level thinking skills after we move to an information/creativity economy.

Unfortunately with all the holiday eating, I’m up to +3.  Ouch.

Cool Links #66: The Web is Everywhere But Our Schools

In an effort to “protect” our children, we block anything and everything on the internet at school.  I’m not saying blocking pornography, graphic violence and profanity is a bad thing.  But many schools go way beyond that.  They block any site that allows commenting, opinion or “unfiltered” content.  They also block bandwidth “hogs” like video and multimedia.

Think of just about any Web 2.0 tool and it is blocked at many schools – Twitter, Wikis, blogs, Skype, YouTube, Flickr, etc.

And yet it doesn’t stop them.  So many students come to school with the internet in their pocket.  They have smart phones that are web enabled, they just go around that AND they can get the other stuff too – the stuff we really don’t want them accessing at school.  But because we have made the internet useless, they just bring their own.

Now on to the links that many of us won’t be able to access at school, just like this blog.

1 – Copyblogger says that there are seven harsh realities of the internet that content producers need to know.  Great list, just replace blog with newspaper, TV station, etc.

2 -10,000 Words blog wonders “Do Journalists Really Look Like This?” You really need to check out the hot and nerdiness of reporters on this site.

3 – Mastering Multimedia has 10 Ways To Make Your Photographs Better.  Best take away is know your camera!  But the second best one is use good lenses.  We bought one 80mm Prime lens that has made our photography in the gymnasium 10 times better.

4 – Thanks to the Fail Blog for this newspaper fail.

Headline Fail

5 – This is inspiring, but we’re still not sure how to make hard news pay for itself.  This young single mother turned her make up tips blog into a paying business.

6 – This is true for video shooters, photographers and reporters doing interviews – pay attention.  What else is there to say?

7 – This site is pretty interesting, it is a national “tween” newspaper called the Tweentribune.com.  The stories are tween-focused, but a lot of them come from the AP.  I’d like to see more tween written content on the site.

8 – The Newsosaur has a well composed argument that newspapers are too tradition bound to survive in the internet age because they are always asking, “Who else is doing that?” before they try something new.

9 – The Copy Paste blog has a useful lesson idea that might spice up headline writing.  The lesson uses a painting to help teach students how to summarize.  Great idea.

10 – The Online Journalism Blog has a great lesson idea – Mapped Story Telling.  It is his concept to replace the inverted pyramid with a “tumbled pyramid,” especially in online storytelling.

11 – One of my favorite blogs is Notes From A Teacher.  It has been rather quiet this last six months or so, but when there is a post, the quality is astounding.  This time he equates journalism with playing the violin. And I can’t agree more.  I play two instruments myself, trumpet and French horn.  I loved playing when I was in high school and college.  I also love writing and shooting, designing, etc.  I love journalism.  His best take away – it’s better when done with someone else.  I think that was always the appeal of TV for me.

I enjoyed working for the newspaper, but it was such a solitary existence.  I enjoyed TV so much more, because most of the time you worked with others.  It was rare to work on a project alone in TV, at least in the old days.  But the solo mobile journalist is becoming the rule today, as the one-man-band was the exception back then.  That’s too bad, because I too think that working as a team is best.

I also agree that, like music, journalism takes time and hard work.  One of the things I’m fighting against, is a movement in US high schools to cut out elective classes in the first two years and then jam pack the final two years full of “career preparation.”  This does not give a high school student the longevity with the material that he/she needs to be successful.  One of my most successful former students was the editor of our school’s newspaper and yearbook in her four years in my class.  She went on to edit her junior college newspaper and is now a staff editor at Texas State University.  I wonder how her path would have been changed by only having two years of prep work, instead of four.

12 – The Oatmeal blog has a wonderful graphic on when to use and apostrophe and when to not use one.  This is a big problem for my students and I plan to share this with them.

13 – The Denver Post has an excellent collection of Berlin Wall photos from its construction to those wonderful days in 1989 when we thought that anything was possible and the Iron Curtain came tumbling down.

End of the Berlin Wall

14 – At some point in the future, we are supposed to get our copy of CS4 Creative Design Suite.  But not yet.  When we do, I will be spending a lot of time at Adobe TV.  Lots of tutorials and how to’s.

15 – The Lasolite School of Photography has a huge collection of lighting tutorials.  Well worth a look if you are trying to do studio or portrait lighting. And if that’s not enough, there is the Photoflex Lighting School with even more tutorials.

Wow, that was two days in the making.  Hope you find it useful.

 

Cool Links #38: Memorial Day Weekend Edition

As we all celebrate a much needed three-day weekend, let’s all pause to remember the real purpose of the holiday on Monday – Memorial Day.  Please remember those who have served and given the ultimate price as well as those who served and only stood and waited, for they protect us too.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day

1 – This is why you don’t pre-slug your newspaper headlines.

Newspaper Slug Gets Published

Newspaper Slug Gets Published

2 – Great poster of retro cameras.

Retro Cameras Rock!

Retro Cameras Rock!

3 – Blogush has an excellent post on how we set our students up for failure and how we should or at least could be helping them to “race and always win.”

4 – Traditional yearbooks printed on paper are in danger of becoming extinct.  I know that at my school, sales have dropped about 2-3 percent a year for the last 15 years.  We now sell fewer than half the books we sold in ’98.

5 – I teach in a school with a high rate of students on free lunch.  This article in the Washington Post hit a chord with me, but it was almost the very end before the lightbulb went off.  There are many good and sensible reasons that poor students don’t feel a sense of urgency about anything.  The take-away was on the last page of the article “No sense in trying to hurry when you are poor.”

6 – This article about “Why journalists deserve low pay,” has made the rounds of the internet this last week, it’s been tweeted and blogged, but I’m going to blog it again anyway.

7 – The The Impotence of Proofreading

8 – Eight awesome layout solutions to improve your web page’s design.

9 – Too bad this site hasn’t been updated in about a year, but they have several great tutorials such as mixing audio in garage band and creating lower thirds in final cut.

10 – Advanicing the Story blog has a post on using web stories to add interest and information to your broadcast stories.

11 – Silber Studios has a terrific short about how Ansel Adams created the magic of his Moon at Half Dome shot.

12 – Circulation figures for all the top US newspapers in a fun and creative graphic.

13 – How my students work.

If it wasnt for the last minute, nothing would get done around here

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done around here

14 – The Creating Lifelong Learners Blog has an excellent selection of iMovie ’09 resources.  We no longer use it after transitioning to Final Cut, but it is still a great choice for those who can’t afford FCE or don’t want to deal with the learning curve.

15 – Tom Brokaw, the former NBC anchor, gave a great speech at this year’s SPJ convention.

Have a great holiday and if you see a soldier, sailor, airman or marine thank them for your freedom and their service.

Cool Links #32: Easter Egg Edition

I’ve been feeling a lot better, both mentally, physically and spiritually.  So, I thought I’d hand out a special Easter edition of Cool Stuff!  Enjoy!

1)  It seems our cousins across the pond didn’t read their Orwell.  Here’s a great Flickr image of a photoshopped version of a real poster seen in the wild in Britain. Check out the real poster here on their Flickr feed.

Didnt Read Their Orwell

Didn't Read Their Orwell

2)  Here’s a great nugget from NASA, the orginal Earthrise photo from the Apollo 8 Mission. Beautiful even in black and white.

Earthrise

Earthrise

3)  Another rock solid interactive map from the NY Times, immigration and jobs in the US, by country of origin and job type.  Very cool and easy to understand. The NY Times does graphics better than anyone on the internet right now.

4) All teachers, especially high school ones, have seen these moves in their classes as students try to check their text messages.  Short and worth the watch TED talk about the anti-social nature of cell phones.

5) Web design teachers and yearbook teachers can find a lot of use in this post about the basic online column layouts and their most used percentages.

6) Here’s another YB/Web two-fer, 8 Simple Ways to Improve Typography.  I know that this is one of the easiest ways to improve your publication or web site’s look is back to basics.  Look at your text.  Make it readable and tweak it until it looks great.  Then lock it in for at least a year.

7) Yearbook teachers, if you’re like me, then this year’s book is done.  Next year’s book is already started and you are running out of things to do.   Here’s 25 FUN Things You can do with photos! Fun!

8 ) Not sure what LOL BRB L8R or noob mean?  Here’s a Text Message translator so you can either figure out what they are texting about you, or so you can just figure out what your son/daughter/editor sent you in that last text message said!

9) If you teach photography, you probably get some smart-alec kid each semester who wants you debunk some “ghost photo” that he/she saw on TV or the web.  This site has scientific explanations for how several ghost photos may have happened.

10) Tired of the same old look, spruce up your designs with 25 Free modern looking fonts. FREE!

Have fun egg hunting.  Happy Easter.

Cool Links #29: Coolness Just Won’t Stop The Bad Economy

This was a really long week.  First week back from spring break and my wife’s campus announced that there would be a RIF (reduction in force).  My wife is on the RIF list.  She can still be retained in the district if enough other English teachers leave and she can then be offered a position.  Of course she can look for another English teaching job outside of her district.  Houston has a lot of schools.  But it is still scary in this economy.

Here’s the coolness:

1)  Learn how to record audio like the pros with the ABCs of Good Audio on mojo.  Good video tutorial, too bad it can’t be embedded.

2) Computer World magazine wants to burn some books – textbooks.  After seeing a video by a student about how textbooks compare to using the internet, I think I agree.  I rarely use any book in my classroom.  I do use a lot of web resources and it really bites when our internet connection is slow or down.  In a related post, one of my best blogger buds says that students need to use more technology.  I can only agree.

3) News organizations of all sizes and levels need to get rid of advertising departments and introduce revenue departments. What a great idea.  It is all about paying the bills to do journalism.  Ads alone probably won’t do it.  Find other services to sell.  Make videos, create desktop publishing products, design whatever might appeal to your client base to help pay for the journalism. Just be sure to keep an understanding that purchasing your products does not give you immunity from hard hitting reporting.

4) Former UCLA coach John Wooden has to be one of the all-time great motivators.  His web site if full of gems and he had a killer TED Talk.

5) Jon Stewart just keeps coming up in this blog. Are he and Colbert replacing traditional journalism?

Journalist?

Journalist?

6) Schools need to stop putting so much focus on testing and do these five things or they could face extinction. My favorite takeaway –

Stop blocking/banning Internet use. This does NOT stop students, and it causes huge problems for teachers who want to engage their students with the social networks.

7) Design guru Shepherd Fairey has posted his own defense of using an AP photo in his iconic Obama poster and claims fair use. In a related fair use case, the barrier breaking docufilm “Eyes on the Prize” about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. may never be seen again because of draconian copyright laws that charge $15,000 for tiny incedental use of people singing Happy Birthday.

8 ) NewsU has posted a new course – five steps to multimedia reporting. Looks great.

9) The Poynter Institute has an informative post of 21 ways to generate new story ideas.  Good list.

10) Reuters has a beautiful slide show focusing on the photographic theme of framing.

11)  For all Desktop Publishing, Yearbook and Newspaper teachers – this Typeface Glossary just rocks from anti-alias to x-height.

12) This is just too fun to pass up.  Photojojo has an entry on using oranges and coffee to develop film.  It reminds me of the scene in The Killing Fields where they try to make a photo using common household chemicals.

13) Xark has an interesting and scary post about what news will look like in 2010, 2015 and 2020.  Worth the read.

14) And the Irony Award of the Year goes to the Obama Administration for banning the press from an award ceremony that the press gave to the president.

15) Save the Media has a short list of lessons we can all learn from the Seattle P-I. But the Tech Buzz says that it is OK for Newspapers to Die and they seem to be in the majority on this.

Abandoned Newspaper Racks

Abandoned Newspaper Racks

16) The Nation blames corporate journalism and a loss of family owned newspapers for the demise of newspapers.

17) Adam Westbrook a radio reporter with a video blog talks about capturing media for multiple platforms.

18) Save the Media has Ten Rules of Journalism You Can Break on Your Blog.  Fun post.  Best takeaway –

Link to the enemy: If the nearby TV station has the best video of the bear running wildly through downtown, you can link to that from your news blog or even embed the video. Under traditional journalism rules, you’d ignore that the TV station has the fuller story, and you’d withhold reporting the story to your readers until your reporters got it. With blogging, you can give your readers the best — even if it’s not from your staff — immediately. They’ll be thankful that you’re thinking of them more than your own ego.

19) Need a tutorial for CSS, Photoshop, HTML or Javascript?  Tutorial Today has everything your need and more.

20) Lastly, Marc Silber has a great short, never before seen video of Ansel Adams discussing the Key to Great Photography.  Worth the look.

Have another great week.  Lots of links!  Enjoy.

Cool Links #27: Busy Week Edition

It has been a busy week.  We are on Spring Break right now, but I will likely have to go in to the school tomorrow and resend eight yearbook pages to the plant.  But even still, we are done with the book.  Happiness will now ensue.

On a personal note, we are getting new floor at the house this week and will have finally finished our Ike and post-Ike repairs.  At a cost of nearly $40,000.  Thank goodness insurance paid for more than half of that. Now, on to the links.

1) I really enjoyed this video from such an earnest young voice.  The only difference is that people go to the library by choice and go to school by force. Maybe that’s part of the problem?

2) Here’s a fun site to show students the power of photoshop without needing photoshop.  InStyle magazine has a Hollywood Hair Makeover flash game.  It is incredible the power of this little flash game.  I’m still not sure if I want to show my yearbook girls where it is though.  LOL

3) Hongkiat.com has an interesting post of 100 photos taken at unusual angles.  It is fun, but not all are safe for school.  I do plan on sharing some of the better ones with my students to demonstrate how to look for humor when taking photos.  And I am adding the site’s blog to my Google Reader feed.

4) I don’t currently have Adobe Photoshop CS4, but I am hoping to get it next year.  Unfortunately PS7 does not work with the next tip.  But I want it on my blog for that someday…  The digital Photography School has a wonderful post on how to keep track of your steps when creating a cool effect.  I know I wish I could do this already.

5) This one is just plain fun, but I think can also be used as a teaching tool.  I plan to use the Period Table of Typefaces next year when teaching font families to my desktop publishing kids.

6) I also hope to add some journalism content to the Quizlet site if it is not blocked at my school.  This site lets you create flashcards online so kids can learn vocabulary terms quickly, easily and at their own pace.  The site was featured on the Seedlings podcast and was created by a high school student when he was 15.

7) The GenoPal Pic2Color scheme creator is definitely going to be added to both my web design and desktop publishing tool bags.  It makes a color scheme in Hex colors from a photo.  Simple, but effective.

8 ) If there is only one survivor of the online news recession, let’s hope it is the New York Times.  They have such great interactive graphics, like this one about immigration patterns.  That is how you display complex data sets in an easy to understand manner.

9) This is how I feel sometimes –

Clean Cables - You're Doing It Wrong!

Clean Cables - Your Doing It Wrong!

this week I spent about four hours after school cleaning up all the cables of our macs in the lab.  Too many kids had come to me in the last month or so and complained of a lost project due to a cable being kicked loose or an Ethernet connection lost.

10) Again we go back to the digital Photography School for an article on panning.  I find this as useful for my photography students as I do for my broadcast journalism kids. Panning and follow shots are a touch skill to master for both still and moving photographers.

11) John Costilla shared this on Classroom 2.0, but I found it hard to read, so I’m going to repeat it in text.  It is seven guidelines for educators for the 21st Century.

-Don’t throw technology into the classroom and just hope for good things to happen.

-Cut back on lectures

-Empower students to collaborate

-Focus on lifelong learning, not teaching to the test

-Use technology to get to know each student

-Design educational programs according to the eight norms

-Reinvent yourself as a teacher, professor and educator

I like the last one the best.  Most of the others are good, but the last one is probably the most important.  We have to keep learning if we are to be authentic as teachers.  We can’t expect our students to be learners until they see that we too are continuing our learning.

12) As a teacher from a Title I school (nearly 80 percent of our students get free or reduced lunch) I understand how important it is to make sure that students get everything they need to be ready for school.  The Blessings in a Backpack program is not one I had heard of before, but it looks like a cool idea.  Give kids food to take home for the weekend, so they and their family can have real meals to eat.  This will only improve the student’s ability to focus on school work come Monday morning, but also give the school a positive connection to the home.  I am not the biggest Sammy Hagar fan alive, but I think it is very cool that the Red Rocker is giving his time and money to this worthwhile cause.

13) Maximum PC has a great post called Six Totally Essential Photoshop Skills Even Your Mom Should Know.  So of course we should be teaching them to our students.  The six skills are:  Using Action Scripts to Batch Resize, Making Friends With The Pen Tool, Using Levels To Color Correct, Removing Red Eye and Flash Spots, Restoring Scans of Old B/W Photos, and Using The Clone Tool.

14) The Telegraph has a wonderful article about the artist Caravaggio, who they now believe used a Camera Obscura and a primitive photo sensitive mixture to record images he would later paint.  Very cool.

15) The Music for Media blog has a list of tips for improving your voice over recordings.  Mostly about keeping the noise out.

16) Video2Zero has a great list of 7 ways to edit your footage better.  My favorite is numero uno – Cut Tight.

17) This looks like so much fun.  I’ve seen this meme several places on the Internet.  It could be a fun project for the yearbook staff to do in the Spring when the book is done.  Take old photos of your town and hold them up, find the right angle and the right street and then shoot a new shot of the street as it is today.

18) BarelyFitz Designs has several interactive and easy to use CSS lessons like how to use CSS positioning.

19) I thought this was an interesting article about charging for journalism online, from the Neiman Journalism Lab called If They Won’t Pay For Facebook

20) I ran across a new blog PLOMOMEDIA by Stephen Thompson and the best part is Steve’s short videos on Grammar.  He is young, hip and fun – and still cares about grammar.  He is also on YouTube.

21) It seems strange that a comptuer magazine is the one that has to tell journalists to get local.  Computerworld has a well thought out article on how local is the new global.  Basically another retelling of niche.  Niche is everything.

Wow, I hope I haven’t bored anyone to death.  What a long list.  Now, I have cleaning to do before Tuesday – new floor day!