Cool Links #58: Focus on Zoom

This week my Video Technology class was struggling to shoot some basic shots when I discovered that several of our cameras could not focus or zoom properly.  We went from 12 cameras to 6 working cameras in one day – not a great day.  I told my principal about it and he has promised to help me order more equipment.  I am anxiously hopeful. Now, on tht the links.

1 –  I just saw this yesterday and had to share it.  Tech people can get so hung up on our religious war over operating systems, but I totally agree with this venn diagram, there is no perfect OS.  (And I learned that venn has two n’s).

The Perfect OS - A Winduxintosh

The Perfect OS - A Winduxintosh

2 – This is a great mashup of photography and science – send your own camera into near-space for less than $200, it is called the Icarus Project.  Thanks to Silber Studios for the link.

Near Space Shot

Near Space Shot

3 – LIFE magazine has a super slideshow titled, When Newspapers Mattered – photos of a lost age. Lots of shots of newspapers in their heyday.

4 – The International Journalists Network has a really useful resource tab on their web site.  Lots of materials.

5 – Another photo gallery, this on from TIME is a bunch of doctored photos, mostly pre-photoshop.  Most I’ve seen before, but a few are new. (to me)

6 – I’ve always wanted to know the difference between sRGB and AdobeRGB.  PetaPixel tells all and I finally feel I know why we use AdobeRGB when we print.

7 – The net has been churning up photos like the ocean kicks up driftwood, and LIFE magazine has another fine photo show focused on Ernest Hemingway and the Old Man and The Sea.

8 – This is a post that is so full of photo goodness, I can barely contain it.  100 Great Portraits of iconic people – it includes Afghan Girl, Bogart, Einstein, Che, Lincoln, both Lenin’s, Migrant Mother and more.

9 – John Stewart is still out there providing an insightful look into journalism today.  And even he feels scooped by the amateurs who showed ACORN as a shady organization slurping up at the government trough.

10 – And while we’re on the subject of journalism, who knew Jay Leno was a such a tough interviewer.  He really hit Kanye West hard with the “momma” question.   Thanks Daily Beast.

11 – The world keeps turning and we in education keep getting farther behind.  The more we try to block technology, the dumber we look to our students.  Did You Know 4.0 shows us how dumb we are.

12 – I love this idea:  Totem pole writing for the web. Get them hooked at the top, but then dole out info all the way down to keep them reading.

13 – Most of us high school journalism teachers DO run a news organization, here’s 11 Things Mediaactive would do if they ran one.  I’m hoping to do 8-9-10 right away.

14 – As a teacher and a media journalist, these 55 Random Thoughts from a 20 something really helped me to understand how kids today think.  And yes, they think differently than we did.    Best takeaways – #8, 9, 17, 19, 20, 25, 27, 31, 37, 39 and 52.

Have a great Web Week!

Cool Links #48: Motivation Is Key

I’m finally finding motivation to get stuff done, like redo the yearbook and broadcast web sites.  It has been great to get motivated.  So, I’m passing on some cool stuff to you.

1 – Firefox 3.5 is ready.  Whether you use a Mac, Windows or Linux – it is time to upgrade to the best browser available.  Firefox is the most standards compliant, easiest to use and most updated browser on the web.  Do your computer a favor and update.

2 – This is just for Mac users, I didn’t know this trick, but you can use it to find your serial number and much more info about your Mac.  If you are like me and run a lab with many different Macs in it, this can be very helpful to see which computer is the oldest.

3 – I don’t teach math, but occasionally I need graph paper.  It is useful for a lot of things, charts and such.  Here’s a site to download and print out graph paper for free (you provide the paper and ink.)

4 – The ASNE Fellowship program is great, and you can earn Graduate Credit (3 hours) at most locations.  The ASU class has posted their lesson plans, which are also going to be added to the ASNE Lesson Plan database.  The lessons are required for those seeking grad credit.

5 – Need inspiration for your photography class?  Here are 35 incredible photography websites, from photojournalism to documentary and from fashion to portrait.

6 – Columbia School of Journalism, the grand-daddy of them all is changing, check out this video on the News Videographer site.

Columbia School of Journalism Changing To Meet The Times

Columbia School of Journalism Changing To Meet The Times

7 – Batteries suck.  Or maybe it’s cameras that suck the batteries like vampires who suck blood.  We all want to know, how can I make my batteries last longer.  Photofocus has five tips for keeping the power on longer.

8 – This story was disturbing to me.  A number of Washington Press Corps reporters accepted tickets to an “off the record” barbecue at the White House and smoozed it up with staffers on the 4th of July.  To me that is just unprofessional.  Either go as a reporter and report, or don’t go.

Reporters Who Smoozed With White House Staff On July 4th, Wont Kiss and Tell

Reporters Who Smoozed With White House Staff On July 4th, Won't Kiss and Tell

9 – The Journalistics blog has a terrific list of 30 Organizations that support great journalism.  We should all belong to one or more of these.

10 – Slate has a super-funny video that I found on the Mediaite blog titled “Buy One Anyway.”

Buy One Anyway

Buy One Anyway

11 – If you are new to web design, then here’s 26 Tutorials For Starting Off in Web Design.

12 – Advancing The Story has collected Six Tips from prize winning journalists, plus a mini-interview from each.

That makes an even dozen, and that is a pretty good place to stop.

Cool Links #43: Not Good At Waiting

I’m waiting on several things this week – our school is supposed to find out at some point how much stimulus money we get for one thing.  And I am terrible at waiting.  I have no patience.  None.   So, to keep myself from going crazy, here are some cool links.

1 – iJustine has a series of fun and cool PSA videos about being a good digital citizen.  I think I’m going to have my video kids do an assignment like this in the fall.

2 – This is why Twitter is so cool (I am @teach_j by the way).  The ICFJ Twitter friended me and I never even knew they existed until I looked in my followers list this week.

3 – Scott Bourne of Photofocus thinks that it is time that we abandon the form factor (design) of the SLR camera and allow dSLRs to be more innovative.  I’m not against innovation, but as recently as five years ago camera makers tried all kinds of designs.  Most of them were horrible.  The two designs that survived the basic rectangle point and shoot and the SLR.  I think it is due to more than just familiarity.  I think these form factors are the most usable too.  Too bad you don’t allow comments on your site Scott.

4 – has an excellent post on the four principles of good web design with lots of great examples of each principle.

5 – has a decent list of 15 low budget films that made a killing.  Their list is heavy on scifi and horror, but it is still a good list.  I teach a unit on film production and I usually kick it off with the Robert Rodriguez classic El Mariachi, which he made in Mexico for around $10,000.  But they left it off their list.  I highly recommend watching it on DVD with the alternate audio track as Rodriguez tells the story of how they created the effects and everything else on such a low budget.

6 – Viewfinder Blues has a great quick tip for video journalists – white balance on whatever you have available quickly.  It helps you from missing a shot. I know that when I worked in TV I always kept a folded piece of copy paper in my pocket just for white balance.  But I’ve also white balanced on all kinds of white and not-so-white objects.

7 – 1TimStreet tells the story via video of how photographer Alexx Henry is taking movie posters to the next level

Moving Movie Posters

Moving Movie Posters

– moving movie posters.  You know those vertical video screens you see at all the malls and grocery stores?  Well he wanted to mash video and photography together using the new Red Camera.  Very Cool.

8 – Open Source Cinema is presenting RIP 2.0 a documentary about copyright.  Boring – WRONG!  It is all about how the remix culture and copyright are at war with each other.  This is a great documentary.  It is chopped up into sections on the site and you can pick and choose which ones you want to use in class.  – Thanks Wicked Decent Learning for the link to this.

9 – Finally, the Baltimore Sun has an article about High School Journalism going online.  The economy is affecting all journalism, but HS Journalism was already on a tight budget.  The best part is that they quote my friend Diana Mitsu Klos, senior project director of the ASNE High School Journalism Initiative.  I met Diana at the ASU/ASNE Reynolds High School Journalism Fellowship last summer.  This summer, they are in the middle of the fellowship already and they are producing a great blog that is almost as good as being there.   Well worth the read.

Keep cool and have a great summer.

What A Great Looking Bunch!

Finally found a copy of the photo we took last year in Arizona at the ASNE Reynolds Foundation Journalism Teachers Fellowship at Arizona State.  I highly recommend all high school journalism teachers apply to one of the five ASNE two week workshops.  Professionally, those two weeks were the best time I’ve had as a teacher.  As June speeds closer, I miss my compadres from last year and hope that they are all doing well.

2008 Reynolds High School Journalism Fellowship at Arizona State University

2008 Reynolds High School Journalism Fellowship at Arizona State University

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

In the last year I’ve really had to get out of my comfort zone.  It really started when I went to the ASNE Reynolds Journalism program last summer.  When I went to that program, I was stuck in my old ways of thinking.

I was the sage on the stage.  I also forgot what it was like to sit in my student’s seats.  And lastly, I wasn’t learning new things.

This year, I’ve tried to change all that.  Of course I haven’t succeeded at everything, but I’ve seen some successes.

First, it was great to be a student again.  I think we should all do it at least once every five years – go back to school.  Of course it is great if someone else will pay the bill, so I highly recommend every journalism teacher who is serious about teaching journalism – fill out the application for the Reynolds Program.  Time is running out – it is FREE.  They pay for it all, travel, room and board, classroom experience.  It is two weeks of the best training at great universities.

I enjoyed my time as a student.  I miss my fellow ASNE teachers and would go again if they would let us.  We keep in touch and it is great to hear from them, but it is not the same as spending 12-14 hours a day with them.

Second, I’ve tried to become more the “guide on the side,” and less the sage.  Sometimes my students don’t know what to make of it.  They often want me to TELL them what to do, but through gentle guidance and a little pushing, I’ve gotten them to slowly take more of an active role in their own publications.  Some have embraced it more than others.  I hope that next year they can take more control of it.

Third, has been to learn something new.  I’ve ditched iMovie and we’ve gone totally to Final Cut Express.  It was scary at first.  We’ve used iMovie for years.  It was familiar and comfortable.  FCE was harder to get at first, but now we are doing it.  I have also learned the basics of CSS.  HTML is still somewhat new and CSS feels even newer.  I hope to add JavaScript next.

We all need to get out of our comfort zones and try new things.

Cool Links #11: The Future Is Now

Sometimes links come in a bunch and with their own built in theme.  This week they did.  Too many times people in journalism are crying that real journalism is dead.  But I think it is not dead or even dying – it is going through changes.  Painful metamorphasis, but in the end journalism may be more vibrant and powerful.

1) Eat Sleep Publish surely believes that the future of journalism is less about brands (newspapers and magazines) and more about the individual writer or videographer.  We journalists have not been interested in “star power” but we need to get used to it.  We will have to create a brand around ourselves in the future.  That is where the only credibility will exist.

2) The future of our business is with the journalists we are training now.  That is why we must do a good job of giving them all the skills they need to be successful.  And they are creating their own networking tools online that will help them succeed.  Two of these tools are College Media Matters and College Rag.   They are already helping to fight against censorship and giving college journalists a group of fellows to help in any struggle.