Cool Links #40: Post Apple Store Edition

I didn’t put out any cool links last week because all my bookmarked stuff to share went down in flames with the Firefox crash last week.  But, thanks to Nathan at the Houston Galleria Apple Store, I’m back in business with more cool stuff.

1 – Live TV is always five seconds away from disaster. At least when I worked in TV it was.

Here’s more trouble in the field!

Wet and Wild

Wet and Wild

2 – The One Man Band Reporter blog has become a regular source of great stuff.  Here’s a tutorial for creating lower thirds. Those are the names that appear in the lower third of the TV screen when someone is first on camera in a news story. He uses Photoshop and Final Cut.

3 – Betty’s Blog explores the virtues of texting and IM language.  Yes, there can be virtues to know how to do things quickly.

4 – The New York Times has a wonderful photo story about the “Tank Man” of Tiananmen Square.  Four different photographers captured the same instant and tell their tales of how they got the photos out of Communist China.  It’s hard to believe that was 20 years ago.

5 – Here are two Mac OS X menu bar add-ons that I have found useful this week.  The first is Check Off, a simple To Do List right where you need it.  The second is F.lux a strange little app that changes the lighting on your screen to match the time of day.

6 – The Pew Institute has a fun little News IQ Quiz..  I scored a 58% which is better than average for nearly every category.

7 – If  you are creating podcasts with your students, you may want to add music.  Do it the legal way with podcast safe music.

8 – This is fun or at least interesting.  Find out info on your school’s ZIP or all the ZIPs that feed into your school.

9 – This looks like fun, creating cusom icons and art in photoshop or illustrator with 22 well written tutorials.

10 – Thanks to News Videographer for this link to a great use of natural sound in video.  Too often we want to talk it to death in TV.  Let the power of video and sound work it’s magic.  This story is really compelling to me.  We flood here in Houston in the summer, I never thought of a flood in winter conditions.

11 – Viewfinder Blues shares this well-edited piece about editing from the BBC.

12 – As school is ending for most of us, here’s a great little blog post about why time off from teaching is so important.

13 – Here is an article from the LA Times about a unique, intersting and scary school that is performing miracles in a tough LA neighborhood.  But I don’t think they could replicate this success in any school where the students are not self or parent selected.

14 – The Philadelphia Inquirer reached a milestone this year – 180 years, but will they see 181, or 190 or 200?

15 – Free Technology For Teachers blog has a link filled post about the perils of teaching copyright.

Cool Links #24: Jack’s Back

I am an on again, off again fan of the TV show 24.  I usually don’t watch it on FOX television because it has always competed with a show I like better.  So I wait patiently until the DVD sets come out and then I watch it marathon style, renting it on the Internet and getting the discs in my mailbox.  Yet another way tech is killing old media.  But that is not what today’s post is about – mostly.  Today is about cool stuff!

1) The Credit Crisis Visualized.  I saw this via Neatorama and it is worth the watch.  Why aren’t more online newspapers doing creative, easy-to-understand, almost fun online graphics like this? (If it is possible to have a fun graphic about the meltdown of the global economy?) This is the best explanation of the credit crisis I’ve seen yet.

These posts were created by a grad student – Jonathan Jarvis.  Great job.  Too bad someone didn’t produce this two years ago and show us all the danger we were in. Isn’t that the media’s job?

2) Our cousins down in New Zealand need our support, even if we can’t help directly.  The government of that beautiful country seems to have lost their minds and has decided that you are guilty before anyone proves you did anything wrong.  Their new “copyright” law will make Kiwi’s averse to creating anything on the Internet for fear of being accused of violating someones copyright.  The mere accusation is enough to put them in jail.

New Zealand's new Copyright Law presumes 'Guilt Upon Accusation' and will Cut Off Internet Connections without a trial. Join the black out protest against it!

3) A professor of journalism at the University of Scranton posted this list on his blog, J-Scranton.  The list is a must learn for 21st Century journalism. He writes…

According to an excerpt of the memo posted by The New Republic:

Stories need to be both interesting and illuminating–we don’t have the luxury of running stories folks won’t click on or spend several minutes with in the paper.

a) Would this be a “most e-mailed” story?

b) Would I read this story if I hadn’t written it?

c) Would my mother read this story?

d) Will a blogger be inspired to post on this story?

e) Might an investor buy or sell a stock based on this story?

f) Would a specialist learn something from this story?

g) Will my competitors be forced to follow this?

If you teach journalism students, please read his entire blog post and then find a way to convey this to your students.  I think the list can be tweaked for student media very easily – mainly letters e and g.

4) Mindy McAdams has a great post in her series RGMP (Reporters Guide to Multimedia Proficiency) and this one is all about photojournalism.  It has so many links, it is going to take me a while to go over it all.  Lots of goodies.  Thanks Mindy. There are six other previous posts in this series too.

5) This is a great post on how creative lighting, makeup and technique can be used to make one model look 10 – 20 – 30 – 40 – 50 – 60 years old.  This should show anyone in photography that photos can, do and will lie – it doesn’t always take Photoshop either.

6) The Nieman Journalism Lab has posted the top 15 papers based on visits and out of the list 14 have increased their total number of visits from 7 percent to 132 percent from the same time last year.  Most posting increases of more than 30 percent with an average of nearly 40 percent.  The only one with a decrease was the Houston Chronicle.  I think this is evidence that even in this economy, online can support news gathering to a certain degree, especially when newspapers stop duplicating content and cut the costs associated with that.

7) If you are trying to increase yearbook sales or “market” your yearbook more effectively, then you might want to consider reading the Definitive Guide to Word of Mouth Advertising.  Word of mouth seems to be the only way to reach teens these days.

8) The Tennessean.com has an interesting article about how journalism is not dying, it’s just returning to its roots.  The article compares the models of hyperlocal online to broad sheets of the 1700s.

9) There are some days where I really think my kids are doing great work and then there are days where I think we can do so much more.  Watch Out! makes me want to do more.  Here’s a group of middle school kids creating great video projects.  Awesome.

10) It just works.  Cueprompter is an online telelprompter solution that is free and works great.  I think we are going to put it to use in our studio.

11) This is mainly for US readers who are also bloggers, the Electronic Freedom Foundation has a great blogger’s rights site.  There is a lot of info on their rights in the US including a legal guide for bloggers.

12) I love listening to TWIP (This Week in Photography) with Scott Bourne and all the others, he has a simple, easy to follow explanation of how to use levels to tone a photograph in Photoshop.

13) “You are smarter than your camera.” What great advice.  I tell this to my students too.  The Digital Photography School wants you to use your camera on manual mode and they have a great guide for doing it.

That’s it for this installment.  The links you saw were presented in real time.


Can Kids Teach Themselves Using IT?

This is a great video, with bad sound.  But the premise of this TED talk is that kids can self organize to educate themselves.  I am presently trying to test that premise in my advanced journalism classes this year.  I’ve decided to do what a great number of really good educators before me have been brave enough to try – let the kids run their own publications.  They are 95 percent in control, and I am only 5 percent in control – mostly standards, ethical and otherwise.  But this video is really great.

Put On Your Earbuds And Crank Up Your iPod

I actually promised this post more than a week ago…Sorry.  Here it is, better late than never.  I’m not used to writing this blog on deadline.  When you are your own boss, you set your own schedule.

This post is for all those teachers who attended my “Wired Journalism Teachers” session at Texas A&M.

I am addicted to podcasts.  Most of the ones I like are audio only, but I do like a couple of video podcasts too.  All the podcasts I listen to or watch are available from iTunes, but I will also include the direct links to their websites where you can download them for a non-Apple mp3 player.

Photography –

Tips From The Top Floor – by “German Guy” Chris Marquardt – this is hands down the best hour each week on photography.  He sometimes comes out more than once a week.

This Week in Photography – a cast of several photographers and industry insiders geek out each week about photography.  Sometimes it is really helpful, but sometimes too geeky.

Education –

GEEK!ED! – This is a technology education podcast put out by four teachers who give great tech ed ideas and FAQs.

Grammar Girl – Can grammar actually be fun and interesting?  It can if Mignon Fogarty has her way.  Grammar Girl is witty, informative and brief.  Just like broccoli, you should try it!

Wicked Decent Learning – Two teachers from Maine who podcast weekly about education – even through the summer, or as they would say summa.  Great work guys – this is my new favorite blog.

Video/Film –

The Grip Guide – Brent Bye gives you a behind the scenes look at behind the scenes on a movie set.  Great info for teaching the technical side of video.

Izzy Video – This video cast by Israel Hymen is a great resource for those learning the basics of video production.

Video Maker Presents – A really good how-to video cast from VideoMaker magazine.  I liked the podcast so much, I started taking the magazine.

Technology –

Leo Laporte – Leo The Tech Guy lives online at Leoville.  He is the guy who knows about technology – as he says anything with a chip in it.  Windows, Macs, phones, video cameras, digital cameras, etc.

WebbAlert – Morgan Webb is the engaging host of this nearly daily video blog about the tech industry.  ou can’t teach in a tech field like photography, video or web design and not keep up with tech.

Extra –

TED Talks – TED stands for Technology Education and Design.  It is just an outstanding forum for brilliant people to discuss the coolest stuff for 30 min.  Cherry pick the good talks.

I personally like to listen to a blog on my commute in and back each day – nearly 20 minutes each way and on the treadmill for my daily 30 minutes.  That is an hour a day or more if traffic is really bad.  I also grab my iPod if I’m going to run errands, sit in the doctors office or any other time I need entertainment.  Now it is not wasted time.

Being An Online Educator

I’ve written before about how much I believe teachers need to have a responsible online presence here, here and here.  And yet, up until now, I’ve kept my own identity as the creator of this blog somewhat undisclosed.  At first, I did it because the original intent of this blog was just as a place to keep my own ideas and resources in one location.  Then I did it because I wanted to shield myself from students, former students or prying eyes of the district.  But over time, my blog has become more social – linked to my Twitter ID, as well as part of my professional persona.  I often tell other teachers that I know IRL (in real life) to come to this site.  It is on my business cards. So, I have updated my About page since there has twice been some confusion from other bloggers about my gender.  I know that 85-90 percent of journalism teachers are female – but some of us are guys!  So thanks Wicked Decent Learning for pushing me, unknowingly, to out my identity.  “TeachJ, like the mysterious Racer X.”  But as my blog has evolved, I will evolve with it.

Get A Grip

Here’s a great new podcast from Brent Bye at PixelCorps.tv called The Grip Guide.  So far there are only a few episodes, but they are really full featured and delve deeply into the topic, such as cable rolling and checking A/C voltage.

iPod: Tool for Learning

I just got an iPod about a week ago.  Of course I love it.  I bought the inexpensive 4GB iPod Nano.  When I unboxed it – after updating the software – I filled it up with about 3 GB of music and then on a whim I decided to load a copy of a podcast that I like – Tips From the Top Floor.   I actually have only watched his video podcasts up until now.  But his podcast is short, just about the right amount of time to fill my commute.

So, I dumped it into a playlist and then I listened to it on the way to work.  I love it.

And of course there are so many to choose from – FREE on iTunes.  TFTTF (about photography is there) and there are many more like Adobe Creative Suite PodcastOne Minute Tip: Photoshop WednesdayGrammar Girl and many others.

I highly recommend you get an iPod and learn something new – or just rock out to a little Queen, Avril Lavigne, Kelli Clarkson or 30 Seconds To Mars.  Sometimes you just have to chill out!