Nightly News, Teacher Training and Typography: this week on Fresh Powder
You’ve probably noticed it: lately, all the big stories are breaking at night. It seems weird; we’re not used to waking up to a big story that broke at 10 p.m. So why does it happen? Simply: because it can. We’re totally hyper-connected, and when one org breaks a big story that will run in the morning paper, they tweet about it. Then another does. Then another. And it becomes a big story during the nighttime hours when all the news-junkies (and pretty much everyone else) are glued to their social media feeds. It’s like the new evening edition, which is kind of cool, and at the very least it keeps us gotta-know-the-latest-right-now kids on our toes.
Managing a classroom is hard, no one would argue with that. But it’s harder when teachers don’t get the training they need to teach to all the students in their room. Inclusion for people with disabilities is a thing, and it’s not going to stop being a thing, but teachers in the general education program are often only required to take one course on teaching students with special needs, while special educations teachers spend nearly the whole of their education learning the same thing. This means, in an inclusive classroom, the teacher is has received little more than cursory instruction, and has to learn by trial and error. Uncool, for student and teacher alike. Dual-instructor and dual-cert programs are a start, and we’ve got to start somewhere, for everyone’s sake.
Ok, so the Oscars were more than a week ago, and the Best Picture snafu is old news (or, if it’s not old news for you, the final award was announced for the wrong picture), but the reason for the mix-up remains an interesting conversation starter. One theory: typography. That’s the arrangement of written, typed language. Typography is concerned with legibility and coherence, and it, or the lack of it, could feasibly be blamed for the awkward end to this year’s Oscars. Maybe, had more concern been given to the arrangement of the Best Picture award card, (and, of course, had the right card been handed to the presenters), the goofiness could have been avoided. In any case, it’s a good lesson for those of us who have yet to screw up an Academy Awards finale: typography matters.
It’s a sad thing: funding for large newspapers continues to diminish, traditional reporting jobs are disappearing, and the new industry as a whole is struggling. But maybe there’s a positive spin to this whole thing: a re-focused interest in independent, local news. LION (Local Independent Online News Publishers) is an organization aimed at connecting independent online news sources, and for them, community news a bit like craft beer: it’s local, specialized, and high-quality. And it might be the wave of the future as large papers continue to shrink. The cool thing is that high school and college papers already do that–– you guys already focus locally, and your work is already like a tasty craft brew, so you’re ahead of the game, and that’s awesome.
This also happened last week: Trump accused Obama of tapping his phones before the election, but that’s all he’s going to say about it. Equally important, a new Wolverine movie came out, and for cat lovers, a very useful product review.