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Start 2012 off with learning something new!

Lots of new online classes to choose from. Here’s just a few:

Writing Young Adult Fiction

From Harry Potter to Twilight, young adult fiction is one of the hottest genres for today’s novels. Teens and adults alike have discovered the excitement and passion of these stories, and publishers are hungry for more. If you’re eager to break into this market, this  course provides you with the recipe for creating your own successful young adult story and shows you how to get it published.
Learn why writing young adult fiction is both fun and financially rewarding. Discover the secrets for bringing your characters to life. Find out how to introduce conflict, suspense, and mystery so you can grab and hold your readers’ attention. Master the art of creating dialogue that resonates with teenagers and young adults. Analyze excerpts from bestselling young adult books to see what makes them so successful. Get expert advice on publishing and marketing your book.
If you’ve dreamed for years of becoming an author, this course can help you turn your dream into a reality. In just six weeks, you’ll have all the tools you need to create a polished manuscript and get your story in print!

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 in the Classroom

What teacher couldn’t use help motivating students and keeping their interest?

In this course, you’ll learn how to create captivating lessons and attention-grabbing classroom presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint 2010. Learn PowerPoint basics including creating slides, using templates, inserting text, changing background colors, creating WordArt titles, using SmartArt graphics, and adding slide transitions. Develop advanced skills such as inserting graphics, sound, video, custom animations, timed transitions, and hyperlinks. Get step-by-step instructions for creating several different types of classroom presentations, including lectures and interactive narrations for your students’ independent use at computer stations. Address  different learning styles, making it much easier to reach students.

Discover how to upload your presentation to a Web server, email a slide show, broadcast a presentation in real time, and take your PowerPoint shows on the road. By the time you’re done, you’ll be an expert at using PowerPoint to add appeal to any lesson—and you’ll even find out how you can help your students develop their own
PowerPoint skills!

Intermediate Photoshop CS5

Take your photo-editing skills to a new level! In this course, you’ll become an expert at using layers, layer masks, and other advanced features that let you change images easily long after you create them (and long after the Photoshop “undo” command expires).

Non-destructive editing lets you work faster and reuse parts of images over and over. In these lessons, you’ll learn how to save every single pixel in your original image so you never have to say, “I’m sorry—I tossed that information.” In addition, you’ll discover how to use Smart Objects so you can crop or resize an image and return it to its original size months afterward. (You’ll even learn some clever tricks for warping Smart Objects!) After that, you’ll find out how to add shadows or embossing non-destructively. And if you want to design page layouts you can fill with different images, you’ll learn how to create templates you can reuse.

Whether you use Photoshop to edit photos, make scrapbook pages, or design original artwork, this course will give you all the skills you need to let your creativity shine. Once you see what non-destructive editing can do for your projects, you’ll never look back!

Photoshop Elements 10 for the Digital Photographer

Take your images from so-so to spectacular! Whether you’re making quick fixes or detailed enhancements, Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 provides the tools you need to achieve high-quality results. If you’re a novice with no photo-editing experience or you want to upgrade skills you learned in an earlier version of Elements, this course is for you.

Learn to edit images on your computer, correct flaws, enhance your final product, create simple art projects, prepare images for email and the Web, and organize your images so you can keep track of them. It’s fun and easy, and you’ll see how Photoshop Elements 10 gives you room to grow while letting you achieve high-quality results right away.

So bring your photography skills into the digital age and get ready to unlock the mysteries of Photoshop Elements 10. The hands-on, easy-to-follow exercises in this course will help you turn your photos into masterpieces and leave you with a great feeling of accomplishment!

Advanced Web Pages

Take your Web design skills to the next level! Whether you want to work as a freelance Web designer, join a Web development team, or build websites for your organization, this course will give you the advanced tools you need.

In these lessons, you’ll learn to write HTML code for page content and CSS code for page styling. You’ll master cutting-edge techniques that take advantage of HTML5 and CSS3, the latest versions of the languages used to create modern websites.

With the help of step-by-step instructions, you’ll build interactive websites that collect information from visitors through email signup and feedback forms. In addition, you’ll learn the latest and most effective techniques for presenting layouts and video that work in any browsing environment from a desktop computer to a mobile device.

This course walks you all the way through to purchasing and uploading your site to a remote server. You won’t need any special software, either—just the text editor that comes installed with your computer. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Web designer wanting to update and enhance your skills, this course is perfect for you. In just a few weeks, you’ll be designing state-of-the-art websites that offer all the sophisticated elements that today’s Web users expect to see.

Start Your Own Edible Garden

Grow delicious, nutritious fruit and vegetables in your own backyard!

In this course, you’ll learn how to give your garden a healthy start and keep it growing strong all season. You’ll begin by figuring out which type of garden is right for you. Explore climate considerations, learn how to read a zone hardiness map, and find out how to spot a micro-climate in your yard.  Discover how to properly prepare a garden bed so your crops have the best opportunity to thrive. See how to identify problems in pH and drainage and fix them. Learn to understand fertilizers and make compost! Delve into the variety of crops you can select: leafy greens, root vegetables, fruit, herbs, and more. Get tips on starting seeds, transplanting, pruning, and using container gardens and support structures. Learn what to watch out for so you can spot pests and diseases before they destroy your bounty. And, explore a variety of irrigation options.

Whether you want to provide your family with nutritious food, save money, get some exercise, or just be more self-sufficient, this course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to be on your way to a successful harvest.

Mastering Public Speaking

You can become an effective public speaker!
In this fun and hands-on course, find out how to talk confidently and persuasively to both large audiences and small groups. Learn how to plan and deliver your presentations skillfully and how to manage one of the most common public speaking barriers—fear. Find out how to present a short or long speech, how to handle questions and manage conflict in meetings, and even how to shine in a job interview. Get tips for training your voice and learn how to use both verbal and nonverbal communication effectively.
By the time you finish this course, you’ll have an entire set of skills you can use on the job, in social settings, and in any other situation where you need to communicate with ease and authority. 

What’s your favorite? I think I’ll enroll in the Photoshop Elements 10 for Digital Photographer class. Sounds like fun!

Kathy

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