lynda.com news - Post archive

lynda.com to host a free webinar on online learning

Published by | Monday, August 13th, 2012

This week, lynda.com presents a free webinar for educators as well as corporate and government trainers. In Online learning: How video changes and enhances the way we learn, discover how a great online video addresses the “why” of each lesson, presents the big picture of the subject matter, and supports the big-picture idea with granular details and steps.

In the last three decades, education has moved beyond the four walls of the classroom to the infinite possibilities of the Internet. Training resources using rich media are everywhere: YouTube, Vimeo, Open Education Resources, lecture capture inside learning management systems, and third-party rich media libraries.

Educator and digital media expert Laurie Burruss leads our free webinar, explaining how these factors affect our learning:

• transcripts and closed-captioning

• playback controls

• anywhere/anytime access

• personalization and customization

• repetition and failure in a private setting

 

Webinar details:

When: Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cost: FREE

Choose your time:

7 to 8 a.m. PDT

10 to 11 a.m. EDT

Register for time-slot one

 

11 a.m. to noon PDT

2 to 3 p.m. EDT

Register for time-slot two

 

Congratulations to our Adobe CS6 Master Collection winner

Published by | Saturday, July 21st, 2012

In June 2012 we offered our lynda.com Facebook fans a chance to win a copy of the Adobe CS6 Master Collection. Please join us in extending a big congratulations to lynda.com member Trish S., the lucky Floridian who took home the prize!

lynda.com Adobe CS6 Master Collection giveaway winner with software package.
If you weren’t the lucky winner, fret not! Thirteen Adobe CS6 courses are currently live on lynda.com, including five Photoshop CS6 courses, and full-length courses covering InDesign, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Illustrator, Flash, and more. To see all 13 CS6 offerings, visit our Adobe CS6 page on lynda.com.

 

Interested in more?
• All 13 Adobe CS6 courses on lynda.com
• All five Photoshop CS6 courses on lynda.com
• All Fireworks CS6 and Premiere Pro CS6 courses on lynda.com

lynda.com receives Green Business certification

Published by | Friday, July 13th, 2012

lynda.com recently earned Green Business certification from the Green Business Program (GBP) of Santa Barbara County. The largest company ever to be certified by the program, we’ve taken critical steps to reduce the environmental impact of our Carpinteria campus. Some of our efforts include:

  • • Reduced energy use through window glazing, motion-sensor lights, on-demand water heaters, and office equipment that is programmed to shut off during inactivity.
  • • Reduced water usage. Outside, the company saves an estimated 1 million gallons of water per year with sensors that regulate the sprinkler system based on weather. Inside, low-flow fixtures and dual-flush toilets save an estimated 2,000 gallons per month.
  • • Reduced solid waste. In addition to providing reusable dishes for lunch, and compostable and recycled paper cups in place of polystyrene coffee cups, a food-scrap composting program in the lynda.com cafeteria diverts an estimated 60 gallons of food scraps from landfills each month. lynda.com also uses 100 percent recycled copy paper, encourages double-sided printing, has donated more than 7,500 pounds of office equipment and fixtures to Habitat for Humanity of Southern Santa Barbara County, and has recycled more than 4,000 pounds of e-waste.
  • • The instatement of an employee commuter program that includes more than 100 participants (45 percent of on-site employees). In just two months, the commuter programs collectively saved almost 600 gallons of gas and reduced emissions by more than 11,500 pounds.

“As we continue to grow, lynda.com is committed to improving its sustainability and setting an example in the community,” says Jacqueline Burge, director of facilities at lynda.com. “Our campus is in such a beautiful setting, and as a company we are striving for continuous improvement in our impact on the environment.”

The GBP of Santa Barbara County aims to recognize, through certification, local businesses that go beyond required measures to serve as models of sustainable business. Earning a certificate from the program means that a company has made a commitment to the community to go above and beyond typical green measures and stand on the cutting edge of sustainable business practice.

“We are proud to have lynda.com join the ranks of our certified green businesses in Santa Barbara County,” said Frances Gilliland, program director at the GBP. “Environmental sustainability is so obviously an important part of the corporate culture at lynda.com. Management and staff have undertaken significant efforts at their facilities, particularly in the areas of ridesharing and water conservation. We look forward to working with them well into the future, and look to them as both an example and resource for other local businesses working with the Green Business Program.”

Let us know what you think in the comments section below. We’d love to see your comments and questions!

This week’s featured five: Going mobile! From using your device, to developing applicatons

Published by | Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

It’s no secret that computer engagement is going mobile, with access via mobile devices predicted to surpass desktop computers in the next two years. So for this week’s collection of featured videos, I’ve chosen five free movies that focus on the theme of mobility, whether it be creating a WordPress site that behaves properly on mobile devices, learning to use your mobile phone or tablet more productively, or learning to develop your own mobile applications.

 

1. Customizing WordPress for smartphones and tablets
In this video from chapter nine of the WordPress Essential Training course, Morten Rand-Hendrickson shows you how to use built-in responsive themes and useful plug-ins to ensure that your content is presented in a usable form, regardless of screen size. The main takeaway? With a bit of appropriate planning, you can greatly improve your overall user experience by saving your viewers from the pain of having to zoom or scroll to view your carefully constructed content.

 

2. Accessing Evernote on a mobile device
Evernote is a great application for organizing and accessing your electronic notes, links, and other bits of critical information. (Admission: I use Evernote to collect interesting free movies from the lynda.com library that I want to use in my featured five blog posts.) In this movie from chapter one of Up and Running with Evernote for Mac, David Rivers shows you how to get Evernote set up so that you can add notes via your mobile device. If you’re primarily working in a Windows environment, there’s an analogous movie in chapter one of David’s Up and Running with Evernote for Windows course, as well.

 

3. Using the iPhone and iPod Touch Maps app
Admittedly, using the iPhone (or iPod Touch) Maps application is a fairly straightforward proposition, but in this excerpt from chapter nine of iPhone and iPod touch iOS 5 Essential Training, Garrick Chow shares some insights into using the compass feature that I always found confusing. Not only can the Maps app help you discover what is around you, and how to get there, it can also help you orient yourself by showing you which direction you are facing in your current location. After all, it’s always good to start out heading in the right direction!

 

4. Identifying the four pillars of iOS development
For the developer types who have already figured out how to use their mobile devices, going mobile is more about focusing on the creation of mobile applications. As with any metaphorical or physical journey, it’s always good to have a scope of where you will start, where you will end, and how you will get there. In this excerpt from chapter one of iOS SDK Essential Training (2012), Simon Allardice shows you how to approach your iPhone application development, and elaborates on why tools, language, design, and process are the four pillars—or, the four important areas of content—that you need to have all together in order to build the applications that you want to make.

 

5. Exploring the lynda.com mobile site
Finally, a lynda.com collection of mobile tutorials wouldn’t be complete without a look at how you can take the lynda.com library with you wherever you go via your own mobile device. In this movie from chapter one of the How to Use lynda.com course, Garrick Chow demonstrates the features and functionality of our new mobile site, so you can get to learning wherever you are:

 

We’d love to know more about how you are using your mobile devices, and how mobile technology is changing the way you work, and play. Which activities have gone mobile in your computing life? Are there some jobs that still feel best done at your desk? Tell us a little about your relationship with your mobile devices in the comments section below.

 

This week’s Featured Five: Training beyond the tools

Published by | Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

The content team at lynda.com strives to create courses that continuously help you learn the key technological tools that you need to get your job done, and we certainly aim to make sure you have the best and most up-to-date information on how to use your tools of choice, from Aperture to ZBrush. Over the last several months, we’ve also been working to include more big-picture training that focuses on best practices, core concepts, and widely applicable skills that aim to help everyone, including those who may already be more well-versed in tools and techniques, take their work and skill-set to the next level.

For this week’s collection of featured free movies, I’ve picked a few tutorials that demonstrate this kind of conceptual, ‘beyond the tools’ approach. Although some of these video examples live within courses that are centered around a particular application, don’t be distracted, or deterred, by the application context—these videos all aim to give you foundational information that will prepare you to work thoughtfully before you ever touch the keyboard, and will stay with you long after you’ve stepped away from your computer.

What sorts of larger, more conceptual skills are you looking to develop? If you have suggestions or ideas about ‘beyond the tools’ training you’d like to see, please share them in the comments section below.

1. Finding and capturing a good photo
In this excerpt from our Foundations of Photography: Composition course, Ben Long shares his thoughts on where to find good photos. You’ll find that the answer, if your mind and eyes are open, might be ‘anywhere.’

 

2. Understanding color as a signifier
In this movie from chapter one of the Photoshop for Designers: Color course, Nigel French takes a birds-eye-view approach to discuss the significance, meaning, and changeability of different colors, including discussion of the connotation of colors, and how there is no such thing as an absolute color. Before you think about how to apply color to your design in Photoshop, you may take some time to consider why a particular color is right for your message.

 

3. Refining a concept
In this excerpt from Digital Creature Creation in ZBrush, Photoshop, and Maya, Ryan Kittleson shares his practical advice for sketching and experimenting with sketches to make even the most whimsical of creatures. In this video you’ll see how Ryan approaches his doodling process, why he recommends creating lots of types of creatures to give yourself a variety of options, and what character analysis questions he asks himself to get to just the right design for a project, long before he ever launches an application.

 

4. Focusing and working to make yourself irreplaceable
You might be the office wizz with Photoshop, Word, or Excel, but are you spending your time working on the activities that make you valuable? In this excerpt from Dave Crenshaw‘s Invaluable course, Invaluable: Making Yourself Irreplaceable, you’ll get an introduction to Dave’s system for identifying how best to employ your time and energy at work.

 

5. Web form structure, and considerations taken when designing
In this excerpt from Luke Wroblewski‘s Web Form Design Best Practices course, you’ll get some big-picture advice on how to think about your web form’s structure, and what considerations you should keep in mind when designing forms for the web. In this video, Luke discusses the fundamentals of sequential, non-linear, and in-context forms, and why you might choose one over the other:

 

In this blog we talk about color, recognizing photography opportunities, the conceptual sketching process, web form design, and how to make yourself an invaluable asset to your team. These core concepts are just the tip of the iceberg—what sorts of larger, more conceptual skills are you looking to develop? If you have suggestions or ideas about ‘beyond the tools’ training you’d like to see, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Memories of a Friend: Reflecting on the life of Hillman Curtis

Published by | Friday, May 11th, 2012

Silence is the sound of finality. And that was all I heard when I received the news that Hillman Curtis was gone. Hillman was a huge inspiration to me and many of you know him from his films, books, or conference talks. He had a stunning visual sensibility, thoughtful eyes, and a kind and creative heart. I like how one of my good friends put it, “Hillman had a gentle and quiet side to him in which he allowed his work to pass through to become much bigger.”

Hillman Curtis portrait.

By any yardstick, Hillman was a big success. Yet, to be successful it typically requires talking loudly or at least talking a lot. Hillman proved that wrong in his own quiet way. He forged a path that many of us in the creative arts community follow today. And this wasn’t a passive act—Hillman was a fighter. In one of his books he wrote about the experience of feeling a bit old and tired and then going to a boxing gym for a lesson. After attempting to box, a trainer came up and said, “I can tell that you’ve boxed before, but you have a couple of fundamentals wrong.”

The trainer continued, “First, you’re crouched over, all covered up. You have to use your God-given gifts. You’re tall. Stand up straight. You’re also facing the bag sideways. Square off on your opponent; otherwise you can’t throw the right.”

Hillman reflected, “That was a pretty standard boxing lesson. But that morning I took more from it. First, I should stop covering up and stop hiding from the world. Second, I should acknowledge my blessings, stand up straight, and face my opponents. This could be anything—a client situation, a creative challenge, or a career shift. And finally, and most important, I should ‘throw the right.’ The right is the knockout punch, but by throwing it you leave yourself vulnerable to getting hit, perhaps even knocked out yourself. But you have to throw it to win—even to compete.”

Throughout his career and life, Hillman wasn’t afraid to “throw the right” and to reinvent himself. And he did so, not with ego-filled abandon, but with inspiring calm. In this way, he charted a unique and inspiring course for others to follow.

With Hillman gone, who now will lead the way?

Hillman Curtis speaking at the Flash on the Beach conference.

In the silence of trying to make sense of this loss, I started to dig through my archives. I came across photos from different conferences like Flash on the Beach (above) and Flashforward (below) from a few years back. The photo below was actually a mistake at the time – I’m surprised I didn’t delete it. I only focused on Hillman and not the rest of the crew—Lynda Weinman, Bruce Heavin, and Brendan Dawes. Now in retrospect the mistake seems to be fitting. Hillman brought such clarity and simplicity to his work. He stood apart and in sharp focus. And by his example, he provided inspiration to others with details of how he created his work in books or presentations. Hillman seemed to never have anything to hide.

Hillman Curtis with Bruce and Lynda Weinman.

That was of course until he started to show his acclaimed work. He always preferred to let it speak on its own. That’s why I love this photo of him ducking down and out of the way while his film played above. The work was his voice.

Hillman Curtis presenting at the Flash on the Beach conference.

Hillman’s voice wasn’t something that just appeared—he intentionally developed it over time. He enjoyed being with other artists and friends like in the photo below.

Hillman Curtis with friends.

Recently, while interviewing Hillman, I asked, “What character qualities should an artist nurture and develop?” He responded, “Curiosity. I think this is key… at least for me. I go into every shoot open eyed, expecting to be challenged, and expecting to be surprised. I fully expect that whatever preconceptions I might have about the shoot will get blown out of the water and something far cooler will replace it.”

Hillman was curious and kind. I think the two went hand in hand. When he travelled, he would often bring his son or family on the trip. Below are a few pictures of Hillman and his son Jasper. You get the idea. He wasn’t just a great musician/designer/filmmaker. He was a great husband, and friend, and Dad.

Hillman Curtis with his son, Jasper.

Later in my interview, I asked, “What’s your advice to the aspiring artist?” He responded, “Well, first maybe lose the ‘aspiring’ part. Be an artist. Period. I also think that this year could hold some real opportunities for the person who has neglected their desire to do art. Some will be confronted with less work and more free time. Embrace it. Embrace your ideas.”

Stand up straight. Throw the right. Be an artist today.

I keep thinking about how I want to do something to keep Hillman’s spirit alive. Perhaps it’s our turn to make that project we’ve been burying inside? If you have any of your own plans, ideas or memories, we would all be grateful to hear your thoughts. And thank you for taking the time to read and to collectively share in this loss.

Finally, I just wanted to say thank you to Lynda and Bruce, as I knew Hillman because of them.

 

Humbly Yours,
Chris Orwig

 

He won Pro Tools 10, and you could win the Adobe CS6 Master Collection

Published by | Monday, May 7th, 2012

In February 2012 we offered our lynda.com members, and blog followers, a chance to win a copy of Avid Pro Tools 10. Please join me in extending a big congratulations to David Carel, the lucky man who took home the prize.

Dave Carel holding the copy of Avid Pro Tools 10 he won from lynda.com.

Feeling inspired to win? Now through June 3, 2012, lynda.com will be giving away a copy of the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection. Just like us on Facebook, and join our mailing list for a chance to win the CS6 Master collection which includes Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash Professional, Premier Pro, After Effects, plus eight more. Enter here!

Suggested courses to watch next:
Photoshop CS6 for Photographers
Illustrator CS6 New Features
After Effects CS6 New Features
Premiere Pro CS6 New Features

This week’s Featured Five: Using efficient, organized communication

Published by | Monday, April 16th, 2012

For this week’s Featured Five post, I’ve chosen five free movies from our library that emphasize efficient, organized, collaborative communication. Sometimes this means formatting your work so that people can find and use it easily, sometimes it means presenting your data in a visually organized way so that people can immediately comprehend it, and other times it means effectively using the features of your software application that are designed to help you track important collaborative notes. At the heart of it, it’s always about communicating in an organized way to make your work more efficient and your projects more successful.

1. Communicating effectively and efficiently with colleagues

Good organized communication is critical for collaboration. In this movie from chapter four of Effective MeetingsDave Crenshaw discusses the importance of the one-to-one meeting, and why establishing one-to-one meetings can not only increase effectiveness, but efficiency as well:

2. Choosing your favorite images to share from a photo shoot

Lightroom is a great program for developing your digital photographs, but it also has a lot of pure organizational power that you can use to find just the right image you (or someone else) are looking for. In this movie from his new course Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module, Chris Orwig shows you how to use Lightroom’s built-in ability to quickly tag photos with picks, rejects, star-ratings, and colored flag labels. Then, once you have using notations and labels down, you can use your tags to quickly find the photos you want to share:

3. Sharing complicated information visually

Sometimes complicated information is best initially understood and communicated with graphics. In this movie from chapter one of Infographics: Visualizing Relationships, Shane Snow walks you through the infographic creative process and demonstrates setup on an infographic example that contains 24 entities, or ‘characters’ as he calls them:

4. Documenting your audio post-production session in Pro Tools

Creating a film or video with a lot of moving parts takes clear, documented communication. In this movie from chapter three of Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools, Scott Hirsch takes you though the preparation and documentation process that makes a meeting between the film’s director, producer, music composer, and other creative forces effective. This meeting is called a spotting session, because its purpose is to spot exact points in the video where sound ideas can develop:

5. Making your web site accessible to improve human and computer communication

One main reason to have a web site is to communicate efficiently with others—and with web technology, that means being able to communicate across a multitude of platforms and interfaces in a language that is clear and easy for humans to understand. In this movie from chapter one of Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques, Morton Rand-Hendrickson demonstrates the communication benefits of implementing strong web site accessibility practices that will improve your SEO, and your human-to-human communication:

 

What other things have you learned on lynda.com about getting files, people, or entire groups organized? Are there any areas you’d like to see us explore in more depth?

Are you feeling inspired to explore more content? Remember, 10 percent of all lynda.com content is free to try. Just click on any of the blue links on any course table of contents page in our library.

Free Movies

 

See you back next week with five more free selections!

 

Suggested courses to watch next:
Effective Meetings
Improving SEO Using Accessibility Techniques
Audio for Film and Video with Pro Tools
Infographics: Visualizing Relationships
Photoshop Lightroom 4 Essentials: Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module