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By Starshine Roshell | Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2016 SAT Changes: What You Need to Know About the New Test

find out the SAT changes for 2016

The good folks at The College Board, the creators of the SAT, like to keep us on our toes—so the SAT is again getting a major facelift.

The October 2015 PSAT and the March 2016 SAT will be the first administrations of the new, “revised” SAT test.

But don’t panic. Although the test is undergoing some major changes, at its core it’s still very similar to the current SAT that we all know (and may or may not love). The good news is that almost all of the preparation you’d do for the current SAT—the kind I cover in my lynda.com course SAT Prep: Getting Started—will apply to the revised SAT, as well.

But here are the SAT changes you need to know about, so you can best prepare.

By Starshine Roshell | Friday, May 15, 2015

Escaped from the Call Center—with our Excel Tutorials

2015_05_15_CallCenter

Lauren Kleist spent 11 years working in credit and collections for a Pittsburgh utility company.

“I’ve been trying to get out of the call center forever. Everybody wants out of the call center,” she says. “The noise—sometimes you go home and have such a headache.”

Then a job opened up in billing. Nice, quiet billing. But in order to get the job, she would have to pass an Excel test.

“I’m an artistic, creative person, so I let Excel get the best of me. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.”

But she really wanted this job, and that meant building an Excel spreadsheet in a timed exam—and scoring a 70% or better.

“I looked on YouTube for a couple of videos, but it didn’t help me,” she says.I thought, This job is mine if I pass the test …”

By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, May 10, 2015

From Galloping to Gaga to lynda: A Life Learned Online

2015_05_10_PauletteHero

Paulette Perhach can do a lot of things that most people can’t.

She can carry four full dinner plates at a time. She can gallop on a horse. She can split names into two columns in Excel, craft subplots in a fictional story, and do the dance from Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” video. She can make quail traps, tie fancy bows on presents, and produce podcasts.

And she learned it all online.

Just how did she come to acquire this eclectic set of skills? And well … why?

Having graduated college only to realize that she possessed very few useful life skills, Paulette took to the Internet to fill in the sizeable gaps.

“Before I really took control of my own education, I felt like life was always coming at me: another late bill, another bounced check, another photo from a place I wished I could travel to,” says the Seattle resident. “So I started making it a practice to educate myself for 10 minutes a day.

“And life started getting better …”

By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, May 03, 2015

50 Ways to Bust Through a Creative Block

bust through your creative block

It happens to the best of us. You’re working on a project and suddenly—without warning—your creative well runs dry.

You’re stuck. Stranded. You’ve got nothin’.

Whether you’re writing a proposal, designing a layout, or mixing a song, we all hit a creative wall sometimes—even the expert authors at lynda.com. So we asked our authors what they do to get over a creative hump, and they shared the following 50 tips for busting out of a rut.

Take a shower. Help someone else. Dance to Metallica. And more.

Keep this list on hand for inspiration and motivation the next time a creative block jumps into your way. You can also watch Creativity Bootcamp on lynda.com for more help.

By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, April 12, 2015

Coding for Kids: 7th Grader Follows in Dad's Coder Footsteps

2015_04_12_Ogle

It all started with a Tweet:

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 10.49.43 AM

Suckers for a sweet father-son story, we checked in to see just what this coder kid is working on.

By Starshine Roshell | Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Getting Creative with Brainstorming Buff Stefan Mumaw

brainstorming and creativity czar Stefan Mumaw

The creative director at a Kansas City ad agency, Stefan Mumaw has written several books on creativity and authored lots of short, inspiring courses for lynda.com on brainstorming and creativity.

He knows you think that creativity is a talent that can’t be learned. But he thinks you’re wrong.

Find out how you can generate better ideas—and why neither houseflies nor mailmen can thwart a lynda.com video shoot:

By Starshine Roshell | Thursday, March 26, 2015

Our Programming Pro Peggy Fisher Mentors Women Coders

guiding students toward becoming women coders

Peggy Fisher doesn’t mind being a woman in a male-dominated profession. It didn’t bother her as an undergrad studying computer science 35 years ago. It didn’t even bother her as the only woman in a class of 100 volunteer firefighters in Ambler, Pennsylvania.

“It didn’t matter,” she says. “I was there to learn.”

What does bother Peggy—whose lynda.com courses cover Java, C++, and Arduino—is that girls and women aren’t taking full advantage of the wide-open professional possibilities in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and math. As one of the few female programming teachers at Penn State, she mentors incoming freshmen towards careers as women coders.

Find out how female programming students may be better than their male peers, according to Peggy—and why her job includes manicures (yep, you heard me).

By Starshine Roshell | Sunday, March 22, 2015

Retired Nurse Loves Photography Again—Thanks to lynda.com

2015_03_22_JoyceWells

Joyce Wells loves to learn. She earned as associate’s degree in her 20s, a bachelor’s degree in her 40s, and a master’s in nursing at age 60.

But there was one thing she didn’t care to learn: digital photography.

“I’ve been interested in photography for 35 years,” says Joyce, a former Cub Scout leader who taught her scouts photography. “But around 2000, I got so disgusted because everything was going digital. I like the darkroom. I like my black and whites. I just thought, this is fake photography.

“I put away my cameras and didn’t pick them up for four or five years.”

It was her grown son who changed her mind:

“He said, ‘Mom, your darkroom is just … inside your camera.’ So I went and got a digital camera.”

Actually, she got two—and a membership to lynda.com. Now she loves her Nikons, uses Photoshop, and takes photography trips with her son and friends from Panama to Nova Scotia.

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