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By Colleen Wheeler |

This week’s Featured Five: Exploring new areas of learning

While we’re committed to providing you in-depth training on the subjects that are central to your interests and professional goals, the breadth of the lynda.com library also allows anyone, members or not, to dip in and explore other areas of interest or growth that might spark curiosity. For that reason, this week’s Featured Five free tutorials focus on foundational courses that aim to provide a jumping-off point to launch yourself into a new area of learning, whether you’re a manager who loves business skills courses for professional development but also wants to explore the science of Photography, or simply a curious learner who omnivorously wants to extract every bit of interesting information contained in the lynda.com library.

1. Exploring web site design In Web Design Fundamentals, James Williamson provides the background and foundational knowledge you’ll need to learn solid web design. As James explains, this course is for you if you are brand new to web design, or if you’ve been working with it for a while but missed out on some of the background of the web and would like to know more about why you do some of the things that you do. This particular movie demonstrates the six steps a traditional graphic designer needs to think about as they make the transition to web site design.

2. What is programming? In Foundations of Programming: Fundamentals, Simon Allardice provides the core knowledge you need to begin programming in any language. I love this reassuring line from the introduction of the course: “If you don’t even know where you’d begin to write a line of code, that’s where we’re starting.” In the clip below, titled What is programming? from chapter one of the course, you’ll get a sense of how Simon is able to break down possibly complicated instructions into comprehensible steps. Turns out, as he points out in this video, that’s also exactly what computer programs do:

3. Diving into audio: What is a soundwave?  Our newly expanding Audio segment now includes a series of foundational courses that cover specific areas of audio production, which are especially powerful if you’ve been through other lynda.com courses on digital audio workstation applications. But you don’t have to be a budding sound engineer to get value out of this Foundations of Audio: EQ and Filters movie that graphically explains the anatomy of a soundwave. This is one of those videos that, with help from some powerful motion graphics, will expand your general knowledge of audio science.

4. Learning photography: All about lenses Our Foundations of Photography series from Ben Long has a wealth of information for those who would like to better understand the art and science of Photography. In Foundations of Photography: Lenses, Ben takes a specific look at the anatomy of a lens, including how to choose them and take advantage of the creative options they provide. What I particularly like about this movie is its graphical depiction of how lens optics work:

5. Improving your business skills: How to define a project I could make an argument that everything you do in every aspect of your life benefits from good project management. But Bonnie Biafore actually nails down the specific definition of a project in this excerpt from her Project Management Fundamentals course. This movie explains the four qualities that make up a project (uniqueness, centered around a specific goal, defined beginning and end, and a budget) and how to consider each of those aspects as you get started:

Feeling inspired to explore some of the uncharted learning paths on your own to-do list? 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

I’ll be back next week with five more free selections. In the mean time, have you recently seen any free movies from lynda.com you’d like to share?

Suggested courses to watch next:Web Design FundamentalsFoundations of Programming: FundamentalsFoundations of Audio: EQ and FiltersFoundations of Photography: LensesProject Management Fundamentals


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