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Drawing for the Absolute Beginner by ed2go Instructor Chad Walker

Drawing for the Absolute Beginner

Drawing for the Absolute Beginner by ed2go Instructor Chad Walker

Observation skills: These are great tools that artists have, and ones that carry through in all aspects of life. As we draw still lifes in a studio or sketch people traveling on the subway, we have the chance to sit and stare for long periods of time.

As a beginning artist, you get an opportunity to begin perceiving the world, taking it in and then expressing it through your drawings. Think about, for instance, when you walked into your room and sat down in front of the computer. Can you tell me (without looking) what type of doorknob is on your door? Or better yet, which side of the door the hinges are on?

Becoming more aware of your surroundings by increasing your level of observation is just one of the many exciting steps you can take on the path to becoming an artist.

Chad Walker teaches Drawing for the Absolute Beginner for ed2go

Speeding Up a Sluggish PC by ed2go Instructor Scott Jernigan

ed2go Introduction to PC Troubleshooting

Speeding Up a Sluggish PC by ed2go Instructor Scott Jernigan

A friend complained recently that her year-old PC was running really slowly. Browsing the Web was crazy. She’d click something and have to wait almost a minute before the page would load. It wasn’t the Internet, and her cable speeds hadn’t changed. What was making her PC so sluggish?

This situation is pretty common with almost every Windows PC. Background programs designed to optimize performance of certain applications—like Adobe Reader or Microsoft Office—often clutter the computer, taking up memory and slowing down the operating system. My friend had over 40 of these programs running! The good news is, they’re not necessary. You can safely and easily stop these programs from auto-starting—often with dramatic results.

Here’s how: (1) Click the Start button, type msconfig, and press ENTER. (2) When the System Configuration utility comes up, select the Startup tab and deselect auto-starting programs like Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office, QuickTime, Java, and anything that says “update.” Don’t deselect programs that say “Catalyst,” come from NVIDIA (these work with your screen), or say “point” or “pointer.” (3) Reboot your computer. (Be sure to try out things you regularly do to make sure you didn’t turn off an essential program. If something suddenly isn’t working, just go back to msconfig, re-enable that program, and reboot again.) Your PC should be much more responsive!

Scott Jernigan teaches Introduction to PC Troubleshooting for ed2go

Don’t Tear Your Hair Out; Learn to Spell

ed2go Writing Essentials

Don’t Tear Your Hair Out; Learn to Spell by ed2go Instructor Ann Linquist

Spelling in English isn’t easy! In case you need convincing, here’s an anonymous poem that illustrates many of the problem words for English spelling. It’s believed to have appeared first in The Times of London in 1936. Try reading this aloud.

I take it you already know
Of tough and bough and cough and dough?
Others may stumble, but not you,
On hiccough, thorough, lough, and through?
Well done! And now you wish, perhaps,
To learn of less familiar traps?
Beware of heard, a dreadful word
That looks like beard and sounds like bird,
And dead: it’s said like bed, not bead
For goodness’ sake, don’t call it “deed”!
Watch out for meat and great and threat
(They rhyme with suite and straight and debt).
A moth is not a moth in mother,
Nor both in bother, broth in brother,
And here is not a match for there
Nor dear and fear for bear and pear;
And then there’s dose and rose and lose
Just look them up—and goose and choose,
And cork and work and card and ward,
And font and front and word and sword,
And do and go and thwart and cart
Come, come, I’ve hardly made a start!
A dreadful language? Man alive!
I’d mastered it when I was five!

On top of this burden, there’s the auto-correct feature on many a computer or tablet that wants to correct your spelling even when you haven’t made a mistake. Pity the innocent salesperson hoping to make a sale with this email:

Dear Sir or Madman:

Thank you for your interest in our Steakholder Pension Plan. I’m sorry you had trouble finding the sight on the Internet, and I assure you that you can view the details of the plan by exploring our website: www.noveltynightwear [auto-corrected from www.novellenetware]. I apologize for any incontinence I may have caused.

So why are English words so hard to spell correctly? My search for the answer has revealed three main reasons.

  1. Our alphabet was invented for Latin—a language that’s no longer in common use. The letters we use aren’t always adequate to convey the sounds they represent in a given word.
  2. The English language began as a mixture of French and German, but throughout history, we’ve added words from other languages, including Greek, Latin, and the Scandinavian languages. This conglomeration results in many exceptions to any spelling rule.
  3. When the printing press came into use, English spelling became more standardized. The problem with standardizing spelling was that pronunciations continued to change. A word that was once spelled as it sounded—for example, knee was once pronounced with an audible k—is no longer spoken that way.

I teach an online course called Writing Essentials that includes a five-chapter lesson, a quiz, and a fun word-matching game . . . all to help you learn to be a better speller. Check it out at ed2go.

ed2go Course and Career Training Program Student Reviews

ed2go Online Course Reviews

Grammar Refresher

This course is outstanding and helpful to anybody who wants to communicate effectively in our language.  I’m an English teacher, and still I learned the “Why” behind certain topics that had mystified me in the past.   Ellen was great about answering questions promptly and politely.  She was understanding and kind, not condescending or impatient.  Putting the student at ease right away is so important, in my opinion, for a great learning experience.  Thanks, Ellen!

Student from Eastern Iowa Community Colleges

Mastering Public Speaking

I really liked the course! I learned several things that I can immediately use in my job.  I hope there is an intermediate course soon.

Student from Michigan Virtual University

Introduction to Windows 8

This was one of the best and useful ed2go courses I have taken.  I’ve been waiting for a Windows 8 course to come out and after taking the course I feel much more comfortable with Windows 8.  The instructor, Curt Simmons, did a great job of instructing this online course.  I thought the video added a personal touch to the course.

ed2go Career Training Program Reviews

Records Management Certificate

Everything in the course was clear, the facilitator was prompt and kind in responding to questions. The text book was well written. The mid-term assignment was fun and interesting.

Student from SUNY Institute of Technology

Technical Writing

I appreciate the flexibility that online learning has to offer. My facilitator, Lynn Atkinson, was responsive and very positive with feedback. I would definitely recommend her to others.

Student from California State University, East Bay

Revenue, Expenses, and the Bottom Line by ed2go Instructor Matt Crabtree


Revenue, Expenses, and the Bottom Line by ed2go Instructor Matt Crabtree

Every business and individual wants to increase their bottom line (net income). Intuitively, we all know that to do this we need to bring in more money or cut costs. But do you know how each of these tactics actually impacts the bottom line? Let’s take a quick look!

The first option is to bring in more money by increasing revenue. For a business, this means more sales; and for an individual, it’s more income. Let’s use the example of increasing revenue by $5,000 for the year. Does this mean our bottom line will also increase by $5,000? Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily the case. Have you ever received a raise but had to buy new clothes for the job or increase driving expenses? Expenses tend to rise with increases in revenue. And even if you’re able to keep all other costs the same, your taxable revenue has increased, so you’ll ultimately pay more in taxes!

What about cutting costs? Well, the good thing about this option is that it has a direct impact on the bottom line. Think about it . . . if you want to increase your bottom line by $5,000, just find $5,000 to cut! I’m making this sound really simple, but that’s because it is. The only difficult part is finding where and how to make the cuts—and determining where this will fit into your overall financial strategy.

Matt Crabtree teaches Personal Finance for ed2go

**Job Alert** – CVS Pharmacy Tech Positions

Pharmacy Technician

**Job Alert** – CVS Pharmacy Tech Positions

ed2go and CVS partner to offer our Pharmacy Technician students an opportunity for on-the-job training by participating in our externship program. CVS rewards outstanding externs with employment opportunities and many of our students have found permanent positions with them. In an effort to continue this exciting trend, CVS has invited graduates of the ed2go Pharmacy Technician Career Training Program to apply for the positions they have available nationwide.

Apply Now 


ed2go and Smart Horizons Career Online Education Launch Clinton Global Initiative “Commitment to Action” to Re-Engage Youth and Young Adults in Education

First of its kind scholarship agreement to provide fully accredited high school diplomas and advanced degree career certificates to employees in retail, hospitality and food service sectors

Stamford, CT, August 14, 2013 – ed2go and Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE) today announced a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) “Commitment to Action” to re-engage youth and young adults back into the educational system. Through a two-year commitment, ed2go and SHCOE will partner with companies in the retail and hospitality industry to provide employees  with an accredited  high school education via the Career Online High School. Through this first of its kind partnership and scholarship program, youth and young adults seeking to complete their education for further advancement in the workforce will have the opportunity to earn not just a high school diploma but also an advanced degree career certificate.

Launched in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton, CGI has established a growing network of global leaders dedicated to creating and implementing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

“CGI is the perfect platform to help evolve the public discussion on how to support youth and young adults who are gated in their career pursuits because they lack high school diplomas and advanced degrees. At a time when millions of jobs are going unfilled because employers can’t find people with the right skills, we believe this innovative program can make a huge and lasting impact by not just offering the opportunity of a GED, but a fully accredited high school diploma and a career certificate,” said Ron Stefanski, Chief Business Development Officer at ed2go.

ed2go and SHCOE partnered in 2012 in an effort to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. Their partnership led to the establishment of Career Online High School, which offers students the opportunity to earn an accredited 18-credit high school diploma and credentialed career certificate in a single comprehensive online program. Career Online High School served over 2,500 students in its first year of operation.

“As part of our Commitment to Action, we have recently launched two new credentialed career certificate options for Career Online High School students—Retail Customer Service Skills and Food & Customer Service Skills. As we partner with major corporations, we have also developed a scholarship matching program,” explained Dr. Howard Liebman, SHCOE’s CEO and Superintendent of Schools. “Our initial goal is to enroll 200 to 400 new students who will be personally and professionally enriched by earning their high school diplomas and acquiring the real-world skills that lie at the heart of our new career-based certificates to support the retail and hospitality industries.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the excitement and enthusiasm among corporate partners in supporting our Commitment to Action with these two new certificate tracks,” said Ron Stefanski. “Clearly, socially responsible corporations are ready to take the lead in their efforts to solve the challenges of ‘strengthening the retail workforce,’ and ‘collaborating across the service sector’. Our relationship with an organization of CGI’s stature provides an unprecedented opportunity to move this work forward.”

Under the CGI Commitment to Action, the Career Online High School program will offer high school diplomas with “career certificates” in retail, hospitality and food service, and other key sectors commonly employing high school dropouts through scholarships with employers. Ed2go and SHCOE will train participating employers on program operations and provide them with marketing support, student access to the online learning environment and continuous reporting. Upon enrollment, students will be assigned an academic coach who will communicate with them proactively to maintain their active participation and engagement.

For more information on Career Online High School, please visit:

For more information or to read the CGI Commitment to Action, please visit:

About the Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at


Smart Horizons Career Online Education, founded in 2009 and located in Pensacola, Florida, is a private, AdvancED/SACS accredited online school district. AdvancED/SACS District accreditation signifies that SHCOE and all of its schools are fully accredited and that SHCOE is recognized across the nation as a quality school system. Smart Horizons Career Online Education offers 18-credit, career-based high school diploma programs that are designed to prepare students for entrance into the workplace. Career certificate offerings include Childcare and Education, Certified Protection Officer, Certified Transportation Services, Homeland Security, Office Management, Professional Skills, and Retail & Customer Service Skills, and Food & Customer Service Skills. For more information, visit our website at, call our office at 855-777-4265, or email us at

About Cengage Learning and ed2go

Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, software and services company for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide.  ed2go, part of Cengage Learning, is the largest provider of turnkey online training and education solutions serving the adult education, career, and corporate training markets. With over 2,000 colleges, universities, community based organizations and other training providers, ed2go has served more than 2.5 million students. ed2go’s ever-growing catalog of Online Courses and Career Training Programs makes it simple for students to enrich their lives or reach professional goals in a supportive and engaging environment. ed2go also can help educational institutions jump-start their online education programs or augment existing distance learning options. For more information visit or

Five Steps to Start Making a Beautiful Gift Basket

Start Your Own Gift Basket Business

Five Steps to Start Making a Beautiful Gift Basket by ed2go Instructor Shirley George Frazier

You’re ready to make your first gift basket to celebrate a birthday, new baby, or wedding—and you found the perfect basket in your garage or attic.

But there’s a problem. This beautiful basket isn’t tightly woven. When you stuff it with shred, the shred can be seen through the basket because the natural holes make it visible. So instead of everyone looking at your beautiful creation, they’ll look at the shred peeking through the holes.

How can you turn this untidy appearance into a work of art?

The solution is as easy as it is affordable—add tissue paper around the inside of the basket.

Most baskets need only two sheets of tissue paper. And the shred you add after the tissue paper is in place will hold the tissue sturdily against the inner basket and will also keep shred from peeking through the basket’s holes.

You can accomplish this in five easy steps.

1. Fold the flattened tissue paper in half. If it’s already folded in its packaging, leave it intact.

2. Place the tissue around the inside of the basket. Add another sheet until it connects with the first.

3. If needed, attach tape onto the connected tissue paper to keep it together before inserting the shred.

4. Put shred into the basket, and make sure that the tissue doesn’t move as you include more shred.

5. Stop adding shred when the tissue paper is secure and the shred is just below the basket’s rim.

The Start Your Own Gift Basket Business course shares more secrets about tissue and shred that will save you time and money while ensuring that your friends and family will remember your gift baskets for a lifetime. Join us!

Having Blog Content Stolen


Having Blog Content Stolen by ed2go Instructor Linda Aksomitis

Do you ever worry that somebody might steal your content when you blog? I understand your concern, but I also want to put your mind at ease.

Although people can steal your writing no matter what or where you publish, this type of theft—known as copyright infringement—really doesn’t happen very often. Just as people rarely republish someone else’s articles from newspapers or magazines as their own, so they rarely steal someone’s online work.

In the unlikely event that someone does steal your online work, it’s still copyright infringement and carries the same legal punishment as theft of printed sources. You can easily find unauthorized copies of your work by searching the Internet with a service such as Copyscape, which will check everything in your blog against what’s out there on the Web.

Linda Aksomitis teaches Introduction to Internet Writing Markets for ed2go

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