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Deb Peterson

Continuing Education

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3 Times to Use Uppercase, or Capital, Letters

Friday April 18, 2014

It still surprises me to see the use of uppercase letters in weird places. I think there's a tendency to use capitals to emphasize, or maybe the idea is to give the word more importance or respect. I don't know.

At any rate, it isn't correct grammar and it looks terrible in your school papers.

There are three times to use uppercase letters. Do you know when to use them? Find out: 3 Times to Use Uppercase, or Capital, Letters

Other writing help:

10 Places to Research Papers

Thursday April 17, 2014

/Panda at Taipei City Zoo by China Stringer - Getty-ImagesDon't count on the Internet alone when researching your papers, not if you want them to be really good. When you have a chance to interview an expert in person, you'll get the kind of information that makes a paper sing.

We put together a list of 10 Places to Research Papers, and some of them are pretty exciting.

Other help with papers:

Khan Academy Helps Greg Re-Learn Math

Wednesday April 16, 2014

I heard from Greg a few months ago about his experience with Khan Academy, and it still makes me smile. I have no stake in this. I just get tickled when adults decide to learn something, find free information available on the Internet, and go after what they want.

This is what Greg had to say about Khan Academy: "I am a 44 year old finance professional in the automotive industry. I have been working my way through the math curriculum on Khan Academy. I have a desire to relearn all I've forgotten since high school 25 years ago. It's been a wonderful and rewarding experience relearning all of these amazing mathematics after all these years. I never would have had this opportunity without the efforts of Sal Khan."

Thanks for sharing your experience, Greg.

What have you learned today?

Related: Help with Math

3 Ways to Improve Your Memory - Just in Time for Finals

Tuesday April 15, 2014

The older we get, the easier it is to forget things it seems.If you're worried about finals, or any kind of end-of-semester tests, we've got three little tricks for you. Try one of these: 3 Ways to Improve Memory While Studying.

If you have other secrets, share with us! And good luck out there. You can do it.

Are You a Good Listener?

Monday April 14, 2014

Paul Venning/The Image Bank/Getty ImagesSay what?

I said, "Are you a good listener?"

Most of us are terrible listeners. We hear what we want to hear. We are so busy planning what we want to say next, we aren't listening to the whole conversation. Terrible.

It isn't much better sitting in the classroom. We think about what we need to pick up for dinner on the way home. We plan the weekend. We quietly judge the outfit on the person in front of us. We're not listening.

It's not that hard to be an active listener: How to Be a Good Listener

There's a listening test at the end of the article. Test yourself.

Image by Paul Venning/The Image Bank/Getty Images

You Didn't Finish Your Paper. Should You Buy One?

Sunday April 13, 2014

Some of us are procrastinators. And some of us work well under pressure, finishing assignments in the nick of time, even if it means staying up all night. But others look for an easier way out.

If you didn't finish the paper due next week, should you buy one?

Uh, no.

No. No. And no.

Surprisingly, people consider it. Why would you go back to school, especially as an adult, and then cheat yourself out of learning what assignments are designed to teach?

We've discussed this before. Some people post papers online to be helpful, but does it encourage students to cheat? Other students go to Course Hero and Cramster for help, and there are lots of differing opinions about whether or not these sites encourage cheating.

The bottom line: plagiarism, and cheating of any kind, defeats the purpose of going back to school. Don't do it. If you need help with your papers, ask your teacher, ask your college counselor, hire a tutor, or read our articles on writing:

Good luck. You can do this.

Inspired Teachers Change Lives

Saturday April 12, 2014

"The job of an educator is to teach students to see the vitality in themselves."

Joseph Campbell said that. A student contacted me recently and asked which of Campbell's works he could find that quotation in. I couldn't tell him, which I regret. If anyone can help me out, I would be grateful. I scoured the Campbell books on my bookshelf and couldn't find it. Nevertheless...it's inspiring.

We've got other quotations from teachers throughout time: Inspirational Quotations for the Teacher of Adult Learners

As teachers prepare to graduate many of their students, it's important to let them know how they've inspired you. Tell your teacher with help from a quotation.

We appreciate what you do, teachers!

First Steps in Getting Your GED

Friday April 11, 2014

Making the decision to get your GED or high school equivalency certificate is difficult enough for some, but what do you do next? How do you get started? New About Continuing Education contributing writer Kelly Garcia makes the process easy in her article: First Steps in Getting Your GED

We're in the process of  updating all of our GED articles to reflect the changes effective January 1, 2014:

If Your School Is Not Accredited, You Could Be Wasting Your Time

Thursday April 10, 2014

If you choose a school without checking its accreditation, you could be wasting not only your time, but your money, too. Why? Because your credits may not transfer. Your degree or certificate may not be worth what you believe.

This is a big deal because the school isn't going to tell you. Of course it isn't. It's up to you to check the accrediting bureaus, which post warnings on their websites. It's up to you to make sure you're making a good choice.

Dr. Faith Ivery believes strongly in this issue, and she has written a new article about the topic: Accreditation - And Why It Is Important.

Going back to school as an adult is a big deal. Make sure your decision is a good one. Follow Dr. Ivery's advice.

Speaking Two Languages Makes You Smarter

Wednesday April 9, 2014

It turns out that speaking more than one language actually makes you smarter. Researchers are showing that learning more than one language changes the way the brain functions, increasing cognition.

Even babies who are exposed to two languages show increased cognition over babies who hear just one language. And the benefits remain well into our later years. Seniors who speak more than one language experience illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer's later than those who speak just one.

Yudhijit Bhattacharjee wrote about the findings for Sunday Review at The New York Times in Why Bilinguals Are Smarter.

Excerpts from Bhattacharjee's article:

  • "The collective evidence from a number of such studies suggests that the bilingual experience improves the brain's so-called executive function -- a command system that directs the attention processes that we use for planning, solving problems and performing various other mentally demanding tasks."
  • "The key difference between bilinguals and monolinguals may be more basic: a heightened ability to monitor the environment."
  • "In a study comparing German-Italian bilinguals with Italian monolinguals on monitoring tasks, Mr. Costa and his colleagues found that the bilingual subjects not only performed better, but they also did so with less activity in parts of the brain involved in monitoring, indicating that they were more efficient at it."
  • "Bilingualism's effects also extend into the twilight years. In a recent study of 44 elderly Spanish-English bilinguals, scientists ... found that individuals with a higher degree of bilingualism ... were more resistant than others to the onset of dementia and other symptoms of Alzheimer's disease: the higher the degree of bilingualism, the later the age of onset."

It may be time to brush off my Spanish, French, and Norwegian, none of which I can speak any longer. What about you? Which languages do you speak?

Help with ESL:

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