Planning For Interactive Media Instruction

Introduction

Many organizations today are seeking to accomplish several main goals with regard to e-learning. The number one goal of e-learning (also referred to as distributed learning) is knowledge management, where both explicit and implicit types of knowledge can be archived and exploited for organizational use. For most organizations, the goal of developing interactive media instruction (IMI) relates to this overarching goal, by creating instructional or training materials that can be used to help workers to perform better on the job. Instructional systems design (ISD) theory promotes best practices in terms of both development and implementation of e-learning initiatives. In a very real way, the ISD process provides a road map for creation of training products, helping courseware developers to tailor their product to the knowledge and training needs of learners. Concept Artist tend to work in entertainment fields, where the creation of non-existent entities is in constant demand.

One main criticism of IMI has been a charge that much of the courseware built for asynchronous learning platforms is plagued by low affective and social stimulation as well as by a purely presentational characteristic (Hines & Pearl, 2004). Another criticism of instructional design practices within e-learning communities is that such courses only give the learner information in the form of page turners. This sentiment is often summarized by the phrase “information is not instruction” to warn of the perils of expecting knowledge to come solely from exposure to information.

A central challenge to instructional designers is to create learning events using interactive media platforms and learning objects which inspire critical thinking, application of concepts, and synthesis of ideas. For example, the use of Performance/Knowledge pairs in the design of courseware serves this objective. Under this paradigm, the instructional designer identifies and concept or principle (knowledge) which is reinforced by providing the learner with opportunities to apply that concept or knowledge piece in problem solving.

The Instructional Design Process

The Criterion Referenced Instruction (CRI) framework developed by Robert Mager is a comprehensive set of methods for the design and delivery of training programs. CRI critical aspects include: (1) goal/task analysis — to identify what needs to be learned, (2) performance objectives — exact specification of the outcomes to be accomplished and how they are to be evaluated (the criterion), (3) criterion referenced testing — evaluation of learning in terms of the knowledge/skills specified in the objectives, (4) development of learning modules tied to specific objectives (Kearsley, 2006).

Applying Principles of CRI:

1. Instructional objectives are derived from job performance and reflect the competencies (knowledge/skills) that need to be learned.

2. Students study and practice only those skills not yet mastered to the level required by the objectives.

3. Students are given opportunities to practice each objective and obtain feedback about the quality of their performance.

4. Students should receive repeated practice in skills that are used often or are difficult to learn.

5. Students are free to sequence their own instruction within the constraints imposed by the pre-requisites and progress is controlled by their own competence (mastery of objectives).

Using the ADDIE Process

The ADDIE process is another heuristic procedure which can be used to great benefit when planning events associated with building content for an IMI course.

Beginning with the analysis phase, a complete instructional design plan should include answers to the following questions.

1. What is the instructional problem and are there any specific goals for the instructional program itself?

2. What are learner characteristics and how will that influence your instructional decisions?

3. Have you identified both the subject content and task components that relate to the instructional goals and objectives?

During the design phase, it follows that the next logical step is to address issues related to the makeup of the course content, which encompasses the main objectives for the instruction. Specifically, once the objectives have been identified, it is time to develop the proper sequence for the instruction. The following questions can be reviewed.

1. How will the content be sequenced within each instructional unit?

2. What instructional strategies will be used so that learners can master the objectives?

3. What resources will be made available to the student?

4. How will learning be assessed?

Design of IMI Courseware

The actual design of interactive courseware requires a bit of artistry as well as an understanding of pedagogy. There are a few basic design principles of interface design that more bits of wisdom, and aesthetic judgments about what is pleasing to the eye than rules or guidelines. In order to create quality instructional experiences for the learner, the interface designer’s role involves creating navigational ease through effective use of windows, backgrounds, icons, and control panels (Vaughn, 2004).

In terms of best practices for exploiting technology and multimedia for teaching, indications are that e-learning can be best facilitated through well-designed courses using several types of instructional media with differing characteristics (e.g., synchronous vs. asynchronous, high-bandwidth vs. low bandwidth, contextualized vs. decontextualized). The interface design chosen should be consistent and aesthetically pleasing to orient the learner and gain their attention.

The use of storyboards as a planning tool allows design teams to describe a project in detail, by using sketches and words to define screen images, sound, navigation choices, colors, fonts, and text content (Vaughn, 2004). The advantage of creating storyboards-either more or less detailed-is that they allow you to see what design elements will be required before beginning work. For example, based on the design of the storyboard, a design team may choose to task different project implementation steps to specialists (for e.g., graphic designers or multimedia specialists) who can lend their expert talents and capabilities to the overall project management plan. A simple way to get started with storyboards is by using a PowerPoint program to capture the main concepts for a given presentation or lesson.

Page Layout

Creating a basic page layout should be planned as follows. First, organize the information on the web page clearly and in a logical flow. Place adequate amount of information on a screen. Use shorter lines of text if the web page is intended to be read on-screen. Place the important information at the top of the web page. Appropriately use white space to increase the page’s visual appeal. And finally, choose the right screen size to design the course web pages.

Navigation buttons are common elements of navigation (“back”, “next,” “forward”) so that the learner can move through the material. Buttons or navigation arrows should be placed at the edge of the screen. The reason for this is mostly ergonomic: It is easier to move the mouse to a target at the edge of the screen than to one somewhere in the middle. At the edge of the screen, the boundary of the display acts as a visual, or actual, bumper to quick motions.

Also, primary information-regardless of ergonomics-should be located near the optical center, with secondary information at the edges: A reader’s eyes are most likely to follow a path from the center outward. Finally, for psychological continuity, orienting information should be placed at the top or the bottom of the screen, depending on whether it relates to the preceding or following screen, respectively.

Use of Color

Color standards are paramount to maintaining consistency throughout a web site. For page backgrounds, a neutral color, such as white, should be used because it provides the greatest contrast with most colors, which contributes to the property of readability, supports a variety of color text and icons, and bears greater similarity to traditional print pages, which are the basis for most graphic design and communications conventions. It is important to note that some pastel colors and combinations of colors are unreadable to those with color blindness and other visual disorders. Acceptable alternatives to a neutral background are the official university colors.

Using Graphics

There is a qualitative difference between the processing of information in the left brain (which generally considers text) and the right brain (which generally considers images). New material is processed and understood most effectively when it is given a number of different representations. Most authoring systems allow the user to create multimedia objects such as text, buttons, vector-drawn objects, and bitmaps. Graphics can be used to add mental dimensions to:

o Descriptions of real-world or imaginary settings.
o Descriptions of complex relationships.
o Numerical data.
o Requests for reader interaction.

Use of Sound and Video

Suffice to say, the fact that we live in a digitized world suggests that as students become more adept consumers of digital media, their expectations in the classroom increasingly involve digital media as an instructional delivery mode. Audio resolution (8, 16 or 32 bit) will determine the accuracy with which a sound can be digitized. However, it is proper to suggest that although streaming technologies offer a lot of promise for the delivery of audio and video through the Internet, audio and video should be used sparingly in web based training, due to issues of bandwidth and user access. An important side note is that when video is a major element of an interactive design, a high level of detail is necessary in the storyboard to ensure that the video producer has sufficient information to get an accurate video shot. However, if you incorporate streaming technologies, the users may need to download and install plug-ins. Because of the frustrations that plug-ins can cause, it is important to consider all alternatives prior to using them. Not only are there many versions of plug-ins, but they are constantly updated, and can be tricky to install and therefore it is better to use media elements only when they are essential to the instruction (Baron, 1998).

Using Links

When hyperlinks are used, they should serve as a way for the learner to access additional course material via the web. Some more specific examples of reasons for the creation of a link are as follows:

o provide additional information and examples so that learners can probe the topic in greater depth
o cross-reference items
o instruct learners to carry out a task (for example, a form of help)
o provide a help system
o provide a glossary
o provide footnotes
o provide contents lists
o provide illustrations to support text
o provide text to support an illustration
o connect the different aspects of a topic (similar to an index).

Developing the instruction

In order to prevent excessive cognitive load, instruction should progress from simple to complex, allowing learners to start out by working on tasks that represent relatively simple versions of the whole task. Learning tasks that are poorly designed or that involve the complex integration of multiple ideas, skills, or attributes, results in increased cognitive load and decreased learning (Mishra, 2004). An additional consideration in the development of IMI instruction relates to the use of what are referred to as authentic tasks. Learning activities should engage the learner in authentic tasks, which enable students to immerse themselves in the culture of the academic domain, much like an apprentice (Mishra, 2004).

Options for Evaluation of Courseware

Instructional designers have a several models from which to choose when looking at how to evaluate the overall effectiveness of a newly developed training product. At this point, I’ll mention two of these models; they are Kilpatrick’s 4 Levels of Evaluation and Dick and Carey Model. The Dick and Carey model of evaluation is based on three means of formative evaluation: one-to-one, small-group, and field evaluation. Kirkpatrick’s 4-level evaluation model, developed in 1976, is another model used by Instructional Designers in the domain of evaluation. The four levels of evaluation are: reactions, learning, transfer and results. Evaluation at level 1 – reactions, measures how participants react to training. It attempts to answer questions regarding the perceptions of the participants. Did they like it? Was the material relevant? Overall evaluation attempts to assess the learner satisfaction. In level 2 evaluation – learning, evaluation assesses the amount of learning that has occurred in a training program. Tests and pretests are used at this level in the evaluation process. Level 3 evaluation – transfer, measures the transfer that has occurred in learner’s behavior due to training. A question a designer may ask at this level is: are the newly acquired skills, knowledge, or attitude being used in the learner’s everyday environment? If yes, transfer has occurred. Level 4 evaluation – results, measures the success of the training from a managerial level in terms of increased production, improved quality, decreased costs, and return on investment (Lipka, n.d.)

The evaluation process for the instructional designer involves looking at the overall quality of the product and its appropriateness for meeting the client’s needs. With regard to this phase of the ADDIE process, the evaluation phase is driven by a search for the answers to the question: Have we solved the problem? In this regard the instructional designer may want to develop surveys which can be completed by persons who have completed the instruction. Additionally, interviews-essentially ethnographic research-can be conducted with course participants to determine levels of user satisfaction and overall effectiveness of the instruction. What is the impact? What needs to change? Finally, a piece of courseware might be utility tested and evaluated by a direct comparison of its performance against that of some reasonable alternative, such as an older training product or the traditional teaching it replaces.

Summary

Preparing for the design and development of interactive media is by no means as simple as described in this short paper. Rather, designing interactive media and other e-learning courseware is an iterative process, which typically involves a team effort when properly done. A myriad of skills and expertise should normally be brought into the process in order to ensure that an IMI product is one which achieves its educational or training aims. Design, development, layout, and testing of the courseware require forethought, creativity, and a clearly defined set of objectives. When properly done however, the end result is a training apparatus, properly designed for its target audience, and that enhances both individual and group performance on the job. Creating reusable learning products and implementing knowledge management strategies that work are the result of smart planning and quality management of courseware development and implementation within learning organizations.

References

Angelo, T.A., & Cross, K.P. (1993). Classroom assessment techniques (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Baron, A. (1998). Designing web-based training. British Journal of Technology, 29 (4), pp. 355- 370.

Hines, R. & Pearl, C. (2004). Increasing interaction in web-based instruction: Using synchronous chats and asynchronous discussions. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 23 (2), pp. 33-36.

Henke, M. & Latendresse, F. (2005). Store and forward: A collaborative approach for developing interactive digital media (IDM) for classroom instruction. Technology Teacher, 64 (8), pp. 6-8.

Kearsley, G. (2006). Explorations in learning and instruction: The theory into practice database.

Lipka, H. (n.d.). Helen P. Lipka electronic portfolio. Watson School of Education, University of North Carolina Wilmington.

Mishra, S. (2004). Interactive multimedia in education and training. Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing.

Vaughn, T. (2004). Multimedia: Making it work. McGraw Hill.

Liston W. Bailey is an educator and training specialist living in Virginia.

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What Are the Basic Steps in the Video Pre-Production Process?

Introduction to the Video Pre-Production Process

Video Production is an amazing and creative endeavor while a freelance storyboard artist plot the story using a storyboard. It can also be a lot of rewarding fun when you are working with the right group of people. This article briefly explains the 5 factors in the pre-production stage of the video production process so you can be prepared and know what to expect once you have committed to creating a video production.

Budget – This item often goes hand-in-hand with the script, after all you can’t write a $50,000 script if you only have $5,000 to spend on your production. For this reason, it is imperative to discuss your budget and expectations with an experienced video producer who can guide you as to which items are most important to relegate the funds to. The majority of video production expenses should be used in acquiring top talent that will perform at a high-level under pressure or time-constraints. This includes the scriptwriter, actors, director, camera operators, make-up artists and video editors. A good budget should take into account all possible expenses for the video production including travel, legal fees, administrative costs, licensing fees, and production & post-production costs. You may have heard the phrases “above-the-line” & “below-the-line” this refers to a distinction between the most influential and creative roles of a film, and the rest of the crew. Generally Actors, Directors, Producers, and Screenwriters are above the line.

Script – Once the budget has been decided upon, the scriptwriter can begin his work. The ball starts rolling with a conference call between the video producer and writer where the producer explains the vision of the client to the writer. Sometimes the writer may need more information and he will send a questionnaire asking for details about the target market, intended distribution, and product specifications. A good writer will spend time analyzing the client’s product including their website and their competitor’s websites and ads.

Scriptwriters use a particular program to write their scripts such as Final Draft or Adobe Story. At this stage the client and video producer have the opportunity to review the script and make corrections or suggestions to improve the script. It’s important to be critical at this stage and open to new ideas. There can be several rounds to these revisions before the client approves the script, but it’s important to get the script as perfect as possible before moving on to the next step – Storyboarding.

Storyboard – Now that the script has been approved or at least at an advanced stage of development, it can be visualized through the storyboarding process. Traditionally a storyboard is hand drawn by a storyboard artist into panels representing parts of the script. Not every angle has to be included but just the main ones to give an idea of the action, location, background, and actors involved.

There also other ways to storyboard. For example one can simply do a Google search of images/stock photos and use a program like Photoshop to create the storyboard. Programs like GoAnimate can also be used to make an animated storyboard complete with movement, backgrounds, and computerized voices. Another animated storyboard option is the free program Plotagon. This software allows you to choose different angles and characters while you write the script. This is a great way to visualize your script before the actual shoot.

Casting – Concurrently with the scriptwriting and storyboarding, you can begin looking for the talent that is going to be involved in your production. The best route to go is to hire a Casting Director or Talent Agency. They have an extensive database of pre-screened actors or voice-over artists for the client or video producer to peruse. They should be able to provide headshots, resumes, and demo reels of the artists demonstrating their skills and versatility. It is wise to choose 2 or 3 people for each role and have them come to a Casting Call. Choose a professional location for the casting call so that everyone feels comfortable. Ideally there should be a waiting area for the actors and a changing room. Be sure to have a video camera (or at least an iPhone) set up on a tripod to record each of the auditions. Once the auditions are done, the client and the video producers should come to mutual decision about who to cast.

Location Scouting – You may wish to hire a Location Manager or Location Scout who will take the script and scour the city (or world) to find the appropriate locations. Factors to consider are lighting, sound, background and accessibility. You can expect a report from the location scout that includes pictures, videos, financial costs, availability of parking, distance to base of operations, lighting and weather conditions. Based on this report, the client and video producer can decide which locations are the most appropriate to book for the production. Once the final decisions have been made the process of “Clearing the Location” can begin. This means that someone has to negotiate the fees for renting the location, get the appropriate clearances, notify residents in the area of the upcoming, and any other requirements necessary to procuring the locations.

Now that you know a little more about the pre-production process, you can be more prepared when meeting a video producer to discuss your project. Remember, this is the most critical step to creating a successful and memorable video production. Regardless of the type of video you are making, taking care to create a viable and professional script as well as hiring exceptional on-screen and off-screen talent. These are the keys to creating a successful video production.

About the Author

Horacio Jones has been a Video Producer, Director, Camera Operator and Editor for over 10 years. He has directed several documentaries, short films and numerous corporate and event videos. Currently he is the owner of http://www.CinemaViva.com where he oversees the day-to-day video production and editing tasks necessary to maintain a successful video production company. He also teaches Filming and Editing techniques to students attending the Film Connection Film Institute.

Philosophy:

I strive to offer creative video production and editing services in a timely and efficient manner. That’s why I think it is better to spend more time in pre-production in order to ensure that the plan is solid and considerations like the budget and talent, and personnel are more than adequate to pull off the production without a hitch. Ultimately, it’s more economical to do things right the first time. I’m equally comfortable being the leader or being part of a team, I check my ego at the door when I have to perform. Additionally, I maintain a comfortable, yet professional rapport with the client, crew, and cast of each production in order to promote an atmosphere of excitement, fun, and creativity.

– Horacio Jones, Director

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Knee Pain and Stiffness – How You Can Be Pain Free With a Combination of Pilates & Physical Therapy

Are you using the handrail more and more often when you go down the stairs. Are your knees failing you? Registering for a Pilates instructor course is the best move in starting to change your lifestyle.

More people are now seeing their doctors because of painful joints, muscles and tendons than for the common cold, and the knee joint is responsible for over 20 million doctor visits each year in the US alone. Your knee plays a major role in the chain of weight bearing in the leg. It has to respond to ground forces from below and the load of your body from above. It is a relatively simple joint, but it has to be ready to quickly react to force from the ground while balancing the load of the rest of the body at the same time. Your knee is at the mercy of what’s going on in the joints directly above and below: the hip, pelvis, ankle and foot.

Although there are many reasons for knee pain (arthritis, meniscus and ligament damage for example), long term relief of knee pain has to start with an assessment of your whole structure. This assessment begins with your feet to see how they influence the alignment and forces at the knee. Any joint is only as good as its structure, and poor alignment in the feet and ankles has a negative influence on the knee, creating muscle imbalances and eventually pain and stiffness.

The hip joint also has a similar affect on the knee – poor mechanics and muscle imbalances in the hip creates problems for the knee. And because the socket of the hip joint is formed by the pelvis, it has to be aligned correctly too. In fact, when doing a full assessment of the knee, the whole body must be evaluated, since any structural imbalances in the body can affect the knee’s ability to function.

The good news is that a well balanced Pilates-based Physical Therapy program addresses the whole body. Pilates is a recent addition to many Physical Therapy programs and is rapidly growing in popularity throughout the world. Combining Pilates with Physical Therapy will improve your body awareness, alignment, strength, flexibility and balance. You’ll learn how to move with more efficiency and less pain.

At first, new and balanced movement habits feel weird and unfamiliar because they’re foreign to your nervous system. Working with a skilled Pilates trained Physical Therapist will help you understand your own unique postural and movement habits and help you practice correct patterns effectively.

Here are a couple of things you can do right now to find out how your knees stack up:

1. Stand in shorts, barefoot in front of a full length mirror and look at your leg alignment. What do you see? Are there any funny angles between your hips and your knees? What about your feet? Do you have an arch on the inside of your foot? Can you see that your whole leg influences the alignment of your knee? This includes the alignment of your pelvis, since the pelvis is the top of your hip joint. Be aware that when you do any exercise “for your knees”, you must also consider the rest of your body, especially the foot, ankle and hip.

2. While standing, imagine a line going through the center of your leg from your hip joint, through the center of your thigh, your knee joint, the center of your lower leg, ankle and out the 2nd toe. This is the ideal alignment for your leg. A word about your hip joint: did you know that your “hips” are not the wide bones of your pelvis, but the place where you crease when you bend your knee towards your chest? This is where your heel should line up when your foot hits the ground when walking. The hip joint itself is really quite narrow – about the same distance apart as your sits bones in the back.

3. When you stand, walk and exercise, the alignment of your whole leg affects which muscles you use to move. And the way you use your muscles strongly influences your alignment. Be very aware of keeping correct alignment from your pelvis to your foot – hip to 2nd toe – so that you create good balance around your knees. If you do exercises like squats and leg press, do you pay attention to your leg alignment? Your knee program will be far more effective if you do. Remember that pain is your body’s way of telling you that something’s not right, so if you can’t modify your position to relieve the pain, skip the exercise. Remember also that not every “recommended” knee exercise is right for every knee – you need to find out what’s right for your knees.

The point is that your knee pain is usually just a result of the alignment you set up from the ground (you feet and ankles) and the load you put on them from above (your hips, pelvis and trunk). Figure out how to de-stress your knee joints by changing your whole-body alignment and your knee pain and stiffness will resolve.

If you have knee pain and want to find out how to get relief, see a Pilates trained Physical Therapist who will assess your whole body, rather than looking only at your knees. A Pilates exercise program, with a home routine, is a great way to reduce pain and stiffness in your knees, and a 2nd pair of experienced eyes will help you sort out your unique imbalances. Then you’ll know exactly what to do for YOUR knees.

How do you find a Pilates trained Physical Therapist? Many PT clinics now offer Pilates, and many Pilates centers employee Physical Therapists. Check your local PT clinics and Pilates centers. And make sure that your practitioner has completed a comprehensive Pilates training program.

Copyright © Park Meadows Pilates 2008

Lindy Royer is a licensed Physical Therapist. She was introduced to The Pilates Method in the late 1990s and completed Pilates Certification in 2002. She had added Pilates to her Physical Therapy practice and is a Pilates educator and Master trainer.

In January 2005, Lindy opened Park Meadows Pilates and Physical Therapy in Lone Tree, CO. Park Meadows Pilates and Physical Therapy offers a program that seamlessly transitions patients from rehabilitation to fitness. The combination of research-based Physical Therapy and Pilates in private and group sessions improves outcomes and provides an environment for permanent pain relief.

The integration of Pilates into Lindy’s Physical Therapy practice has had a significant impact on the level of successful recovery she sees in her patients. Because Lindy has had her own health and physical challenges, she approaches her practice from a different perspective and uses her experience as a former patient to help others.

You can find out more about Pilates and Physical Therapy at: http://www.parkmeadowspilates.com

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Pilates Breath – The Goal That Keeps on Giving

Pilates is huge. Not in the cultural sense. Pilates was somehow everywhere before most people had even heard of it. Nor do I mean financially, that phase seems to have peaked. No, the hugeness I refer to is that of the system itself. A lot of folks might not realize how big the total body of the work is. Or, that the different routines inter-relate to support each other. Six different machines plus the mat, three to five Levels and Lengths of routine each, the volume of choreography and information is equal to a Black Belt in a respectable Martial Art. Good nutrition is probably the single most important factor in determining health that why we need help with nutritionist Northern Beaches.

Consider also, that the work evolved over decades to support consistent ideals. Meaning to say, if you are struggling with an intermediate or advanced mat exercise, there will very likely be a reformer or Cadillac exercise designed specifically to help you. The system is so wide that there are multiple directions one could take one’s study of Pilates. And, it can be confusing. Navigating the hugeness means having a goal, a relevant goal, maybe a series of relevant goals. Knowing where you want to go is as important as starting at the beginning.

Pilates, like any worthwhile pursuit, has layered goals. What one strives to “master” today may be no more than a prerequisite for next week’s study. Some goals we transition past and never look back. When was the last time you practiced your times tables? Other types of goal are never met, simple at first but progressively more difficult to maintain. “Keep your hands up.” is hardly news in the first seconds of a boxing match, but it turns into Rocket Science as the rounds progress. Without that basic skill firmly in place… other skills will lose their relevance. The Boxer becomes vulnerable.

Pilates has a similar vulnerability. The more advanced moves are as tempting as they are complicated. We tend to want to notch our belts as we did on the earlier moves. But those moves were simpler, and the incorporation of good breath goals are stressed quite clearly. The very structure of many basic Pilates movements helps to show the need for breath as a tool, and not merely a metronome. “Spine Stretch” and “Roll up” are both good examples of this for different reasons.

“Spine stretch” is obscure and a simple “inhale when you do this/exhale when you do that” will not help you find the always subtle, and initially distant, sensation of the Nuchal Ligament. However, if you demand that both inhale and exhale display classical hallmarks of intentional breathing as, or before, the outward movement begins, then you will at least have a direction for your efforts even if they aren’t immediately rewarded with a clear feeling. The exercise itself helps us focus on the mechanics of breath.

Look at “Roll up”. For most of us, this exercise is just hard enough that we can only do it if our breath really helps. Saying your exhale at just the right time, like a line on cue, is not going to get your torso up off the deck. An actual redistribution of body weight is needed for most of us, and until we stop “trying harder” and let the breath lead, we are doomed to flop and arch like a fish (Well I did, and I’m pretty strong.). A Perfect Basic Exercise because success, and ohh, let’s call it “pre-success” are self evident. If the Client/Practitioner is striving or tensing in a possible injurious way, then that will also quickly reveal itself. Again, Seemly the definition of a Basic Exercise.

The Vulnerability I spoke of lies in the more advanced moves. As the complexity and difficulty increase, the self corrective aspects decrease. Its the standard ” ’nuff-rope-to-hang-yourself problem “. Please examine “Arabesques” in the Advanced Reformer. There is potential for repetitive stress damage to the hip, lumbar, and shoulder. These damages could take months to show themselves, and you would have been enjoying your workout the whole time. Problems of this nature ought to be solved by Breath. Using the inhale or exhale to align the skeleton before movement lends protection from as well as sensitivity to distortion. The original sensations of proper skeletal alignment are stored within a focused, almost ritual Breath.

Retaining these sensations is the best way to protect yourself as you progress, and the breath is always there to provide guidance. Without that guidance, you cannot know if you are safe or even correct. It is a layered goal. Don’t leave home without it.

Now, all of this presupposes that somewhere along the line you were taught an ideal breath to create alignment and activate your core. That you practiced enough for it to morph from choreography to sensation. That you own it at a deeper than verbal level. This is super important because your verbal learning parts are always busy at Pilates Class.

The necessary relationship between core and alignment need not be re-proven. It is how these two triangulate with the breath that needs to be more closely observed. The core is forever linked to breath by a simple fact. A person’s “Core” is like Big-foot, it cannot be photographed. It doesn’t exist in stillness, there are no muscles you could lock into place to display it. Your “Core” is more of an event than a collection of anatomy. It only manifests during motion like climbing or running or jumping or, best of all, breathing. The essential support for the essential movement. The “flow” (a Pilates buzz word) or counter-tension in the low frontal torso is a response to breath.

The primary muscle of inspiration is, of course, the diaphragm. Neither the core (a list of muscles and tendons) nor the “Core” (a holistic event) respond to the Diaphragm. The Diaphragm exerts no upward force and does not expand or contract the Ribcage. Those functions are served by the secondary muscles of inspiration and these are the muscles that trigger core response. Furthermore, the greater the total percentage of secondary inspiration muscles activated, the greater the total percentage of core muscles activated.

Whole careers (mine included) are based on describing this phenomenon. My favorite visual metaphor is of a mushroom cloud, an omnidirectional expanding plume driven ever higher by an arcane column of force, oh yeah, that’s the stuff. In reality, its kind of the opposite. Your Ribcage is cleverly anchored to your Spine, Shoulders, and Head and the secondary muscles of inspiration pull it multi-directionally away from the Diaphragm’s tug. This enhances the basic function of the Diaphragm and creates more expansion in the Ribcage. It also serves to counter the downward pull so you don’t slump. Because expansion and contraction of the Ribcage are necessarily linked to the Ribcage traveling up and down the Spine, even a rudimentary study of improving Ribcage volume (not total breath volume) will enhance Spinal alignment. Simply put, you could stifle this monorail-esque traveling up and down the Spine of your Ribcage, but then you could never reach or improve your Ribcage Volume potential. The up/down is structurally built into the expand/contract of the Ribcage. The longer and straighter your Spine, the further up your ribs can go, the further up, the more they can expand. So, it follows that breath and alignment are permanently linked, but it goes deeper than that. A well studied breath can create significant therapeutic effects in and of itself. Consider that the maximally expanded Ribcage shows the least imprint of tension, stress pattern, or injury. An exhale begun from this point has the best chance of ending in an optimal contraction. A well studied exhale can reset the scapula and neck, lessening the unwanted imprint. Even the Diaphragm itself, as it resets during the exhale, gives direction to the Spine if not actual support.

A complete list of the secondary muscles of inspiration would invite tepid debate and violate the spirit I’m trying to create. Namely, that you should/ought/must spend some shirtless time in front of a mirror isolating, recognizing, and recreating the effect until some measure of clarity and confidence develop. Ya’ know, practice.

My description shall be inexact and imperfect, try to have fun with it. Get all skins to the waist in front of a good, well lit mirror. Since we are studying the inhale first, we’ll need to finish a pretty good exhale as a jumping point. For our purposes, a good exhale is one that vents air without losing any height. Not as easy as it sounds. The mirror reveals that our exhale tends to slightly lessen bearing, bust, and stature. Just keeping your full height as the air flows completely out is a good challenge. All tall and empty, your inhales should begin as I describe. If it doesn’t, one possible reason might be that having pursued your exhale into unknown territory, your inhale is coming with awkward suddenness. A bit of practice will help find the difference between a complete exhale and an intense one. At the beginning, your pre-contracted ribs will seek to expand due to stored potential energy. Allowing them to do so helps start the process which we hope to enhance. The low belly will draw inward and upward, keeping pace with the rising Ribcage. This effect will persist for less than half the total inhale, and may be staccato or intermittent. More practice will smooth this out until each studied inhale has a gut-in and a gut-out phase, with the first phase ending as the ribs stop expanding. The directionality of the guts during the gut-in phase is “Core”. Elongating this core active, gut-in phase is the main benefit of Pilates, and also the key to progressing in it as well. It may feel goofy at first but, you can increase your personal quotient of Ribcage expansion.

The mirror is vital at the outset when the sensations of progress are unfamiliar. Seeing breath happen real-time aids in rooting out unnecessary tension patterns (Hulk Smash!) normally present during exertion. Various muscle groups may need to relax against habit so you can see/feel the Ribcage expand or the “Core” manifest. In other words, an extra big Ribcage does not require shoulders like football pads. Use that mirror!

You’ve already absorbed the key aspect of a good exhale, so I’ll just elaborate a bit. The further your exhale progresses without a loss of height, the more correctly you have contracted your Ribcage. Begun well, the pattern is easy to follow. The mirror should report greater release of Trapezius and most other neck area muscles. What the mirror might not reveal is the upward resetting of the Diaphragm, although its productive effects may be visible elsewhere in the Spine.

Good inhales beget good exhales, but it will take focus time to modulate the intensity and chain these events into a series we Scholars call breathing. Until this goal is achieved, its wise to avoid the complicated or dangerous exercises because the whole point of the advanced work is to retain the benefits of proper breathing through the more distracting or difficult challenges.

Breath is the goal that keeps on giving, and the reason why I never accept money from anyone for their first Pilates session. I want to change their view of Life, the Thoracic Universe, and Exercise. I don’t want to talk about skinniness or sturdiness or serenity or even layered goals, I just want to talk about breath.

Eric Schimel, co-author of Pilatez Comix The Basic Mat, is a Kung Fu Black Belt and Pilates Instructor currently based out of Austin Texas. A gifted poet/playwrite, he completed his Pilates Training with Wendy LeBlanc Arbuckle, founder of the Pilates Center of Austin, in 2000 and has since taught both throughout the USA, and internationally at Espace Pilates, a prestigious studio in Boulogne, France as well as in the Philippines. Sought after by both beginners and professional pilates instructors alike for more extensive study, Eric has a unique approach to pilates philosophy he coins Pilatez. Pilatez Comix The Basic Mat is available in both Hard Copy and Digital Download editions. Want to find more articles, blogs, and podcasts please click here. [http://pilatezcomix.com].

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Eric_Schimel/398720

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2779859

Storyboard Artist – Career Profile

What does a Storyboard Artist do? Where does a Storyboard Artist Work? ACR takes a look:
About Storyboard Artists

Storyboard artists draw storyboards for animated features, films, television commercials and other ad campaigns, music videos, and video games. The storyboard artist begins creating the storyboard after a concept or script has been written. The storyboard presents the “action” in a series of scenes (panel by panel), which allows filmmakers, advertisers, and producers to evaluate the project before beginning production. Storyboards are also used to provide direction during production.

Storyboard Artist Jobs

Storyboard artists draw scenes by hand or computer. They might sketch in black and white or they may produce full color storyboards manually or by computer. Also called “storyboarders,” storyboard artists work with producers, directors, and film crew from start to finish by sketching scenes during initial meetings, and editing or eliminating scenes as the project progresses. Storyboard artists may work in a film or other production studio, in an office setting, or even a home studio.

Storyboard Artist Salaries

Storyboard artist salaries vary greatly based on experience, benefits, the size and type of company, industry, geographic location, and other factors. For example, according to Indeed, storyboard artists in Burbank, California—the “Media Capital of the World,” average $86,000 per year. Head east to New York—considered the “Capital of the Modern World,” and storyboard artists average $105,000 per year, according to Indeed.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary and employment information for storyboard artists as a single group, so another way to get an idea of what storyboard artists earn is to review earnings for illustrators. According to the Bureau, the average salary for illustrators is $44,850 per year. The highest earning illustrators average $91,200 per year and the lowest earners average $18,450 per year. Some story board artists are self-employed, so they may earn quite a bit more or less than the average salaries listed.

Becoming a Storyboard Artist

While formal education is not required for all storyboard artist jobs, many employer’s prefer to hire artists with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in art, fine arts, illustration, digital art or other related area. Experience is preferred as well. Aspiring storyboard artists may obtain valuable experience through an internship or entry-level position. Some storyboard artists with exceptional talent, but little formal training may qualify for some entry-level positons.

Job Trends for Storyboard Artists

Employment of fine artists such as illustrators is projected to grow four percent for the 2012-2022 decade. This means, the talent pool will increase from 28,800 in 2012 to 29,900 by 2022. Projected growth for this occupation is slower than the average for all occupations. However, according to the Bureau, “demand for illustrators who work on a computer will increase, as media companies use more detailed images and backgrounds in their designs.” Further, “new opportunities are expected to arise, as the number of electronic magazines, Internet-based publications, and video games grows.”

Awesome Animation Fact: When it comes to creating likable characters, sometimes it’s best to go back to the drawing board until you get it right. According to Yahoo!7, one of the world’s most loved animated characters, Woody from Toy Story, was originally written to be a type of ‘sarcastic jerk’ who frequently insulted other toys throughout the film. Fortunately, Disney deemed this character totally unwatchable and halted film production until a more appealing personality for Woody was developed. Find out the best team for your storyboard project.

The Art of Visual Story-telling

Packed tightly into rickety, old open-top carriages those aboard the small train departed the embarkation point. Their eyes were screwed tight as they fought to re-gain focus as the bright sun gave way, albeit briefly, to what seemed like infinite darkness. Storyboard artist work closely with the Director and, possibly, with the scriptwriter, Producer, client or Storyboard Supervisor, to visualise and tell the story.

The cool, damp air of the cave hung in the air. The exact same scent likely to have adorned the nostrils of previous occupants many millennia before.

Then, through the dim light, came what appeared to be faint line drawn by hand. Then another, but this time positioned at approximately 45 degrees to the first.

Little by little, creatures began to reveal themselves until a full montage was visible through the flickering electric lights, hung like fairy lights along the length of the cave.

A little boy, sat agape as the train continued to trundle slowly and ever deeper into the cave. All concept of time lost, the little boy’s attention was fully surrendered to the scene laid out before him. It appeared to tell a story, a story of brave hunters and wild animals slain in the name of sustenance and warmth.

That was 1979, the place a small town called Rouffignac in heart of the France’s Dordogne Vezere valley. A third of a century later, the vividness of those distant memories still lives on.

That day marked one of my earliest enduring memories of visual storytelling.

Taking inspiration from these memories, I’ll be looking to uncover some of the secrets behind the power of visual story-telling and its enduring value as we shift across channels, from adorning cave-walls, to man-made forms such as architectural, print, digital and whole load of other channels besides.

Winding back the clock

So, let’s start by imagining that, through the medium of time-travel you’ve been transported some 12,000 years back in time.

You’re now one of a small band of six to maybe eight men and women who’ve crawled into a shallow cave to take cover from an impending storm. Only you and those in your group will ever know the exact reasons behind the pictures you painted in that cave over the course of that day or days.

Was it to leave an account of your lives and provide a point of learning for others in your community? Or, did you even have a reason beyond the pure art of creating a rich picture of the key aspects of your daily existence for further generations to refer to and learn from?

What’s certain is that you weren’t the first and certainly not the last to follow this path. Travelling back a further 5,000 years will transport you back to the most famous cave ‘art’ of all, at Lascaux, situated some 200 kilometres to the east of Rouffignac.

Luckily, today, we don’t have to look quite so hard.

Great feats of visual storytelling appear all around us; church windows, the pyramids, Bayeux tapestry and the published sketch books of Leonardo Di Vinci. The list simply runs on and on.

Even comic books, a central feature of so many of our childhoods (and even adulthood) practice those noble art with great aplomb.

Excerpt from Scott McCloud’s ‘Understanding Comics’. Scott’s book describes the visual and representational techniques and language used in comics to convey a story. Told in comic form this is nothing short of genius.

What’s more, one can only guess at our ignorance of how many items lie as yet undiscovered, unknown to us at this present moment in time.

So, for me, all this begs the question…

If story-telling is the new black, did its visual form ever truly go away?

And, therefore, what’s driving this renaissance in storytelling?

With the plethora of visual media around us today, there’s a strong body of evidence pointing us towards the conclusion that the visual articulation of the ‘art of story-telling’ never really went away.

Ironically, it’s more likely that the sheer ubiquitousness of visual story-telling in our daily lives has actually contributed to dulling our senses and lessening of our awareness of its very existence.

After all, at least until now, it seems that our focus on ‘story-telling’ has been wedded to a concept of the written and spoken word, rather than in recognition of story-telling in its visual form.

With posed question answered, what makes visual story-telling so powerful?

To answer this next question there appears to be a number of factors at play. These I’ve attempted to loosely distil down into a set of three guiding principles:

  • Convenience & ease;
  • Humanisation of the message;
  • Aesthetic engagement & meaning.

Let’s take a look at each one of these and what the mean in a little more detail.

1.Convenience & ease

Convenience and ease relates to the comparative facility with which visual storytelling can be consumed and meaningfully interpreted by its intended audience.

In centuries gone by this was born out of necessity. Low levels of literacy meant that visual story-telling was practically the only way of getting your message across to its widest possible audience.

Take a trip to your local church and let your eyes wander across its stained glass windows. It’s a pretty safe bet that you’re being told a story. It’s also the reason why we have the most archetypal of vernacular art forms-the humble pub sign.

(Thought that would grab your attention!)

With adult illiteracy rates in the UK reputed to be running at around 5%, or conversely literacy rates running at around 95%, today it’s clearly more down to patience and tolerance.

As a static graphic form, visual-story telling frequently makes use of representation techniques commonly associated with spatial design and architecture.

The visual example below uses axonometric presentation. This allows the publisher to render a visual story in a spatially efficient three-dimensional form and easily allows for meaningful connections to be made between the elements represented within it.

Example of axonometric projection, courtesy of Francesco Franchi

In researching for this article, I came across Francesco Franchi, an Italian ‘graphic analyst’ and Art Director at the monthly magazine ‘Il Sole 24 Ore’ in Milan. Franchi uses beautifully rendered and detailed visual narratives too.

We commonly refer to works of this nature as infographics, however the level of fidelity and content effectively conveys appears to take this to a new level. In my own opinion, Franchi’s infographics are works of art in their own right.

And, if you need any more convincing, the stats around the success of visual story telling tell their own story.

‘A message containing a visual element will yield as many as 94% more views than those without.’

2.Humanisation of the message; (authenticity, trust and sincerity)

The second principle I’m referring to as the ‘humanisation of the message’.

This comes from the fact that visual story telling can readily engender feelings of trust and authenticity or sincerity, at least two of which are primarily positive character traits associated with us as human-beings.

News Cred & Getty in their paper entitled the ‘Power of Visual Storytelling’ refer to the importance of ‘authenticity’ as one of the four key principles of successful visual story-telling.

Authenticity lies at the heart of enabling true feelings and emotions to be conveyed. It’s the very reason why user generated content forms the bedrock of so many leading brands’ interactions with their target audiences today.

This candid nature of delivering a credible message through the usage of powerful visual imagery helps create that greater sense of understanding and ‘proximity’ to those the message seeks to reach out to. It is this audience proximity which allows for deeper, emotionally-based, connections to form.

As highly marketing literate consumers of today, the desire and necessity for brands to win back our trust has become increasingly paramount. It’s visual story-telling which appears to offer a fast-track way for such brands to penetrate more deeply into the consumer’s emotional psyche and create the meaningful emotional attachment all brands crave. It’s this attachment which is ultimately the hallmark of all great enduring brands.

The fact that the target audience itself becomes an integral part of this overall brand trust eco-system, via the medium of user generated content can but only add to the potency of authentic, visual-story-telling.

3.Aesthetic engagement & meaning

The third and final point ‘aesthetic engagement and meaning’ relates to the quality and engagement of the message afforded by the visual design elements of the story as it is represented.

Whilst there are a number of obvious similarities with the first point regarding the way information is presented, I’ve consciously kept this point separate. This is to reflect the fact that great conceptual ideas, poorly executed, will never realise their full potential.

Aesthetic engagement is essentially what draws us to a visual story. It then works closely with the other two elements described above to retain our interest and attention once we’ve been attracted to it.

The ‘meaning’ aspect in this element comes through the way in which the design aesthetics relate to the context of the story and the message they are seeking to communicate.

Appropriately enough, the producers of our archetypal story-tellers, book publishers, are classic exponents of this technique.

Independent author, Joanna Penn, talks about the significance of cover art and design and the effect this can have on conveying an appropriate message to potential readers on the nature of the story contained within its covers.

In one of her recent blog postings she quotes leading independent author, HM Ward, who says,

‘COVERS ARE STOP SIGNS. They should quickly reveal as much info about your book to the reader as possible and this did not. As soon as I changed the covers to the current version, sales shot up …’

That sounds like an open and shut case for the power of aesthetic engagement and meaning.

Closing comments

During this blog I’ve attempted to distil down the essence of what makes a good visual story into a handful of primary elements. These, I’m confident, will help provide a firm basis upon which to undertake further investigation and research. As a result I certainly won’t be ruling out further elaborations on one or more of the elements so far discussed.

With this in mind your presence in the next chapter through the narrative which is visual story-telling would be greatly appreciated.

Until the next time, many thanks taking the time to read this.

How to Become an Electrician: 6 Basic Steps to Journeyman Status

Here’s a general overview of how to become an electrician when you’re starting from scratch: First, make sure that you’ve earned a high school diploma (or the equivalent such as a GED). Next, take the optional (but recommended) step of completing a pre-apprenticeship electrician-training program at a local trade, technical, or vocational school. After that, apply for an electrician apprenticeship and, if required, register as an electrician apprentice or trainee in your state. Complete your four- or five-year apprenticeship under the guidance of a master or journeyperson* electrician. Finally, if required, get your electrician license or become certified in your state and/or municipality, which may involve passing an exam. Electricity could very well the most essential commodity in a typical home today and make sure if you are in trouble contact emergency electrician Brisbane.

Those are the basic steps to becoming an electrician. Of course, it’s wise to look into each of those steps in more detail so that you know exactly what to expect. After all, confidence is an important trait to develop, especially while you’re learning how to be an electrician. The more you know, the greater your confidence will be as you move forward. And electrician careers are definitely worth all of the attention. They often provide reliable and meaningful ways to earn good wages and benefits.

So check out what the following steps involve. And explore the whole article in order to learn the answers to additional questions like:

  • How long does it take to become an electrician?
  • What education do you need to become an electrician?
  • How do you get an electrician’s license?
  • How hard it is to become an electrician?
  • What is a typical electrician salary?

1. Earn a high school diploma or equivalent

This step is essential. You may not be able to progress any further until you can show that you’ve successfully completed high school or earned a GED or other type of equivalency certification. It’s one of the most basic educational requirements that you’ll need to meet before you can become an electrician.

If you’re still in high school, then pay special attention to subjects like math, physics, and English. Shop and mechanical drawing classes are also helpful. Among many other things, being an electrician requires knowing how to perform algebra, read technical documents, and understand basic scientific concepts.

If you are an adult who didn’t complete high school, it’s possible to earn your high school diploma online. This is a convenient way to take care of this important first step.

2. Consider getting pre-apprenticeship training at a trade school or vocational college

Increasingly, this step is vital for making you stand out among your competition. Learning the basic fundamentals of electrical work is often easier when you aren’t yet employed as an apprentice and worried about pleasing your boss. Electrician programs at trade schools, technical institutes, and career colleges provide a more comfortable introduction to this trade and can help you gain the foundational expertise that you’ll need going forward.

You’ll be able to learn about the National Electric Code, workplace safety, electrical theory, and many other things that can give you a head start on other people who may apply for the same apprenticeships. Most trade-school programs even include hands-on training in addition to regular classroom instruction. That way, you’ll have solid footing when you pursue the next step of the process.

3. Apply for an apprenticeship

Once you’re ready, begin looking for apprenticeship opportunities as soon as possible. You never know how many other people might be applying for the same apprentice jobs, so it’s good to get a jump on them if you can. In fact, having a sense of urgency may be one of the most essential aspects of knowing how to become an electrician apprentice.

You may be able to find a local apprenticeship through the United States Department of Labor or by exploring newspaper classifieds and online job boards. In addition, electrical apprenticeship openings periodically become available through organizations such as:

  • The National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)
  • The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  • Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC)

As part of the application process, you may need to pass a basic aptitude exam. In most cases, the exam will test your reading comprehension and ability to perform simple arithmetic and first-year algebra. In addition, you will need to pass a job interview. And you may need to meet specific physical requirements, pass a drug test, and be able to demonstrate a certain level of mechanical aptitude.

That’s why a lot of employers recommend getting some basic electrical training before applying for the apprenticeships that they sponsor. Trade and vocational schools specialize in helping students get up to speed on what they’ll need to know in order to succeed during the application process.

4. Register as an electrician trainee or apprentice in your state (if required)

Some states, such as California and Texas, require electrical apprentices to register before being allowed to work on actual job sites. It’s generally a very easy step since it only involves filling out a form and potentially paying a small fee. But every state has its own requirements, so be sure to check with your state’s department of
licensing, labor, or consumer affairs.

5. Complete your apprenticeship

This step is the heart of the whole process. Your apprenticeship will combine on-the-job training with courses online and/or in the classroom. You’ll be mentored and supervised by a master or journeyperson electrician throughout four to five years of training. And you’ll get paid an hourly wage.

Along the way, you’ll study important concepts and receive practical job-site experiences that are related to a typical electrician job description. For example, you’ll get the opportunity to practice and learn about aspects of the trade such as:

  • Reading construction blueprints and technical diagrams for electrical plans
    Installing, repairing, and maintaining electrical wiring, lighting fixtures, electricity-distribution equipment, and various control systems
  • Making sure that all work complies with the National Electric code as well as state and local regulations
  • Testing and inspecting electrical systems and components for problems by using special devices

At the beginning of your apprenticeship, you’ll be performing very basic tasks. But you will gradually get to carry out more and more complex tasks as you refine your skills and practical understanding of relevant concepts. By the end of your apprenticeship, you will likely be capable of performing a full range of construction- and maintenance-related electrical work at the journeyperson level.

6. Get licensed or certified in your state and/or municipality (if required)

One of the most important things to understand when exploring how to become a licensed electrician is that every state sets its own standards. In fact, some states (such as Illinois and Pennsylvania) don’t license electricians at all. However, some towns and cities within those states do have licensing requirements.

So it’s important to contact your state as well the municipalities that you plan to work in. Ask them if you need a license to perform electrical work. In some cases, you may need a license in order to work as an employee of an electrical contractor. In other cases, you may not need a license unless you plan on starting your own electrical business.

In locations that do require a license, you may have to pass an exam that tests your understanding of the National Electric Code, various electrical concepts, safety practices, and local laws and building codes. You will probably also have to prove that you have completed a certain amount of relevant classroom instruction and practical training under the supervision of a licensed journeyperson or master electrician.

Learn more about how to get an electrician’s license in your region below.

How You Can Start Optimizing Your Site Today

As you become more experienced with SEO, you will see how even minor tweaks in a website can lead to major changes for your bottom line. This article offers some of the best tips on SEO and how you can use. There might be a lingering thought in your mind that search engine marketing can get you rankings, but the fact is that you can get ranked in natural results of search engines via SEO services only.

Find out how many years of experience. You will want to find out what risks in order to make an educated hiring decision.

This is very true for clients who found you through YouTube because it is easy to remember.

The way to do this is to create a robots text file and place it in your site’s root directory. txt file and plugging it into your site’s root directory. This will prevent any search engines from gaining access to particular files on your site.

As you develop URL monikers for individual pages, it is important to realize that search engine spiders do not understand dynamic language or session identification names. This makes it harder for search engines to find your website, so be mindful and establish relevant names for all your URLs.

Using product feed can really help draw traffic and business to your site. Feeds like this detail your services and products with images, descriptions and pictures. Submit them to sites for shoppers as well as to search engines.

A vital step towards optimizing your search engine optimization is to include a site map. Spiders can more easily decipher you site through a site map. A large site might need more than one site map. A good rule of thumb is to not have lots of links on any given site map.

Once you have decided on the keywords or key phrases that are most relevant to your website, be sure that some land in your titles too. Your title should be intelligent and relevant, so choose a title that is both intelligent and relevant. This ensures that you get hits based on because it best fits what the search engine user typed in.

Users won’t spend a lot of time at your site unless they are able to get great information, and improving your content is one of the easiest ways to drive-up traffic.

Use an accurate title tags to ensure that search engines will understand your website’s content. Your title tag should be 60 characters or less, as this is the limit of the majority of search engines. They also tend to give less importance to terms at that point.

The content in this meta tag should not exceed 30 words. Never exceed 100 kilobytes on this particular page.

The takeaway message from this paragraph is that Google looks for keywords in alt tags, so keywords included in these tags will improve page ranking.

The initial paragraph on your content should use words that are also be the HTML description tag. There are search engines that use this information rather than the tag itself as the blurb for your site is about in their results. Poor or ineffective content in this area can hurt your rankings.

Use the longer or plural form of words for keywords to generate more search engine. Keyword stemming is utilized by some of the search engines. If you chose a search term like “accountant” for your keyword, a stemming search engine would not link you to the results for searches based around “parents” or “parenting”. If you are using a search engine that uses keyword stemming, then your site will be included in the searches that include the shorter form of the word as well.

To attract traffic, you need content that’s unique and interesting. People stay and click around your site are likely to come back a second time.

Don’t create a page full of links. Blend them into the other content on your page. Pages with links are boring and search engines.

You should make sure to use a service that does not block out your domain ownership information. Google may flag you as a spammer and won’t even rank your site.

Use search engine optimization companies to help market your advantage. SEO companies optimize your website in such a way that it receives a higher ranking in search engine result pages (SERPs). You can often find excellent deals with these services.

Dedicate each keyword phrase. By narrowing down on a singular topic, you will have better content, but will return often. Having a loyal readers will always be better than being at the top of the search engine results page.

Use one of the many online tools available that will analyze your website’s information. You should be looking for “301 Moved Permanently” and “200 OK.”

Link directories are good, if you plan to use them. Many directories have lots of date. Always be careful who you plan to work with.

If you have a company name, make sure the name of the corporation appears in the title tag of each page. People are not likely to search for your company by name unless it is truly well-known.

Include keywords and phrases on your site. This means you to maximize your domain now. Your website should have keywords you are promoting.

This is a good space to be descriptive Meta tag. The meta tag you use for every page need to have accurate descriptions and make people want to click.

Use SEO to help you get the traffic you need on your website. The ideal goal should be to get high rankings in the highest rank possible. Using a “pay per click” type of search engine can be a quick way to boost traffic. This will be something you continuously.You may have to regulate bids and keep an eye on the finances if needed.

Be sure to label the pictures in your images with keywords that make sense for them. You may have your business name in your banner title, but if you have a background image, be certain to exclude keywords in its title.

Making it onto Google or Yahoo’s front page in your niche is what all site owners want to do. It is difficult to get there; however, it is possible if you utilize the best SEO practices.

How Long Does It Take To Become An Electrician?

There are many people who are truly excited at the idea of a life-long career as an electrician. They’re so excited to get started, that they’re a little shocked when they find out:

It takes a while to become a fully-licensed journeyman electrician. If you need a 24 hour electrician Brisbane after hours, Emergencybrisbaneelectrician.com.au are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for electrical emergencies.

In fact, it takes about four years.

Yep! It usually takes four years to complete the apprenticeship and become a journeyman electrician. That’s a long time.

The good news is, you don’t need to be a fully-licensed journeyman electrician to get a job and start getting paid.

In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the questions a lot of people have at their start of their careers:

How long is an electrician apprenticeship?

How long is electrician school?

And finally, how can I get started as soon as possible?

The Process

We’ve discussed the process on a few of our other posts, but it’s worth repeating. Your goal is to become a fully-licensed journeyman electrician. That takes a lot of work, and you’ve got a couple of different options:​

  • You can become an electrician helper, which is an entry-level position. A helper basically does menial tasks: he or she digs ditches, retrieves tools and parts, and does a lot of the busywork on a site. It’s an important position, but you will learn very little, and helpers are never promoted. You will, however, be getting paid, and more importantly, you’ll be getting some experience, which you can use to go to school or get an electrician apprenticeship. The good news: you can start right away and if you make connections and show your employer you’ve got potential, a job as a helper can lead to an apprenticeship.
  • You can go to an electrician school, graduate, and become an electrician’s assistant. The pay is better, and having a degree may help you get into an apprentice program. For more on schools, look at our “Find a School” tool. For more on apprentice programs, check out a few of the posts in the right sidebar—we’ve provided a lot of information on what apprenticeships are, why you’ll need one, and how to get one. The good news: a diploma or certificate looks good to employers.
  • You can skip electrician school and apply for an apprenticeship through the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) or Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC) or Association Building Contractors (ABC). You’ll have to take an entrance exam and go through a few interviews. The test and the interviews can be challenging, so you want to be on your game. The good news: it takes a while to get started, but you’ll “earn as you learn” and get paid as soon as you start the apprenticeship.

The commonality between all these options is that you’ll eventually need to get an apprenticeship to become a journeyman electrician. So why not simply enter an apprenticeship program through IBEW or IEC or ABC right off the bat? There are a couple of reasons: space is limited, apprenticeships only open up once or twice a year, and the entrance exam can be really tough.

That said, if you can find a job or apprenticeship, that should be your first choice. You’ll make money, and you won’t end up with any school debt. If you can’t find a job or an apprenticeship, you might want to consider school.

How Long Is Electrician School?

​That depends on the program. Some programs are only a few months, and others can last up to a year-and-a-half. Programs may have a different aim—some may prepare you for residential work (that is, installing and maintaining electricity in peoples’ houses) whereas other programs may show you have to work in a commercial or industrial setting.

There are usually schools at local community colleges (and those offer a tremendous value) and there are schools at vocational/technical training centers.
How Much Does Electrician School Cost?

Again, the cost of electrician training at a school depends on the program. A community college—again, a very good place to get an education—can be as low as $3,000 or $4,000, up to $10,000. Vocational/technical schools can be more pricey, and may run you from $5,000 to $15,000 or more. Private schools can be even more expensive, and can be anyway from $5,000 to $20,000. Be careful with schools—make sure they’re teaching exactly what you want to learn, that you’ll get the diploma or certificate you want to get, you’re not paying too much, and that your class credits will transfer if you need them to. Do your research.

Something else to keep in mind: your apprenticeship will require you to take classes during your apprenticeship. Those may be taught at a local community college or in a union hall or IEC/ABC building.
How Much Is An Electrician Apprenticeship?

​That’s the great thing about electrician apprenticeships—they’re much more affordable than school. Again, it’s different from place to place, but usually there’s an annual charge (a couple hundred dollars for more affordable programs, up to a couple thousand dollars, for the more pricey ones), and each apprentice needs to buy books for class (usually a couple hundred dollars per year). Ultimately, that’s much, much less than you’d spend at a four-year college. Electrical apprenticeships are incredible way to get trained and start a career.

There are some things you’ll need to think about when trying to get an apprenticeship, and to help you out, we’ve written a post called “Apprenticeship vs. School”. Definitely give it a read.
Bringing It All Together

So, how long does it take to become an electrician? Let’s recap some of the things we discussed in this post:

  • To quickly get an entry-level position, you can become an electrician helper. All you need is a high school diploma. If you play your cards right, make connections, and show people you’ve got potential, it can result in an apprenticeship.
  • To get some experience that will help you get an apprenticeship (and better pay), you can go to an electrician school, graduate, and become an electrician’s assistant. To search for schools in your area, see our “Find a School” tool.
  • To become a fully-trained journeyman electrician, making great pay and going on every job in the area, takes about four years, and you’ll need to get an apprenticeship through IBEW, IEC, or ABC, and you can visit the other pages on our website to see how you can make that happen.

There you have it! If you decide to become an electrician, we wish you all the best.​

Use SEO To Bring Visitors To Your Site

Now that you have begun a website and you want to get visitors to your website, you might be wondering how to drive more traffic to it. You do this by getting your website to show up in search engine. The article will help you with this phase of a website. A good SEO consultants is somehow consider the competition of each keywords that they want to rank.

Coding is an important aspect to consider when you want to bring people to your website. For example, if you have JavaScript and the code isn’t done well, so that it can be indexed by search engine spiders.

Additional advertising doesn’t typically boost search engine ranking.

Spiders analyze your site’s content and keyword usage to determine rankings; unless your content is easily indexed, so it is important that they can understand your site. A site map is an essential tool to help a web bot find your pages.

Your site should be entertaining to be successful.Little things can help propel your search engine rankings.

Take a look at your competitors’ website code. This can show you see how they use SEO on their site and which keywords they use.

Ask a non-profit to be your content. Search engines like to see these sites differently and rank them higher because they are considered reputable sources of information. Provide high-quality information that will entice reliable websites to feature links to your site. Create valuable content that these organizations will find worthwhile.

A key to search engine results is to include a site map. Spiders can easily access all of your site if you have a site map. A large site might need more than 1 site map. A good rule to go by is to show only 100 links maximum on each site map.

After deciding on your keywords, make sure to include them in your web page title. Your title should be intelligent and relevant, it will be the first impression that you leave with users who may or may not visit your site. This ensures that you get hits based on keywords and search engine user typed in.

Your website should be easy on the eye for comprehension and simplicity to read.

It is often thought that this happens on its own. Check back periodically to ensure that your website is still present and is being listed.

Captions are important to the SEO tool. This means that if you have a lot of newspaper articles or photos linked up to your site, which will lead to more sales.

The content that you put in your title tags carry more weight with search engines than anything else on a page.

Join as many prominent organizations as you can when you are working to optimize your search engine rankings.This assists with local searches because it is usually linked to you automatically.

Make sure that your search engine optimization.While keyword phrases for bots are important, understand that the bots are not making purchases from you, so you can optimize the content afterwards. You will want your site accessible for humans too. You could fail if it is not.

Remember that it takes time to see SEO efforts. It is a natural to want to see immediate results for all of your hard work. You have to remember that creating a solid web presence requires hard work and time.

A good strategy is placing your keyword two times in the first paragraph. After that, integrate the keyword as much as possible throughout the following 200 words; the key is to find a way to use the keyword as often as you can, without it becoming noticeable or redundant.

Search engines aggressively penalize sites that you are fixing your site to cheat the system and will take appropriate action.Be advised and ethically hone your SEO strategies.

Include many keyword phrases throughout your site.This will allow you need to place them in image ALT tags and in the name of your visibility. Your site needs to point back to whatever keyword you are aiming to be found through.

The meta tags should be highly descriptive.The meta tags on each page should be accurate and make people to click.

If you feature a good number of videos on your site, it will be tough for you to rank as high in search results, even though they could have new and relevant content. To practice better SEO for videos, use a site map page that lists the videos.

There are a lot of fly-by-night SEO and internet marketing companies out there who charge exorbitant prices for sloppy work. Research and read their testimonials; then evaluate these companies based on these reviews. Your wallet will thank you.

For example, including tips of how to use a product in new ways, or post a useful article about how to use it or how it has changed the lives of certain people.

If you find it tough to write great content and get your blog optimized simultaneously, you have some choices. You should probably focus on writing quality and worry about optimization later. If your website looks like it is stuffed with keywords, people aren’t going to stay on your site very long anyhow.

Games and surveys can be included on your target.People enjoy to take surveys which will tell them about their “style” or what type of person they are. Ask questions about their shopping habits and the types of items they buy. You’ll learn more about your customers this way and people will enjoy doing the survey.

You can and should include Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that relate directly to the content contained on your website. Regular feeds are considered new content to the search engines. If you are unable to find a good feed for your website, create your own. You should try to encourage subscriptions to your RSS feed.

As mentioned before, SEO can really make a difference to your site. If your site ranks highly on a search page, you’ll boost your traffic. The advice given here will be of great assistance.