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Transmedia Publishing: Taking Charge (3rd edition)

27 Mar

The original impetus in creating the first edition of Taking Charge: Your Education, Your Career, Your Life in 2008 was to produce a college success guide that directly linked college success skills to both professional and personal development.  That’s especially important with the increasing trend of community and technical college students entering the workforce upon graduation as opposed to immediately moving on to a four-year college. To that end, the writing and research skills of the co-authors, Karen Mitchell Smith and Katharine O’Moore-Klopf, proved to be invaluable through the first two editions of this book.

Since that first edition, however, feedback solicited from instructors around the country combined with advances in digital publishing has resulted in a dramatically revamped third edition to be published in September 2012.

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Style Guidelines: Staying in Style

6 Sep

Should I follow AP, Chicago, APA, or MLA? Should I use the serial comma? En-dash, Em-dash, or hyphen? Should I format the text with block paragraphs or indented? Is cellphone one word now? Times New Roman, Arial, or Comic Sans?

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Aviation Electronic Technicians Behind the Scene

2 Feb

A recent post from our TechCareers blog:

Humans have been fascinated with flying ever since Wilbur and Orville Wright first took flight in 1903. The ability to step foot in to a grounded airplane and moments later be hovering above land was an unimaginable feat conquered by the brothers Wright, and one that seems so miniscule now due to the amount of flying done each day. Continue reading

Think Critically on Life’s Solutions

12 Jan

Critical thinking, a skill utilized by the most intelligent and proficient people, can help elevate your career path as well as your life.  The act of thinking about thinking allows you to weigh all of your options and predict the consequences of your actions.  There is not a single aspect of your life that critical thinking will not improve.  Along with your education and career, your personal finances, family and social life, and overall happiness hinge on your ability of higher-level reasoning and deduction.  Humans have built cities, mapped the DNA strand, and created network computers.  It is in our nature to figure things out.  It may not be the easiest road, but to unplug from the masses and use your brain to the best of its power, its highest function, is to realize your true potential.

Taking Charge: Your Education, Your Career, Your Life contains a chapter that describes the critical thinking process, outlines tips on how to effectively use it, and mentions all the advantages that come from critical thinking.  The clever combination of psychology, logic, and social behaviors helps you understand the method itself along with the reasons why it works so well.  Hints and tricks from professors, philosophers, and famous writers offer a spark of character that will enlighten the mind.

The chapter’s debunking of popular myths on beliefs can really awaken you to your true awareness.  Many people hold solid beliefs that their family peers, or society ingrained upon them.   Although many beliefs hold society together, some can hinder intellectual and emotional growth.  Once freed from limited lines of thinking, your intellect can spread its wings and lead you to unimaginable places.

When faced with a difficult decision, even some of the smartest people clam up, confused on what action they should take.  Knowing that you can choose your own destiny will help decimate that fear.  Telling yourself that there are several solutions to your problem will give you the authority to think clearly and choose the best possible solution.

It feels empowering to make effective decisions.  With every exercise of choice, you will gain more confidence in your decision-making ability.  It is always wise to weigh the pros and cons of every decision.  Imagining the future is a uniquely human ability, so use it to your best advantage.  Whether or not you like the potential outcome of your choice, your logic will usually give you a good idea of what to expect.  Going against one’s instinct and making a poor choice has been the folly of many a man.  Choose wisely, and soar to heights you have never thought possible.

–          John

From the Ad Nauseum Department: The Digital vs. Printed Textbooks Debate

27 Oct

Another article about the high price of printed textbooks cropped up yesterday at The Chronicle of Higher Education that once again, as occurs in most discussions about this issue, missed several key points. In particular, Jeffrey Young, the article’s author, points to initiatives such as Flat World Knowledge and/or bulk licensing of ebook titles from major textbook publishers via course materials fees to help students out with this dilemma. And, while there can be something gained with an outside/naive perspective—be from Young or the college administrators he quotes—I’m ever amazed by some of the assumptions made about textbook publishers in general and digital textbooks in particular.

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From the Publisher’s Desk: Taming (or Not) the Textbook Market

18 Jun

A recent article at Inside Higher Ed, “Taming the Textbook by Market” by Steven J. Bell, takes yet another look at the ever-increasing price of textbooks and posits yet another solution to the problem. As he writes: “What if instead of being forced to buy a $160 textbook, your students had access to a compendium of online resources handpicked and customized by you [the instructor], and available at no cost to them, unless they preferred to purchase a low-cost, print-on-demand copy?”

What if, indeed?

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Successful conference season draws to a close

18 Jun

It’s been a few weeks since TSTC Publishing staffed its last booth of the season at the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) in Austin. Since October when I started with TSTC Publishing, I’ve helped to staff a booth at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas Community College Teachers Association (TCCTA)  in Houston, Texas Library Association (TLA)  in San Antonio, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)  in Dallas and this last one in Austin. While certainly not a pro yet, I, at least, can say I’ve gained experience in using conferences to help get the word out about our books.

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