Chinese and English Teachers Embrace Digital Classrooms for Students


The digital revolution is one that has hit the entire world by storm. What was thought impossible just a few short years ago is not commonplace and happening everywhere from businesses to classrooms to public libraries.

And it looks like those classrooms that have embraced digital networks are doing so in a big step.

In China, there are numerous schools and teaching institutions that are looking for new and better ways to recruit the best teachers in the world to teach English in their schools. Not many people know this about China, but the country is absolutely gigantic, and even though it has the highest population of any country in the world, there are still areas, cities, and provinces within China that are incredibly rural and desolate, so you can imagine the difficulty in trying to attract quality English teachers out in a rural community.

For those schools looking for teachers to TEACH English in Hangzhou, the design revolution is bringing new ways for them to acquire qualified teachers. The Internet is allowing teachers from all across the world to open up and apply for teaching jobs in China. Jobs that they would have never even thought possible are now something that is in high demand all across the globe.

Before schools were mostly limited to teachers within their community—and sometimes they could get applicants from elsewhere within their country, but there was not a lot of international teachers coming in to teach. Now, the digital revolution has put the entire world of teachers and prospective teachers into the marketplace. Now someone who would have never thought of leaving Baotou can go and begin teaching English in Nanjing. And vice versa. The competitive doors of the free market have opened up and it is better for everyone involved in the education industry.

Students are learning from more qualified teachers who are getting paid more money and do a better job at preparing children for college and the job market. This has risen world wide test scores in a whole array of exams, but what is more important than any of this is the scope of learning that kids today are doing. It’s difficult to compare language scores from 30 years ago when students were only learning one language to today when they are proficient in two. Think of that kind of increase. That is amazing and exactly the kind of results that come from the digital, innovation based revolution.

The only thing next is to bring this process to all subject areas. Schools are doing it quite well with English and the languages, but they are slow to incorporate it into the STEM subjects. But over time, this will be common practice and everyone will be made better as a result.

Just remember, if you have ever dreamed of teaching internationally, like getting a job teaching English in Baotou, this no longer has to be a dream. Anyone can do it—and so can you! As long as you bring your passion and drive, you can go and teach anywhere.

Redesigning the Yaeger CPA Review Course in 2015

Yaeger CPA Review Course RedesignIn the last few months, I have had the great fortune of reviewing a redesign of one of the most influential and prominent companies in the CPA education and studying industry. This company is Yaeger CPA review. Over the past few decades Yaeger has developed one of the most in-depth and creative review guides and has helped more than 20,000 candidates realize their dreams of becoming a CPA and entering the world of public accounting.

Since the education industry is constantly changing and being updated with new technology, review courses and study guides have to be updated with new materials and new technologies. One of the biggest pushes in the CPA education industry is the online course and material approach. This is the area that most review guides are focusing and Yaeger is no exception. They completely redesigned their entire approach to this as well as updated their Yaeger CPA Review 2015 | My Accounting Course. One of my clients is a contractor who worked on the redesign and wanted me to check his work as well as audit the process of the new adaptation of the materials. Needless to say, I love doing design audits and looking at other designers creative work so I said yes.

The new student portal is clear and easy to navigate. This idea makes it especially useful because students shouldn’t have to worry about trying to navigate and figure out the review course. Instead, they can intuitively go through the guide’s design and layout. I think this idea also presents an interesting creative idea that allows students and candidates the idea that they will be able to pass the CPA exam simply because they can go through the review course simply. This is an important idea and design concept because it not only helps students study, but it also improves the overall usage of the review course.

Beyond the clean and easy-to-use layout is a ton of different options for study screens and materials. The video lectures and study text give students the ability to either watch lectures or read the text or both. They can learn visually, audibly, or by simply reading the old fashioned way. It’s also interesting that there are different types of online and offline content included in the review study guide. CPA candidates can either study on their PC, tablet, or completely offline altogether. This comprehensive guide is important for any student looking to pass a CPA exam section on their first try without having to review more information than necessary.

Overall, I think this is possibly one of the nicest site and system redesigns that I have seen lately. It’s easy-to-use, clean and accomplishes all the goals that the company needed in an effort to keep up with a constantly changing industry. Great work guys! You can find more about the Yaeger Review course here. – Yaeger CPA Review Course

My Tooth Inspired Design Project: 21st Century Design in the Dental Field

dental implants and surgeries in michiganI recently had a project for one of my graphical business design classes to design a logo for a company’s marketing campaign. It could be for a fictional or real company, but the idea was to get experience making designs for corporate clients and used to making designs for professional companies and their marketing campaigns. In the past we have created logos for companies themselves but this time we are designing one for a marketing push.

Marketing and public relations campaigns generally have a lot different designs and logos behind them than does the company itself. Usually they have are more personal, more colorful, and a little less serious. You usually try to relate to people in marketing campaign and seek out their identification as individuals, whereas with a company logo you’re just trying to make a statement about the company. In marketing you want to communicate with the customer. Long story short, they are very different kinds of graphic design work.

I chose my project to be a campaign from the dental field. My mother has worked as an oral surgeon doing Dental implants in pontiac Michigan for most of my life, so obviously dentistry is something that is very important to me and my family. Even though I am not pursuing the same career path as my mom, I wanted to do something that I could show her afterwards, and a design highlighting the importance of preventative oral hygiene and proper dental care was just the ticket!

In my design, I tried to highlight in a fun and lighthearted way the importance of having healthy teeth. The cost of dental implant surgery in Auburn Hills Michigan can get into the tens of thousands of dollars for just one single tooth. No one has that kind of money just lying around, so taking just one or two extra minutes each day to take care of your teeth is well worth the time. If you can get people to realize that this kind of care is critical to their health, I think they will naturally be more receptive to changing their habits and starting brushing their teeth and flossing.

That’s exactly why I decided to make my design fun. People don’t want to think of old rotting teeth every time they go or hear about the dentist. They want to think happy thoughts and smile when they go there. They want to think about how they can make their smile the best smile out there.

I got an A on my assignment and I couldn’t be happier—and neither could my mom! She hung my campaign flyer in her office in the waiting area and people have made a number of positive comments already. The project turned out to be an excellent opportunity for me to explore the world of public relations design from the front and back end. I was able to be the creator of the design itself, the idea, the logo, the message, and I was able to see it put to use in a real-life business—and then get some great feedback. Not many students have such a wonderful opportunity.

The Design Revolution: What the Digital Age Has Meant for Design

digital-designAs I’ve said elsewhere on this blog, I am a third year design major, and part of our school’s program requirement is that everyone take a few electives in the history of graphic design. There are a number of different classes that meet this requirement. For example, printmaking classes count towards this requirement. There are also a few different historical art/design classes that meet the requirement and it was one of these that caught my eye when I was decided what course I wanted to take to fill this elective.

The title of the class is “The Design Revolution: What the Digital Age Has Meant for Design.” It is a brief survey of the graphic design industry from 1950 onwards—focusing specifically on how the digital age has revolutionized this once very manual and tedious profession.

This class interested me for a few different reasons. The first of which is that I am a little bit of a history nerd. I enjoy watching documentaries and watching the History channel late at night. The past is something of importance to all of us because it shapes the future—and the past of design is incredible. I wanted to be able to have an appreciation from where my future profession has come from in order that I might know better where it is heading. And where graphic design is heading is without doubt completely controlled by the digital world.

The second reason why I opted to take this class is because to many of my friends and other students in my program has absolutely no knowledge of anything graphic design wise from before—say 2005. How can you expect to be taken seriously when your knowledge of a subject is so incredibly limited? So many students in my program have no idea about the history of graphic design or why things are the way they are or why modern websites appear as they do. Their knowledge is so limited that I can’t even imagine them getting hired somewhere. After all, who wants to hire someone with virtually no knowledge of their own field!?

I really hope this class will give me a foundation of understanding of graphic design and its history that brought us into the modern age that will give me an upper hand to some of my peers. At the end of the day, that is what it is all about, setting yourself apart from everyone else. You need to be unique in your designs and creative with your work. You need to think about graphics like no one is or has. You need to be an innovator and a trend setting. In today’s innovative culture nothing is valued more than someone who can create an entire new product or process of doing things.

That is exactly what I plan to learn to do in this class. Going through classes like this get me inspired and exhilarated because I get to study what it is that has inspired those people before me. People like Steven Jobs and Bill Gates and other digital innovators.

Elements of a Good Web Design

web-designA lot of people ask me what makes a good site? Is it the graphics? Is it the content? Is it the layout? What is the special formula? Well, the short answer is all of the above! But, in this post I want to go through a little more step-by-step of what I think makes a good site for public consumption. So, here we go!


I think the single most important thing to a well performing website it its layout. This goes for its architecture, its navigation, and its functionality. On any given page of a website, you should be able to access the previous page and have options that are readily available for people to keep on reading with. This can be as simple as an “other articles” button down at the bottom of the text or in the sidebar, but you need something to keep your audience reading if they want to. Don’t just have them get to a dead stop once they finish the one article.

There is nothing worse than a site with great content but terrible navigation. This turns into a nightmare for your readers and they stop interacting with your site as much as they otherwise would have if the navigation were on par.


Obviously the layout of a website is an element of design, but what I mean by design right here is the look and feel of the graphics that are displayed on your site. When I say layout, I mean the actual diagramming of the site page layout architecture.

It’s important to have a modern design to your website. Today people are becoming more and more aesthetically demanding on the Internet—especially as quality graphically content becomes more and more affordable. You will want to make sure your fonts are current fonts, not some old time looking typewriter font. You’ll want to make sure your graphics are slick and that you nav bars are rich.

Another huge part of a website today is its mobile functionality. In today’s Internet world, you either have a mobile site or you are losing out on traffic. Something like 35 percent of all Internet traffic today is done with some kind of mobile device. That is absolutely huge! And it is only going to grow, so it’d be best to invest in the technology sooner rather than later.


As unfortunate as it, I think I would have to rate content as the third of the most important parts of a good website. The old saying of “Content is King” does hold true to a certain extent but as for the first point about layout, great content doesn’t do anyone any good if people can’t access it readily or easily navigate it. Secondly, if your content looks outdated and poorly designed you will lose out some visitors. Not all, but definitely some who will go to other sites that look nicer.

But at the end of the day, content is a huge part of a website, and you really need to make sure that you are producing the best content that you can for you visitors. And this goes for your website, your email campaigns, or any of your social media profiles.

Designing a Good Social Media Campaign

social-mediaSocial media is all the rage these days. While the old days of digital marketing might have focused on TV ads, People are investing thousands and thousands of dollars into new and innovative social media campaigns and start ups looking to be the next Facebook or Twitter. Some have managed to do just that. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 Billion. Vine and Snapchat are also valued at hundreds of millions of dollars. Meanwhile, countless of the platforms have fallen by the wayside.

All the while, companies spend thousands on marketing on platforms that may or may not even be here tomorrow. So, how can you navigate through the social media jungle so you can get a good return on your investment? Today, I want to talk about some of the elements of setting up a good social media campaign.

The first thing you need to keep in mind when you’re setting up your social media marketing campaign is to think about the user base of the platform you’ll be using. That is, what product will you be marketing? If you’re marketing a product for people 30 years and older, it’s probably not the best idea to put money into a Vine campaign. But, for a company like Beats by Dre this would make perfect sense because their user base is a much younger audience.

Something that goes hand in hand with a platform’s user base is just how many users there are on a platform. If there aren’t very many users on a platform, it might not even be worth your investment and you should move over to one that has more interaction.

Another very important thing you need to consider is the production quality of whatever you will be promoting. For the small investment that is costs to make production quality high, it is well worth your time. For example, if you’re making a Youtube video, get a nice camera and some decent video editing software. This not only adds credibility to your product, but it also keeps people’s attention. I know, personally at least, when I see a video with nice graphics and transitions I am much more likely to sit through more of the video than one of lesser quality. If you need to hire a designer or a programmer, it’ll be worth the expense in the long run.

The next thing you must do is segment your audience, so you’re not just advertising to everyone under the sun. You want to have a very targeted audience that will bring you the highest return. This will bring in more conversions, plus it will also cost you less.

My vote on which platforms to use aren’t anything out of the ordinary. I personally think that there are really only two main platforms that are worth advertising on at the moment for your business: Facebook and Twitter. Both of these platforms are widely used by people of all age groups and have huge user bases. I don’t think you can go wrong with these two sites.

Those are the basics of setting up and designing your social media campaign. If you have any other questions, shoot me an email.

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