Excel 2016 Released

by Brad - Jul 28, 2016


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our Excel 2016 course. If you are looking to start a career in business or finance, having a working knowledge of Microsoft’s Excel 2016 is a must. Our new and exciting course taught by LearnKey’s Senior Instructor, Jason Manibog, will teach you how to reveal insights hidden in your data with the help of new features such as the Tell Me feature, chart options, and more! This course will also help you study and prepare to take the Microsoft’s Excel 77-727 Certification exam.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



Word 2016 Released

by Brad - Jul 22, 2016


We are excited to announce the release of our Word 2016 course. If you are working toward becoming career-ready you must have a working knowledge of Word 2016. LearnKey expert Jason Manibog will teach the basic concepts of Microsoft Word and build on those ideas to help you master this program. This course will teach you how to create and manage documents, and format text, paragraphs, and sections. This course will also help you study and prepare to take the Microsoft Word 77-725 Certification exam.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



IC3 Spark Released

by Brad - Jul 21, 2016


Today we are excited to announce the release of our IC3 Spark course. LearnKey’s IC3 Spark course is focused on teaching younger students the basic foundational knowledge covered in LearnKey’s IC3 GS5 training. Join LearnKey expert Wyett Ihler for over 2 hours of online video training and project-based activities. Students will learn a broad range of computing knowledge and skills including: software, hardware, operating systems, key applications, and living online.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



Certiport CERTIFIED Conference was fun!

by Jeff - Jul 01, 2016


This past week, June 28th – June 30th, I had the great opportunity to attend the Certiport CERTIFIED conference in Orlando, Florida. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about how we can help Career Technology Education (CTE) Teachers teaching Microsoft MOS, Adobe, IC3, MTA, Autodesk and many more in-demand courses that map to Certiport’s industry certifications.

They had excellent breakout sessions where teachers shared best practice sessions on topics that included: Creating new certification opportunities in college and communities; Product deep dives for: Adobe, IC3, and Autodesk; Celebrating student success in the classroom; Preparing to implement MOS 2016 certification in the classroom; and, one of my favorites, Integrating Certification Learning Materials and Practice tests into your lesson plans.

The keynote speakers were also amazing. Rich Lehrer’s story about being a full time 8th grade science teacher and becoming the Coordinator of the Enable Educators Exchange through guiding a project that built a 3D printed prosthetic hand for a recipient, in this case his son, through a project one of his 8th grade classes accomplished was wonderful. Manual Scott, an original freedom writer, whose story is told in the Hollywood movie Freedom Writers, had an incredible and unique message, one that has inspired, educated and empowered almost a million people, helping them make the most of their lives.

The message is clear: teachers really have a profound effect on students, and when these students achieve industry certifications it builds tremendous confidence along with great skills that they can take forward in their college and career readiness efforts. We are so proud of our new partnership with GMetrix and Certiport, as it gives us the opportunity to better serve both teachers and students through learning, practice testing, and certifying resources.

It was also great to see our good friends and partners Thor Christianson & Quaid Atkinson from GMetrix along with Denise Spence (LearnKey’s Power Point 2013 Author). A teacher conference in Florida could not be complete without a picture of LearnKey’s Representative Scott Walker sharing our courseware that is now on the GMetrix Learning Platform and distributed through Certiport.

Up next, we will be attending the Certiport Global Partner Summit 2016 back in Orlando Florida!



The Good “R” Word in IT: Resourcefulness

by Jason - Jun 28, 2016


Most of my blogs lately have updated you on new courses we have in the works. So today, I figured I would change things up and start this blog with a story: Nearly 20 years ago, when I was still in my rookie year in my Information Technology career, I was sent on a business trip far, far away from my home base (well, not that far, but a plane and a time zone change was involved so, far enough).

I was there to do some software installations and software support, as was my role in this company. When I arrived, I was handed my to-do list for the day. The first half of the list looked fine. The second half of the list was all Windows Server tasks. One problem: I barely knew Windows Server existed much less have the ability to actually do anything with it. And being several hundred miles from home, I couldn’t just say “not my thing” and walk away. And they did not have an IT person on staff.

So what was I to do? Back then, I couldn’t just whip out my smartphone or tablet and start looking for how-tos or solutions online. And I knew that making a wrong move on Windows Server could take down the server. So I did not want to make any mistakes there.

That very day was the day I discovered a very important word in the IT business: Resourcefulness! I immediately thought “what resources do I HAVE”, not “what do I not have”. My resource: the lead network and server administrator back at the home office. I called him up, explained the situation, and after he laughed about sending a rookie to do a non-rookie’s job, he spent, off and on, two hours on the phone with me, walking me through, step-by-step, what to watch for and what to do. As a result, I got through almost every item on that list that day before I had to catch my plane home.

Continuing this, over my first year at this company, I made it a point to never say “I can’t do this.” I always tried to be as resourceful as I could be to tackle user problems and new challenges. This got me a new position and a substantial raise just one year into the job.

Now, what I have shared with you is just one of many examples where I have had to stop, think about how I could be resourceful when trying to solve a problem, and then use whatever resources I have. 18 years ago, it was a phone. Now, it’s a smartphone or tablet and a lot of searching and testing (and, yes, the occasional human contact, too).

No matter how new or not-so-new you are as an IT professional, every situation where you don’t know the solution right away gives you two choices: To be resourceful, or not to be resourceful. Are you the one who is willing to find a solution (and of course, verify before implementing it if you can), or, the one who says “no can do” or worse, you try something and make the problem worse?

There is no reason to not be resourceful nowadays. You have search engines, tutorials on YouTube, LearnKey courses, white papers, forums, and a whole host of other avenues to use. And, one of the best ways to be resourceful is to befriend those who are experienced in your field of work. Figure out who is willing to share knowledge and make those people your best “work” friends.

If there is one thing I can say from experience and observation in my almost-20 years of being in the IT industry, it’s this: Those who demonstrate resourcefulness move up the ladder from position to position and salary scale to salary scale. Those who aren’t either stay where they are, or they find themselves looking elsewhere for work.

So, no matter where you are in your IT career, remember the “R” word: Resourcefulness!



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Making the experience fun producing IC3 Spark Certification Training!

by Jeff - Jun 16, 2016


Filming Spark

Who says you can’t have fun producing certification courses! At LearnKey we take great pride ensuring our courses map to objectives, cover what is in the certification exam, and that our students gain the knowledge they need to succeed. Producing and publishing content is taken very seriously as our goal is to provide our students with the ultimate learning experience.

That said, our learning and development team was thrilled to start producing this week (June 13th 2016) the IC3 Spark training for middle school age children, which maps to the Certiport Exam. This course will provide them with a solid foundation in digital concepts that covers objectives spanning basic computing skills, key applications, and the use of the Internet. Our partner Certiport announced the release of this exam last year and we are excited to be producing this in video, along with workbooks, projects, and assessments so teachers have all the resources they need.

Best of all our production team can really leverage their creative skills so this younger student demographic finds the course easy to understand, engaging, and helps them improve their computer skills! This program will be offered exclusively through our Certiport & GMetrix partnership making it the best of the best when it comes to training, access to GMetrix practice tests, and certification. Be on the lookout for this program to be released in late July, just in time for the 2016 fall school year!



Updated Course Release Schedule: A Preview of the Second Half of 2016

by Jason - Jun 08, 2016


One year ago, I arrived at LearnKey as the new, in-house Senior Instructor. And over the past year, I’ve filled this space with many blogs about current and upcoming courses. You may wonder, “How do you all figure out which courses to build?” Or, you may not be wondering that at all. But, one of my duties as Senior Instructor is to take in many different factors, such as industry trends, technologies in hot demand, client needs, and other factors typical to a company attempting to produce world-class certification courses and other types of courses, such as the character-building soft skills courses we released last week.

And with any schedule, sometimes things happen which cause a little shifting around of things schedule-wise. This is kind of like a chef thinking a recipe is great and then realizing a few tweaks need to be made here and there (not that I would really know much about that given my limited cooking repertoire). But in the computer training business, the only real constant schedule-wise is the frequent adjustments of the schedule. In our case, that means the course release schedule.

So what are the specifics in this schedule adjustment announcement, you ask? Well, we had one Cisco course in the works, Cisco Implementing Cisco Network Security (IINS) for exam 210-260, but with Cisco’s announcement of a new version of their Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) exams, that number of courses jumped from one Cisco course to three Cisco courses.

This combined with a few other changes in industry trends and certifications, along with our quest to always put out courses to give you the job-ready skills needed to succeed in this ever-changing technology landscape, has caused the following adjustments in the course release schedule. Here is what the rest of 2016 looks like, broken down by quarter:

Summer 2016:

  • Excel 2016
  • Word 2016
  • PowerPoint 2016
  • IC3 Spark – You will hear plenty about this course in the coming weeks
  • Cisco ICND Part 1 (Version 3) for exam 100-105.

Fall 2016:

  • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals (for exam 98-375)
  • MTA Cloud Fundamentals (for exam 98-369)
  • Cisco IINS (as detailed above)
  • Cisco ICND Part 2 (Version 3) for exam 200-105
  • Adobe Certified Associate Test Prep series for the Creative Cloud 2015 versions of Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and InDesign

Winter 2016:

  • Outlook 2016
  • Access 2016

Now, you may wonder “Where did the big new programming track go?” The programming track will be the big series we roll out early in 2017. Microsoft, as a matter of fact, is revamping their programming certification track. As they complete that process, we will pick that up and bring you a fun, interactive, and world-class programming track where you will learn by doing.

You can always stay updated on the latest detailed course release schedule here:
http://www.learnkey.com/elearning/PDFs/LearnKey_Release_Schedule.pdf



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LearnKey Expands Character Building Soft Skills Courses!

by Brad - Jun 01, 2016


We’re pleased to announce that in partnership with Human Relations Media, we’ve released the following new character building soft skills courses:

  • Digital Smarts: Behaving Ethically Online
  • Digital Smarts: Protecting Your Online Reputation and Safety
  • Your Reputation: Enhancing It, Repairing It
  • I Was Cyberbullied

Digital Smarts: Behaving Ethically Online
Cyber ethics and respect for others online are critical skills to acquire for today’s connected teens. The message of this teen-centered video is that all students have a responsibility to behave ethically online and to know how to react when others behave in inappropriate ways. Teen hosts discuss the ethics of issues such as distributing unflattering pictures or posts aimed at harming someone’s reputation and the importance of respecting the privacy of others. They emphasize the importance of respecting the safety of others and becoming an upstander rather than a bystander when witnessing abusive behavior online.

Digital Smarts: Protecting Your Online Reputation and Safety
Cyber reputation, security and safety have become important topics for students to understand and master. This engaging video program encourages students to think critically about the opportunities and risks provided by their many digital devices. Real-life dangers from predators, spammers and identity thieves are revealed through teen interviews and accounts from experts in cyber security and safety. Students learn why it is important to choose passwords that are hard to guess and why they should not share their passwords with others.
Students are challenged to think about ways that digital technology can be used to enhance or damage their reputations. Teens talk about how compromising photos and other postings online became part of their permanent digital footprint. The video provides specific advice about how to protect students’ privacy, security and online reputations.

Your Reputation: Enhancing It, Repairing It
For middle schoolers, fitting in, being popular, having friends, and getting along with teachers is all important. Whether they are aware of it or not, the opinions and perceptions of peers, parents and teachers all contribute to a young teen’s reputation—or the way others see them. Through the use of acted out vignettes, young viewers will understand the power of having a good reputation versus the pain of having a bad one. Program also gives pointers on how to repair a bad reputation which often takes a long time to achieve. Program includes a special section on one’s online reputation and some of the pitfalls of social networking.

I Was Cyberbullied
This program presents three real-life stories from kids who were targets of cyberbullying attacks and offers viewers practical suggestions for how to avoid being victimized by this new, rapidly-spreading type of bullying. Each story highlights important tips such as: only post the type of information online that you would be comfortable with others seeing; remember that once an email or photo is posted online, you can’t take it back; avoid responding to vicious texts or emails that might escalate a situation further; and know when to turn to a trusted adult for help. Renowned “bully coach” Joel Haber leads a discussion on how serious and damaging cyberbullying can be, and touches upon recent cases of children committing suicide after being cyberbullied. This timely program will strike a chord with all viewers—those who may have been victimized as well as those who may have thought that cyberbullying was “no big deal.”

Our hope is that through our courseware we may provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.



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Micro-Learning: Is your organization leveraging it?

by Jeff - Jun 01, 2016


In today’s fast-paced world the ability of learning quickly, known as “Microlearning,” is becoming a skill within itself.

The definition of Microlearning (a.k.a. micro learning or micro-learning) is an emergent learning strategy known for quickly closing skill and knowledge gaps. It seems to be an ideal instructional approach for many situations because information changes quickly.

That is why LearnKey is making sure that our IT & Career Ready courseware enables you to do just that – learn quickly. At the same time one of our strengths is thoroughly covering the core objectives no matter what topic. It could be how to configure a BIOS through our CompTIA A+ 220-901 exam course, how to create a numbered or bulleted list in our Microsoft Word 2016 course, how to do slide transitions in our Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 course, or how to set-up a Microsoft account on a mobile device through one of our MTA mobility courses.

If your organization isn’t already leveraging microlearning techniques this article from TalentLMS covers seven (7) reasons why your organization should, and at LearnKey we fully agree that this is the future of learning.



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Cisco News Alert: Exam Changes Coming!

by Jason - May 18, 2016


Here’s a story for you all: While trying to hustle out of the house yesterday to get to work and continue filming our upcoming PowerPoint 2016 course, I got an email message from a coworker asking me “are we up to speed on the upcoming CCENT and CCNA changes?” My first reaction was “Am I…what? What changes?”

Understand that, as the LearnKey Senior Instructor, one of my duties is to scan the Microsoft, CompTIA, and Cisco websites for exam changes (and I do this every week to 10 days). In fact, I was just on the Cisco website last week. I must have been in between scans because, sure enough, I went to the Cisco website, and, there they were, announcements on new exams, and, more importantly, retirement dates for current Cisco exams.

So, after some further investigation, here is what we discovered: First, no Cisco certifications are changing. But, several exams are indeed being replaced. Here is the story, in a nutshell:

Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) Part 1: The current exam is exam 100-101. The new exam is exam 100-105 (and yes, it is out there). The last day to test on exam 100-101 is August 20, 2016.

Interconnecting Cisco Network Devices (ICND) Part 2: The current exam is exam 200-101. The new exam is exam 200-105 (and yes, it is out there, too). The last day to test on exam 200-101 is September 24, 2016.

Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) Routing and Switching: The current exam is exam 200-120. The new exam is exam 200-125 (also out). The last day to test on exam 200-120 is August 20, 2016.

What has not changed: The ICND Part 1 exam will still get you the Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) certification. And, the ICND Part 1 plus the ICND Part 2 exams will still get you the CCNA certification, with the option of just taking the 200-125 exam instead.

With this information, we at LearnKey have already gone to work in updating our Cisco curriculum. In fact, look for an updated ICND Part 1 exam course early this fall, followed by an updated Cisco Implementing Network Security (IINS) course for exam 210-260 (another new recent exam), followed by an updated ICND Part 2 exam course. I will have some details of these courses in a future blog entry. In the meantime, here is the link to the details on these changes: https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/community/ccna-rs-certification.

For now, those of you studying for the CCENT or CCNA Routing and Switching exam have about three months to complete your certifications under the current exam versions.



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