Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 Test Prep Released!

by Brad - Apr 28, 2016


Today we released the second of our exam prep courses, and the first test prep course for Adobe CC 2015. Our Photoshop CC 2015 Test Prep course is a complementary resource to go along with the Photoshop CC course, authored by LearnKey Expert Chad Chelius. Although the Photoshop CC course readies you for the Photoshop CC exam, there are new objectives and types of test questions which are covered in the Photoshop CC 2015 Test Prep course. LearnKey Senior Instructor Jason Manibog takes you through these changes, so you will have the tools you need to confidently pass the Photoshop CC 2015 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.



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CompTIA A+ (220-901 and 220-902) Series Released!

by Brad - Apr 26, 2016


Today we are excited to announce the release of our A+ (220-901 and 220-902) Series courses. Authored by LearnKey expert Jason Manibog, LearnKey’s A+ (220-901 and 220-902) Series includes the four domains that are covered in CompTIA exam 220-901 and the five domains that are covered in CompTIA exam 220-902. This series thoroughly covers the objectives in each domain and will prepare students for A+ exams 220-901 and 220-902. The A+ (220-901 and 220-902) Series includes one complete series course comprised of two series courses broken into nine domains:

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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CompTIA A+ (220-901) Series Released!

by Brad - Mar 01, 2016


Today we are excited to announce the release of our A+ (220-901) Series courses. Authored by LearnKey expert Jason Manibog, LearnKey’s A+ (220-901) Series includes the four domains that are covered in CompTIA exam 220-901. This series thoroughly covers the objectives in each domain and will prepare students for A+ exam 220-901. The A+ (220-901) Series includes four domains and one complete series course:

The A+ (220-901) Series is Part 1 of a two-part series required for full A+ certification. Part 2, the A+ (220-902) Series, is scheduled for release in about a month.

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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Duval County Public Schools Photoshop CS6 Training

by Brad - Jan 28, 2016


A couple of months ago, Scott Walker and I took a trip to Florida to help high school teachers in Duval County Public Schools to become ACA certified in Photoshop CC. Last week, we found ourselves back in Duval helping a group of forty-seven middle school teachers become ACA certified in Photoshop CS6. When we arrived at the school Tuesday morning, we were also asked to introduce them to the IC3 training. By the end of the week, all but seven teachers had passed the Photoshop ACA exam, with several also receiving their IC3 certifications.

Unlike the group we worked with in October, many of the teachers in our training last week had never used Photoshop before. In fact, most of them were not even CTE teachers! It was a new experience working with people who were unfamiliar with the software, and it gave me a greater appreciation for what these teachers must go through every year when they are given a new group of students.

We spent the first day walking the teachers through the Photoshop and IC3 training on OnlineExpert and showing them the student workbooks, then we asked them to go home that night and practice using Photoshop by doing some of the projects in the workbooks.

On Wednesday, LaQuanda Paschal, one of the teachers we worked with in October, gave a presentation to demonstrate some of the techniques she uses in class to help her students pass the Photoshop certification exam. Between studying Tuesday night and LaQuanda’s presentation, about half of the teachers felt ready to test on Wednesday afternoon and most of those passed that day!

Duval County Public Schools Photoshop CS6 and IC3 GS4 training workshop



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ACTE 2015

by Brad - Dec 10, 2015


ACTE 2015 has come and gone, and, as always, LearnKey was part of it. Scott Walker and Jared Baker, two of LearnKey’s sales representatives, manned our ACTE booth in New Orleans, and we recently caught up with them to ask them a few questions about LearnKey’s involvement in the show.

  • Why is it important that you attend shows like ACTE?
  • Scott: Several reasons. To see exciting clients. It’s a great place to visit with numerous clients and also a great opportunity for them to meet one another. This particular conference is great for new leads. It’s who we deal with. It’s important for them to see us and learn that we service all areas of the country.
    Jared: It is the main national show that all of our solutions align to perfectly.

  • What LearnKey product did people ask you about the most?
  • Scott: Microsoft Office, Adobe, and Career Readiness had a lot of interests.
    Jared: Office, Adobe, and career readiness courses. Many people associated our career readiness courses with “work-based learning.”

  • What schools or companies stopped by our booth?
  • Scott: School District of Palm Beach; Jefferson Parrish, LA; Iberia Parish, LA; East Baton Rouge Parish, LA; West Baton Rouge Parish, LA; Vermillion Parish, LA; Livingston Parish, LA; Tammany Parish, LA; Erie School District, PA; Philadelphia School District, PA; Alpine School District, UT; Washington School District; Jefferson District, KY.
    Jared: NYC Schools, Clark County, Minneapolis, APS, University of New Mexico, Houston, and Dallas.

  • We premiered the new LearnKey Certification Highway at ACTE. Did you have a chance to show anyone? What was their reaction?
  • Scott: I didn’t actually have the opportunity to show anyone.
    Jared: It was a hit. It was a great way to get people excited about a student’s pathway to a career.

  • Who won the drawing for the watch and headsets?
  • Scott: Chris Broussard from Iberia Parish won the watch, Ronnie Pocorello from East Baton Rouge won a headset.
    Jared: Alexa Wheeler, University of New Mexico Graphics professor.

  • What is the core message that you try to convey to everyone you talk to at a trade show?
  • Scott: We are the best Curriculum provider, in not only Industry Certifications but Career Readiness and preparation for job readiness.
    Jared: Every student is not going to college and this gives LearnKey a chance to help each student with a certification pathway to a career.

Thanks to all those who stopped by our booth this year, and congratulations to Chris, Ronnie, and Alexa!

Scott and Jared and ACTE 2015



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Thanksgiving 2015

by Brad - Nov 23, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving from LearnKey

Thanksgiving is upon us in the United States, and that means it’s that time of the year for “holiday hours.” We wanted to update everyone on LearnKey’s hours for the week:

Thursday 11/26 – Friday 11/27

LearnKey offices are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday

After that, LearnKey offices return to normal business hours: offices are closed Saturday 11/28 and Sunday 11/29, and re-open on Monday 11/30 (Sales and Client Services: 8am – 5pm MST, Tech Support: 7am – 6pm MST)

We wish everyone celebrating a happy Thanksgiving, and hope everyone has plenty to be thankful for!



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Behind the Scenes of A+: Q&A with Jason Manibog

by Brad - Oct 23, 2015


With the release date just a few months away, our new CompTIA A+ certification course, featuring LearnKey expert Jason Manibog, began filming this week. I was in the studio on Wednesday taking some behind-the-scenes photos, and had an opportunity to ask Jason some questions about the new course.

How long have you been teaching A+?
Eight years, give or take a few months on either side.

What steps did you take in preparing for this course?
I went back and looked at notes for all of the times I taught the current course (the 2012 objectives) and then studied hard on what is new in the 2015/2016 version. Plus, I try diligently to keep up with answering this question: What does a PC/device technician need to know how to do these days? That answer is a lot different now than even three or four years ago. This new A+ course will really reflect that. For the course itself, we established a theme behind the course (you will have to wait to see it) and we think this “theme” really matches up well with not only getting one prepared for a job as a technician, but to (of course) pass the A+ certification.

How long will the new A+ course be?
Long enough to cover our goals for the course: to get one job-ready for a computer technician position but also prepare well for and pass the A+ exam. The actual lengths of the courses are: 8 hours for 220-901 with a 180-page workbook and 15+ hours for 220-902 with a 200+ page workbook. The length of time it takes a student to complete the course is determined by the student. It all depends on how much time one is willing to put into watching the video portion of the course and doing the practice exercises, labs, and tests.

How will this A+ course differ from the 2012 course?
Besides the new exam numbers (220-901 and 220-902)? First of all, there will be two distinct courses as there are two distinct exams. I (and many others in the industry) really believe that to best prepare for the test, one should focus on one test at a time. These courses will reflect that. We are also covering the material just about in the exact order as presented by CompTIA. This will make it easier for anyone taking this course to study the test objectives pretty much line-by-line. Finally, this course will simply reflect what has changed in the computer industry since 2012. Just as one example, mobile devices are far more prevalent now than they were even four years ago. So a technician needs to know how to support these devices and the different operating systems used in these devices.

What resources will the new A+ training include to help students pass the exams?
Besides the video portion, this course will include a very robust workbook full of information to review the test objectives, keys to passing the tests, and most importantly practice exercises. If there is one big tip I can give anyone trying to pass a certification test, it’s this: PRACTICE the test objectives. Each course will have a robust project workbook full of tables of information, a review of the concepts covered in the exam objectives, and plenty of practice exercises, all geared toward preparing for the A+ exams. Plus, we will have, for each of the two courses, several hundred practice test questions in the form of pre-assessments and post-assessments. Finally, we will have practice labs to use to further enhance the skills needed to pass the exams and do an outstanding job as a computer technician.

What is your favorite part (so far) of the new A+ course?
Without a doubt, my co-workers. From the storyboard team that helped me design this course, to the input from sales and technical support, to the writing and quality control teams and, last but certainly not least, the video production crew here in Salt Lake City, who are as professional as they get yet keep me laughing every minute.

Aaron, Mer, and Jason

Aaron, Mer, and Jason

Jordan and Rob



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Certification Training in Florida

by Brad - Oct 22, 2015


Last week, I took a trip to Jacksonville, Florida, with LearnKey Sales Champion Scott Walker to train a group of teachers from Duval County Public Schools. The purpose of the three-day workshop was to help each teacher earn their Adobe Certified Associate certification in Photoshop CC. Most of the teachers hold certifications in previous versions of Photoshop, but had not been able to pass the CC certification test. Florida law requires that teachers be certified in the software they teach, so having a certification in a previous version is no longer enough.

When you use a piece of software on a near-daily basis, you come to think of yourself as an expert. The problem with this mentality is you fail to take into account that you are probably using the same tools day after day, never utilizing other features the software has to offer. You tend to forget how to use those features, and sometimes you even forget they exist. Our purpose was to re-introduce those features and help the teachers become comfortable enough to take the ACA exam.

Using a combination of our video-based training, our pre- and post-assessments, and our student workbooks, we began going over some of the more obscure functions of Photoshop, as well as providing a refresher of the basics. The new project-based workbooks were a huge asset as they allowed the teachers to dig in and spend time actually using the software in ways they hadn’t in the past.

I have often been told by my wife (who is a teacher) and others that teachers make the worst students. At least with this group, that wasn’t the case. It was a really great experience, and the teachers were all friendly and attentive. By the end of the workshop we were able to help nearly all of them become Photoshop CC certified, and a few teachers took advantage of the self-paced nature of LearnKey’s training to become certified in Illustrator CC as well.

Brad, Norman, & Terry

Duval County Public Schools training

Laquanda, Natalie, & Sonya

Vic, Scott, & Terry


Students with their certificates

One of the teachers from this training sent us this picture of his students with their certificates of completion for Session 1 of LearnKey’s Photoshop CC course.



BLS Executive to Speak at I/DD Event

by Brad - Apr 23, 2015


On May 6, Lori Coruccini, co-founder of Better Learning Systems and LearnKey’s sister company Know Your Talents, Inc., is scheduled to speak at Riding the Wild Haboob, an event for intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) providers.

Lori’s presentation will cover employee engagement and driving company success through the passion and commitment of employees. Other presenters include John Dacey, a health law attorney, and Tom Schramski, PhD, President of Vertess Advisors.

For more information about the event, visit knowyourtalents.com.



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My Certification Failure

by Brad - Mar 31, 2015


Recently, I did something I rarely do – I failed a test. You may think, “Big deal, it’s just one test, you’ll pass the next one,” and you would usually be right. Except this wasn’t just any test. It was a certification exam.

A couple of weeks ago, I began watching LearnKey’s Project 2013 training to prepare to take the Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 certification exam. I watched the entire course, took notes, passed all of the pre- and post tests, and reviewed the training for the questions I had missed. I was a little nervous about taking the test, but I felt confident in using the software and figured the test would be pretty easy. I passed a couple of Adobe certification tests with no problems, and I thought the Project 2013 test would be similar.

The first thing I failed to take into account was the fact that I have been using Adobe software for nearly a decade. I probably know Photoshop and Dreamweaver better than any other software out there (with the possible exception of StarCraft or Age of Empires, but that’s a whole other ballgame).

Whenever someone asks me for advice on how to pass a certification exam, I always tell them one thing: Explore the software. Open up the menus, learn the features, figure things out on your own, and become proficient. No matter how good a training course is, there is no substitute for real-world experience. As I watched the training, I followed along in Project 2013 and learned enough to feel comfortable using it, but I didn’t spend very much time exploring the software on my own.

The second thing I failed to take into account was that the exam structure may not be the same as the Adobe exams I have taken in the past. Adobe exams place a heavy emphasis on lab-type questions where the students show they know the software by performing tasks in a simulated environment. I thought that even if I didn’t know everything about Project 2013, I could find my way around in the simulated environment.

As soon as I started the exam, I knew I was in trouble. The questions were all scenario-based and there was not a single simulation-based question in the entire exam. I had not prepared for these types of questions! The questions were also more difficult than I had anticipated. It’s not enough to be able to use the software; certification exams are geared toward expert users. I should have spend a lot more time exploring the software.

I just scheduled a retake of the Project 2013 certification exam. I plan to re-watch the training and take better notes. This time, I will follow my own advice, as well as the advice given in our Exam Prep with Tom Carpenter LearnCast course. This time, I will give the exam the respect it deserves by putting in the necessary study time and fully exploring Project 2013. This time, I plan to pass.



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