10 Amazing Free Education Tools

by Allacyn - Dec 01, 2010


It is always great when you can find things that help make your job easier and more interesting. It is especially nice when those things are free. With schools tightening budgets we thought it might be fun to let you know about 10 totally free tools that are available to you on the web.

These tools will help you connect you with students, parents, and other teachers. Stay organized and access additional resources to supplement your curriculum. Create an interactive classroom to engage students in learning with these exciting and free tools.

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Benefits of Obtaining Vendor-Neutral Certifications

by Allacyn - Nov 29, 2010


Have you been looking for a way to increase your marketability to employers? Vendor-neutral certifications might be the answer because they focus on a technology and not a specific product from a company. These certifications also do not become obsolete as quickly as vendor-specific certifications will.

When a vendor-neutral certification is obtained as a complement to vendor-specific certifications, it shows your flexibility and diversity in handling different scenarios. This means that you will have a broader knowledge base which can be very appealing to employers, because you are not limited to working with one specific product. Vendor-neutral certifications prove that you can use your knowledge in a variety of situations and are well rounded. Sure, you can specialize in a certain direction, but when a problem arises that is outside your area of expertise, do you want to look like the guy who can’t adapt, or the one that can solve everyone’s problems?

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Microsoft Training in Every North Carolina High School

by Allacyn - Nov 29, 2010


North Carolina is on it’s way to becoming the first state to offer Microsoft certification and training in every one of its high schools. It is expected by next fall that all of North Carolina’s high schools will be participating in the program representing the largest adoption of the Microsoft IT Academy program to date.

Students will have the option to get certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist or a Microsoft Certified Professional by successfully completing training and passing certification exams. To support instructors and students, the program includes access to online learning, course materials, instructor resources, and support materials.

The hope is that this program will give students an advantage in a competitive job market. These certifications are widely recognized and the skills learned are highly sought after. The certifications represent students understanding of current industry standards and gives them the edge in the job market.

Do you see this catching on? Is certification through online learning materials the way schools are headed, or are too many still resistant to non-traditional learning methods?


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Promoting Creativity in the Workplace

by Allacyn - Nov 22, 2010


Innovation is a driving force in business these days and gives companies their competitive edge. So how do you promote creativity and innovation in the workplace? In the article “Why You Should Treat Your Employees Like Children”  Anita Campbell offers suggestions on how to foster innovation through encouraging creativity among employees. Here is a summary of her tips. 

  • Encourage employees to ask questions and find answers.
  • Appreciate creativity even if it fails.
  • Know which rules can be broken to foster creativity.
  • Have fun and don’t expect the workplace to be serious all of the time.
  • Expect with creative employees you might have more drama.
  • Give employees slack to try things on their own.
  • Let employees explore departments outside of theirs.
  • Allow employees time alone to think.
  • Don’t get hung up on being too organized.
  • Encourage friendships among different departments.
  • Set employees up with mentors.

To read the full article click here.

Have any examples of how you have inspired creativity in your workplace? Share them in the comments!


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Classroom Technology – Digital Textbooks

by Colin - Nov 04, 2010


Advancements are being made in technology every day, and slowly these advancements are now being implemented into the classroom, and are trickling down into K-12 classrooms. As good as this sounds, the key word here is “slowly” – there are some things that need to be considered when thinking about implementing new tools.

Digital textbooks are working their way into schools everywhere, allowing easy, portable access to that stack of books that you would normally have to carry around – but one of the major roadblocks to the adoption of digital textbooks in schools so far has been financial. Schools do not have the funding to adopt the technology needed to support digital textbooks while still providing traditional textbooks. Schools also for the most part do not have the internet speed and connectivity required to support digital textbooks. Another issue is finding teachers that are willing to adopt these new digital textbooks, and then the amount of professional development required to get teachers up to speed on these new technologies and materials. Also, what platform and format will these textbooks be offered on? How will you implement supplemental teaching materials that are required to support these new textbooks?

In the end this adoption is probably inevitable. The way to make it happen is a collaboration of teachers, IT departments, administrators, and curriculum experts. If you create a consistent, useful, and easily accessible platform, the hassle of implementation should be greatly reduced.


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College Completion Rates

by Allacyn - Oct 26, 2010


In 2018 it is projected that 63% of all job openings will require post-secondary education or training. The problem with this statistic is that although higher education is readily available, by age 30 less than 50% of Americans have earned a college degree.  The new initiative from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to improve student outcomes through the use of technology. The Foundation is going to award $35 million in grant money to institutions or organizations that utilize technology to increase enrollment and completion rates in higher-education.

What do you think? Is it the rising costs of higher-education hindering completion? The time that has to be invested in it? A combination of both? Or perhaps the use of outdated methods is less desirable to today’s potential employees? Let us know in the comments!


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Learn “Little Known Windows 7 Shortcuts” with Expert Tom Carpenter

by Allacyn - Oct 25, 2010


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Here at LearnKey, when we say the people who present our training courses are experts, we mean exactly that. We don’t find some random guy on the street who can read from a cue card, we find people who really know their stuff and are considered experts in their various fields. When they provide us with tips, we listen!

Tom Carpenter has been an expert for LearnKey in a variety of different courses, and since he also has his own blog with tidbits of information, we thought we’d showcase some tips from the source himself. In his post Little Known Windows 7 Shortcuts, he showcases…well, little known Windows 7 shortcuts. These tips will make using Windows 7 much faster and more efficient. Plus you can show off to your co-workers and look like you are a Windows 7 expert yourself! Check out his blog and enjoy!


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Educators: Come one come all – Adobe CS5 training

by mmiller - Oct 21, 2010


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Yes, you read the headline correctly – Adobe CS5 training is available for you and your students, with more coming soon!  This release has been a bit different for us compared to the CS4 release for many reasons.  

First, we decided to produce each ACA course with both a Mac and Windows version.  For example, you can purchase Photoshop, Flash, and/or Dreamweaver presented on a Mac or Windows environment. Our goal is to accommodate individual schools based on their needs; some schools use Macs and others use Windows-based PCs.  The essential content is the same, we meet all the objectives to prepare for the ACA exams in both versions.

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Adobe CS5 Training – They Just Keep Coming!

by Colin - Oct 21, 2010


Last week saw the release of not one or two, but four Adobe CS5 training courses. This puts us up to 7 training courses released covering 5 of the Adobe CS5 programs – Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Illustrator – with InDesign and Photoshop (presented on PC) coming soon.

Two of the four courses released are part of our ACA Certification training utilizing the Windows versions of the Adobe programs, versus the previously released versions utilizing the Mac programs.

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Are You Ready For The Recession To Be Over?

by Allacyn - Oct 20, 2010


I think everyone would agree that the last couple of years have been filled with stress and worry over the recession and we would all like to put these years in our rear-view mirror, but are businesses ready for the end of the recession?

Many companies realize the need for talent-driven innovation to make their companies successful, but it is surprising how many lack strategic plans to hire and retain talent. In a down economy it is typical to tighten budgets and take away benefits, but these companies need to think about investing more of their resources into retaining employees. In the article Is Your Talent At Risk? in InformationWeek it says that one out of every two employees is thinking of leaving their company and 30-40% of those thinking of leaving do leave.

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