Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep Series: Adobe Premiere and Some Adobe Exam Advice

by Jason - Dec 01, 2016


Hello again from your humble Senior Instructor. You may have noticed over the past several months a series of test prep courses we have released, all tied toward the new Adobe CC 2015 ACA (Adobe Certified Associate) exams. I wrote about the changes to the exams a while back, and, we have released test prep courses for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver.

The fifth and final test prep course, Adobe Premiere, will be out soon. Premiere is the digital video production program in the Adobe suite, and we recently completed filming the course. In this course, we cover the five main domains of the ACA exam for Adobe Premiere CC 2015:

  • Setting Project Requirements
  • Understanding Digital Video
  • Understanding Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015
  • Editing Digital Video using Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2015
  • Exporting Video with Adobe Premiere Pro

Our test prep courses are different than a full-featured course in that we focus solely on what you need to know to pass the exam, not so much on full coverage on how to use the program. Why have we done that for Adobe CC 2015? The reason is simple: There really is not much difference between Adobe CC and Adobe CC 2015. And, we already have full courses for the Adobe CC suite, authored by highly talented Adobe specialists, including Chad Chelius (Dreamweaver and Photoshop), Lee Wiley (Illustrator), Linda Dickeson (InDesign), and Ryan James (Premiere).

The sole purpose of the test prep courses is to fill in the gaps for the new objectives for the Adobe CC 2015 tests, and provide a little review on basic concepts for these programs, as they relate to the exam objectives. We do have a pre-assessment, post-assessment, labs, and a project workbook to accompany each of these test prep courses, and these tools also map to the exam objectives.

Speaking of exam objectives, having re-certified this year in all five of the Adobe programs for which we have built these test prep courses, here are some general advice tips from me to you on how to best set yourself up to pass these exams and obtain these certifications:

  1. Study the objective list top to bottom. For all five exams, one domain covers project terms and definitions. Do not gloss over this! This is 20% or so of each exam.
  2. Put yourself in the shoes of a real-life professional for whatever exam you are taking. For example, if you are taking the Illustrator exam, you’re a graphic designer for the day. Many of the exam questions are scenario-based, meaning that you need to read about a situation and choose the correct answer accordingly. Yes, the test questions still map very well to the objectives, but the test is there to make sure you can identify what to do in a real-life situation.
  3. For whatever program you are studying, make sure you can do tasks different ways, especially through using the Tools panel and the icons on the panel. Do not count on being able to use keyboard shortcuts to answer test questions (many Mac users I know cringe at the very thought of this, but, that is reality).
  4. If you get stuck on a question, mark it for review, make your best guess, and move on. Being that the exam is about half simulation-based, it is easy to get trapped for several minutes on a question to where you are trying to remember how to do what is asked. Avoid that trap. Your time management on the exam will be better for it. And, remember that you can miss a few questions and still pass. I had a few “uh oh, what do I do” questions on these exams and still passed each one on the first try. If I can do it, so can you.

And with that, the best of luck to you in your pursuit of the Adobe ACA CC 2015 certifications!


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Happy Thanksgiving!

by Brad - Nov 21, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving from LearnKey

The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up at the end of the week (at least for us in the United States), and you know what that means: Holiday Hours.

The LearnKey offices will be closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday, 11/24/16, and Friday, 11/25/16

LearnKey offices return to normal business hours for the rest of the month: offices are closed Saturday 11/26 and Sunday 11/27, and will re-open on Monday 11/28 (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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Key Contributor Award Winners – all about Teamwork and Support!

by Jeff - Aug 12, 2016


Last week Better Learning Systems announced the recipients of our 2016 2nd quarter Key Contributor Awards. One of the key benefits of this announcement is I use it as an opportunity to remind our team members of how important a role our core values, Ease, Value, & Trust, have in this accomplishment.

You see this award truly rolls up to making sure those individuals exemplify our core values, and the one thing that stays constant is they can’t do it alone; it takes a team. Our past recipients, Kim Johnson, Wyett Ihler, and Jason Manibog are big team players and truly support any team member they can.

Speaking of support we also had a theme this past year and it has been SUPPORT. There is a ton of that going on within our companies – it truly is part of our culture. Our production teams, mobile workforce, sales/client services, Veteran Services team, technical support teams, and administrative support working together is what is helping drive our success.

One team that really jumped out year-to-date was our Know Your Talents team. The behavioral consulting arm of the company is not only living our core values and supporting one another, they have also increased revenues 200% vs. same period last year.

That is why it gives me great pleasure to announce the Better Learning Systems Key Contributor Award winners for the 2nd quarter are Melanie Benitez and Sarah Blik!

Melanie Benitez and Sarah Blik

Sarah has had such a great year with her new sales and growth of existing customers. The largest to date for Sarah has been the Sundt/DPR joint ventures that she has sold.  AND she continues to gain referrals across the country due to her success and relationships built with all the Executive Directors of the projects.  Sarah has also launched us into the Title and Escrow industry, setting up a paid speaking engagement as  general speaker to 200 plus executives.  This is now an industry that we are beginning to circulate in which there are not many competitors.  Customers always have and do love Sarah. For fun, if you know her ask her why people call her ‘Gnat’!

As for Melanie, she has almost 5 times the amount of workshops on her plate, which includes coordinating, printing, and follow up exercises after each and every workshop.  She creates a ‘turn-key’ box of all ProScans, workbooks, badges, handouts, and framed certificates for each workshop and her contributions make everyone’s (all facilitators) jobs so much easier.  Melanie has developed such tremendous relationships with all clients from a customer service standpoint.  As we have had two large national accounts launch this year with ‘unlimited platinums,’ (Creative Testing Solutions, in all Blood Systems facilities, and HealthPlanOne) it requires a ton of coordination from the beginning of implementation and integration throughout the entire company, and Melanie has been in the forefront making this happen.  Her Tutor Tuesdays now compete with Tristan’s at LearnKey in that she is gaining more and more attendance each week.

Both Sarah & Melanie make it Easy for our customers to work with them, as well as always bring Value to the equation, and we know there is no better way to build relationships unless there is a lot of Trust. That’s our core values at work.

Please join me in congratulating both of them for their great accomplishments this past year.

 

 

Jeff


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!


Leaders Making Contributions That Make a Difference!

by Jeff - May 16, 2016


Leadership sometimes requires people to get out of their comfort zones and when you ask them to do that, it’s really sometimes asking them to take a leap of faith. They have to trust you, they have to take on additional responsibilities, they have to look past the short-term benefits and make sacrifices for the good of the company and believe in the long-term value. Just over a year ago, I asked two people in our Better Learning Systems/LearnKey organization to take that leap of faith with me to believe in something that had never been done and to trust the people and process we were about to embrace, and I can honestly say that the successful partnership LearnKey has recently solidified with GMetrix and Certiport it has allot to do with key contributions from Kim Johnson and Wyett Ihler.

So it gives me great pleasure to announce that both Kim and Wyett are the recipients of our 2016 Key Contributor award voted by their peers! They have truly displayed our core values Ease, Value and Trust throughout this entire project that has required 100% of their efforts for the past twelve (12) months.

Kim Johnson & Wyett Ihler

In addition to their day-to-day responsibilities, both of them have worked together in tandem to not only successfully roll out our new product, but do it in a way that is good for the company. The work required migrating our certification courseware through an entire reformatting process, quality control testing, sales re-training, and learning a new delivery system. They did it with passion and a “can-do attitude.” They had a lot of help from other LearnKey team members and that required getting those team members to buy into the same leap of faith, that this partnership is going to benefit students, teachers, and learners through providing the ultimate learning experience.

Congratulations to both of them for their commitment to our core values!


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LearnKey Announces First Key Contributor Award

by Jeff - Feb 04, 2016


At LearnKey, the 2016 year is starting off great as we get to recognize one of our people who lives and breathes our core values of Ease, Value and Trust. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Jason Manibog is the first recipient of LearnKey’s Key Contributor award!

Jason Quarterly Key Contributor Award

Jason joined LearnKey last June as our Senior IT Instructor and has not only improved the quality of our courses but won over all of our production team members with his “can do” attitude, willingness to help anyone out, and, most of all, working endlessly to improve the learning experience for our students and teachers. At LearnKey, we have been fortunate to keep our core employees; therefore, when someone comes on board they are always welcomed with open arms and set up for success. Jason was so impressed by that he went the extra mile to “seek first to understand, before trying to be understood.” This was most impressive when he traveled to meet each team and member (i.e. in Sales, QC, Writing, and the Design teams) in St. George and Cedar City, UT, to make sure he learned existing processes and then presented ways to improve them that reduced a lot of re-work and down time. Marian Eckley, our Video Production Manager, had this to say about Jason: “a tireless worker, he always gives 110%. The guy is a work horse and will never say no to anyone when they ask for help. Jason always outputs more work than asked for.”

Once again let me congratulate Jason on being our first recipient of this award. We promise to keep him really busy as we have a full plate of courses to be released this year that started with MTA Mobility and Device Fundamentals in January. Now we are focused on A+ 220-901 and 902 exam courses, with Adobe CC soon to follow.

Here’s to a great start for 2016!

Sincerely,

Jeff Coruccini


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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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Newest EOM Epitomizes “Vets helping Vets”

by Jeff - Jul 30, 2015


TristanEOM_small

One Better Learning Systems/LearnKey program we are very proud of is our Blue Ocean IT & Career Ready program for military veterans. It is a true “education to employment echo system” built around veterans helping veterans.

This means veteran students get tutored and supported by other veteran students who have graduated the program and are hired by LearnKey.

This month it gives me great pleasure to announce that Tristan Roberts has been nominated and selected by his leadership as our newest employee of the month for his efforts both as a team player and individual contributor!

As our first graduate of the Blue Ocean program he joined our team last August in a new role as a LearnKey technical support/tutor. During this time we have watched him embrace our core values: Ease, Value, and Trust, with the number one priority of helping our veteran students get certified and career ready. Most recently he has taken on the role of mentor for two new graduating students who are now part of his team and he has done it with passion and commitment, scheduling their work across our quality control, client services, veteran services, and technical support teams to ensure we make better courses and provide better support to our veteran students!

He has also been instrumental in rolling out other support services (i.e. Tutor Tuesdays, user forums, etc.) this past year, again all driven around driving a better learning experience for our students.

Tristan is an amazing father too, and by reading some fun facts through a short Q&A below you should not be surprised by who his influence is outside of work:

  1. How many siblings do you have? Two (2) Brothers, (Jovi, Jimmy) one (1) Sister (Malieka)
  2. What is your favorite movie? Always the last movie I saw with my daughter (Inside Out)
  3. What is your favorite band? New Chum’s (Seth’s Band)
  4. What is your favorite vacation spot? I’ll let you know when I take a vacation
  5. What was your high school’s mascot? Colt
  6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? MREs (not enough room to explain)
  7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet? My daughter’s fish is named Blue (Betta)
  8. What was your first car? 87 Honda Accord (Hatchback)
  9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Jamaica/Australia
  10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? Parasail
  11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here? I heard someone came to the Halloween party dressed as a RUBBERtree. (Hilarious)

We are very proud to have Tristan as part of our team and truly value the contributions he makes every day. His passion for helping others is second to none!


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Newest EOM “rolls up her sleeves by writing away”

by Jeff - Jul 13, 2015


Brittni Traynor

It is summer time, school is out, and the entire BLS/LearnKey family is totally focused on a successful second half of the year. One of our big productions at LearnKey this summer is a feature course on Internet and Computer Core Certification (IC3) GS5 that is an anchor learning program throughout our vocational and K-12 customers.

Because teamwork is the only way for us to achieve success in such a production it gives me great pleasure to recognize someone who has truly displayed TEAMWORK the entire way: Ms. Brittni Traynor from our Cedar City office!

This is what her nominating peer had to say about her “can do” attitude when it comes to her contributions: “Brittni Traynor exemplifies BLS/LearnKey’s core values of Ease, Value, and Trust. LearnKey’s production team has been feverishly working as we prepare our upcoming IC3 GS5 training and Brittni’s role as the lead writer has given her ample opportunity to demonstrate her dedication to the project and her team.

You can trust Brittni—during a recent conversation with a co-worker who expressed concern about making sure we were going to meet our writing deadline, she simply responded to him by saying ‘Of course we will, we’ll find a way and make it happen.’ And she did.”

We wanted to share not only Brittni’s success but also some recent Q&A with her about life outside of work:

  1. Where were you born? I was born in Rexburg, Idaho. We didn’t live there very long, I claim Portland, Oregon as my home base, it is where I grew up and where my family still is.
  2. What is your favorite type of Friday night? If I am not working, I usually spend my Friday nights with my two of my close friends. We usually go to the movies, or dinner, or sometimes go see bands play. It is really nice to kick back with some good friends and just spend some time detoxing from the busy week.
  3. How did you find your way to BLS/LearnKey? I had a friend who had recently started as a Technical Writer; when there was an opening in the Quality Control department, I applied and got the job.
  4. What is it that you like most about your job and why? The people hands down. We have such an amazing and talented group of people here in the Cedar office. I wish I possessed half the talent of the Designers, Writers, and Quality Control teams. We had an office lunch the other day and we were all chatting about some random things, and at one point I thought about what a diverse and amazing group of people we have working in this company. Everyone is seriously so very talented. It’s awesome.
  5. Who at LearnKey taught you something, where after learning it you went “they are smart”? I really believe that I learn something from someone every day in this company. But, the person who I am constantly learning from is Wyett. From day one, he has pushed me to think differently and to look for the details other people may not notice.
  6. Give us a dream vacation spot you want to visit one day? I would really love to go to Nepal with my BFF Jill. She went there a few years ago to volunteer with the Butterfly Home Project. I love hearing all of her stories and would absolutely love the opportunity to go and volunteer there.
  7. What is your ideal dream job? Well, I am not totally sure what my ideal dream job would be. One of my biggest passions is helping other people find their potential and helping them to grow and become the best, most authentic version of themselves. Ideally, my dream job would allow me to incorporate that passion with whatever it is I am doing.
  8. The boss is coming for dinner and wants you to cook the meal. What will you cook? I absolutely love to cook. My dad is a chef, so I was constantly interested in it as a child. If it were only Jeff coming for dinner, I would probably make some sort of pizza, because I know it is one of his favorite things to eat when he is traveling without Lori. If it were Jeff and Lori though, I would probably make Pollo en Mole. Because it is one of my favorite things to make.
  9. If you could gift someone $100,000 who would it be and why? This is hard for me, because there are many charities that I adore. I would probably choose to donate some to the Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/, as well as to the Butterfly Home Project. The Butterfly Home is a center in Nepal dedicated to the children of imprisoned women. In Nepal, if a mother goes to prison, and no one can take her children, the child is also imprisoned and the conditions are terrible. I have been able to learn about it through my dearest friend Jill, who volunteered there a few years ago. It is such an amazing organization: http://ecdcnepal.org/newportal/about-us/

 

We really enjoy sharing these wonderful employees we have at Better Learning Systems and hope you will continue to check back and learn about other successes team members are having as we take our BLS Journey.

 

Kind Regards,
Jeff Coruccini, CEO
 


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