Good Morning Vietnam!

by Beth - May 23, 2018


Tracks run straight through the city of Hanoi. Markets form along the sides and must move when a train goes by.

I arrived in Vietnam on Saturday, March 31st! Hanoi is a busy, chaotic, energetic city exploding with eastern culture. It’s incredible, the kind of Asia I have been looking for. Until now, I have felt the previous destinations were so westernized, and have enjoyed them, but was looking for something with more shock.

Vietnam is that something more.

Everything in the city is risky. Crossing the street felt like you were swimming through a heavily populated school of fish but instead of water you are swimming through “zebra crossing,” in the concrete jungle and the fish are thousands of motor bikes that swarm around you. Stay at a steady pace and just keep walking, it may not comfortable for everyone, but once prepared, it is an energizing adrenaline rush. Eating street food is risky because of high potential for food poisoning or because of the police coming by to usher people and tiny tables off the sidewalk. If they came by in the middle of your meal, you would have to grab you table and food and pretend to move inside until they left. If you were lucky, they just did a quick drive by. In the previous cities we had Uber as a transportation option, here it is Grab Bike, a motor bike shared with a local driver. They offered a helmet so the risk of injury is slightly lessened, until they just drove on the wrong side of the road.

This alley way opened to a string of restaurants! A little scary entering but treasures lie within.

Because of the French colonization, the architecture is colonial, bursting with life down tiny alleyways, that would open to a beautiful maze of skinny, tall story homes where the ground floor served as their place of business and the floors above where the multi-generational families live. Each mini-street has a different craft, party city street, bike repair street, food street, lamp street, plastic container street, casket and flower street, small appliance street, like a Vietnamese version of Home Depot disorderly organized around the city.

The culture is a combination of everyone out for themselves and a strong sense of community. The sidewalks are where the community gathered. They were for everything but a walkway. Sidewalks were filled with live roosters, dead roosters, dogs chained up, crates filled with various small animals, millions of motor bikes both parked or driving around the obstacles, tiny baby furniture, blood, haircuts, shaves, markets, dead fish, you name it, it is happening on the sidewalk.

This walkway was created by calcification from both stalactites and stalagmites connecting creating this giant structure.

We were lucky enough to get out of the city we trekked through the wildly unexplored jungles and national parks. Jungles, trekking to the caves of Hang Va, where we learned of the Son Dong cave system that is still unmapped and mostly undiscovered. The caves we entered have been explored by less people than have summited Mount Everest.

John McCain POW Memorial

During the trek to the caves I was overcome with emotion when I thought of the young Vietnamese and American soldiers trekking through the jungle during war. The thick overgrown jungle, sharp rock formations, and muddied ground made up the path that we followed. I couldn’t imagine fighting a battle in these conditions. Respect and admiration for our Vietnam war vets filled my heart.

Inspired when I returned to the city, I went to prison. The Hao Lo Prison, known as the “Hanoi Hilton,” where we saw pictures of the pleasant time the POWs had during their stay, like a lovely Christmas celebration, or friendly basketball and volleyball games, did not seem to add up when you compared that to the emaciated figures they had when they were released. Interesting perspective. I am sure the truth is somewhere between the American version and the Vietnamese version.

 

Egg Coffee *drool*

Food
On the menu:

Street food is a must, Pho, Obama’s Bun Cha vs street Bun Cha, competition between Bahn Mi 25 and 14 (personally, 25 for the win),
Hanoi Social Club and Lifted Café are a delish break from eastern foods with items like mango French toast, Social Club Burger that rivals most restaurant burgers in the US, and the happy hipster avocado toast.

 

Tam Coc is located in Ninh Binh, location where Kong was filmed.

Vietnamese coffee foamed up with egg white and sweetened with sugar, appropriately named Egg Coffee, was addictively satisfying.

Our boat rower in Tam Coc is informing us of the favorite foods in the very little English he could speak, eating dog, cat, goat, pig, and sugar cane that tasted like a slightly sweet bark or a tree.

I thought dog and cat would be to… exotic for me, therefore I had to pass on the consumption.

Remote Year (month 3 away from old home with my travel family)
This month I lived three lives. One life last month of night shift work, another life was a social life with the RY Kanyinis which dipped into the night shift work life, and an independent life, thanks to the accessibility of Grab Bike (and of course, the Internet) to jump into my own adventures. Until now, I have relied heavily on the RY program and its events/planning.

Utter joy on the back of a Grab Bike.

Building my experience was not lacking negative emotions. I felt a weird pressure when I was not doing enough of the touristy stuff, or exploring the same things that other remotes did, or even liking the same things as much as others did. But then, I had a candid little chat with myself, saying, “you’re not a tourist. You came on Remote Year to immerse yourself into the local cultures. To challenge yourself.” Duh, and like that, a switch flipped, I felt more open to be myself, let my guard down, became more conformable. I spent time exploring the city, hung out with people that I did not typically, and found my new normal. I am not sure if it has been because of the time on the program (like dog years, remote year time is the 1-year equivalent), my enjoyment of Vietnam, or some cosmic force, but I have felt like a citizen of the world, acclimating to this city as if it was my own.

Lived locally. Worked locally.

Now, I look forward to seeing what Africa has to offer.


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Leading Video-Based Training Provider Rolls Out Computer Programming Pathways

by Brad - May 22, 2018


Courses now available to thousands of middle and high schools making learning how to code and gaining multiple Microsoft Technology Associate Certifications (MTA) a lot easier.

ST. GEORGE, UT, May 22, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — LearnKey, a leading digital and video-based globally recognized training provider, has released six (6) courses for the MTA computer programming and development pathway. Of those courses three cover the top programming languages that are in high demand: Java, Python, and JavaScript*.

“The LearnKey programming pathway is designed to take the student from entry level – or their existing skill set – to the professional level, through multiple certification programs with the latest software updates and techniques,” says Craig Bushman, Vice President of Marketing for Certiport. “We are pleased to make these courses available on the GMetrix testing technology platform.”

One of the benefits to LearnKey’s video-based training is the ability to address multiple learning levels in the classroom, utilization of scenario-based learning, and the ability to use GMetrix practice tests for each certification course. This gives students more hands-on experience.

“We want learning solutions that can be used both in and out of the classroom that are engaging and effective,” says Jeff Coruccini, LearnKey’s CEO, “this is at our core when creating these courses to help improve employability every day, Coruccini goes on to say.”

*Source: InformationWeek, January 22nd, 2018 article, “Ten most In-Demand Programming Languages of 2018” cites many sources.

About LearnKey
LearnKey, a Better Learning Systems Company, provides hundreds of video-based IT and Career Ready employability skills certification training worldwide to thousands of schools, vocational rehabilitation institutions and social service organizations that promote learning critical employability skills. Established in 1987, LearnKey offers decades of experience with engaging, interactive, and flexible training that is accessible anytime, anywhere. Visit us at www.learnkey.com, or follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/learnkey, and on Twitter: @LearnKey.

About GMetrix
GMetrix is a leading provider of testing technology for the IT certification industry specializing in both concurrent and simulated solutions. Their educational tools are designed to prepare individuals for the effective use of technology in the business environment. GMetrix works with partners throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America to provide educational tools designed to prepare individuals for the effective use of technology in the business environment. For more information, visit https://www.gmetrix.com/.

About Certiport
Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the leading provider of certification exam development, delivery and program management services delivered through an expansive network of over 14,000 Certiport Authorized Testing Centers worldwide. Certiport manages a sophisticated portfolio of leading certification programs including: the official Microsoft Office Specialist certification program, the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Microsoft Certified Educator program, the Adobe Certified Associate certification program, the Autodesk Certified User and Autodesk Certified Professional certification programs, the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User certification program, and the IC3 Digital Literacy certification. Certiport reliably delivers over three million tests each year throughout the secondary, post-secondary, workforce, and corporate technology markets in 148 countries and 26 languages worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.certiport.com or follow Certiport on Twitter at www.twitter.com/certiport.

“Certiport” and “IC3” are registered trademarks of NCS Pearson, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.


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2018: Same “Why” Be great at “Improving Employability Every Day”

by Jeff - Jan 16, 2018


As we kick off the new year at LearnKey there is alot of excitement. We recently had everyone in the company write up their 2018 goals (i.e. courses released, students gaining certification/graduation/employment,etc.) and by the looks of it, we are going to be a big year. We plan on adding new offerings (i.e. language localization) and will be enhancing some of our courses with other learning facilitators.

Each month I will share a status on one of our goals. This month it is industry certification. Last year, we exceeded our goal, having our military veteran students achieve over 658 globally recognized industry IT & Career Ready Certifications in CompTIA, Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe, Windows, IC3, and more! That was a great accomplishment, as it aligns with our true “Why,” which is Improving Employability Every Day. This is a big one for us because it is a team effort to make sure our students succeed. Next year’s goal is to exceed over 800 certifications.  Additionally, we expanded our offering of courses available through Certiport and on the GMetrix Platform, enabling thousands of other students in college and K-12 to have access to our certification courses.

We continue to see increased demand for soft/employability skills training with some of our most popular titles on Job Hunting in a Digital World, Know  Your Talents, Making a Good Impression, Resume Skills, Business Ethics on the Job, and Be Careful Before You Click!

Speaking of soft/employability skills, be sure to read the article on “The surprising thing Google learned about its employees and what it means to today’s students”.  Very interesting in 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach, communicating and listening well, possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view), having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues, being a good critical thinker and problem solver, and being able to make connections across complex ideas.

These skills are in demand at every level of an organization, which is why we are dedicated to making sure our Video-Based Digital Media Library of courses has over 225 titles on those important skills.

Our next big course release is CompTIA’s Security+, coming at the end of this month. We are really excited to make that available as this is one of our signature courses. You can find more info on our 2018 course release schedule here!

Here’s to a great start in 2018 and check back next month for another update.


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2017 Best Training ROI for your employee’s and customers?

by Jeff - Feb 15, 2017


customerservice

It is all about better communication resulting in a better customer experience.

It’s a no-brainer that bad customer service will cost your company business. But it turns out employees’ behavior toward each other can affect your bottom line, too.

So the question is: are your employees properly job ready trained in the areas of dealing with difficult customers, meeting consumer needs, the art of customer service, listening under pressure, workplace ethics, email etiquette, social media at work, and bullying in the workplace?

A well-known study of retailer Sears revealed that a five-point improvement in employee attitude results in a 1.3% increase in customer satisfaction, which then drives an 0.5% increase in company revenue.

Which is why LearnKey’s 2017 video-based training series on customer service is the perfect solution for your organization. It’s relevant for today’s workforce, high quality, available anytime/anywhere, and can help you deliver a solid ROI for both your business customers and, most importantly, your employees.

In today’s digital world it’s all about the customer experience:

What is customer experience and why is it important?

Customer experience is your customers’ perceptions of how your company treats them. These perceptions affect their behaviors, build memories and feelings, and may drive their loyalty. In other words, if they like you and continue to like you, they are going to do business with you and recommend you to others.  Note: If one of your customers has a bad experience there is less than a 10% chance they will tell you about it, but they will choose not to do business with you in the future.

Why should you focus on improving your customer experience?

According to a recent walker study, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as a key differentiator. By now it should be clear that customer service can no longer be relegated to the basement of your brand’s focus. It must be front and center of your organization, alongside marketing, as a priority focus for customer interaction and retention.

Contact us today for a no-cost proof of concept on how this training can improve your ROI.


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Trending 2017 Education as a Benefit (EaaB): Enabling Employers To Retain Great Talent

by Jeff - Feb 08, 2017


Great leaders know the importance of continuous education for their employees: “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” – Richard Branson, Founder Virgin Group.

As retention and staff development continue to challenge service companies specifically in the areas of customer service, IT help desk, and front & back office support, we are actively helping our customers solve that problem, as well as improving retaining employees and enhancing their current skillsets.

To that extent, LearnKey can help you build a custom Education as a Benefit (EaaB) program. Customer feedback, as well as findings by a recent Corporate Learning Insiders report surveying top L&D leaders published 1/19/17 on LinkedIn’s learning blog, further validates this need:

  • A majority, 57%, predict that employers will increase education benefits more than traditional benefits in 2017. Evidence exists that this could be a powerful way to boost retention and keep people from job-hopping as much as they might otherwise in today’s economy.
  • 71% predict that partnering with outside training providers will be the best strategy to get ahead of the widening skills gap.
  • Additionally, Insiders believe that micro-learning content delivered in small, specific segments – and on-demand learning – content accessible at any time, from any device – will see the most growth among learning technologies in 2017

Closing The Skills Gap

What’s interesting given the projected education-as-a-benefit trend is that many have noted that the skills gap is not entirely caused by educational organizations inadequately preparing students for today’s jobs, but also by employers retreating from investing enough in the training of new employees.

Let us schedule a demo today so you can learn how LearnKey’s experts can customize career pathways for your employees by leveraging our digital and video-based training library that covers topics in the areas of Technology, Customer Service, Professional Development, Microsoft office, and more.


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LearnKey to produce Entrepreneurship Small Business Certification Course that Maps to Certiport ESB exam

by Jeff - Feb 03, 2017


Today we are excited to announce that LearnKey will begin production next week on an “Exam Ready” video-based training course that maps to Certiport’s Entrepreneurship Small Business (ESB) certification and will be available in April 2017!

This course will be authored by Wyett Ihler, certified instructor who has produced LearnKey’s IC3 GS5 & Spark courses over the past year. This course will help students/adult learners and teachers prep for the ESB certification exam, which is a 50-minute exam with 45 questions covering the following objectives: The Entrepreneur,  Business Management,  Starting a Business,  Business Operations,  Marketing/Sales, and  Financial Management. In addition to the course being available on LearnKey’s OnlineExpert Learning Management System, the course will be available through our strategic partner GMetrix‘s skills management system.

We are thrilled to offer such an exciting and in-demand certification training, as the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) both cite statistics that underscore the benefits of entrepreneurship education. These benefits include improved academic performance, school attendance, interest in attending college, an increase in occupational aspirations, as well as leadership behavior.

LearnKey is all about helping learners improve their employability skills and this course covers an important topic that currently has no certification/validation of skills tied to it.


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What We Do? Improving Employability Everyday

by Jeff - Jan 20, 2017


improving Employability Every Day

Greetings 2017!

As we start the new year it’s a great time to remind our learners, students, teachers, and career counselors about the two (2) key ingredients that ensure we focus on our “what we do”: Improving Employability Everyday.

At LearnKey we believe that our passion around “what we do” and our “descriptive behaviors” is what drives our culture.

Every team member in our company knows that our “What we do” is aligned to these three words: Improving Employability Everyday. We started redefining our true purpose as an organization through Simon Sinek’s The Golden Circle, over three years ago and truly believe it is the fabric, along with our descriptive behaviors, that drive our culture.

We are so fanatical about this belief that any new employee team members (i.e. welcome most recently: Neil Olsen and Nina Sepulveda) must know that they must possess these key behaviors and understand “The Golden Circle” BEFORE they are even hired.  Because the moment they start, that accountability to our customers and team members begin.

My goal is to meet with every team member throughout the year and remind and reinforce my commitment to them and that I will be held most accountable to those behaviors. Therefore, it is good to once again share these with you and the entire world:

Our “Why, How and What”:

“Why”: Dreams fulfilled through better learning.

“How”: Personalized learning solutions that teach job readiness skills, leverage your natural talents, and are aligned to in-demand careers.

“What”: Improving Employability Everyday.

Our seven (7) fundamentals that describe our employee culture:

Be a fanatic about response time. People expect us to respond to their questions and concerns quickly, and rapid response is one of the easiest and best ways to stand out.

Set clear expectations. So there are no misunderstandings, and remember to clarify all the time. This avoids any miscommunications.

Welcome innovation. Creativity in our products and offerings can be produced and packaged differently to meet customers’ needs.

Be a great listener. Understanding expectations and customer needs is the way we want to do business. The best talker is a good listener.

Do your homework. Be prepared for customers, product ideas, referrals, team member support, and the best way to show you’re serious.

Be a problem solver. Solve a problem, fill a need, is how we should do business with customers and in assisting other team members.

Leverage team members. To get things done, meet deadlines, and fulfill customers’ needs. Two heads are better than one.

Welcoming in the new year is a good time for me to give thanks to our team who, day in and day out, commit to themselves, as well as the learners, counselors, and teachers we support that “what we do” is focused on Improving Employability Everyday.

Also, a special thanks to Simon Sinek and the CEO’s of Vistage Group 508 who remind me all the time how important it is to have our message clear and concise.

Best Regards,

Jeff Coruccini

“Improving Employability Everyday”

CEO- LearnKey, INC.


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Get a Microsoft Certification? Get Your Acclaim Badge!

by Jason - Nov 11, 2016


Last week in this blog space, I wrote about the new, streamlined certification paths Microsoft recently released. This week, I have another piece of Microsoft certification news to share with you, and that is, Acclaim badges!

What do Acclaim badges give you? Industry recognition of your newly earned certification. Instead of your having to log on individually to any social networks you may be a part of and individually post your new accomplishments, Acclaim allows you to connect to your social networks (I am on LinkedIn, for example), and add these badges to your profile. To give you a personal example: This year, I renewed my Microsoft Office Master Certification. To do this, I had to pass (hold on while I count…) three core exams and two expert exams (I actually took all five core exams for a total of seven Microsoft Office certifications). Now when it comes to telling anyone about this through social media, well, I’m lazy. But, thanks to these Acclaim badges, I can just log in to Acclaim, find my new certification, and connect to LinkedIn and post the badge there. In fact, I am in the process of doing this as I write this. Here is what the pending badges screen looks like:

Microsoft Acclaim Badges

All that has to be done is to click the Accept button, log into whatever networks you have for social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or others) and from there, you can post these badges to your social media profiles.

There is the option of emailing these badges to others or posting these badges on a website. Either way, these badges provide an easy means for announcing to whoever and wherever your newly earned certifications.

And recently, Microsoft has added MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional) badges in addition to the existing Microsoft Office badges, so now you get a badge for passing an MCP test. Finally, though this is a Microsoft post, many other companies participate in the Acclaim badge program, including, for example, Adobe.

The best part of this: In the time it took me to write this blog post, I also claimed the three badges you see above plus an Adobe ACA badge for a test I recently passed and posted those on my LinkedIn profile. You, too, can obtain and use these Acclaim badges to let people know of your certifications so you can broaden your career opportunities. Now that is what I call a win-win.


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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!


CompTIA Linux+ Certification Training Courses Released

by Beau - May 04, 2015


LearnKey’s CompTIA Linux+ Part I LX0-103 & CompTIA Linux+ Part II LX0-104 certification training courses will provide students with the knowledge they need to feel confident and prepared when they take their certification exams. Earning a Linux+ certification is perfect for those who are interest in obtaining a job in web or systems/network administration.

Linux+ Part I (LX0-103) Course

In LearnKey’s Linux+ Part I course users will join LearnKey expert Michael Solomon as they learn about Linux+. This course will cover topics such as: GNU/UNIX commands, Linux installation, package management, devices, file systems/systems hierarchy, and more.

Linux+ Part II (LX0-104) Course

In LearnKey’s Linux+ Part II course users will again join LearnKey expert Michael Solomon as they learn about Linux+. This course will cover topics such as: scripting, shells, data management, administrative tasks, desktops, user interface, networking fundamentals, essential system services, security, and more.

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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