BLS Education Grant

by Beau - May 08, 2014


If you look at the About Us page on our website you will see the mission of not only LearnKey, but the entire Better Learning Systems family – “Dreams Fulfilled Through Better Learning.” As an online education company, we know that obtaining and maintaining your education is important. Earning industry certifications can provide you with the skills you need to land your dream career. It is also important to keep your skills sharp and updated with the most current certifications. For those of you who fall in either of these categories, you know that both of these goals require a great amount of time and money to complete.

Earlier this year the BLS team developed an educational grant program designed to provide LearnKey educational courseware at a discounted rate or at no charge for individuals who qualify. Our goal with this program is to be able to provide assistance to those who need some help in reaching their educational and professional goals. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 30% increase in programming, software development, and other IT-related fields, it is more important than ever to enter the workforce as a certified, qualified candidate with the confidence and skills you need to succeed in your career.

For more information or to apply for this educational grant program, visit the LearnKey website or download the Better Learning Systems Education Grant application here. Everyone at LearnKey is committed to providing the best in online video courseware and is excited to be able to lend a hand in getting your dreams fulfilled.


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New Course Release – Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration

by Beau - Apr 30, 2014


Announcing the release of our new Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration course! This course is the second of our Windows Server courses to be released in  2014, following March’s release of our Windows Server 2012 Administrator course. Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration will prepare users to take exam 70-410 and ensure they have the skills necessary to implement, manage, and maintain a Windows Server 2012 environment.

Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration

Join LearnKey expert Jason Manibog as he guides you through our Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration course. In this course students will learn the technical tasks associated with exam 70-410. Covering topics such as, configuring Hyper-V, installing and administering Active Directory, server configuration, installation and more! Users will gain the knowledge they need to succeed.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed.

For more information visit our website.

 


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When Employees “Get It” Everyone Wins!

by Jeff - Apr 24, 2014


Amazing people do amazing things and that is not by accident. Have you every met someone who just “gets it”? When we do there is a saying “they get the why”.

That could not be more evident then by our newest LearnKey, Better Learning Systems employee of the month Skyler Knight, a LearnKey designer in our Cedar City, UT office. The “why” is why we do what we do, not the what and how of our products and services; its the passion of wanting to help people “fulfill their dreams through better learning systems”. That is why we do what we do.

Skyler demonstrates that through always keeping our core values front and center. Here’s what his leader had to say  through his nomination:

“Skyler works every day to ensure he is meeting our core values (Ease, Value, and Trust). He is Easy to work with and we trust he will get the job done because he’s the first to finish assignments and brings so much value to our production team by always going above and beyond”.

In my own personal experience with Skyler he can also pull a fast one as he and another employee swapped places in April 1st of this year getting me to believe one of his peers was actually him! It worked and I owe him and Jordan big time the next time I am in Cedar!

For fun, here’s some more insight to Skyler:

1. How many siblings do you have? I have 3 siblings, one older sister, one older brother, and one younger sister.

2. What is your favorite movie? My current favorite movie is Abraham Lincoln Vampire Killer.

3. What is your favorite band? My current favorite band is Twenty One Pilots.

4. What is your favorite vacation spot? I don’t take too many vacations but my most recent trip was to South Korea. I would say that it is by far my favorite spot to travel to. There are so many beautiful buildings to see and a lot of beaches to admire there as well.

5. What was your high school’s mascot? My high school’s mascot was a Ram.

6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? The weirdest combination of food I’ve ever eaten was live (still moving) octopus with sesame oil, raw fish, and salt.

7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet?  The name of my favorite pet was Halo.

8. What was your first car?  The first car I ever owned was a green 1995 Jeep Cherokee

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? If I could go anywhere in the world right now I would travel to Japan.

10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? I think I would rather zip line if I had to choose from the above options. Maybe someday if I gain the courage I would like to go bungee jumping or sky diving too.

11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here?  “Will you smell my yogurt?” –Chris Walser

12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? I would choose to eat dinner with a philosopher from the past, perhaps Socrates. The reason being that I would like to ask him about his personal philosophies about knowledge and gain insight and wisdom from someone who is not overwhelmed by all of the distractions of our modern world.

 

Please join me in congratulating Skyler and reminding him how fortunate to we feel to have him as part of our team.

Regards,

Jeff Coruccini

 


My Adventures With Excel…Part 1

by Chad - Apr 21, 2014


Hi, my name is Chad. I am the Accounts Receivable and Human Resources Manager at LearnKey. My adventures with Excel actually started many years ago. I have used Excel in school, work, and home since Office 95.

Late last year, I decided to prove my knowledge in both Excel and Word and get MOS certified in each. I kept putting it off because end-of-year is a busy time for me. Then earlier this year our CEO, Jeff Coruccini, asked each of us to get at least one certification by the end of May. He even offered us a bonus for each certification that we achieve. And I thought, “This will be the easiest money that I ever made. I know Excel and Word. I can pass these tests easily.” I even teamed up with Kim Johnson, Director of Client Services and Marketing. We could study together and pass the Excel exam…piece of cake.

I started to watch LearnKey’s Excel 2013 training, but decided that I already knew Excel, and I could just watch the parts that I am unfamiliar with to brush up on my skills. I watched a few sections of training and did a few labs.

As test day approached, I still felt confident that I would pass. I’ve taken and passed CompTIA’s A+ and Network+ exams, a couple of Windows 2000 exams, Certiport’s IC3 exam, and the QuickBooks exam. I even passed the HR Institute’s Professional in Human Resources exam which is the hardest exam I have ever taken. My coworkers asked if I was nervous. I confidently told them, “No.”

On test day, I went into our in-house testing center and signed in with our proctor. As I started the exam, my confidence remained high. I worked my way through the test, but soon my confidence began to falter. I thought I was familiar with formulas, but I encountered formulas that I have never used. Concatenate? I don’t even know what that means. How do I use a formula when I don’t even know what the word means? Well, Excel kind of walks you through formulas, so I think I figured it out.

But, wait…where did all my time go? I’m not finished. I rushed through as much of the test as I could in the few minutes remaining. When the clock ran out, I anxiously awaited my test score. Well, I’m sure you can guess why there will be a Part 2 to this blog post. I FAILED. I immediately thought, “What? I have never failed a certification exam. That has to be wrong.” But, yes. I failed. I scored a 691. I needed a 700.

I decided to go back to the Excel 2013 training. Thank goodness for LearnKey’s self-paced training. I can fit it into my schedule when I have some free time. I will soon take the Excel exam again and this time I will pass. I will let you know how it turns out in My Adventures with Excel…Part 2.


New Course Release – Excel 2013 Formulas

by Beau - Apr 17, 2014


Like many people, I use Microsoft Excel everyday. I use it to make lists, to keep track of expenses, record sales statistics, create travel itineraries, and plan trade shows. I find Excel to be one of the best and easiest ways for me to keep track of information. Those of you who have used Excel before know that there is more than one way to accomplish a task in Excel. There are even formulas that you can use to accomplish tasks faster and more accurately.

Our newest course release is our Excel 2013 Formulas course. This course should be used in addition to our Excel 2013 course and will teach students about the formulas they can use to help them in their everyday use of Excel.

Excel 2013 Formulas

Join LearnKey expert Michael Meskers in our new Excel Formulas course. If you use Microsoft Excel for data analysis, reporting, or day-to-day tracking, this course will teach you helpful formulas and hints that will bring ease and accuracy to your work.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed.

For more information visit our website.


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LearnKey and the Heartbleed Bug

by Brad - Apr 11, 2014


If you have paid attention to news in the IT world over the last week, you may heard of the Heartbleed bug. The Heartbleed bug exploits a vulnerability in certain versions of OpenSSL. It allows attackers to gain access to usernames, passwords, and other sensitive information, even though a site’s address bar displays the letters “https” or a padlock icon. Heartbleed is a serious vulnerability, and millions of users worldwide could be affected. If you have purchased courseware through LearnKey’s website, you may be concerned that your information has been compromised.

This is not the case. Learnkey uses a tool called FoxyCart to process transactions on our web site. FoxyCart has thoroughly checked their systems and have assured us they are not affected by this bug.

Though our systems are unaffected, you may still be vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. Several large companies have been affected, including several popular social media sites and search engines. If you even suspect your information has been compromised, you should think about changing your passwords. ConnectSafely.org has a list of tips for strong, secure passwords. Some of these tips include:

  • Don’t use just one password
  • Create passwords that are easy for you to remember, but hard for others to guess
  • Make your password at least 8 characters long
  • Include numbers, capital letters, and symbols
  • Don’t use dictionary words
  • Don’t post your password in plain site

For more information on affected sites, check out CNET’s list of the top 100 sites across the Web.


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Understanding Image Usage Rights

by Brad - Apr 04, 2014


Disclaimer: The contents of this article are meant as a guide only, and should not be construed as expert legal advice on copyright law. Any specific questions about copyright and intellectual property rights should be referred to a lawyer with expertise in United States copyright law. Copyright laws differ slightly from country to country, so a lawyer familiar with International copyright laws may also be required.

Product or service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners. Their inclusion in this article should not be construed as an endorsement by LearnKey or its affiliates.

Imagine you are working on a project for a major client. You’ve spent days getting the design just right and now you’re looking for that perfect image to make the project complete. You search through your image library, but nothing feels right. You try image after image, but they all fail to meet your expectations.

We’ve all been there. Like most designers, you probably turn to the Internet. A quick Internet search yields the perfect image for your project. You visit the website, download the image, and turn your finished project over to the client. The client is happy, your boss is happy, and life couldn’t be better, right?

Wrong. You forgot something.

That image you downloaded and used in your project belongs to someone else. You had no legal right to use that image and now you, your company, and your client find yourselves in court for violating someone’s intellectual property rights.

But the image was on the Internet, so it’s free for anyone to use, right?

Wrong again. Unless the image is in the public domain, any image posted to the Internet is automatically protected by United States copyright law, with or without a copyright notice. Even sharing that image on your Facebook page without permission is a violation of the author’s legal rights. While some claims of copyright violation are more difficult to enforce than others, any legal trouble can mean bad news for a designer. Your company may survive a lawsuit, but your job and reputation likely will not.

So how do you avoid this type of situation?

The first thing you can do is avoid using images found in an Internet search. While some of these images are either public domain or specially licensed for commercial work, most are not. A better approach is to subscribe to a stock photo service such as iStock or Shutterstock. Services such as these allow almost unrestricted use of their photos for either a monthly fee or a per-photo fee.

If money is an issue, there are many sites which offer free photos, but the image quality and resolution is usually not the same as those found through a subscription service. Sites like morgueFile and Wikimedia Commons offer free access to thousands of photos, many of which are restriction-free or require only that you provide attribution to the photographer. Also, with the exception of government trademarks and logos, images created by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person’s official duties are not subject to copyright.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to pay attention to an image’s license. Many artists have licensed their work with a Creative Commons license, allowing others to use their photos with specific restrictions. If you can’t find an image’s license, you should probably assume it is not available for use.


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New Course Release – Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II

by Beau - Apr 02, 2014


Last month I posted about our production team’s goal to release two courses every month. I am excited to announce that they met that goal! Last week we released our Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II course. This course is the second part to our Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part I we released earlier this year. Our Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II course will prepare students to take exam 200-101 ICND2 and will test a students skills in LAN switching technologies, troubleshooting, and other technical skills that are essential in obtaining the certification.

Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II

In LearnKey’s Routing and Switching Fundamentals 2013 Part II course, users will gain the skills necessary to prepare for and take exam 200-101 ICND2. Users will learn VLSM, IPv6, OSPF and EIGRP protocols as well as learning to use access lists using NAT and DHCP. This course also covers 2800 and 3800 routers using various standard protocols and how ACL’s are used to protect networks. At the completion of this course users will be prepared for the CCNA Routing and Switching certification.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed.

For more information visit our website.


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CompTIA’s CASP – A Fast Track to an IA Career?

by Brian - Mar 28, 2014


As the Veteran Services Manager at LearnKey, I work with Veterans from all over the world who are looking for ways to get into the security side of IT when whey separate from the military. Everyone knows about the CISSP certification and what that means to those who are looking to go big in an IA (Information Assurance) career. Everyone looks at the benefits of the CISSP yet they also know that it comes with an extensive exam. Don’t get me wrong, I am pro-CISSP and we help a lot of Veterans to achieve that level of certification. I do, however, want to talk about the CompTIA CASP certification and how it can jump-start the IA career you have been dreaming of.

The Advanced Security Practitioner certification from CompTIA (CASP) is a relative newcomer to the IA world. It is CompTIA’s first certification at the professional level and it was designed to fill the gap between their Security+ and the ISC2 CISSP certifications. The CISSP is often described as being a “mile wide and an inch deep” which perfectly describes every manager I have ever worked for. Yes, the CISSP is a management level certification which is great, but probably not the place you will likely start out in your new career. The CASP on the other hand is where the rubber hits the road. It includes the skills and objectives needed to keep everything running with the good guys on the inside and the bad guys put out in the cold. Here is a great video that CompTIA put together to illustrate what I am talking about:

CASP covers the latest in cryptographic applications, vulnerabilities, virtual storage, secure DNS, network design, firewalls, risk management, VoIP, and more. Those who possess the CASP certification work on the front lines, protecting and defending their networks. This is certainly the reason why the DoD directive 8570 was recently updated and they pushed the CASP certification up to the mid and high levels within their baseline approval structure (http://iase.disa.mil/eta/iawip/content_pages/iabaseline.html).

Although the CASP exam is not easy, it is much less strenuous of an exam than the CISSP. It also doesn’t come with the difficult-to-prove prerequisites. Listen to what Tom Carpenter, published author and consultant, has to say about the CASP certification and what it means to you:

The bottom line here is that both certifications are great but you really need to consider taking things in a logical order. I am excited to help our Veterans to (metaphorically) kick down the doors between them and a great career in IA, starting with the CASP certification.


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New Course Release – Windows Server 2012 Administrator

by Beau - Mar 20, 2014


Our production team has a goal to release TWO courses every month. That is a spectacular goal and one that the entire LearnKey team works together to accomplish. With the release of our new Windows Server 2012 Administrator course earlier this week, we are one step closer to accomplishing this goal. As the first in a series of Windows Server courses we will be releasing in  2014, Windows Server 2012 Administrator will prepare users to take exam 70-411 and ensure they have the skills necessary to manage and maintain a Windows Server infrastructure.

Windows Server 2012 Administrator

Join LearnKey expert Jason Manibog as he takes you through the Windows Server 2012 Administrator  course. Users will learn to manage and configure Active Directory, NPS infrastructure, and configuration file and print services. Users will also learn to deploy, manage, and maintain servers along with other skills and knowledge needed to be prepared to take 70-411.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed.

For more information visit our website.

 


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