New Products for a New School Year

by Beau - Aug 10, 2012


Remember how I promised all you teachers out there that LearnKey would be releasing some really awesome new tools to use in your classrooms? Well consider that promised fulfilled, because we will be releasing brand new course projects and the A+ workbook, both made specifically for you and ready to use for the 2012/2013 school year!

As many of you know, our new A+ 2012 course was released at the end of July. We were excited to introduce Tom Carpenter as the new face and author of A+ 2012. Tom is a great fit for teaching this course because he has hands on experience teaching A+ to high school students, preparing them for the A+ exam. Tom also has 15 years of training, 20 years of work experience in IT and has also written 14 IT related books through McGraw-Hill and Sybex.

Included with the course is a new course workbook, and one exciting thing about the A+ workbook is that it was written by Tom Carpenter specifically for LearnKey. Teachers should be excited about this because Tom personally made sure that the workbook is mapped to our A+ course. Included in the workbook are application projects that provide learning opportunities that will prepare students for the A+ exam. The workbook also includes some bonus information not included in the course that expands upon concepts that are presented, and lesson plans which can be used as a guide to teach the course. We are really happy with the work that Tom put into the workbook and know that it will be a great asset to the A+ teaching experience.

Our next big end of summer release is the teacher projects, made by teachers for teachers. Much of the feedback that we were getting from teachers was that they wished we had more projects that were more hands on and really reinforce skills that their students need to receive their certification. We heard this feedback and are happy to say that since June we have had teachers who use our courses in their classrooms create projects that will be available to all LK teachers to use.

The team here at LearnKey has been working really hard all summer to make sure that these awesome new features would be ready to go by the time you go back to school. I am really proud of all of the work that has gone into these projects and I am positive that they will be a great benefit to your classroom.


Hot as a Billy Goat in a Pepper Patch

by Beau - Aug 02, 2012


This week I had the opportunity to go to the great state of Texas and attend the Texas Career Education Conference. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Texas so y’all may find that some Texas talk made its way into this post. Jared Baker, one of LearnKey’s “road warriors”, was nice enough to let me go to the show with him for the week and really help me see what happens on the front lines. Thinking back on this week, three things come to mind: Hot tempertures, tasty food, and amazing people.

Coming from Southern Utah I didn’t think that the weather in Dallas would be anything to blink an eye at, but when we walked out of the airport it was hot–darn hot! Heat I am able to handle, but mixed with humidity made being outside downright uncomfortable.

Not much can compare to the bbq, mexican food, or creole food that has been perfected across Texas. But one thing that is a secret to non-Texans is Blue Bell Ice Cream. I had this for the first time this week and I can honestly say that it is the best ice cream I have ever had.

The highlight of my trip was not the food and definitely not the weather – it was the great teachers that I was able to interact with at the show. The first day of the show was on Tuesday and I was scared as a sinner in a cyclone to talk with the teachers. Luckily for me I realized that I had no reason to worry and I had a fantastic time. I loved hearing about how teachers are using LearnKey in the classroom.

How do you use LearnKey in the classroom? Let us know in the comments or on our Facebook page!


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A+ Certification 2012 released

by Colin - Aug 02, 2012


We’ve been teasing it for a while, but our A+ Certification 2012 course is now available! A+ is one of our most popular courses, so of course Tom Carpenter and our production teams went out of their way to make this version both entertaining and educational.

Course Clips:

Looking inside a computer
The Motherboard
Mini-ATX and Micro-ATX
Installing a CPU

An A+ Certification is one of the core requirements for many tech support and computer service jobs, and is the gateway to more specific career paths. If you’ve been looking to get started in IT, or if you’re expanding your tech knowledge, this course is for you.

Visit the Product page for more course information


A look into filming for LearnKey

by Kari - Jul 20, 2012


How many wardrobe changes are needed for a short 3 minute promotional video? Well, in the case of David Clemons it took three. Three different shirts, two backgrounds and glasses off, just to get the best video that we could capture.

Being in the film studio is always an interesting experience. I realize every time how diligent and detail oriented our Salt Lake City crew can be. David Clemons and his colleague Oliver were in town for short time on a Monday morning. We had about three hours for Oliver to shoot a testimonial for LearnCast, and for David to shoot his version of LearnKey’s history.

Oliver’s shoot went off without a hitch; he was filmed in front of the blue screen as the crew already had an office type background picked out for him. Elizabeth McUen, or Liz our new production manager, was prepared with a barrage of questions that she directed at Oliver. He then responded with amazing detail and eloquence, he was such a great speaker that I was tempted to take notes. At the end of the shoot David added a few more questions for Oliver, we filmed for five more minutes and it was a wrap. The crew and Oliver made it seem so easy.

Then it was time for Dave’s History of LearnKey, a marketing video we requested to help promote LearnKey’s 25th anniversary. As Art Director of the marketing team, I had some input into how the shoot was organized, so I requested a different background. I wanted a white background “Apple-style”, instead of the blue screen. Dave’s cream colored shirt had looked great in front of the blue screen but seemed washed out in front of the white, luckily he was prepared with a few wardrobe options. I got the feeling that he’d done this before! He quickly changed into a black dress shirt and we started filming, filming… cut. The crew in the booth noticed that his cuff links were very distracting. Kudos to the crew! David graciously removed the cuff links and rolled up his cuffs and once again we start filming… cut. Five minutes into the take the crew decided the the stripes on the rolled up cuffs are distracting. So it was off to change to the third and hopefully final shirt, which luckily was a winner!

David was dynamic in front of the camera and shared some interesting insights into the birth of LearnKey. In fact he gave us 35 minutes of raw footage from which we’ll create a 2-3 minute video. Thank you David, for being such a great sport.

It’s a wrap, or at least the filming is finished. There is still a lot of work for the Salt Lake City crew to do before they send the footage to the marketing team in St. George. Once we receive the footage on a drive, Hyrum from the design team will spend many hours cutting and editing the film to create a nice little marketing piece for our 25th anniversary. I can’t wait to share the final product with all of our customers, and maybe Hyrum will blog about his part of the video making process!


Tom Carpenter discusses A+ 2012

by Colin - Jul 12, 2012


Our next CompTIA A+ Certification course is coming closer and closer to completion. As you may know, this version is hosted by Tom Carpenter, a course author who has worked with us quite a bit in the past. This is Tom’s first A+ course with LearnKey, and some of you may not have had the chance to see any of his other work before, so we wanted to make sure your questions and concerns were answered.

Our own Paula Pixley contacted Tom for an interview, in which he discusses his years of IT experience, his past work with LearnKey, and what kind of approach he takes to teaching the A+ objectives.


Connecting the Dots to Blended Learning (infographic)

by Colin - Jun 29, 2012


At LearnKey, we support K-12 learning in several ways, but many teachers aren’t sure integrating technology into the classroom actually pays off. That’s why we’ve come up with this handy infographic!

View the full infographic

Do any of you have success stories about how blended learning helped your students? Or maybe a unique way you’re integrating online learning into your curriculum? Let us know in the comments!


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Are you excited for the end of summer? You should be!

by Beau - Jun 12, 2012


I know what you are thinking – “Why is this guy talking about the end of summer when summer has just begun?” Well, as promised in my last blog post I want to keep you up-to-date with some of the exciting happenings at LearnKey this summer. Here is a little sneak peek of some awesome OnlineExpert features to look forward to over the next couple of months.

Learning Management System (LMS) Tour

This free instructional course teaches educators and administrators how to easily access, use, and learn the functions of OnlineExpert. The LMS tour is broken into manageable sections, which allows users to easily find and watch material that is relevant to their needs.

This is one feature you don’t have to wait for – the LMS Tour was just recently released! Since it is free, current customers can easily have our representatives add it to their course libraries.

Projects

Teachers: We have listened to your requests – “More hands-on activities!” We are excited to announce that our Office 2007/2010, Adobe ACA, and IC³ courses will feature hands-on projects created by teachers who use our courses in their curriculum. These projects will help reinforce what students are learning by providing them with hands-on experience throughout the course.

Touchscreen support

In the past, our courses have made heavy use of Flash video and players, which certain mobile devices don’t support. Since these devices are becoming more and more popular in learning environments, OnlineExpert will allow students and teachers to use mobile devices as a learning tool with new touchscreen support beginning in August.

I am excited to be able to share these upcoming releases with everyone. After all, don’t we all need a good reason to actually look forward to the end of summer? Be sure to check back often for the down low on what’s going on at LearnKey.

I love getting comments, so here’s a question for you – What are your favorite summer traditions or vacation spots?


Sweet “Temporary” Home Alabama…

by Kim - Jun 08, 2012


I recently had the opportunity to travel to Alabama with Justin, our newest member of the sales team, to attend an education conference and meet with teachers interested in eLearning and industry certifications. Here is a brief overview of our travels:

Wednesday

Beautiful weather in Bessemer, Alabama where we stayed. We spent some time in Tuscaloosa, meeting with a teacher working with students and passing the CompTIA exams like A+ and Network+. We showed him the teaser clip to our upcoming A+ 2012 release and he’s really looking forward to it.

We also had the pleasure of visiting The University of Alabama, which has a beautiful campus. We found a great place called The Mellow Mushroom, and had some of the best pizza I have ever eaten. We had a Cesar Salad pizza…yes I know salad on top of a pizza, and yes it was amazing!

Thursday

The first day of our education conference and 2 hour workshop for teachers went really well. The conference was hosted at the Mercedes factory located in Vance, Alabama. This location is the manufacturing facility where the M-Class, the R-Class, and the GL-Class are built. Our conference was located in the training center for the employees, the landscape is so beautiful and we had a chance walk through the visitors center and gift shop where I picked up a few souvenirs.

Read more »


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New to the Team

by Beau - May 25, 2012


Hello LearnKey blog followers! I’m Beau, and this is my first official blog as the new Marketing and Trade Show Coordinator at LearnKey. I have been in this position since April, and have really enjoyed the work that I am doing. So far I have written press releases, taken lead on new marketing campaigns, booked new trade shows for our sales staff to attend, and performed all kinds of jobs in between to help our Marketing and Support teams.

Now a little about me. I am from the greatest town in the world, Kanab, Utah. I loved growing up in Kanab because it allowed me to be close to all of the activities that I enjoy doing. I love going to Zion National Park to hike or floating the Virgin River on a tube. One of the benefits of growing up in Kanab is that Lake Powell is an hour away. Every summer I look forward to family lake trips. I am currently training to run a marathon sometime this fall.

One weird fact about me is that I like to smell trees, more specifically Ponderosa Pines. I swear to you that if you smell one in the summertime it will smell like vanilla, chocolate, or caramel. The most common smell is caramel and I have yet to smell the elusive chocolate tree.

Last year I graduated from Southern Utah University with a Communications degree emphasizing in Advertising and Public Relations.

I love working at LearnKey and am really excited about some of awesome things coming up. Some of the first major projects I started working on are the upcoming A+ 2012 and Network+ 2012 courses, and we’re all really excited about how those are turning out. Stay tuned to the blog and our Facebook page to stay up-to-date on whats going on!


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Are you ready for A+ 2012?

by Colin - May 11, 2012


As you may have heard by now, we’re releasing a new A+ Certification course this summer. With that said, I’m just going to leave this video here for you…


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