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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2014 CTE Awards Recognition Ceremony – United Federation of Teachers, NYC

by Jared - Mar 24, 2014


Alex Bell addressing the CTE audience

LearnKey was pleased to be included this year in the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Recognition Ceremony put on by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). The UFT is a union of professionals that supports and is committed to strengthening their communities, their profession, and the lives of their members and students. This annual ceremony recognizes teachers that are the very best educators in their particular field of expertise.

This annual event happens around the same time as the Academy Awards, and I now understand why. These teachers, paraprofessionals, guidance counselors, and other professionals are the very best in what they do, just like the actors that get the coveted “Oscar” at the Academy Awards!

These professionals are directly involved with touching a student’s life and helping them realize their goals. Many students that these experts mentor gain meaningful skills and ultimately a real world certification that applies directly to a career. NYC offers many certifications in multiple areas of transportation, the medical sciences, information technologies, graphic design and desktop publishing, and many more that are all recognized on this extraordinary evening.

Alex Bell, Sterling Roberson, and Emma Mendez

LearnKey was fortunate enough to be involved with “THE” information technology teacher named Alex Bell. Alex has been teaching computer repair for years and is one of the best teachers in the world as far as getting students certified in CompTIA’s A+ Certification. Alex has been familiar with the LearnKey training for years and will have a big say in how LearnKey will supplement the classroom instruction with hands on projects, lesson plans, labs, and activities that all point to the ultimate goal of certification. Alex has a 100% pass rate and has had for 12 years and that is why we can say “THE”.

LearnKey is a part of a larger business family as well. Better Learning Systems (BLS) is our parent company and “Know Your Talents” is the behavioral arm of our business that assists teachers, counselors, administrators dig down to the behavioral level to see why people do what they do. This “Know Your Talents” tool truly helps individuals figure out what they would truly succeed at in life. Emma Mendez is one of the most extraordinary guidance counselors in NYC who truly focuses on where a student wants to go and helps them realize their dreams. This KYT tool helps counselors assess quickly and with pinpoint accuracy how to steer and guide these wonderful kids down career pathways that fit with their interests and personalities. Emma is truly remarkable and instrumental in helping other guidance counselors all over NYC unlock the potential in every student.

Alex Bell, Sterling Roberson, and Emma Mendez posing for the camera

Many students across NYC are so bogged down with “real life” that they need a blessing like Alex and Emma to enter their lives and help them succeed and reach their dreams!

BLS and LearnKey will continue to support the UFT and the CTE programs in New York City Schools.

Thanks Alex and Emma for making us an integral part of this successful equation!!!


Alexander C. Bell – His passion, dedication, and belief that every student can and should be positioned for success is second to none. No one puts in the dedication Mr. Bell does to achieve the pass rates his students achieve every year. Thank you for helping students fulfill their dreams through better learning and providing them with leadership, mentorship, and wonderful guidance.

Emelia “Emma” Mendez – Emma demonstrates a vision of leaving “no rock unturned” in seeking resources, learning systems, and passionate people to help create a valued added support system for students so they can achieve their dreams. Thank you for demonstrating that in good will and always reminding everyone: the student comes first.



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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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Beau Knows LearnKey!

by Jeff - Mar 17, 2014


Need a trade show coordinated? How about a marketing white paper? Or updated course catalog and better yet- how about travel arrangements? Those are key areas of our company and we are fortunate enough to have Beau Shakespear handle those duties or shall I say “wear all those hats”  with a “can do” attitude and great pride in his work. It is for that reason and the way he demonstrates our company’s core values that he is the recipient of our March 2014 Better Learning Systems employee of the month!

As our Marketing and Tradeshow Coordinator Beau has developed strong organizational skills and really taken control in communicating our key messaging for students, teachers and veterans. Our leadership team can count on Beau to be one step ahead of us at all times when it comes to key marketing and support activities. Kim Johnson, his manager, had this to say regarding his nomination:

“Over the past few months Beau coordinated a major redesign of our LearnKey.com website that has made it easier to navigate, find information that is informative and much needed.  I am so proud of how he went about completing such a major task and how he has adapted with managing multiple projects, meeting deadlines at all times”.

Our core values are built around ease, value and trust. Beau exemplifies these in how easy it is to work with him, the value his contributions bring and trust he builds with the way he goes about doing his job. Way go to Beau!

As always, here’s a Q and A on some fun facts about Beau:

1. How many siblings do you have? 2 brothers, 1 sister

2. What is your favorite movie?  Baby Mamma – This could be because my wife is pregnant. But you can never go wrong with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

3. What is your favorite band? Couldn’t name a favorite band. But currently I am loving Happy by Pharrell Williams.

4. What is your favorite vacation spot? Disneyland

5. What was your high school’s mascot? Cowboys

6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? One time in Mexico I ate crickets with spice on them. They were crunchy.

7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet? Tramp my dog.

8. What was your first car? 1989 golden Astro Van.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Italy or Ireland

10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? I have been sky diving and zip lining. But I would go zip lining again in a heartbeat. It was so much fun.

11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here?  Some things are worth dying for, and one of those things is gluten. YOLO!

12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? I would like to eat with whichever ancestor was the closest to William Shakespeare and ask them how/if I am related to William Shakespeare. Then I would finally have an answer when people ask me “Are you related to William Shakespeare?”

Please join me in congratulating Beau for this great accomplishment and thank you once more Beau for all the great work you do and how you go about doing it.

 

Jeff



The Power of Certification

by Brad - Mar 13, 2014


Sometimes it’s good to take a morning away . . . away from the office, away from the desk, away from the computer.

Tuesday morning, I did just that. I took a morning away from LearnKey to speak to the Web Design class at Parowan High School in Parowan, Utah.

My wife is a student teacher at Parowan High School, and when her mentor teacher learned that I work as a Web Designer she asked if I would be willing to come talk to the class. She wanted someone in the local community to give her students a “real world” perspective on the concepts they are studying in class.

Presenting to the students at Parowan High School

The world tells us that we can become anything we want to be. Therefore, the world tells us that anyone can become a web designer. The world often fails to mention that while everyone can become a web designer, not everyone will become a good web designer. Like any other profession, to become a good web designer a person must put in a lot of hard work and dedication (a little bit of natural artistic talent doesn’t hurt either).

As an artistic professional (yes, web design is an art form), I can’t always remember the fundamentals of designing a good website. As in many other professions, the elements of good design became instinctual over time and I subconsciously implement them in every design I create. As a result, I had to re-learn the proper terms for things that have become second nature to me. I had to re-educate myself before I could properly give a presentation on the elements of a good design. LearnKey’s Web Site Design Course provides a great introduction to these important concepts and teaches students how to use the tools necessary to succeed in a web design career.

Education is a large part of what it takes to succeed in any field of employment. Even so, with the large number of people looking for work, a proper education may not be enough to set you apart from other job seekers. It’s the seemingly simple things that set candidates apart, things like extra training and industry certifications.

At LearnKey, we understand the need to rise above the competition. Many of our courses are geared toward preparing students for certification, whether they’re interested in the Adobe Creative Suite, Microsoft Office, or CompTIA’s A+ Certification. Our primary goal is to provide quality expert-led training that will enable students to get certified at a pace that works for them. LearnKey’s courseware is carefully mapped to exam objectives, with project manuals and practice tests to reinforce concepts taught in the training.

I guess even on my morning away I couldn’t stay away from LearnKey or its mission.

Thanks again to Deveny Pace and Nicole Washburn for allowing me to take up their valuable class time.



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LearnKey Career Preparation

by Beau - Mar 10, 2014


I recently read an article titled “8 Second Careers to Consider.” In a nutshell, the article is for people who are considering a second career and aspects of changing a career that need to be addressed before they make the change. The part of the article that caught my attention was a section that talked about making sure you have the necessary skill set for the new career you want to start. One important step is to evaluate which of your current skills can transfer from your old job to your desired job; also what skills you need to develop to ensure you will be successful in your new career.

I found that LearnKey has courseware that will prepare job seekers for three of the careers listed in the article. I would like to take a minute to explain how our LearnKey offerings coupled with previous work experience can provide you with some of the necessary skills you need to be successful in one of these three careers.

Market Research Analyst Study market conditions in local, regional or national areas to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them and at what price.

  1. Typical education requirement: Bachelor’s degree
  2. Job outlook, 2010 – 2020: 41 percent increase
  3. Median annual pay: $60,570

Take this free online career pathway and leadership assessment to learn your leadership style and which career path fits your behavior. | eLearningPlanner.com

Choose from individual courses or use our career and certification paths to guide you to a success career in the market research field.

Meeting, Convention, and Event PlannersCoordinate all aspects of professional meeting and events. They choose meeting locations, arrange transportation and coordinate other details.

  1. Typical education requirement: Bachelor’s degree
  2. Job outlook, 2010 – 2020: 44 percent increase
  3. Median annual pay: $45,260

Take this free online career pathway and leadership assessment to learn your leadership style and which career path fits your behavior. | eLearningPlanner.com

Choose from individual courses or use our career and certification paths to guide you to a successful career in the meeting, convention, and event planning field.

Secretaries and Administrative AssistantsPerform routine clerical and organizational tasks. They organize files, draft messages, schedule appointments and support other staff.

  1. Typical education requirement: High school diploma or equivalent
  2. Job outlook, 2010 – 2020: 12 percent increase
  3. Median annual pay: $34,660

Take this free online career pathway and leadership assessment to learn your leadership style and which career path fits your behavior | eLearningPlanner.com

Choose from individual courses or use our career and certification paths to guide you to a successful career as a secretary or administrative assistant.

Changing careers can be a scary and stressful step in life. I believe that LearnKey offers the best in educational video courseware and will provide job seekers with the skills foundation they need to be successful in their chosen career.



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Global eLearning Company Receives “Green Light” from the New York state Department of Labor

by Beau - Mar 07, 2014


I am excited to announce that LearnKey courseware has been approved by the New York State Department of Labor and been added to the Eligible Training Provider List.

The purpose of the Eligible Training Provider List is to provide community members with a central  list of a broad range of training options that are available in communities throughout the state of New York.

“LearnKey is pleased to have met the expectations set by the New York State Department of Labor.” said Kimberly Johnson, Director of Client Services and Support. “I believe that LearnKey offers the most comprehensive and accessible online educational courseware. Our expert-lead project based courseware is interactive and contains labs that will train individuals to be prepared for industry certifications exams such as A+, Net+, Certified Associate Project Management, and prepare them with the skills they need to succeed or advance in their careers.”

Inclusion in the New York State Eligible Training Provider List required LearnKey to submit all courses to the New York State Department of Labor to make sure it complied with their high standards. Being added to the list puts LearnKey into a broad pool of training providers, who are in support of the training and employment goals of the individuals who access the list.



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Applying the Common Core

by Wyett - Mar 05, 2014


LearnKey and the Common Core State Standards

Editor’s note: This post is the third part of a three-part a series, in which our Director of Content Development shares his quest to understand one question: Is LearnKey aligned with the Common Core State Standards? (Read part one: In Search of the Common Core and part two: Discovering the Common Core)

Challenges are part of any industry. Sometimes those challenges are overcome, sometimes they prove to be too much, and sometimes a challenge is simply ignored in the hope that it will somehow disappear.

Personally, I love a good challenge.

Many of the challenges I face in my work, through sheer repetition, have become routine—finding an expert, scheduling an expert, acquiring exam objectives, appropriately timing a release, etc. It’s not that these are no longer challenges for me; it’s more that experience has taught me effective mechanisms with which to respond to each.

If you’ve read the two previous blog posts regarding LearnKey and the Common Core State Standards you know that, at least initially, I was hoping to sidestep the challenge of aligning LearnKey courseware to the core standards; I wanted it to “somehow disappear,” I didn’t see it as a good challenge. However, you may have also noticed that while I was trying to dodge this particular challenge I was (perhaps unknowingly) figuring out how to process it into manageable bits. The previous posts, as one commenter noted, were a bit of a tease…you could even argue that this post (so far) is continuing that theme…it is. Yet I felt it was important to show that there was thought and purpose behind what we hope to accomplish as we demonstrate our alignment to the Common Core.

I do not consider myself an educator. I am a technology-minded instructional designer who also happens to be a dreamer. I love research and collaboration. I love to find ways to help people succeed. I love making things better.

This is exactly what aligning LearnKey courseware to the core will do; it will make it better.

So here’s the big reveal; new LearnKey course maps will not only show the course index and corresponding location of exam objectives, they will now indicate which sections of the course align to the Common Core State Standards and offer suggestions on how to apply the course material to satisfy the standard. In addition to the detailed mapping, LearnKey Project Manuals will also indicate how the projects are core aligned.

In the coming weeks LearnKey will release the Photoshop CS6 (4/1), Dreamweaver CS6 (4/15), Premiere CS6 (5/6), and InDesign CS6 (5/20) core mapping documents; followed by Word (6/3), Excel (6/17), and PowerPoint (7/8) (2013 versions). Our new Adobe CC course offerings, coming later this year, will include the updated mapping as part of the project release. The upcoming Photoshop CS6 document shows areas of alignment with the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts. As more of the maps are generated we will create a “reverse” mapping document—one where the standards are the anchor—that will show all of the courses that can be used to satisfy any particular core standard.

View Common Core State Standards Sample Document

Working to create these mapping documents is a challenge my team and I eagerly accept.

I work with educators on a daily basis. I recognize the frustrations, challenges, and concerns that they face. I know that a map won’t solve every problem, but I do know that it will provide a direction and offer a solution.

 

Helpful links about the Common Core State Standards:



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New Course Release – Project Management Professional® 2014 Certification Prep Course

by Beau - Feb 25, 2014


Quick on the heels of our Certified Associate in Project Management® 2014 Certification Prep Course, I am excited to announce that our Project Management Professional® 2014 Certification Prep course has been released, joining CAPM as the second course to be added to our Project Management prep courses. We are excited to be able to offer both of these courses to those seeking a certification in Project Management. As a globally recognized certification, this certification is perfect for managers who have experience and have demonstrated the ability to successfully lead project teams.

Project Management Professional® 2014 Certification Prep

With LearnKey’s Project Management Professional (PMP) course users will prepare for the PMP exam based on the 5th edition PMBOK® Guide. This course guides you through the journey of understanding the basic fundamentals involved in high-level project management. Discover what defines a project life cycle, how project management process mapping works, and how to develop a project scope statement. Project Management Professional® is a registered trademark of Project Management Institute, Inc.

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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