New Year, New You – Certification Maps for 2011

by Allacyn - Jan 28, 2011


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If you are like me, you profess every New Year that you are going to make changes… Well it is almost February, and I haven’t even started to make any changes yet. When you decide to make these changes you usually do not take into consideration that figuring out what steps to take next can be so overwhelming, you quit before you start. For example, every year somewhere on my list is to be healthier (I am sure like many of you), but more often than not, sifting through all of the diets and exercise programs out there overwhelms me, and I just continue with my same routine.

If this sounds like you and certification is on your list this year, we have something to help you get started. Read more »



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Moving Sideways Instead of Up?

by Allacyn - Jan 20, 2011


Companies are having to be creative these days in order to keep employees engaged and excited about doing their jobs. One way to accomplish this is to move employees around laterally. For example you discover that one of your sales representatives has a passion for and past experience in marketing and would like to move to that department when an opening becomes available. This kind of movement can be benficial for both employee and employer; employees feel greater satisfaction for what they are doing and employers retain their talent.

In an article Lattice vs. Ladder in Human Resource Executive author Maura C. Ciccarelli points out that “It’s all about retention and engagement. Lateral moves have become the new ladder to success.” Here are some suggestions if your organization wants to implement a “lattice” model.

  • Help employees build profiles that include their interests, hobbies, experience, and education.
  • Keep an ongoing conversation going with employees about their goals professionally and personally.
  • Look at the technology that is available to help develop these programs.
  • Make sure the managers and employees work together for the greater good of the organization as a whole and not just their departments.
  • Help employees build an individualized career plan that fits their goals and meets their needs.
  • Work to change your companies culture from ‘moving up’ to ‘moving around’.
  • Direct employees to resources available to them to meet their goals.
  • Be patient. This kind of change will take time.

Do you like this idea of moving around as a way to feel successful? Think about your workplace – are there other departments you would be interested in working in?



Main Goals of the National Educational Technology Plan

by Allacyn - Jan 20, 2011


Technology has vastly changed our world today and plays a large role in peoples lives, but it still hasn’t impacted education the way it has other areas like business. That might all change within the next four years. Below are the five main goals of the National Educational Technology Plan as outlined by Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education.

  • Using Educational technology to fundamentally change the learning process by making it more engaging and tailored to individual student needs and interests;
  • Using ed-tech to develop a new generation of assessments;
  • Connecting teachers with their peers and experts so they are always up-to-date on the resources available to them;
  • Building infrastructure that lets schools support access to technology in and out of the classroom; and
  • Harnessing the power of educational technology to increase school district productivity and student achievement.

What are your opinions of these goals and the plan? Do you think this is realistic with the 2015 deadline that Duncan set? What will it take to accomplish these goals?



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20 Dying Technologies

by Allacyn - Jan 18, 2011


These days, It seems like there are new advances in technology every day – and then the next day there is another one making the one before it obsolete. Bloomberg Businessweek recently came up with a list of 20 dying technologies and some were very surprising. Read the list below and let me know what you think. Are these technologies really going to die? How long will it take for them to become completely obsolete?

Combustion engines

Oil spills, rising gas prices, pollution – all reasons for a push for new, cleaner technology. There have been a lot of options that have been played with as replacements for combustion engines. One of these taking off will require the infrastructure to support the idea – think charging stations instead of gas stations!

Read more »



Free Online Tools for the Classroom!

by Allacyn - Jan 10, 2011


There are so many free tools available that foster collaboration in the 21st Century classroom and it can be overwhelming to figure out how to utilize them. I thought it might be fun to list some ideas on how to use online tools to engage students and create a successful classroom. These tools are a new way to engage students and make the classroom more interactive. If you have any ideas to add or if you use these tools for different classroom projects, let us know we would love to hear your ideas!

  •  Create a modern day pen pals program where students can correspond to students in another classroom across the country or across the globe through Skype. A modern twist on a classic classroom activity.
  • Exchange lesson plans and ideas on a social network. This one is for the teachers; there are many social networking sites that are geared toward you specifically. These sites offer ideas and support from your fellow educators.
  • Start a classroom blog on blogspot.com where students projects are featured and they can find important classroom information. This offers a sense of community to your classroom outside the classrooms walls.
  • Create a classroom Wiki where students post research and reference materials for the whole class to use. This can be a great tool and also help teach students important lessons about researching.
  • Have a poetry contest using twitter. Hold a poetry contest on Twitter where students have to use 140 characters or less.
  • Have students work together to collaborate on a video project and post them on YouTube. This can be rewarding for students and you as the educator as well.


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Most in Demand IT Certifications for 2011

by Allacyn - Jan 10, 2011


The Robert Half Technology Salary Guide 2011 has found the most in demand job titles, skill sets, and certifications for the coming year. If you are looking to change careers or add to your skill set you need to read this to make sure you are looking at career paths that are in demand.

There will be high demand for application developers, .NET developers, systems administrators, database administrators and desktop support professionals.

In demand skill sets for the coming year include; programming , business mindset, technological proficiency, security, networking, infrastructure support, and electronic medical records.

Certifications in demand- Cisco certifications (Cisco Certified Network Associate), Linux (Red Hat Certified Engineer), Microsoft certifications (Microsoft Certified Applications Developer, Microsoft Certified IT Professional, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Security certifications (Certified Information Systems Security Professional, Check Point Certified Security Administrator, and Check Point Certified Security Expert).

Check out the training LearnKey has available to help you get certified!



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Top Tech Questions at Your Holiday Gathering

by Allacyn - Dec 23, 2010


If you are the go to tech person in your family, you might be dreading the upcoming holiday gatherings because you will undoubtedly be cornered by a few of your family members about their technology questions. I recently read an article “How to survive Holiday Family Tech Support”, that is a survival guide for the tech questions you will be asked at your family gatherings.

The questions you will get will most likely be very vague, and without more information you will not be able to give good answers. Here are a few of the common problems you will encounter:

Read more »



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Happy Holidays!

by Allacyn - Dec 23, 2010


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I want to thank everyone for reading our blog in 2010, it has been fun working on the blog and reading all of your comments. We are working hard to make sure we provide interesting posts for you to read and we hope it has been useful.

If you have any suggestions or ideas on what you would like to read about on our blog in 2011 please let us know and we will do everything we can to make it happen.

Happy Holidays to everyone may you have a safe and joyous Holiday Season!



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How to Delegate

by Allacyn - Dec 17, 2010


I came across an interesting article “The Right Way to Delegate Your Next Big Project” by Mike Michalowicz about delegation and I wanted to share with you some of the tips to make you a successful delegator.

Delegation is something we all have to do whether it is at home or at work and well we don’t always do it successfully. For example I often delegate household chores to my husband, but often times I find myself frustrated with the outcome or taking over completely because I have a hard time letting go of control.

We struggle with delegation because it means letting go of something we will still be held responsible for, but if done right delegation can mean accomplishing a lot more and giving each project the time and effort it requires. Here are the tips-

Champion

Find one person you trust to assign the project to. Make sure this project will be the only big project on their plate. Let your champion have room to make decisions related to this project.

Reward

Offer a reward. This will provide additional motivation and incentive to make the project a success.

Publicize

Make it public that you are assigning this task to your champion. This shows your support for your champion and the project, lets other people know who to turn to, and motivates because everyone will know who is responsible if project fails. Always point people back to your champion.

Do you have any personal examples of how you delegate? What about when a lack of delegation resulted in a project not going as planned? Tell us your stories in the comments!



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CCSP Now CCNP?

by Allacyn - Dec 17, 2010


In mid October, Cisco announced that the CCSP certification would be evolving into the CCNP Security certification. After April 2011 CCSP exams will no longer be available and CCSP certifications will not be given after October 2011. All CCSP certifications will be valid and recognized for a 3 year active period until 2014. This has caused quite a bit of confusion for all of the folks who are in the middle of getting this certification or who already have a CCSP certification. In response CISCO has created the CCSP Exam Certification Tool to help you figure it all out. 

The tool allows you to select the CCSP exams and shows you the required exams and the elective exams along with the last day they will be available. This will help you map everything out and plan ahead for your certification making the process smooth.

Do you have any questions about the upcoming Cisco certification changes? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll do our best to answer them!



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