Entrepreneurship and Small Business Course Released!

by Brad - May 31, 2017


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our Entrepreneurship and Small Business course.

Entrepreneurship and Small Business

LearnKey’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business course is designed to prepare a student to sit for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business certification exam. The course provides scenarios and example questions to apply knowledge of fundamental entrepreneurship and small business management concepts. Topics covered include: defining an entrepreneur, recognizing an opportunity, starting and operating a business, how to market a business, managing sales, and basic financial management. The course is designed for a student who has taken a small business management class, but will prepare any student for the ESB exam.

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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Introduction to Programming Concepts and QuickBooks 2017 Courses Released

by Brad - May 18, 2017


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our Introduction to Programming Concepts and QuickBooks 2017 courses, and the Access 2016 MasterExam.

Introduction to Programming Concepts

This 90-minute course is an introduction to basic programming concepts and is perfect for those who want to learn how to program, but don’t know where to start. Rather than focusing on a single programming language, this course will teach prospective programmers three basic principles: introduction to objects, program design basics, and coding basics.

QuickBooks 2017

LearnKey’s QuickBooks 2017 course is designed to improve the employability prospects for any company needing someone who can work with QuickBooks efficiently. The course also serves as a preparation for the QuickBooks Certified User Exam. The course goes through all ten exam domains: QuickBooks Setup, General Product Knowledge, List Management, Items, Sales, Purchases, Payroll, Reports, Basic Accounting, and Customization. This course will give users the confidence to work effectively with QuickBooks for businesses of all types.

Access 2016 MasterExam

LearnKey’s Microsoft Access 2016 MasterExam will help you prepare to take exam 77-730. This educational training product is intended to be used in combination with LearnKey’s video courseware. The MasterExam has hundreds of questions to test your knowledge, helping you become a certified user of Access 2016.

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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Access 2016 Released!

by Brad - Apr 06, 2017


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our Access 2016 course.

Access 2016 (77-730)

In Access 2016, the relational database app in Microsoft Office, you can design your own databases or use templates to create databases to share with others, namely coworkers. LearnKey Senior Instructor Jason Manibog will take you through creating databases, creating tables, building queries, building forms, and building reports. These five topics are also the topics on the Microsoft Office Specialist exam for Access 2016 (Exam 77-730). This, combined with what you will learn about relational database structures, will improve your employability prospects in any position needing skills with small to medium-sized relational databases.

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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What I Have Been Up To This Year

by Jason - Feb 03, 2017


Greetings, one and all. I hope you all had a good January. The snow and cold around here means no golf for me which means no fun, but, I digress. I’m here to talk upcoming courses, as in what our crew has been filming and putting together for upcoming releases. This month, we actually filmed three of these and I’m here to fill you all in on what we are working on and how these courses will help your certification prospects and your employability. After all, our CEO, Jeff Coruccini, penned a couple of weeks ago our vision of Improving Employability Everyday, something I always have in mind when playing the architect for these courses. Now, onto our upcoming courses:

Access 2016

This course is going to be the fifth and final course on Office 2016 and will cover the material needed for the MOS (Microsoft Office Specialist) exam for Microsoft Access, exam 77-730. This exam, and the course, has five main topics: Creating and managing databases, building tables, creating queries, creating forms, and creating reports. We cover all of that material. However, having helped companies large and small build Access databases for the better part of 15 years, this much I know: One has to have a good handle on the concept of relational database design and on how to go about proper planning for a database in order to be successful with Access. So even though those two topics are not on the exam, we cover those as well.

Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming

What does a bowling ball have to do with programming? Well, to find out, you will want to take our upcoming Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming course. Seriously, though, many people think, or are told, that the first step in learning programming is to learn code. As this course will detail, learning code comes after we learn about objects and their characteristics, designing programs, and designing program workflow. The code, then, is just the result of the plan and then becomes easier to learn. This is also the first course in our new programming tracks of courses, something this space will detail more of very soon.

MTA Security Fundamentals

Over the last year, Microsoft has made strides in updating their MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) certification program. The MTA program is a great entry-level certification program in the areas of development, databases, and IT infrastructure. Microsoft has “refreshed” the 98-349 exam for Operating System Fundamentals, which I detailed recently, to remove Windows 7-only content and add Windows 10 content. That course will be out sometime this spring.

Another course that has gotten a “refresh” in objectives is the Security Fundamentals course for the 98-367 exam. The core topics of understanding security layers, operating system security, understanding network security, and understanding security software are still there, but they have been updated to reflect the current trends in basic security fundamentals. So, we are doing the same with this course.

Each of these courses will have the usual video training, along with pre-assessments and post-assessments, practice labs, and many helpful test tips (for the Access 2016 and MTA Security Fundamentals courses).

So, with improving employability prospects and certification prospects in three areas: databases, programming, and security, hey, maybe January isn’t such a bad month after all, even without the golf.


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MTA HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals Released!

by Brad - Feb 01, 2017


Today, we are excited to announce the release of our MTA HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals (98-375) course.

MTA HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals (98-375)

The MTA HTML5 Application Development Fundamentals course gives students a strong introduction to HTML5, which consists of three major areas: Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS3), and JavaScript. In addition, this course covers the application life cycle, which is important for web developers to know in order to best plan, design, code, test, validate, and deploy HTML5 apps. This course prepares students for the MTA 98-375 exam.

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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MTA OS Fundamentals (98-349): Same Name, Same Exam Number, Not The Same Content

by Jason - Dec 12, 2016


Whenever I am asked to write an entry for this blog, I usually do the writing mid-week. But, last week our great crew was busy filming the course I get to tell you about today, and that is the updated version of the MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) Operating System Fundamentals course, which maps to MTA exam 98-349.

Most of the time, when we put together a new version of a course, it is for a new exam (specifically name or number). This time, though, the exam name and number are the same. What changed, then? Oh, about half of the test objectives as the exam has been updated to include Windows 10 content and remove content that just applied to Windows 7.

For example, exam topics such as Aero configurations, Windows Media Center, and Windows XP mode are all gone as they are not in Windows 10, but features such as Insider Preview, Current Branch, and Windows Store apps are exam topics. Furthermore, the wording of many exam topics has changed to “Configure….” rather than “Understand…”, placing a greater emphasis on knowing how to do operating system configurations in Windows 10, not just knowing what they are.

Now, the specifics: There are six domains on this exam:

  • Understanding operating system configurations
  • Installing and upgrading client systems
  • Managing applications
  • Managing files and folders
  • Managing devices
  • Understanding operating system maintenance

This course covers these domains thoroughly, through the video training (which we just completed filming), pre-assessment and post-assessment tests, practice labs, and a project workbook with plenty of practice exercises for configuring Windows 10. All of these tools will help you pass the 98-349 exam and increase your employability as, according to Microsoft, Windows 10 has been deployed to over 400 million devices in its first year of release. Thus, businesses which need desktop support technicians and computer repair shops definitely need people who are skilled in configuring Windows 10, which this course and certification will provide.


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Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep

by Brad - Oct 05, 2016


A couple of months ago, we began releasing a series of Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 test prep courses. These courses are one session each and serve as supplemental material to our full Creative Cloud courses. I recently caught up with our resident expert, Jason Manibog, to ask him a few questions about these courses.

  1. What is the purpose of the Adobe CC 2015 Test Prep courses? The purpose of these courses is simple: To get students ready to pass the Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) exams for the 2015 version of these programs. We decided to do test prep courses rather than full-length courses because the programs and test objectives have not changed much from the 2013 to the 2015 versions of these programs. What has changed, however, is how the tests themselves are delivered. Now, one can expect several scenario-based question per exam. In these, a real-life scenario is presented and then several questions are based on that scenario.
  2. How many courses will there be? Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Premiere…that’s five if I’m counting correctly :D. For Adobe Animate we are going to do a brand new course since that program, in effect, replaces Flash.
  3. What are some of the new features in CC 2015? In a nutshell:
    • Photoshop – Work can now be done with artboards (previously, only Illustrator had that). The Brush features and image export features have been enhanced as well. And, glyphs are now available.
    • Illustrator – If Illustrator crashes, there is now a good change your work can be recovered. Plus (and I have been waiting for this for a while), the Pencil tool now allows for auto-closing a shape (meaning you can draw a shape and have it actually behave like a shape). The Shapebuilder and Curvature tools have also been enhanced.
    • InDesign – Graphics can now be inserted directly into tables. Shading and borders can be added to paragraphs. And it is easier to publish online now than it was in previous versions.
    • Dreamweaver – Multiple tags can now be selected in the Document Object Model (DOM) panel, making it easier to move multiple tags around on a page. Plus, tags, classes, and IDs can be added and changed through the DOM panel. The Visual Media Query feature has also been enhanced to make it easier to change measurements on objects. And, similar to Illustrator, should the program crash, there is a good chance your work will be recovered.
    • Premiere – Native support for QuickTime files is now available. Plus, several new workflows are available, including a Virtual Reality (VR) video workflow, which allows one to edit and create a VR-type experience. And many editing enhancements have been made (such as several new keyboard shortcuts).
  4. What advice would you give to a new user of Adobe products? Go the speed limit when learning and be conceptual in learning. For example, in learning Photoshop, it is fine to learn all of the tools and effects and filters and other options (as they can be quite nice to work with), but, knowing what the these tools do and when one would use them is just as important. Just as an example: You wouldn’t use dodge and burn when trying to change a color effect on a picture as dodge and burn lightens or darkens overall exposure (and people who develop pictures the old-fashioned way, in a darkroom, will use these tricks by hand). On the flipside, if you are used to doing things manually and know of photo or design concepts, you will have fun finding these tools in these Adobe programs.
  5. What type of student did you have in mind when you were creating these courses? Basically, a student trying to learn valuable job-ready skills in Adobe products and also looking to gain one ACA certification or maybe multiple ACA certifications.
  6. If a student has very little experience using Adobe, how would you recommend they study for the exam? I would start with the CC version of the courses of study. For example, if one is trying to learn Photoshop, start with the Photoshop CC course, go through all of the pre-assessment and post-assessment tests for each session, and do the projects in the project workbook. Anyone can get a 30-day trial of any Adobe program, so there is no reason to not practice these concepts. And then, do the same for the 2015 test prep course to gain further knowledge of these Adobe programs. And, have fun!

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Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and PowerPoint 2016

by Brad - Sep 06, 2016


Last week, we released our new PowerPoint 2016 course, the third in our line of Office 2016 training. I recently caught up with our resident expert, Jason Manibog, to ask him a few questions about this course.

  1. What advice would you give to a user new to PowerPoint? The biggest thing to remember about PowerPoint is that it is a presentation program, not a document program. Keep everything in nice, short phrases. Use your own notes to describe topics you put on PowerPoint slides. If PowerPoint slides are too wordy, the audience will lose focus. And, make sure information is organized well. A PowerPoint presentation should be an outline on slides.
  2. What type of student did you have in mind when you were creating this course? For that one, there are three possible answers: First, someone new to PowerPoint will benefit greatly because bad habits (like making slides too wordy) won’t be learned (hopefully). Second, someone may be looking to enhance PowerPoint skills, especially ones needed for the current job market. Finally, many students may be pushing toward gaining the Microsoft Office Specialist PowerPoint 2016 certification. This course covers all of those exam objectives.
  3. If a student has very little experience using PowerPoint, how would you recommend they start using our training? Why, at the beginning, of course. The opening of the course focuses on a tour of PowerPoint and then the different ways in which a presentation is created. What better way to start than that?
  4. What are some of the new features in PowerPoint 2016? The Tell Me feature is quite handy, because it’s not just about getting help on how to do something in PowerPoint. Rather, the Tell Me feature presents direct links to tasks. For example, if you ask the Tell Me feature how to add WordArt to a slide, it lists some WordArt creation options. Plus, the text highlighter prominent in Word is now available in PowerPoint. Finally, those with a OneDrive account can save a presentation to a OneDrive location and then collaborate with others, real-time, on a presentation.
  5. What was your favorite thing about filming this course? That I was able to do what I like to do best with these introductory courses, which is to basically take a project from start to finish. Plus, I was able to sneak a golf picture or two into the course :D. And, I got to showcase one of my co-workers and his band (only for a few seconds, but hey, exposure is exposure, right?)

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MTA OS Fundamentals Exam Update: Same Name, Same Number, Different…

by Jason - Aug 29, 2016


…Oh, hello there! It’s me, your humble Senior Instructor. Today, I’m here to tell you about an update to the existing Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) 98-349 exam, otherwise known as the MTA OS Fundamentals exam.

The exam, which is tentatively scheduled to change later this month, is still going to focus on Operating System fundamentals, but is getting a “refresh” of sorts. Going away are topics specific to the operating system the exam has focused on, specifically Windows 7. Coming into the exam are topics specific to Windows 10. The exam is still geared toward those looking to learn about the setup and configuration of Windows. Gaining this certification will demonstrate that you have enough knowledge to install and configure Windows smoothly and efficiently and manage Windows installations and apps.

We will be putting our own “refresh” on our existing MTA OS Fundamentals as we will be updating the course this fall to match the new exam objectives. Speaking of objectives, this is not a complete list of what is entering or exiting the exam, but, I think you’ll agree that the theme of the exam is “out with the Windows 7 specifics and in with the Windows 10 specifics.” Here are some of the objective changes for the 98-349 exam:

LEAVING:

  • Gadgets
  • Aero configurations
  • Virtualized clients
  • Application virtualization
  • File Allocation Tables (FAT)
  • Cloud storage
  • Local, online, and automated backup methods

ENTERING:

  • File Explorer settings
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Cortana
  • Hyper-V
  • Operating system architecture
  • Windows 10 features
  • Libraries
  • Disk management
  • Windows Update options
  • Insider Preview
  • Current Branch

Our course “refresh” will involve brand new video courseware, a new project workbook full of exercises to reinforce these concepts, and a pre-assessment and post-assessment test for each exam domain. We look forward to bringing you yet another MTA course this fall!


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Learn From an Expert: Jason Manibog and Word 2016

by Brad - Aug 22, 2016


Last month, we released our new Word 2016 course, the second in our line of Office 2016 training. I’ve been using Word 2016 for years, and it seems like each version of Word just gets better than the last one, adding more and more features to help the user work more efficiently.
I recently caught up with our resident expert, Jason Manibog, to ask him a few questions about this course.

  1. What advice would you give to a user new to Word? Know that this program is there to help you build documents of all types: letters, simple flyers, booklets, term papers, lists, basically anything you can write on paper. As to the program, learn the ribbon and the Backstage View as what you need to do will usually be found in one of those two places. And, don’t worry about typing perfect documents right away. Get your thoughts typed up and then use the tools Word has (like spelling and grammar check and the thesaurus, to name a couple) to help you proofread and edit your documents.
  2. What type of student did you have in mind when you were creating this course? Actually I had two types: First, students looking to pass the Word 2016 Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification test (exam 77-725). This course has a session for each exam domain, so one can basically follow the course and the test objectives at the same time. Secondly, people may just want to acquire job-ready skills needed for Microsoft Word. This course has plenty of practical situations to help one make that goal.
  3. If a student has very little experience using Word, how would you recommend they start using our training? At the beginning (ha ha). Seriously, though, spend time in the “Tour of Office” and “Tour of Word” sections, especially the Tour of Office section. This will help lay a foundation on how to navigate through the program. And, don’t be afraid to try a couple of things on your own. You can usually click the Undo button if needed.
  4. What are some of the new features in Word 2016? Three in particular stand out to me. First, the Tell Me feature, which allows one to ask a question on how to do something, like “add borders to text” and then get the actual task presented to do. Secondly, a document can be saved to a OneDrive site and then multiple users can collaborate, real-time, on a document. Thirdly, research features have been enhanced through the Smart Lookup feature, which allows one to search for a term and get definitions, explanations, website links on the term, and many other types of information on the term.
  5. What was your favorite thing about filming this course? That the filming went well and for me, it was a relatively easy shoot given I’ve been working with Word since, well, before the turn of the millennium :)

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