MTA Cloud Fundamentals: Coming This Spring

by Jason - Feb 01, 2016


Hello everyone! Here at LearnKey we are making our final push for the A+ 2015 (the 900 series with exams 220-901 and 220-902, for those of you who live and breathe exam numbers) but, hey, everyone needs a break! I’m taking some time to tell you about a course you will see from us this spring: Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Cloud Fundamentals.

Earlier this month, I mentioned a triple dose of MTA courses we are presenting in 2016: MTA Mobility and Device Fundamentals, which we have released; MTA HTML5 Fundamentals; and this MTA Cloud Fundamentals course.

So what is meant by Cloud Fundamentals? To get a better understanding of this, let’s go back in time, circa the early 2000s, with a network administrator at a business with, let’s just say 100 employees or so. Here is what a typical workload looked like:

  • Install Microsoft Office, using the Office CD, whenever someone needed it (or share the installation somewhere and hoped the semi-slow network behaved during an install).
  • Manage the on-premises Windows servers, Exchange servers for email, and any applications servers, like SQL servers.
  • If someone wanted a new applications server, the administrator may have been able to virtualize it, but often a new server meant an expensive new physical server and the installation and configuration processes (usually late at night) to get the server up and running.
  • Network administrators did not have these things we call mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to manage.

Fast forward the time machine back to today and let’s look at the same-sized business. With cloud computing, how are those administrative tasks done? Let’s take a look:

  • Office needs to be installed? No problem. A user can log into Office 365 and download and install the latest version of Office.
  • Servers? Maybe there are one or two physical ones on-premises, but, Windows servers can be hosted online, in the cloud. Exchange? Set that up as a cloud service and administer it that way.
  • Does someone need a new applications server? No problem. A network administrator can log into Microsoft Azure, provision a new applications server, and have it running in less than an hour.

Oh, and those mobile devices? Well, surely a network administrator wouldn’t just let any device on the network. So a network administrator can use Microsoft Intune, a cloud-based service, to set up policies to manage how mobile devices will connect to and interact with the business network.

So, we can say that on a very high level, cloud fundamentals involves learning how to manage a network that is mostly subscription-based for services rather than having everything on the company premises. With that, there are five main topics on the 98-369 exam:

  • Understanding the cloud
  • Enabling Microsoft cloud services
  • Administering Office 365 and Microsoft Intune
  • Using and configuring Microsoft cloud services
  • Supporting cloud users

In this upcoming Cloud Fundamentals course, we will thoroughly cover all five topics as they relate to the 98-369 exam. We will do this through video-based instruction, pre-assessment and post-assessment tests to sharpen your test-taking skills, and a project workbook which will further enhance your Cloud Fundamentals skill set.

We look forward to bringing you yet another course in the MTA series. Best of luck to all of you in this or whatever certifications and career paths you pursue.


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A Triple Dose of MTA

by Jason - Jan 08, 2016


Hello everyone, and from my desk at LearnKey to yours, a very Happy New Year! Now, with a new year comes new ideas, new challenges, and here at LearnKey, new courses. One series of courses we are focused on for the early part of 2016 is the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) series of certifications. An MTA certification is a great way to gain an entry-level Microsoft certification and put you ahead of others in this ever-increasing competitive world of IT positions.

To start the year, we have just released the MTA Mobility and Device Fundamentals (Exam 98-368) course. This course covers using Windows on multiple devices with the primary focus being the Surface family of tablets. But, trust me when I say you do not need a Surface tablet to take this course. Any laptop or tablet running Windows 8.1 will do. In addition, you will learn about tools administrators use to host these devices, both corporate and personal, in a corporate environment.

Another MTA course coming early in 2016 is the MTA Cloud Fundamentals (Exam 98-369) course. This course will show you how to enable and manage Microsoft cloud services, administer Office 365, administer Microsoft Intune, and support cloud users.

Both of these courses and certifications represent the growing IT industry concept of people-centric rather than device-centric computing. It was not that long ago that most employees in a corporation had one device, either a desktop or a laptop. And, their data was kept either on that device or on a network server. Fast forward to 2016.

Now, most employees view data on many devices: desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Some of these devices are company-issued, and some are personally owned devices. With that, data needs to be more accessible both from inside and outside a company network. This is where the cloud storage and cloud environment features have come to the forefront of data management. So, having both the Mobility and Device Fundamentals and Cloud Fundamentals certifications will show that you are keeping up with the times.

The third MTA course we will be releasing early in 2016 is the MTA HTML5 Fundamentals (Exam 98-375) course. This course will cover building HTML5-based apps using HTML5, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and JavaScript.

All three of these courses will contain several hours of video-based instruction, a robust workbook full of hands-on exercises, and pre-assessment and post-assessment tests that are geared specifically to ready you for these MTA exams.

So, if you are looking for a first goal of 2016, why not make that goal an MTA certification? Good luck with all you set out to do in 2016.


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MTA Mobility and Device Fundamentals Training and Certification Prep Released!

by Beau - Jan 07, 2016


Its great to start the year off with a new course released! I am excited to announce the release of another amazing MTA course. Our MTA Mobility and Device Fundamentals training and certification prep course was released earlier this week.

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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A+ 900 Series and End-of-Year Exam Goals

by Jason - Dec 02, 2015


Hello, it’s me, your humble senior instructor hoping you all had a nice Thanksgiving. I sure did because my football team gave me a nice birthday present with a victory over the weekend!

So, today I want to update you on a couple of items we brought up in previous blogs. First, during the first half of our filming the A+ 900 series, Brad asked me a few questions about the course, which I attempted to answer. Now, we are wrapping up filming on the second half of the A+ course, so I can fill you in on some more details.

First, we are going to be releasing this course in two parts: one for each of the 900 series exams (220-901 and 220-902 for those of you who live by exam numbers). Both will be released early in 2016, about a month apart. We are going to this model of one course for each exam for one reason: to keep your focus on one exam and not worry when studying about which topic is on which test.

Secondly, in addition to the pre-assessment and post-assessment tests, the courses will have several mini-quizzes in the middle. On many occasions, after a unit is complete you will see my smiling face asking a review question. This will give you a chance to pause (or rewind), think of an answer, and then see how you are progressing with the material. I know when I am studying for an exam, I like to have a lot of reinforcement of the material, so we are doing plenty of it in this course.

Thirdly, I do believe you will find some of the segments quite entertaining as well as educational. How can a topic like A+ be entertaining, you wonder? Well, you will just need to find out when the course is released.

That’s my update on A+. Before I go, I want to give you a gentle reminder on a very cool Microsoft promotion. It is called the Second Shot promotion and it is good until January 16. Basically, it means for any Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exam you take between now and January 16, if you happen to not pass the exam, you get a second chance at it for free! For those of you who tend to put off taking an exam because you are not sure if you know the material well enough, what better way to find out than to basically take a free shot at one? I know I will be taking advantage of this in the next few weeks.

Well, I hear the “let’s go film” call so I will talk to you all later. Be well and take care.


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Project 2013 Exam Prep (74-343) Released!

by Beau - Oct 26, 2015


We recently released our first Exam Prep course. Our Project 2013 Exam Prep Course is complementary with our Project 2013 course with a purpose to provide students with the last bit of preparation and confidence they need to pass their certification exam.

Recently our Senior Instructor Jason Manibog wrote a blog about the great features of this course. We are excited to add more Exam Prep courses to our library. So keep an eye out for additional courses.


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Project 2013 Exam Prep (74-343) Course – Coming Soon!

by Jason - Sep 25, 2015


At LearnKey, we are always striving to produce the best and most innovative courses possible.  In line with this, we are excited to announce that we will be adding to our library some exam prep courses. These courses are short in nature (two hours or less) and are focused on one task– to help you get that last bit of confidence you need to pass a certification exam.

The first course in this series is an exam prep course for Project 2013, specifically for exam 74-343, Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013. This is meant to be a complementary course to LearnKey’s Project 2013 course, authored by LearnKey expert Michael Solomon. This exam prep course will focus on each exam objective, line by line, and will get you the last bits of information you need to confidently walk into the testing room and walk out with a Project 2013 certification. Whereas Michael Solomon did an excellent job covering Project 2013 wall-to-wall, this course focuses on the detailed aspects of the Project 2013 (74-343) exam.

Over the next several months, many of our courses (especially the larger courses such as A+ 220-901 and A+ 220-902) will feature a session strictly devoted to final exam prep tips. Do keep in mind that these exam prep courses, or sessions, are not a replacement for the actual course. They are meant to be one of the final pieces of your obtaining a certification, along with, of course, post-test assessments, and real, hands-on practice in the application for which you are pursuing a certification.

Be on the lookout in the next month for the Project 2013 Exam Prep course. In the meantime, stay tuned to this spot to see news on future exam prep courses. You do not have to wait for this course to get solid exam prep advice. If you have not seen the blog we posted last week on test-taking tips, go check it out.


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MTA Training and Certification Courseware

by Jason - Aug 27, 2015


Today I am excited to tell you a little bit about MTA Mobility and Fundamentals (98-368), our upcoming MTA training and certification course.

As with any certification track, new MTA exams come out from time to time. This year, Microsoft released exam 98-368 (Mobility and Device Fundamentals) and 98-369 (Cloud Fundamentals).  We at LearnKey are happy to announce that over the next several months, we will be producing both of these courses. Specifically, I want to talk to you today about 98-368. This course, due to be released this fall, replaces exam 98-349 as the IT world partially transfers from laptop/desktop environments to laptop/desktop/device environments.  This exam will cover managing devices both from a user standpoint and an administrative standpoint.  By devices we are talking mostly about tablets, but the course will also look into deploying company-based apps and other infrastructure pieces onto smartphones.

This course will include video training, solid test prep materials in the form of practice test assessments and a course workbook, and labs to help you practice the concepts needed not only to pass this exam but to also confidently administer mobile devices in your workplace.


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MTA Career Path Overview

by Jason - Aug 13, 2015


The Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification track is a great way for those looking to enter the IT career field to gain knowledge and a Microsoft certification, which will always enhance a resume when looking to obtain a position.

The MTA certifications are in the first rung on the ladder of Microsoft certifications. Once a person has some tangible experience in an IT discipline, the next certification to get is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certification (MCSA). From there, the next level of expertise and prestige in Microsoft certifications is that of a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE).

So what does this pyramid of certifications look like?  Here is an example track for one trying to become a Windows Server administrator, taken directly from Microsoft’s web site:

MTA Overview

We currently have five MTA courses in our library and plan on releasing a sixth course by the end of the year.

Exam 98-361: Software Development Fundamentals

Exam 98-364: Database Fundamentals

Exam 98-365: Windows Server Administration Fundamentals

Exam 98-366: Networking Fundamentals

Exam 98-367: Security Fundamentals

If you think a career in the IT field is for you and the MTA certifications are your path, give us a call or visit our website and we will get your started.


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Windows Server 2003 End of Life: Time to Move Up!

by Jason - Jul 14, 2015


The Windows Server 2003 end-of-life countdown has begun. Are you or your company still using Windows Server 2003? If so, I am here to give you a serious warning: Microsoft is ending support for Windows Server 2003 on July 31, 2015.

What does ending support really mean? Will the program  cease to work? Will it go “poof” like a thief in the night? No. Windows Server 2003 will still boot up and operate like it always has. But, ending support means no more updates, no more fixes, and, most importantly, no more vulnerability patches to help stave off potential security attacks such as viruses and worms. That is the most important reason for moving up and out of Windows Server 2003, and soon. We at LearnKey have several 2012 R2 courses to help you with this transition. And, just as an added bonus, each course is mapped to a Microsoft exam. If you are a server administrator, you may as well update your certifications along with updating software. Or, maybe now is the time to get certified and take the next step forward in your career.

Our current Windows Server 2012 R2 course lineup consists of (with exams in parentheses for each):

Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration (70-410)

Windows Server 2012 Administrator (70-411)

Windows Server 2012 Configuring Advanced Services (70-412)

Windows Server 2012 Server Infrastructure Design and Implementation (70-413)

Windows Server 2012 Advanced Server Infrastructure Implementation (70-414)

Windows Server 2012 MCSA Skills Updates (70-417)

The first three courses (70-410, 411, and 412) map to the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certification (MCSA) for Windows Server R2. With courses the next two courses (70-413, 414) mapping to the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification for Windows Server 2012 R2. The last course (70-417) helps you update a current MCSA certification.

If you are still using Windows Server 2003, avoid getting caught with no support and no safety net. To help you plan and implement your upgrade to Windows Server 2012, we would like to offer you a 30% discount on the online purchase of your Windows Server 2012 courses. Use coupon code: LK30BS at checkout.

*Only Single User License courseware qualify for discount.


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Windows Server 2012: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure 70-413

by Beau - Jul 13, 2015


A few months back LearnKey released their 70-413 exam preparation course. Officially named Windows Server 2012 Server Infrastructure Design and Implementation, this video tutorial and training will prepare students for exam 70-413.

Authored by LearnKey expert Jason Manibog, students will be learn the skills required to implement, and maintain a Windows server and become competent in designing, deploying, and maintaining Windows Server 2012 infrastructure services. This new course is just one in a series of LearnKey’s Windows Server 2012 courseware.

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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