New Course Release: Windows Server 2012 Advanced Server Infrastructure Implementation

by Beau - May 12, 2015


Check out our new Windows Server 2012 Advanced Server Infrastructure Implementation course.

In LearnKey’s Windows Server 2012 Advanced Server Infrastructure Implementation course, students will learn the skills required to design, implement, and maintain a Windows Server. Join LearnKey expert Jason Manibog as he prepares students to become competent in designing, deploying, and maintaining a Windows Server 2012 infrastructure service. This course will prepare students to take exam 70-414.

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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My Certification Failure

by Brad - Mar 31, 2015


Recently, I did something I rarely do – I failed a test. You may think, “Big deal, it’s just one test, you’ll pass the next one,” and you would usually be right. Except this wasn’t just any test. It was a certification exam.

A couple of weeks ago, I began watching LearnKey’s Project 2013 training to prepare to take the Managing Projects with Microsoft Project 2013 certification exam. I watched the entire course, took notes, passed all of the pre- and post tests, and reviewed the training for the questions I had missed. I was a little nervous about taking the test, but I felt confident in using the software and figured the test would be pretty easy. I passed a couple of Adobe certification tests with no problems, and I thought the Project 2013 test would be similar.

The first thing I failed to take into account was the fact that I have been using Adobe software for nearly a decade. I probably know Photoshop and Dreamweaver better than any other software out there (with the possible exception of StarCraft or Age of Empires, but that’s a whole other ballgame).

Whenever someone asks me for advice on how to pass a certification exam, I always tell them one thing: Explore the software. Open up the menus, learn the features, figure things out on your own, and become proficient. No matter how good a training course is, there is no substitute for real-world experience. As I watched the training, I followed along in Project 2013 and learned enough to feel comfortable using it, but I didn’t spend very much time exploring the software on my own.

The second thing I failed to take into account was that the exam structure may not be the same as the Adobe exams I have taken in the past. Adobe exams place a heavy emphasis on lab-type questions where the students show they know the software by performing tasks in a simulated environment. I thought that even if I didn’t know everything about Project 2013, I could find my way around in the simulated environment.

As soon as I started the exam, I knew I was in trouble. The questions were all scenario-based and there was not a single simulation-based question in the entire exam. I had not prepared for these types of questions! The questions were also more difficult than I had anticipated. It’s not enough to be able to use the software; certification exams are geared toward expert users. I should have spend a lot more time exploring the software.

I just scheduled a retake of the Project 2013 certification exam. I plan to re-watch the training and take better notes. This time, I will follow my own advice, as well as the advice given in our Exam Prep with Tom Carpenter LearnCast course. This time, I will give the exam the respect it deserves by putting in the necessary study time and fully exploring Project 2013. This time, I plan to pass.


New Course Release: Project 2013

by Beau - Feb 26, 2015


LearnKey’s Project 2013 course will introduce learners to the new features of Project 2013. Join LearnKey expert Michael Solomon as you learn how to start a project, create a schedule, manage resources, and more. This course is perfect for beginners and experts alike.

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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New Course Release: Windows 8.1 Configuration

by Beau - Jan 30, 2015


In LearnKey’s Windows 8.1 Configuration course students will learn what’s new in the latest Microsoft operating system: Windows 8.1. Join LearnKey expert Tom Carpenter as he covers topics such as upgrading to Windows 8.1, remote access, mobility, and more! Once you understand the new features and changes in this OS, you will see that it is a pleasure to work with.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparations, and skills they need to succeed. For more information and additional to learn about additional LearnKey products visit our website.


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My Adventures With Excel…Part 2

by Chad - Dec 09, 2014


Editor’s Note: This article is Part 2 of a two-part series . “My Adventures with Excel…Part 1” can be found here.

OK. I’m back. It took a little longer than expected, but I finally forced myself to take the time to watch LearnKey’s Excel 2013 training. I sat down in early November and watched Michael Meskers present Excel 2013. Michael is a great trainer. He’s had years of experience in Excel, and it shows. He calmly and fluently explained how to use each feature.

When I got to the section about formulas, I really paid attention. If you will remember from my previous post, that was where I really struggled. I followed along as Michael explained several formulas and how to use them. I even tried them out in Excel so that I knew that I would be familiar with each one.

On test day, I was a little apprehensive because of my previous failure. As I began the test, I found that the improvements made to the testing environment were really helpful. It was a lot more streamlined and much easier to navigate.

I worked my way through the test and soon reached the end of the list. I was amazed. In my first attempt I ran out of time before I completed the entire list. This time I actually had time left to review and make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Although I was a little unsure of myself, I clicked the finish button and awaited my results. I was shocked. Not only did I pass, but I received a score of 942 out of 1,000. My previous score was 691. What a difference training makes!

My next adventure will be with Word certification. My first stop on this adventure will be LearnKey’s Word 2013 training.


From Little Things – Word 2013 ASL

by Wyett - Jul 08, 2014


I’ve often heard it said that, “from little things, great things grow.” Such was the case with LearnKey’s Word 2013 ASL course. While attending the ACTE convention in Las Vegas last December a chance encounter with an educator interested in online training for her deaf students became that “little thing.”

On the production side of LearnKey we’re always looking for ways to improve our product, ways to make it more useful for our users, and more efficient to produce. After the convention in Vegas I was asked to explore the possibility of producing a course in American Sign Language. It is challenges like these—challenges of the unexplored—that inspire our team. As the team wrapped up a busy production year and prepared for a relaxing holiday season we felt like we had outlined the needs from a process standpoint. We had chosen our course (Word 2013), we had figured out the logistics of incorporating an interpreter into the video, we had the transcript for the course, we had even come up with several options for making the filming process relatively simple; all we needed now was an interpreter.

Enter Amelia Williams.

Honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect when searching for an interpreter. I have spent the last several years searching out experts in various computer fields for LearnKey’s projects and in some ways that is relatively simple—at least from the finding someone who is certified aspect. For this search I started where I always start with a new project; I talked with people I knew who knew more about this than I. Cedar City is home to the Utah Shakespeare Festival. I have had the opportunity to attend several of the plays in years past and as chance would have it I have attended shows with sign language interpreters. I reached out to the Festival and was given contact information for Amelia Williams. I reached out via email and hoped for the best. I had no idea how “best” this would turn out to be.

Amelia Williams

Amelia and I corresponded via email several times and she expressed an interest in the project and agreed to a phone call to further explore what LearnKey was looking for. Now, it should be stated at this point that I have a tendency to get pretty passionate about the projects we do and this project had become one that I was very excited about. Needless to say I was somewhat giddy when I spoke with Amelia on the phone. She was kind enough to look past my overenthusiastic pitch and see the value in the course we wanted to produce. She agreed to work with LearnKey to put together a 20 minute proof-of-concept to see if producing a course in ASL would even be viable.

In the time it took her to prepare the material I had the opportunity to become more educated about what it takes to be an interpreter. I had never considered that there were certifications for interpreters—I suppose I had simply never put any thought in that direction. I learned that it isn’t easy to become certified. It is a rigorous and oftentimes expensive process. I learned that there are national and state-level certifications that can consist of written tests, interviews, and performance tests. It wasn’t until I had this basic understanding that I realized how fortunate we were to find Amelia who holds both state and national certifications.

There was a great deal of energy in the studio when time for filming the proof finally rolled around. The studio crew was excited to try something new as was Amelia. With very little fuss all was set and the camera was rolling. Within the first 30 seconds, without saying anything, we all knew we had something special. We were so sure about this project that before Amelia left the studio we had booked her to film the remaining portions of the course.

From a chance conversation in Las Vegas convention center grew our first course in American Sign Language. We’re proud of Word 2013 ASL and are looking forward to our next foray into ASL.

Amelia Williams holds a Master of Education Degree, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Certificate of Interpretation (CI) & Certificate of Transliteration (CT) national certifications, and is a Certified Utah Professional interpreter. Her current position is Disability Specialist/ASL Interpreter Coordinator at Weber State University.


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New Course Release – Word 2013 ASL

by Beau - Jul 01, 2014


Today we are excited to announce the release of our very first course that is presented in American Sign Language. Those who take this course will be able to view LearnKey’s Word 2013 ASL course taught by LearnKey expert Robin Posnack, with Amelia Williams signing the course from a pop-out screen. Those who take this course will be prepared to take exam 77-418 and have access to hundreds of practice and test questions along with relevant labs and demos to help students learn how to use Microsoft Word confidently.

Word 2013 ASL

Exam: 77-418

Students who are working towards becoming career ready must have a working knowledge of Word 2013. Computer expert Robin Posnack will teach you the basics of the software while Amelia Williams presents the course in American Sign language; from there, she will build on concepts and ideas until you have the software figured out. You will be prepared to create resumes, cover letters, newsletters and more. The course will also teach you how to create and manage documents and format text, paragraphs, and sections. Plus learn how to create tables and lists and insert and format objects.

Our hope is that through our courseware we may continually provide learners with the guidance, preparation, and skills they need to succeed.


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New Course Release – Windows Server 2012 Configuring Advanced Services

by Beau - May 14, 2014


Adding yet another to our Windows Server 2012 courses, we would like to announce the release of Windows Server 2012 Configuring Advanced Services. Those who take this course will be prepared to take exam 70-412 and have access to hundreds of practice test questions along with relevant labs and demos to help students learn to implement, manage, and maintain a Windows Server 2012 Environment.

Take a look at our newest Windows Server 2012 courses:

 

Windows Server 2012 Configuring Advanced Services

Exam: 70-412

Join LearnKey expert Jason Manibog as he guides you through our Windows Server 2012 Configuring Advanced Services course. In this course students will learn the technical skills associated with exam 70-412. This course will cover topics such as identifying and accessing solutions, network services, storage solutions, and more! In this course students will gain the knowledge they need to succeed.

Windows Server 2012 Configuring Advanced Services

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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New Course Release – Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration

by Beau - Apr 30, 2014


Announcing the release of our new Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration course! This course is the second of our Windows Server courses to be released in  2014, following March’s release of our Windows Server 2012 Administrator course. Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration will prepare users to take exam 70-410 and ensure they have the skills necessary to implement, manage, and maintain a Windows Server 2012 environment.

Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration

Join LearnKey expert Jason Manibog as he guides you through our Windows Server 2012 Installation and Configuration course. In this course students will learn the technical tasks associated with exam 70-410. Covering topics such as, configuring Hyper-V, installing and administering Active Directory, server configuration, installation and more! Users will gain the knowledge they need to succeed.

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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My Adventures With Excel…Part 1

by Chad - Apr 21, 2014


Hi, my name is Chad. I am the Accounts Receivable and Human Resources Manager at LearnKey. My adventures with Excel actually started many years ago. I have used Excel in school, work, and home since Office 95.

Late last year, I decided to prove my knowledge in both Excel and Word and get MOS certified in each. I kept putting it off because end-of-year is a busy time for me. Then earlier this year our CEO, Jeff Coruccini, asked each of us to get at least one certification by the end of May. He even offered us a bonus for each certification that we achieve. And I thought, “This will be the easiest money that I ever made. I know Excel and Word. I can pass these tests easily.” I even teamed up with Kim Johnson, Director of Client Services and Marketing. We could study together and pass the Excel exam…piece of cake.

I started to watch LearnKey’s Excel 2013 training, but decided that I already knew Excel, and I could just watch the parts that I am unfamiliar with to brush up on my skills. I watched a few sections of training and did a few labs.

As test day approached, I still felt confident that I would pass. I’ve taken and passed CompTIA’s A+ and Network+ exams, a couple of Windows 2000 exams, Certiport’s IC3 exam, and the QuickBooks exam. I even passed the HR Institute’s Professional in Human Resources exam which is the hardest exam I have ever taken. My coworkers asked if I was nervous. I confidently told them, “No.”

On test day, I went into our in-house testing center and signed in with our proctor. As I started the exam, my confidence remained high. I worked my way through the test, but soon my confidence began to falter. I thought I was familiar with formulas, but I encountered formulas that I have never used. Concatenate? I don’t even know what that means. How do I use a formula when I don’t even know what the word means? Well, Excel kind of walks you through formulas, so I think I figured it out.

But, wait…where did all my time go? I’m not finished. I rushed through as much of the test as I could in the few minutes remaining. When the clock ran out, I anxiously awaited my test score. Well, I’m sure you can guess why there will be a Part 2 to this blog post. I FAILED. I immediately thought, “What? I have never failed a certification exam. That has to be wrong.” But, yes. I failed. I scored a 691. I needed a 700.

I decided to go back to the Excel 2013 training. Thank goodness for LearnKey’s self-paced training. I can fit it into my schedule when I have some free time. I will soon take the Excel exam again and this time I will pass. I will let you know how it turns out in My Adventures with Excel…Part 2.


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