LearnKey’s Certification Challenge

by Liz - May 16, 2014


Jeff Coruccini, Chief Executive Officer of LearnKey, started this year with a goal of helping and encouraging every employee to become certified in their respective industries using our video courseware. The race was on to see which employee was going to be able to earn their certification first. The answer, drum roll please, Marian Eckley and Aaron Colborn! Both employees work out of the Salt Lake City Studio and are now Adobe Certified Associates in Premiere Pro CS6. Then, just two days later Rob McNeil, who also works in the Salt Lake Studio, earned the same certification. They like to call themselves the elite team. The jury is still out on that one.

Not only have these employees answered the challenge of become certified, but they also used LearnKey’s Premiere Pro CS6 course to earn their certifications. This gave our video production team an excellent opportunity to see firsthand what worked and what didn’t. Since then, we have been able to film and edit our Premiere Pro Creative Cloud course. We were able to take what we learned and pull those changes into our new course. We are looking forward to releasing this new and improved course and can’t wait to share it with everyone!

The list of employees who have earned certifications this year continues to grow:

  • Kim Johnson, Director of Client Services and Support, earned her Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel 2013 Certification
  • KaeLee DeMille, Technical Writer, earned her IC3 Global Standards 4 Certification
  • Brad Washburn, Online Content and Social Media Manger, earned his Web Communication using Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 Certification

As you can see Jeff’s goal of having employees become certified is catching on and changing how we produce our courses with a higher level of competence. Congratulations to all those employees who have earned certifications both this year and in previous years, and good luck to those studying to become certified!


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BLS Education Grant

by Beau - May 08, 2014


If you look at the About Us page on our website you will see the mission of not only LearnKey, but the entire Better Learning Systems family – “Dreams Fulfilled Through Better Learning.” As an online education company, we know that obtaining and maintaining your education is important. Earning industry certifications can provide you with the skills you need to land your dream career. It is also important to keep your skills sharp and updated with the most current certifications. For those of you who fall in either of these categories, you know that both of these goals require a great amount of time and money to complete.

Earlier this year the BLS team developed an educational grant program designed to provide LearnKey educational courseware at a discounted rate or at no charge for individuals who qualify. Our goal with this program is to be able to provide assistance to those who need some help in reaching their educational and professional goals. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 30% increase in programming, software development, and other IT-related fields, it is more important than ever to enter the workforce as a certified, qualified candidate with the confidence and skills you need to succeed in your career.

For more information or to apply for this educational grant program, visit the LearnKey website or download the Better Learning Systems Education Grant application here. Everyone at LearnKey is committed to providing the best in online video courseware and is excited to be able to lend a hand in getting your dreams fulfilled.


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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.


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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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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Justin time LearnKey training

by Jeff - Sep 19, 2013


It was a great experience watching Justin Walker one of our LearnKey Courseware experts talk to a group of students from Fountain Hills High School in Fountain Hills Arizona.

These students are wanting to learn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and earn their certifications. We had a simple message for them – Certifications can and will have a positive impact on your career and college ready preparation. Industry experts now state 89% of IT hiring managers use “Certifications” as a filter for prioritizing resumes. Once in, career professionals who keep their certification track up-to-date earn on average 26% more than their peers.

It was a fun day speaking with four classes as they were good listeners and truly wanted to learn. Another benefit we shared with them is they get a chance to learn “distance learning” by using LearnKey courseware. Also, lets not forget that the teachers we met were fantastic. Thanks again to Bonnie Perkins, Jennifer Ray (CTE Leader) and Karla Primosch for allowing us to come in and speak.

Its great to see BLS/LearnKey team members out talking with students and teachers getting their input so we can make better courses! Thanks again for the great work Justin!


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Network+ 2012 Certification released (with video)

by Colin - Oct 10, 2012


Good news, everyone! We recently released the latest version of our Network+ certification courseware – Network+ 2012 Certification. Just like our A+ Certification 2012 course, it features course author Tom Carpenter covering CompTIA’s certification objectives, this time taking students beyond tech essentials and guiding them through the world of Networking.

This course covers the current CompTIA Network+ N10-005 exam. It includes 5 sessions and roughly 14 hours of training, tests, interactive labs, and projects.

If you want to see more, check out the promo at the beginning of the post, and after visit the product page for more info on the course including a full course outline and purchasing info.


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Case study: Houston ISD

by Colin - Aug 24, 2012


Not only do we love hearing success stories from teachers who found ways to implement LearnKey courseware into their curriculum, but we know that information also helps others by showing real-world examples of how the program works.

Margaret Williams from Barbara Jordan Career High School was kind enough to tell us her story about how implementing LearnKey courseware helped her students pass their certification exams in this case study. Here is an excerpt from that document:

All of my students, (100%) passed the Word and PowerPoint certification exams first try without books during the fall semester. The e-Learning online instruction helped me to individualize instruction. It is based on the students’ learning styles. It provides virtual, interactive learning with video (which includes certification objectives in an outline format), guided practice, and independent practice activities. It helps students to develop a thorough understanding of the Microsoft certification objectives.

Do you have a success story for us? Share it in the comments or post it on our Facebook Timeline!


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A+ Certification 2012 released

by Colin - Aug 02, 2012


We’ve been teasing it for a while, but our A+ Certification 2012 course is now available! A+ is one of our most popular courses, so of course Tom Carpenter and our production teams went out of their way to make this version both entertaining and educational.

Course Clips:

Looking inside a computer
The Motherboard
Mini-ATX and Micro-ATX
Installing a CPU

An A+ Certification is one of the core requirements for many tech support and computer service jobs, and is the gateway to more specific career paths. If you’ve been looking to get started in IT, or if you’re expanding your tech knowledge, this course is for you.

Visit the Product page for more course information


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Tom Carpenter discusses A+ 2012

by Colin - Jul 12, 2012


Our next CompTIA A+ Certification course is coming closer and closer to completion. As you may know, this version is hosted by Tom Carpenter, a course author who has worked with us quite a bit in the past. This is Tom’s first A+ course with LearnKey, and some of you may not have had the chance to see any of his other work before, so we wanted to make sure your questions and concerns were answered.

Our own Paula Pixley contacted Tom for an interview, in which he discusses his years of IT experience, his past work with LearnKey, and what kind of approach he takes to teaching the A+ objectives.


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