One of my favorite lines from a movie and something I can relate to is a scene from the movie 48 Hours, where a character named Luther goes to pick up his car in a parking garage. The attendant looks at the ticket and says, “Wow. Two years.” Luther’s response: “Yeah. I’ve been busy!”
That is how I feel about this blog, given all our major suites (Adobe, CompTIA, and Office) have either been upgraded or are being upgraded since the last time I said hello here. One other suite of certifications has changed, from the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) suite to the IT Specialist suite, now hosted by Certiport instead of Microsoft.
The changeover happened about a year ago, but the MTA program officially ended on June 30. To that end, many teachers who use our courses are trying to get certified in the IT Specialist certifications in time for the fall. And I have had the privilege of helping some teachers lately, specifically the Hillsborough County schools in Florida, prep for two of these certifications, Device Configuration and Management and HTML/CSS. I liked being in a live environment again, albeit virtual, as that is what I did primarily before joining LearnKey in 2015.
The time I spent with the teachers reminded me of some critical exam points, and I want to share two of them with you today. First, always get a copy of the objectives for any exam and study those well, paying close attention to each objective’s first word or phrase. There is a big difference between “Describe…” and “Configure…” as the latter indeed will have more in-depth questions on an exam.
Secondly, get hands-on practice where you can. For example, for the HTML/CSS exam, build some webpages using HTML and CSS. Make sure you have a code example for each objective on the exam. Make the website your own. Studying something always resonates better when you can make examples of your own.
Lastly, if you can study in a group, great; this way, you and the other group members can research together and bounce concepts off each other. Someone else may better understand an idea than you do and vice versa. We as a group did that by going through some practice exam questions, and the exercises benefited the teachers as they prepped for the exams.
We have some big course releases coming soon, which I will detail in this blog. And I promise not to be like Luther any longer.
About two months ago, I was having a conversation with our CEO and he said, “Brother (he calls me brother, how nice), wouldn’t it be nice if we could do a soft skills (meaning non-tech) course that could help improve communication skills for business? Is there a cert on that?”
At the time, the answer was yes, I could come up with a course but no, there was no official certification for this. But wouldn’t you know it: two weeks later, Certiport announced a new Communication Skills for Business (CSB) certification that will be out later this fall. Great minds think alike.
We, as you well know, are dedicated to improving employability every day. But that doesn’t just mean tech skills and being able to do a COUNTIFS function in Excel. Far from it. Strong employability requires strong communication skills, and this is where this course fits in to the overall employability umbrella.
Every so often we decide to change things up and bring in a guest author to do a course. For this course, we are very excited to have Jennifer Stubblefield, the reigning Certiport Educator of the Year, bring you this course. Jennifer has been a business teacher for over 25 years and is a champion Microsoft Office Master instructor as well. She understands both the tech side and the communication side of employment and it shows in this course.
We filmed the course last week and we are very excited to bring you this course. This course is like no other in that though the exam is heavily topic-based, our course is scenario-based and interactive while teaching to the core exam topics of
- Describe Basic Communication Principles
- Plan for Effective Communication
- Apply Best Practices for Creating Business Deliverables
- Deliver Your Message
- Receive Communications
- Analyze Communication Scenarios
This course applies to both those looking for jobs and those already in a career. I was going to say this course applies to those looking to improve communication skills, but let’s be real: everyone could use improvement in this area. And Jennifer covers this literally from head to toe (as in wardrobe for an interview – I knew a tie is supposed to come down to a belt buckle, but did you?). She also points out that whoever runs the front desk at a company is watching interview candidates from the moment they walk in and will divulge what is seen to the hiring decision-makers. A good reminder for all of us.
The truth is, we as a filming crew learned a lot even though improving our communication skills wasn’t on our minds when Jennifer arrived to film this course. For example, did you know there is a big difference in meaning between having a meeting in a L-shaped seating arrangement vs. sitting across from someone? I didn’t. Now, I do. I learned a lot about improving business communication skills just in the three days it took us to film this course. And I talk for a living. So, if I can learn a lot, so can you, no matter where you are on your career path
Courses now available to thousands of middle and high schools making learning how to code and gaining multiple Microsoft Technology Associate Certifications (MTA) a lot easier.
“The LearnKey programming pathway is designed to take the student from entry level – or their existing skill set – to the professional level, through multiple certification programs with the latest software updates and techniques,” says Craig Bushman, Vice President of Marketing for Certiport. “We are pleased to make these courses available on the GMetrix testing technology platform.”
One of the benefits to LearnKey’s video-based training is the ability to address multiple learning levels in the classroom, utilization of scenario-based learning, and the ability to use GMetrix practice tests for each certification course. This gives students more hands-on experience.
“We want learning solutions that can be used both in and out of the classroom that are engaging and effective,” says Jeff Coruccini, LearnKey’s CEO, “this is at our core when creating these courses to help improve employability every day, Coruccini goes on to say.”
*Source: InformationWeek, January 22nd, 2018 article, “Ten most In-Demand Programming Languages of 2018” cites many sources.
LearnKey, a Better Learning Systems Company, provides hundreds of video-based IT and Career Ready employability skills certification training worldwide to thousands of schools, vocational rehabilitation institutions and social service organizations that promote learning critical employability skills. Established in 1987, LearnKey offers decades of experience with engaging, interactive, and flexible training that is accessible anytime, anywhere. Visit us at www.learnkey.com, or follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/learnkey, and on Twitter: @LearnKey.
GMetrix is a leading provider of testing technology for the IT certification industry specializing in both concurrent and simulated solutions. Their educational tools are designed to prepare individuals for the effective use of technology in the business environment. GMetrix works with partners throughout Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North and South America to provide educational tools designed to prepare individuals for the effective use of technology in the business environment. For more information, visit https://www.gmetrix.com/.
Certiport, a Pearson VUE business, is the leading provider of certification exam development, delivery and program management services delivered through an expansive network of over 14,000 Certiport Authorized Testing Centers worldwide. Certiport manages a sophisticated portfolio of leading certification programs including: the official Microsoft Office Specialist certification program, the Microsoft Technology Associate certification program, the Microsoft Certified Educator program, the Adobe Certified Associate certification program, the Autodesk Certified User and Autodesk Certified Professional certification programs, the Intuit QuickBooks Certified User certification program, and the IC3 Digital Literacy certification. Certiport reliably delivers over three million tests each year throughout the secondary, post-secondary, workforce, and corporate technology markets in 148 countries and 26 languages worldwide. For more information, please visit https://www.certiport.com or follow Certiport on Twitter at www.twitter.com/certiport.
“Certiport” and “IC3” are registered trademarks of NCS Pearson, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Today, we are excited to announce the release of our Entrepreneurship and Small Business course.
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.
That question above was one of many questions I got when I used to teach QuickBooks in a classroom setting. I’m not a CPA and I’m a certified QuickBooks user, so you can become one too. What is QuickBooks, you ask? It’s an industry-leading accounting software program, geared toward helping businesses of all sizes organize and perform their accounting duties.
We are currently working on our updated QuickBooks Certified User course, which we have completed filming and are in the process of fine-tuning. This course maps to the 10 domains on the QuickBooks Certified User certification exam. The 10 domains are:
- QuickBooks Setup
- QuickBooks Utilities and General Product Knowledge
- List Management
- Basic Accounting
- Customization and Shortcuts
Our new QuickBooks course covers these 10 domains in such a way to help you prepare to pass the QuickBooks Certified User exam (done through Certiport) and obtain your QuickBooks Certified User certification. We present the material in a very concise, easy-to-follow format, kind of like the QuickBooks program itself.
This course will have video training, pre-assessment and post-assessment tests, practice labs, and a project workbook, all geared toward solidifying your QuickBooks knowledge not only for the certification, but also to improve your employability prospects for any position requiring QuickBooks knowledge. Or you may have a small business of your own and want solid knowledge of QuickBooks, so you can let it do the major accounting work for you, leaving you to do what you do best—run your business.
So, back to the original question: Can you get the QuickBooks Certified User certification without being a CPA? Yes, indeed! And you can get this without being a financial planner or tax preparation expert or, well, you get the drift.
Stay tuned to this blog space for my update next week. I promise you, it will get “animated” at times!
Today we are excited to announce that LearnKey will begin production next week on an “Exam Ready” video-based training course that maps to Certiport’s Entrepreneurship Small Business (ESB) certification and will be available in April 2017!
This course will be authored by Wyett Ihler, certified instructor who has produced LearnKey’s IC3 GS5 & Spark courses over the past year. This course will help students/adult learners and teachers prep for the ESB certification exam, which is a 50-minute exam with 45 questions covering the following objectives: The Entrepreneur, Business Management, Starting a Business, Business Operations, Marketing/Sales, and Financial Management. In addition to the course being available on LearnKey’s OnlineExpert Learning Management System, the course will be available through our strategic partner GMetrix‘s skills management system.
We are thrilled to offer such an exciting and in-demand certification training, as the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) both cite statistics that underscore the benefits of entrepreneurship education. These benefits include improved academic performance, school attendance, interest in attending college, an increase in occupational aspirations, as well as leadership behavior.
LearnKey is all about helping learners improve their employability skills and this course covers an important topic that currently has no certification/validation of skills tied to it.
LearnKey will soon be releasing their new IC3 GS5 Key Applications training and assessment later this summer, in advance of the anticipated release of the new Certiport IC3 GS5 certification exam later this year.
So, what can you expect in the new IC3 GS5 Key Fundamentals video-based training course?
- The IC3 GS5 series has been split into three courses that will match the three exams that make up the IC3 GS5 certification. This will allow you to focus and prepare one exam at-a-time.
- Throughout the course there are opportunities for learners to practice and reinforce the material in the course through quizzes and simulations that don’t require you to leave the training.
- A project workbook to help you cement the concepts you’ll need to know and practice the skills you’ll need to demonstrate when taking the exam.
As the face of LearnKey’s IC3 series I would like to share a few tips I employed while I prepared for the IC3 exam:
- Be Honest -Be honest with yourself in what you do and do not know. Remember, it’s okay to not know something – that’s why you are studying for the exam!
- Take Notes – Write down the topics or ideas you encounter in the training that may be unfamiliar and then use your notes to find the information in the project workbook, glossary, and test to help you gain an understanding. Also, take the time to re-watch the sections of the training that cover the material in your notes.
- Take Your Time – Rushing to prepare for an exam yields mixed results at best remember your’re not only practicing skills for use on an exam, you’re practicing skills you can use for life.
- Set a Reasonable Deadline – I just told you to take your time, but there are those among us (and yes, I am sometimes one) who may just continue to take time. So, set a goal or a deadline when you plan to take the exam. This will also help you to better plan your study and training time.
- Have Fun – Above all, have fun with it.
This course has a team of IC3 certified writers and designers. We have redesigned and retooled everything to improve the learning experience and make the IC3 series the best LearnKey courseware yet!
I know what you are thinking – “Why is this guy talking about the end of summer when summer has just begun?” Well, as promised in my last blog post I want to keep you up-to-date with some of the exciting happenings at LearnKey this summer. Here is a little sneak peek of some awesome OnlineExpert features to look forward to over the next couple of months.
Learning Management System (LMS) Tour
This free instructional course teaches educators and administrators how to easily access, use, and learn the functions of OnlineExpert. The LMS tour is broken into manageable sections, which allows users to easily find and watch material that is relevant to their needs.
This is one feature you don’t have to wait for – the LMS Tour was just recently released! Since it is free, current customers can easily have our representatives add it to their course libraries.
Teachers: We have listened to your requests – “More hands-on activities!” We are excited to announce that our Office 2007/2010, Adobe ACA, and IC³ courses will feature hands-on projects created by teachers who use our courses in their curriculum. These projects will help reinforce what students are learning by providing them with hands-on experience throughout the course.
In the past, our courses have made heavy use of Flash video and players, which certain mobile devices don’t support. Since these devices are becoming more and more popular in learning environments, OnlineExpert will allow students and teachers to use mobile devices as a learning tool with new touchscreen support beginning in August.
I am excited to be able to share these upcoming releases with everyone. After all, don’t we all need a good reason to actually look forward to the end of summer? Be sure to check back often for the down low on what’s going on at LearnKey.
I love getting comments, so here’s a question for you – What are your favorite summer traditions or vacation spots?