All posts by kwalker

Group of young people in computing class

It’s Not the Money, It’s the Teacher With the Right Tools

Group of young people in computing class

A recent study done by three economists, two from Harvard and one from Columbia, demonstrated that, “second only to parents, teachers are the most important part of a child’s education.” The study tracked 2.5 million students, over the course of 20-years, from a single urban district. The data paints a clear line connecting good teachers with the effects they have on their students throughout the course of the students’ lifetime, including higher test scores, increased earnings, and lower incidences of teenage pregnancies.

This study proves that the right teacher, with the right tools, has the ability to create a powerful effect in a child’s life. Teaching resources are a key element in helping an inspired teacher do his/her job in a way that enhances the students’ learning experience. These teaching resources can include things like:

  • Video Libraries. A video library can be used to reinforce key concepts and lessons. In the online world, a video resource library can be accessed by students from anywhere, anytime, providing more flexibility in their school/work schedule.
  • Course Management Systems (CMS). A CMS is an all-in-one course experience for both teachers and students, creating a self-paced curriculum with embedded learning resources and assessments that record student results in real time, so teachers can know what lessons need review.
  • Custom Learning Management System (LMS). Instructors have the ability to create their own curriculum from the text book, complete with web simulations and custom assessments to gauge learning.

Contact Labyrinth Learning to obtain the resources you need to positively affect your students.

Learn Computerized Accounting Through Your Local Community College

Is your business using manual accounting practices to keep track of day-to-day financial operations? If so, it’s time for HR trainers and staff to learn QuickBooks Pro. This top-selling computerized accounting software will immediately enhance the accuracy of your company’s accounting department. Best of all, you can learn how to implement computerized accounting at your local community college.

QuickBooks Pro 2013

Labyrinth Learning provides effective, engaged learning software to community colleges across the nation. Our QuickBooks Pro (QB) products are some of the most sought after resources on the market because they teach business owners and employees the skills they need to improve their accounting departments.

  • Save time. Data entry is significantly faster than manual accounting methods, which increases the efficiency of your accounting department.
  • Accounts Payable. No need to set up manual reminders or calendar updates in order to keep track of your bills. QB will help you keep track of invoices and bills automatically.
  • Accounts Receivable. Not only is it faster to create consistent invoices and payment plans, QB will track the progress and timeliness of payments, billing, and income.
  • Manage benefits. Benefit management is a complicated task, at best, when done manually. Once you learn QuickBooks Pro, employee benefits, vacation/sick pay, etc. will be managed for you.
  • Reports. You can generate customized reports, in real time, to have access to critical financial information when you need it most.

Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of switching to computerized accounting methods. A few community college courses are all your employees need to transform your business’s financial outlook.

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Upgrading to Office 2013: See What’s New

microsoft-office-2013Thinking about upgrading to Microsoft Office 2013 for your corporate training facilities or classrooms? New and improved features make Office 2013 a more efficient program for your computer network. Here are some new additions in Office 2013 that will make you thankful you’ve made the upgrade.

Simpler interface. We’re so used to things becoming more dressed up with every upgrade, it’s refreshing that Microsoft Office 2013 has done the opposite. The new interface is streamlined, and less complex from a graphic standpoint, making it easier to focus on your work at hand.

Cloud Connection. If you use SkyDrive or SharePoint to store your documents for anywhere work accessibility, you’ll appreciate the new Office software. Your SkyDrive account details will appear in the left-hand corner, allowing you to easily navigate between files and accounts. Your work will be saved by default on the cloud or you can manually save it to your local drive.

Device Synchronization. Your saved online documents will be available across multiple devices. This makes it easier to pick up where you left off, using Microsoft Office 2013 on a PC or tablet, or via WebApps on your mobile device. Your documents should appear exactly as you left them.

PDF Editing. Finally! You can save and edit PDFs without going through the laborious process of converting them. Once you save them as a DocX or PDF, they will open in Word and appear just like the PDF.

Ready to upgrade? Download Labyrinth Learning’s free Office 2013 Upgrade Guide to make sure your transition proceeds without a glitch.


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Microsoft Access-2013-Quick-Start-Guide

Eliminate Errors from Your Business’s Database with Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access-2013-Quick-Start-GuideDoes your company realize the benefits of using Microsoft Access? Whether you’re a corporate trainer, or a computer instructor who works with business professionals, it’s important to understand the ways Microsoft Access can eliminate errors from your business’ and streamline the data entry process.

Many companies rely on Microsoft Excel to keep track of customers, orders and more. While this is an excellent choice for smaller projects, Access is much more efficient for large, multi-spreadsheet projects and for analyzing related data. Here are some of the benefits of using Microsoft Access.

Form Connections
. With Access, users can form relationships between selected data such as all of the sales reps for a particular company, or the abbreviated and long versions of company names. This way, your reports are much more accurate since the program is able to “recognize” similar data and make the appropriate connections.

Eliminate Duplications and Inconsistencies
. Maybe one admin types in Robert Williams Construction and another types R.W. Construction. Excel has no way to understand these entities are the same. Using Access, you can eliminate the common duplications, transpositions, and inconsistencies, that produce erroneous large, data-based reporting.

Shared Productivity. Another bonus of using Microsoft Access is that multiple users have access to the same information. Rather than depending on find and replace functions, if you change information in once place, that change will transfer across users and spreadsheets.

If you think your students, employees or clients would benefit from Microsoft Access training, contact Labyrinth Learning for Microsoft Access learning materials for beginner, intermediate and advanced students.


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Senior man working on laptop computer

Computer Literacy Essential for Job Seekers

Senior man working on laptop computerMany adult students take classes to improve computer literacy in an effort to boost their resume power. What many job seekers don’t realize is that, in most cases, you have to be computer literate just to find or apply for jobs.

With so much hiring being done through computers these days, computers have become a necessity when seeking employment. New applicants must have the skills necessary to send and reply to emails, create cover letters, and craft professional resumes to wow their potential employers.

Computer literacy courses are a growing field of study and many people are flocking to these courses in hopes of gaining the right skills to find a better job. Begin your computer literacy course with a proven lesson plan and training program like those available at Labyrinth Learning.

You’ll find software and training books in basic computing to teach students how to effectively use programs in the Microsoft Office suite such as Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint, all of which are used on a day-to-day basis in businesses around the country.
Contact the professionals at Labyrinth Leaning to help you determine the right products for your new class today.

female hands touching keyboard

Keyboard Shortcuts Every Excel User Should Know

female hands touching keyboardWhen you are dealing with a spreadsheet all day, you have to deal with hundreds of calculations, thousands of cells and dozens of pages. Throughout the day clicking through a series of menus and finding the right buttons can add up to a lot of extra time.

Luckily all of your common productivity programs have built in shortcuts to make quick work of your work. Here are just a few Microsoft Excel 2013 keyboard shortcuts that can boost productivity in your workforce.

  1. [ALT] + ENTER. Insert a new line in a cell. As any introductory student to Excel knows, pressing Enter will take you directly to the next cell, but ALT+ENTER will create a new line within the same same cell.
  • [CTRL] + [ ; ] and  [CTRL] + [ : ]. Insert the current date and/or time. When you hit the CTRL + Semi-colon and/or CTRL + Colon, the current date and time will appear, respectively. This is significantly faster than alternative formatting methods.
  • [F11]. Create a chart. If you want to create a chart from a range of data, simply select the data and hit your F11 key. It’s like magic.
  • [SHIFT+F2]. Add a comment to a cell. Wish you could add a comment to a cell quickly? You can when you press the SHIFT, and then the F2 key.
  • [CTRL+F2]. Print Preview. This keyboard shortcut works in both Microsoft Excel 2013 and Word, and gives you an instant view of what your sheet will look like if you need to print it out.

Labyrinth Learning offers multiple levels of Excel course materials so your students can utilize efficient, time-saving keyboard shortcuts.


The Importance of Learning PowerPoint

PowerPointWhen is the last time you attended a meeting or presentation that didn’t include some form of a PowerPoint presentation? Microsoft PowerPoint is the go-to source for business professionals, students, and professors who want the audience to benefit from an engaged presentation.

  • Students  Ideally, students would learn Microsoft PowerPoint by the time they reached high school. In addition to creating impressive class presentations and reports, they will also have a skill they can take with them into the workplace. With the proper PowerPoint skills they can create compelling presentations that will help prepare them for life after school.
  • Professors – There is nothing worse than speaking to a sea of glazed eyes. Today’s PowerPoint features ensure teachers and professors can create lectures that will keep students visually stimulated and engaged. PowerPoint can also be used to conduct learning assessments.
  • Professionals – Microsoft PowerPoint is used at all levels of business. From hiring and training sessions, to upper-management and shareholder meetings, high-quality, visual presentations are a wonderful way to get your message across to all audiences. In fact, many companies choose to pay for their employees to learn Microsoft PowerPoint in order to increase sales and customer/client confidence.

Labyrinth Learning can help your organization gain the skills they need to get ahead with training software, learning materials and training courses to help you get ahead. Call our professionals today to learn more about how our PowerPoint learning materials can help you.


ADULT students in the classroom

Tips for Teaching Adult Learners

ADULT students in the classroomTeaching is not a one-style-fits-all profession. Different learning populations have different wants, needs, and learning styles. As teachers, we have to determine which teaching materials are best suited for students’ needs and teaching adult learners poses its own set of challenges. These tips can help you reach adult learners at their level.

  1. Know Why. Teachers often work under the assumption that adult learners want to be there. That’s not always the case. Sometimes they have to be enrolled in your class for employment opportunities or to keep a certification current. Make sure you know why your lessons are important so students never feel they are wasting their time in your classroom.
  • Understand Various Learning Styles. Modern teaching theories have come a long ways since the “sit-still-and-listen” teaching format most of today’s teachers were brought up with. We all have our own learning style:
    • Visual
    • Auditory
    • Kinesthetic 

    You can use simple assessments at the beginning of the term to learn which modality is the best for each student. While most students like a combination of the three, understanding which modality works best for them can be a lifelong learning gift for students, and a valuable piece of information for you as their teacher.

  • Encouragement. Remember that the adult learner has been out of the academic environment for some time. They may have ingrained beliefs about being “bad students” that can block their ability to learn. Maintaining a positive and encouraging atmosphere will keep them motivated and engaged.

Labyrinth Learning offers computer classroom textbooks for every type of adult learner.


corporate training

Suggestions for Perfecting Your Corporate Training Approach

As a computer teacher or adult education instructor, you may find yourself working as a corporate trainer. Professionals seeking to stay on top in today’s corporate world can benefit from regularly refreshing their technology skills. Your job is to provide the knowledge and practical know-how to take their computer skills to the next level.

corporate trainingIn order to be a corporate trainer, it can help to get into the mindset of your professional students and to get them fired up about their Microsoft learning opportunity. Here are some suggestions straight from Marianna Swallow.

Define Your Lesson. In the corporate world, a trainer needs to clearly define his/her message. Rather than stating, “This semester, I’ll teach you about Windows 8,” keep your message specific, “This semester you are going to learn how to ____,  ____,  and ______ using Windows 8.” This will help to keep your students focused and on task.

Provide Hands-on Examples. A corporate trainer might have the students create an Excel spreadsheet using company data, or embed their logo and other relevant images into a PowerPoint presentation. These actions help to reinforce the trainer’s message. As an instructor, you can use innovative textbooks and software that provide your students with real time examples of the concepts you are teaching in class. They will be able to take those back to their workplace and implement them immediately and successfully.

Labyrinth Learning
is the ultimate resource for instructors who work in the corporate arena.




E-learning slogan poster

Self-Paced Learning vs. Cohort Learning

E-learning slogan posterDistance and online learning programs provide the opportunity for students to take control of their own learning process, timing, and progress. As such, many educators argue it’s time to branch out from the traditional cohort learning paradigm and create programs that support self-paced learning.

There are several advantages to self-paced learning.

Complete Control. While it’s true some students need a structured academic schedule, many prefer to work at their own pace. This is especially true for working adults and those who are intrinsically motivated and/or adept at the given subject. It also benefits those who struggle academically and need more time and/or guided assistance from instructors. Self-paced learning allows students to control their own learning process.

Intentional Interaction. Self-paced learning advocates believe students shouldn’t be required to complete specific learning activities if they already grasp the subject matter. Or, why should a student be required to participate in a group event when individually they already grasp the lessons at hand? A self-paced learning platform allows students to be in contact with one another and/or group leaders and instructors as needed, rather than as required.

Terry Anderson, director of the Canadian Institute for Distance Education Research, writes, “self paced learning will become increasing popular as a model of education for all students and especially for busy working adults”. Labyrinth Learning’s Innovative approach has designed textbooks and accompanying software that make it easy for professors and modern students to enjoy the benefits of self-paced learning.

Contact us for more information on creating a self-paced learning curriculum.