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Internet-based labs boost Scecina students’ computer skills

Raina Oxlaj and her Preparing for College and Careers classmates use the interactive video-based LabSim from TestOut to learn Microsoft Office skills.


By Beth Murphy,
Director of Marketing Communications

Want some good career and life advice? Here’s some: Learn the Microsoft Office suite of Word, PowerPoint, Access and Excel applications. Become certified in these computer skills and you’ll increase your chances of landing a good job with a nice paycheck.

Scecina students are getting hands-on Microsoft Office 2016 experience with an entirely online teaching program new to the school this year called LabSim by TestOut. LabSim includes: “Tell Me” video instruction; “Show Me” demonstrations; “Read Me” text summaries; “Let Me Try” simulations; “Test Me” quizzes and exams, and progress reports and assessment tools.

TestOut touts this teaching method as “the lessons only experience can teach.” Scecina teacher Pam Brake can vouch for that. She used to rely on a textbook to teach these skills in her Preparing for College and Careers class. Now she can’t praise TestOut enough for its video-based learning that leads the students through the lessons.

“Before, I was teaching computer applications out of big bulky book that had to remain in the classroom,” Mrs. Brake explained. ”Now kids can access the program from home and practice at home on their devices. There’s also an interactive script (“Read Me”) they can follow for kids who don’t learn by hearing.”

Freshman Raina Oxlaj already had Word experience, but she said LabSim’s interactive lessons are improving her skills. “It’s really giving us the basic Office skills you will need in college or a job, and life,” she said.

Raina especially liked learning how to add footnotes and cite sources using advanced Word practices. “I recently had to write an English paper, and I was able to put them in the document, and not write them on a separate paper,” she explained. Raina is just a freshman, but she already has zoned in on Purdue University as her college choice and she hopes to be a chemist or psychologist.

David Dellacca, Scecina’s vice president of technology, introduced TestOut to the school. TestOut’s LabSim, he said, provides hands-on training, curriculum, testing and lab simulations for students learning Microsoft Office Word and PowerPoint. “TestOut has a proven track record of providing training to colleges, universities, business, hospitals, and government office from all over the United States,” said Mr. Dellacca, who added that some staff members also are using LabSim to bolster their own skills.

He said students receive 12 months of access to the LabSim product, so they are able to learn more material than there’s time to cover in class. “Once all of the training material has been successfully completed, students will be prepared to take an industry-recognized Microsoft Office Specialist certification exam,” he said. “Students earning the certificate would be viewed by possible employers as having the skills for an entry-level business position. According to Microsoft, this would provide up to $16,000 more in annual earning potential versus uncertified peers.”

Besides the Microsoft Office training, the program also teaches the basics of setting up your computer, the hardware and components such as the printer, Mrs. Brake said. 

Learn more about LabSim by clicking here: The TestOut Difference

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