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Learning Express

January 25, 2010

LearningExpress is the name of a new offering at the library that is an online learning center where you might learn that until very recently “Learning” and “Express” would always have had a space between them.

Few learned people would have typed LearningExpress, except for the likes of James Joyce and Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Now, because of the limitations of computers and the requirements of Internet addressing, we type LearningExpress without batting an eye.

But the boundless reach of computers and the Internet brings LearningExpress easily into our homes.

The LearningExpress

“online learning platform provides over 770 of the most up-to-date test-preparation and skill-building resources, helping both students and adults prepare for a wide range of academic and career-oriented exams as well as to improve basic skills in reading, writing, and math.

“In addition, job-skills tutorials are available to assist in creating a great resume, honing interviewing techniques, and improving business communications. Patrons also have the option of selecting from more than 130 e-book titles to help learners of all ages prepare for success.

“The innovative platform includes self-paced study, instant scoring and diagnostic feedback and can be accessed from any computer that has an Internet connection.”

So, you can find practice tests for the GED, ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT, TOEFL, etc.

It has EMT, PPST, CBEST, and ASVAB practice tests. Health careers. Real estate careers. Teaching careers. Cosmetology.

It has practice tests for government jobs such as correctional officer, border patrol, firefighter, paramedic, etc., and civil service practice tests for clerical jobs.

In addition to covering careers dependent on testing and certification, the online learning centers cover a variety of skills at many levels from elementary school through high school.

You will also find “adult skills improvement,” which I take to mean “refresher” courses for practical math, spelling and grammar, and writing fundamentals. I know that adults about to take employment exams often come to the library looking to review fractions and algebra.

All of these levels include instruction as well as diagnostic and practice tests.

Parents, whether homeschooling or not, might note that there are many elementary, middle, and high school skills improvement and testing modules.

It all sounds very gray until you need it. The grayness comes from words like “skills” and “test” and “diagnostic.” Reviewing the list of “resources,” yet another gray word, I couldn’t help but think of Napoleon in the movie “Napoleon Dynamite” and his use of the work “skills.” No time to discuss; you’ll just have to see it.

Included with the tests and courses are 130 e-books, titles published and sold by LearningExpress but made available here as .pdf files for you to save or print, should you undertake some of this study.

LearningExpress strikes me as a well-done and useful online tool, and perhaps especially for these days when employment is hard to find.

Ah, yes … as I was just reminded by a message that popped up on my computer screen telling me my time was up … many of the practice tests are timed for you, as they would be in real life.

I was curious to take the GED reading practice test, since it started with a story by Stephen Crane, but I ran out of time writing this. If I’d taken one of the writing courses, I might not have written a sentence like the one that begins this column.

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