Happy Thanksgiving to all our partners and customers stateside and welcome to the penultimate edition of our 2019 series of newsletters. You may have picked up on how often I have been out and about this year, but during November, my feet stayed firmly on UK soil. Having said that, in a few days’ time I'll be heading back to the US to touch base with some of our partners during the festive season. It's the perfect time of year to thank them for their ongoing support, without which Practice Labs wouldn’t be where we are today.

Man and women in superhero costume fighting cyber crime

Practice Labs launches a special cybersecurity bundle

Globally, we’re a long way off from being fully equipped with enough skilled cybersecurity specialists to address the challenges organisations are increasingly facing. The Practice Labs mission is to improve the skills of one million users by 2023, and within that we are keen to help organisations grow their own cyber talent. To help achieve this, we've launched a special bundle of hands-on cybersecurity live-labs to help existing IT staff develop their penetration testing and cybersecurity skills, and to encourage more students to explore cybersecurity as a potential career option.

Learn more about our cybersecurity bundle here.

Do you have any plans to help raise cybersecurity awareness or develop your cybersecurity strategy? Drop me a line if you have any news to share, or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Conferences and events

In mid-November we exhibited at the AoC (Association of Colleges) Conference in Birmingham to demonstrate to colleges from across the UK how Practice Labs can increase work-readiness and improve employability prospects. Live-labs are a relatively new content in the UK, so we’ve been looking at ways to showcase the Practice Labs solution. We wanted to explain the benefits of Practice Labs with something visual, so we came up with a juggling theme to demonstrate that practice makes perfect in IT as well!

We developed this into the main theme for the show and provided delegates with the chance to learn how to juggle with help from a professional (not the one pictured below as you may have guessed!). Visitors to the stand collected a complimentary set of juggling balls and gained a good understanding of what Practice Labs are all about.

Practice labs CREW member Louise at AOC Conference

Over in the US at the same time as the AoC event, our US CREW (plus Emma from head office who was on a flying visit) were in residence at the 2019 NICE Conference and Expo in Phoenix. The purpose of the event was to explore best practices on how to shape the future of the cybersecurity workforce. Another great opportunity for the Practice Labs CREW to exchange ideas with thought leaders and experts from the industry.

Practice labs CREW members at NICE Conference and Expo

Library update

NEW RELEASE: For those wanting to master the latest version of Microsoft Word through a sequence of practical, hands-on tasks to become competent in the world’s most popular word processing application. Follow this link for more info.

Microsoft Word hands on learning

COMING SOON:
Microsoft Windows 10 - Exam Prep
Microsoft Excel 2019 - Practice Lab
Ethical Hacker - Version 10 - Practice Lab
Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 - Exam Prep

If you'd like to review any of these new titles for use by your students or employees, drop an email to eps@practice-labs.com and one of the team will be happy to arrange complimentary evaluation access.

Curious to see our full library? Use the following links to download and view our latest Practice Lab and Exam Prep portfolios.

CREW news

Two charities have been gifted some goodies by Practice Labs this month. We raised £161.11 for UK charity Children in Need, and an impressive 36 coats were donated to Wrap Up London for those in need, to help keep them warmer during the winter months ahead. Thanks to our amazing CREW for making it all happen.

Practice Labs CREW members in fancy dress for children in need

In the lead up to Christmas Jumper Day, instead of donating cash, our CREW are collecting items for a local women’s initiative. New toys and clothes are mounting up in our kitchen ready to help families less fortunate than ourselves. Even the smallest of donations can make a big difference to some.

Practice Labs CREW members donating coat to Wrap Up London charity

New to our CREW

As the saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens. Our development team manager, Deniz, headed off on maternity leave this month and we welcomed Aneeka, who stepped in to cover while Deniz is taking time out to enjoy her latest little bundle of joy.

Practice Labs CREW members Deniz and Mark

We also gained another CREW member at HQ - Louis has trekked his way over from South Africa and is working as a technical expert in our product team. Louis specialises in cybersecurity and was one of the key developers behind our recent Red Team Blue Team and Ethical Hacker releases.

Practice Labs CREW members Aneeka and Louis

Finally, if you happen to share my passion for EdTech and have a couple of minutes to spare, you might be interested to read this thought leadership piece I was asked to write for the Startacus entrepreneurs' portal. The brief was to share my vision for the future of EdTech, and it really got me thinking. What are your thoughts about what might be in store for the EdTech sector in 2020 and beyond? I'd love to hear from you.

That's it from me until next time. I hope the next few weeks are both productive and enjoyable for you all.

See you in December!
Warm regards,
Ricky Doyle, CREW Captain