This forum post should cover your questions: http://forum.learntomod.com/t/new-users-how-to-connect-find-the-badges/157577
At the moment, our servers will only work with minecraft version 1.9 or 1.9.2, but it's easy to make a 1.9 or 1.9.2 profile. Here's how: http://forum.learntomod.com/t/use-minecraft-1-9-2-w-new-ltm-servers-heres-how/3054
I'd recommend looking up the updated versions on the mods in the book and copying them. You can do that by clicking the 'what's hot' tab in the middle of the learntomod homepage, scrolling down to mods and typing in the name of the mod in the search bar
Or better yet, start working on the badge tutorials by clicking the blue square on the homepage, then clicking the skills and drills < voxl icon.