Minecraft In Education - It's Not Just A Game

Guest blog post by Garrett ZimmerContributor of the module Minecraft in the Classroom


Much like the now old saying "There's an App for that", with educational technology: "There's a tool for that."  The big challenge we face is choosing the right one. While one tool may support a single lesson or a whole unit, it's rare to find one that supports everything. 

Minecraft is the phenomenon that has been recently taken the educational world by storm.  Minecraft can engage student's passion and help create a true sense of ownership of their learning.  The culturally relevant tool allows easy implementation of Game Based lessons while providing opportunity for kids to become increasingly passionate about their learning.

Augmented Reality Books

Guest blog post by Debra Atchison 

Learning Ambassador & Contributor of the series Getting Started with Augmented Reality


Augmented Reality (AR) is one of my favorite things to share. It’s so much fun and participants of any age are excited and engaged the whole time. There are a lot of premade AR apps for just about any content and lots of tools for teachers and students to use to create their own AR. A few years ago I was asked to present at the Texas Library Association’s state conference on Augmented Reality books. I titled the presentation, “Augmented Reality: The Other AR!” Most teachers are familiar with AR standing for Accelerated Reader, but this AR is all about interactive Augmented Reality books. I’ve enjoyed giving that presentation for a handful of years now, each time adding a new book or two.


As I recently shared presentations again for the #TCEA17 conference, I thought to myself, “this is probably going to run its course” as I think AR books are dying out. Man, was I ever wrong! The AR book market is gaining ground big time. I have found a ton of new books that use augmented reality to engage their readers. The most exciting part for me is that the books are becoming more and more sophisticated, not just in the artistry and AR, but also in the content of the storylines. There are more and more graphic novels and even novels for young adults that are incorporating AR. There are some great AR picture books and I’m still very excited over those, but I’m really pumped for these new books for older readers that are interactive and engaging!

ISTE Hoonuit Contest

Are you interested in professional growth and an opportunity to attend ISTE 2017?  We are thrilled to announce our ISTE Hoonuit Contest where educators are rewarded for sharing what they learn!

Here are the details:

1 GRAND PRIZE Winner will receive free registration & a travel stipend for ISTE 2017
1 RUNNER UP Winner will receive free registration for ISTE 2017
5 Annual Hoonuit by Atomic Learning Subscriptions


Follow these steps and be entered to win:
  1. Login to www.AtomicLearning.com using your school's method of access.
    (Not at an Atomic Learning school? (Get free access now)
  2. Complete a module - LearnIt. DoIt. ShareIt. and ProveIt. (See list of accepted modules below)

Celebrating Read Across America with Reading Focused PD

March 2nd marks Read Across America Day! Sponsored by NEA, this annual event celebrates reading reading and literacy. Hoonuit by Atomic Learning is celebrating by launching another great learning module focused on reading skills:


Reading in the Content Area - NEW!
Reading a novel and reading a chemistry textbook are two very different experiences, as I’m sure you know.

This new module by Dr. Therese Kiley discusses the different strategies employed when reading different materials—from novels to poetry to menus to textbooks—and how to support your students in their growing literacy skills.

Looking for more resources focused on reading skills?
Be sure to check out these additional professional development modules:

Making Sense of Educational Data

Guest blog post by Dr. Nicole M. Michalik – Cowriter (with Dr. Jeff Watson) of the series Making Sense of Educational Data

There are those things in life that are so common or necessary it is just expected that you know all about it, what to do with it, or better yet, how to do it.  I recently read an article about the 30 things everyone should be able to do by the age 30.  I am over 30 so I gave the article a go.  I can swim, find my way around without GPS, and could get from point A to point B driving a stick shift if I had to.  Skip to the end, I nailed 29 of those 30 items.  While the list was pretty fluffy and easy to check off if you are even remotely connected with modern life in the United States, I cannot do 1 of those items.  I cannot change the oil in my car. 

I know what oil looks like and I know what the finished product should be - mainly clean oil in the car, dirty oil not in the car - but the technical aspects of how to change the oil elude me.

I don’t have a list of the 30 things educators should be able to do, but I’m sure that at least one expectation today is that educators should know what to do with data.  Education data is so common and necessary, educators should just know what it is and what to do with it.  Teachers and administrators are to ‘analyze the data’ and ‘make data-driven decisions’ to ‘positively affect student outcomes’.  Now, get to it!

But maybe, just maybe, no one ever explained to you what to do with the data.  Those basic pieces of how to actually change the oil were conveniently glossed over on the road to becoming a teacher or in your teaching experience itself.  It’s possible that you attended a professional development session on data and using data to make decisions.  Remember that 30-minute session 5 years ago?   You were given the oil and you know where it should go in the end, but you don’t know what to do in between, except maybe that there is some draining and disposal. 

Classroom Management in 1:1 and BYOD Classrooms

Guest Blog Post by Mason, Learning Ambassador

As a new instructional coach at a 1:1 high school campus, I am always looking to learn and grow so that I can offer teachers the best advice to help improving teaching and learning with technology. Our campus deployed iPads 1:1 in October of 2016, and one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced are the unique classroom management needs in a 1:1 classroom.