Planning for Prom: A Focus on Student Safety

For high school students across the country, prom season is just kicking off.

And, while they work on finding the perfect dress or tux, debating the merits of renting a limo, and a host of other details, it’s important to remind them to keep safety in mind. It’s not anything that anyone wants to talk about, but it’s an important topic that everyone—parents, schools, and students alike—NEED to discuss.

Statistically speaking, prom season is a dangerous time for teens. 53% of students reported consuming more than 4 alcoholic drinks on prom night1, yet 87% of teens surveyed felt their friends would be more willing to drive after drinking than call home for a ride?2 Beyond alcohol use, prom (and graduation) seasons see increases in teen traffic deaths3, and there is a perceived increase in teen sexual activity.

To help schools and districts begin countering these dangers, we’ve gathered several tips to help keep students safe—not only at prom, but in a variety of situations now, in college, and beyond.

  1. Set Expectations
    Share your school policies involving student behavior, including drugs and alcohol, and make sure students know the consequences—not only with students, but also parents. Keeping students safe is a group effort.
     
  2. Choose Chaperones with Care
    Consider recruiting faculty and staff that students will connect with to be present during the event—a student may be more inclined to share information about their peers risky behavior with a favorite teacher or feel more accountable for personal behavior when a coach or authoritative figure is present.
     
  3. Plan for Post-Prom
    If you don’t already, consider hosting a post-prom event to provide Prom-goers a fun (and safe) place to go after the dance instead of them potentially going to a party where alcohol and other substances may put your students at risk.

The Importance of Teaching Personal Safety (& How To Do It Right)

Did you know that many teens and young adults are victims of violent crime? The statistics shown here, shared by the U.S. Department of Education, may be startling to many.

Today’s world can be a dangerous place for teens and young adults, and getting them to be interested in and empowered by the concept of personal safety is a daunting responsibility. One that leaves many education leaders wondering how to better engage students and “meet them where they are at” when it comes to providing them with the skills they need to take ownership of their safety.

The Safety Mindset Gap

Guest blog post by Lisa Barnett (@atomic_lisa), CEO of Atomic Learning and Versifit Technologies.

I’m a parent.  As I’m sure any of you who also have children or grandchildren can relate, there is nothing in this world that matters more to me than my daughter.

So here’s something that causes a knot in my stomach. 

Almost half1 of young adults are, or will be, the victim of a violent crime – half!  Here’s another sobering stat (especially as the parent of a daughter) – every two minutes2, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted. 

Final reality check – I know (because she tells me) that my daughter is surrounded by individuals who are using drugs every day.  And even if she continues to make smart choices, she is still at risk of the behaviors that people in an altered state can exhibit.

So on the flip side of this, college and high school campuses are investing heavily in emergency blue lights, security officers, electronic locks, and more.  In fact, by 2017, annual spending on school security systems is expected to reach $4.9 billion3. Clearly, our school leaders are taking this problem on full force and investing in ways to increase the safety of the school environment.

So where is the gap?

Tech Solutions for Students with #Autism, #Dysgraphia, #Dyslexia

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 6.4 million children and youth in the United States receive special education services—approximately 13% of all public school students.

NCES statistics also show that of the affected students, 35% have a specific learning disability, and another 8% are autistic. (View source

To help schools and districts in supporting the needs of all learners, Atomic Learning has developed specialized online learning resources on a variety of topics, including courses on tech solutions for students with dyslexia, dysgraphia, and autism, which are highlighted below.

In addition, Atomic Learning provides additional resources focused on assistive technology tools and accessibility features of commonly used software and systems such as Microsoft® Office, Apple® iPad™, Windows® and Mac OS.

  

Tech for Students with Autism
Learn about  tools to support students on the Autism Spectrum. Focused on students with mild to moderate needs who need some support in accessing the mainstream curriculum, this course includes tools for students to practice social skills, for teachers to assess behavior, and much more.

View Course

 

Tech for Students with Dysgraphia
Interested in learning how to support students with Dysgraphia, a learning disability that affects the writing process? This online course focuses on research-based strategies to support students, and outlines multiple technologies that can be utilized in the classroom to support students.

View Course

 

Tech for Students with Dyslexia
This online course describes how to best support students with dyslexia in the classroom and in the community. We'll discuss research-backed best practices when working with students with dyslexia, and go over some of the latest and greatest tech tools that can be used to effectively support these students.

View Course

Whether you're looking to support students with special needs in a general education setting or providing specialized education services, Atomic Learning is here to help! Interested in exploring available learning resources for supporting students with special needs? Check them out here.

(If you are an Atomic Learning customer, access to these resources will depend on your school or district's subscription level.)

To learn more about accessing these courses, contact Atomic Learning today.

Bottling the Energy from #EdTech Conferences

With education convention season ramping up across the country, the team at Atomic Learning has been hearing a lot of excitement and discussion around growing trends, concerns, and areas of focus in the education industry.

For many, conferences are inarguably a great place to gather ideas and learn best practices...But what happens after the conference? How do you keep the learning going year-round?

To help make the most of the great information being shared at conferences—and bottle up a bit of the excitement of these shows—we’ve pulled together some of our favorite resources on the hottest topics, including not only technology related topics such as 1:1 initiatives, but also focused resources for professional development, leadership, college-readiness, and much more.

Simply click on any of the links below that are of interest to you to preview the available resource, and contact Atomic Learning for details on how to unlock full access for your entire school or district!

1:1 Initiatives
A Brief Overview of 1:1 Classroom Training
Enhancing Communication & Collaboration with Tech
Differentiating Instruction with Technology
Device Training (including iPads, Chromebooks)
  Leadership
Overcoming Resistance to Change
Building an Effective Leadership Team
Safety Awareness
Mattering is the Agenda (School Culture)
     
Professional Development
Planning with Purpose: A Look at Effective PD
Classroom Management Strategies
Integrating the 4 Cs into Your Classroom
An Overview of Learning Methodologies
Critical Thinking & Bloom's Taxonomy
  Technology Integration
SAMR
Getting Technology R.I.G.H.T.
Snapchat in Education
Minecraft and Project-Based Learning
Coding in the Classroom
     
College-Readiness
Preparing for a College Workload
Choosing a Major
Time Management
Strategies for Working in a Group
Safety Awareness
  Career & Technical Education
Career Skills Training
Effective Listening
Goal Setting
Effective Presentation Design
Preparing for an Interview

Supporting Gifted and Talented Learners

Interested in learning about the latest research on supporting gifted and talented learners in the classroom? You've come to the right place!

We worked with Sam Hostetler, a Dean of Students and experienced educator with a passion for technology and learning, to bring you this in-depth online course focused on Supporting Gifted and Talented Learners.

Hostetler talks through everything from defining what gifted and talented means to way of implementing technology and instructional strategies to support them. Here is a quick sample of one of the topics he walks through, how to identity a gifted and talented learner.

Each district and state is going to have its own criteria for how to identify gifted and talented students, but these are a few things to be on the look out for in your classroom. Keeping in mind that these are just some things that you might see, and every student is obviously different, here are some of the most common attributes:

  • Asks a lot of questions
  • Masters skills early
  • Interested in many things
  • Uses higher level thinking (such as, analysis and evaluation)
  • Easily bored in class
  • May do well on tests, but neglects homework.
     

Want more? Watch the whole course!


Don't have a subscription? Get access with a free 7-day trial.

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