8 Insights to Help Students Be Successful in College

To help prepare students to succeed in college, an article from The Washington Post listed out a variety of things that students should be aware of—or at the very least start think through—when gearing up for college.

Here are eight quick tips to share with your students:

  1. Carefully plan your first-semester schedule.
    Planning out your schedule for the year can be overwhelming.  Things to consider: If you are not a morning person, signing up for a bunch of 8 AM classes, is just not practical.  Also, try not to overload yourself. The article suggested to “take a moderate load of courses totaling no more than 12 to 18 credit hours.” Check out Atomic Learning’s How Do I Prepare for a College Workload? course to better prepare.
  2. Take your roommate agreement seriously.
    No one ever said having a roommate would be easy. Especially when living quarters or dorm rooms can be cramped. Everyone has preferences regarding study time, overnight quests, food, furniture and more. The article went on to say, “Being upfront about your expectations from the beginning can help avoid problems later.” This course on What Concerns Should I Have About a Roommate? may also help.
  3. Get involved.
    The article explains “The best way to find your niche on campus is to get involved with clubs, service work or intramural sports.” Find what you like, and it will help introduce you to others on campus interested in the same things. Careful though, try not to overcommit yourself. Watch a course on How Involved Should I Be in Campus Life? for more insights.

7 Tips to Take Ownership of Your Professional Development

While schools and districts offer formal professional development, teachers themselves also have the opportunity to learn on their own. Yet with such busy schedules, some teachers struggle to find the time or drive to participate in self-driven learning.

So why should teachers find the time? One article stated it best:

“What makes a professional stand apart from others in his or her field? Of course, she has the educational chops and the hands-on experience that makes her well-rounded and widely respected in her field. But true professionals don’t stop there. In fact, they never stop – especially when it comes to learning.”

For those looking for a place to start, we’ve gathered together seven tips to begin implementing right away:

6 Ideas to Increase Parent Engagement [Infographic]

Parents and teachers have a shared interest in the success of individual students, yet there are often challenges to maintaining open communications by both parties. The infographic below, by National PTA, outlines six insightful ideas on how teachers can encourage and support parent and family engagement.

One of the basic tips outlined above that stands out focuses on communication—specifically about communicating “in a way that not only reaches them—but also generates a response.” This only reinforces the importance of two-way communication between teachers and parents.

For additional insights on fostering stronger communications, be sure to check out Atomic Learning’s online course, Improving Communications Between Teachers & Parents. The course explores best practices for communicating with students' families and tools that can make that communication easier, including apps for texting families from your computer, creating and sharing calendars, and more.

Don’t have access to Atomic Learning? Request information on how you and your entire school can access this course and hundreds of others focused on effective professional development, shifting instructional approaches, and other highly-relevant topics..

5 Simple Ways to Develop Students’ Digital Literacy

While there are a variety of ways to help build and encourage your students’ digital literacy, we’ve gathered five of our personal favorites below that you can implement yet this year—complete with links to related resources to get you off on the right foot!

  1. Build an Understanding of Digital Literacy
    It sounds redundant, but helping students build an understanding of digital literacy is a fundamental way to develop digital literacy skills. Knowledge is power, and helping students to understand that digital literacy is about so much more than simply using technology creates a foundation to build on.

    Related resource: Literacy Reimagined (with Angela Maiers)

4 Soft Skills Every Student Needs Before College

While many occupations have specialized skillsets, there are underlying, often career-agnostic skills that individuals need to utilize on a daily basis. These skills, commonly referred to as career or soft skills, are a hot topic not only for many schools, districts, colleges, and universities, but also among companies seeking qualified job applicants.

A multitude of studies, surveys, education-related articles have published various takes on the importance of soft skills, yet often overlook what can be done to build these skills. In this post, we’ll examine four of the most discussed skills—and provide some of our own ideas and resources focused on building each individual skill.

  1. Collaboration
    One of the most sought-after soft skills is collaboration. It only makes sense, since so many professionals today work together on functional teams to achieve a common goal. As anyone who’s worked on a group project knows, collaboration is closely tied to other skills and behaviors, such as communicating, offering and accepting criticism, delegation, and a host of others.

    Students participating in extracurricular activities, such as a sports team or club, are already working on these skills.  Teachers can also support students’ skill building in the classroom with group projects. Outside of school-related activities, students can practice collaboration through volunteer opportunities or after-school employment. (If it seems like a lot to balance, be sure to check out skill number four: Time Management.)

    Looking for a place to start?
    Here are just a few Atomic Learning courses around this topic:
    Integrating the 4 C’s in Your Classroom

    Strategies for Working with a
    Evernote in Instruction