Making Room for Makerspaces


Guest blog post by Jeannine Shields, Learning Ambassador


You may have heard educators and creative folks discussing the #MakerMovement and the establishment of #makerspaces. What is a makerspace? It is a place for people to share resources, materials, and ideas to collaborate on projects together. Harnessing the power of this movement can enhance any classroom. There is an old Chinese proverb, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Letting our students approach a problem with trial and error embraced while problem solving will create lasting memories and much deeper understandings.


But I can’t afford a 3D printer!? That’s okay. Not every classroom can. The Maker Movement is not just 3D design through a printer. Students can create in 3D using clay, paper, pipe cleaners, pasta and so much more. Unleash their creativity. Three-dimensional merely refers to having a length, breadth, and depth. This can be accomplished through many inexpensive options. A 3D printer is fantastic, but please do not feel that you can’t begin without one.




We are thrilled about the submissions from the ISTE Hoonuit Contest! The creative posts were shared, so that other educators can grow and learn together. The winners were selected based on the creativity of the post and value of content for others learners. View the winning submissions below.


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Tech Integration Strategies Module



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Students as Digital Creators Module

5 Classroom Approaches to Beat Pre-Summer Daydreams

Looking for a new way to engage students who seem to have already checked out for the summer?

Hoonuit by Atomic Learning is constantly adding new learning resources focused on helping schools tackle common challenges found in education today—including increasing student engagement—and pulled together a five hot topics to help you kick those pre-summer daydreams out of the classroom for good!

  1. Nearpod in the Classroom is a powerful presentation, assessment, and collaboration tool for the classroom that allows teachers to interact with students during a lesson and get real-time feedback! In this module, you will learn everything from creating an account with Nearpod to more advanced features like VR field trips. Upon completion, you will be able to begin using this powerful tool with your students right away!
  2. Project-Based Learning Lesson Framework: Million Dollar Classroom this module, we will use the project-based lesson format to have students design a Million Dollar Classroom, in which students will plan, design, collaborate, and problem solve to construct their perfect classroom with a one million dollar budget. This module includes both an instructional guide for teachers and step-by-step videos to walk students through the project, and can be adapted to all grade levels.
  3. Minecraft in the Classroom™ is a unique combination of game and creative design tool, and its growing use in classrooms around the world is an exciting phenomenon. If you've never played the game or have never used game-based learning, this module will bring you into the Minecraft Education experience quickly, and give you the skills you need to hit the ground running with game-based learning and Minecraft in the Classroom.
  4. Create and Manage an In-Class Flip learning has taken the educational technology world by storm! It emphasizes flipping traditional instruction to require students to view instructional material at home and use in-class time for application and creation of content. BUT...What if students don't have reliable home Internet? Or don't watch the videos? This learning module discusses creating and managing in-class flipped learning to benefit all students!
  5. KWL Strategy this module, you’ll learn the benefits of the Know, Want to Learn, Learn, (K-W-L) teaching strategy, and how you might use it in your classroom. Included topics cover the basics of creating a KWL graphic organizerhow to use wikis, concept maps and note-taking apps to implement KWL as a collaborative activity, and much more. This module also offers links to templates and resources to help you dig deeper into the KWL strategy.

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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 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)