Infographic: The Science of Classroom Design

There's been a lot of buzz lately regarding effective learning spaces—classroom layout, color, noise (or lack thereof) and a variety of other factors can all have an impact on students' learning experience. As the infographic below points out, simple changes, such as how desks are arranged, can help encourage collaboration and discussion.

Be sure to check out the infographic and resources below for insights on making the most of your space.

#RealityCheck - Guest Blog Post

Guest blog post by Atomic Learning customer Judy Yi, a Professor at Dallas Baptist University in Texas. You can see more great posts from Judy and others at DBU's ProfHelp Blog.

Several years ago, I read an article in the New York Times that placed Apple Inc. on the same level as a religion.  With its fanatic fans camping outside for days to purchase the newly released device and the devotion they show with Apple products, it’s not too surprising. But what is it about Apple that makes people “hypnotized” to it?
 
Just last month, I had the opportunity to visit Apple Inc. (the America Operations Center) in Austin with my Ed.D. K-12 cohort, and our speaker, Jon Landis, the Development Executive for educational mobility deployment in higher education and K-12 schools, shed some light on Apple’s secret formula.
 
Here’s a recap:
 
By 1997, the world wide web (www.), the Internet as we know it, was easily available and accessible to the general public. It was innovative!
 
However, to a student who was born in 1997, using and accessing information via the Internet is not new at all. They grew up with it and know no other world. To them, it is not an innovation; it is just a way of life.
 
Apple’s mental model: Internet is conventional. How can we innovate from it?
 
In the early 2000s, smartphones were moving into the mainstream. Checking emails and surfing the Internet with your phone was a new technology. It was cool! However, to a student born in the early 2000s, smartphones aren’t smart. It’s plainly a mobile device. They know of no such thing as a “dumb phone” that could not send emails or surf the web. For them, anything mobile-related is not innovative; it is just a way of life.

Learning Industry Leaders' Perspectives on #EdTech (As Seen in @USAToday)

Recently, Atomic Learning's CEO, Lisa Barnett, was interviewed on the state of educational technology in today's schools. Below is an excerpt from the article, Ed-Tech Pros Talk Education Transformation, as seen in USA Today.

How has technology transformed our way of looking at education?
Lisa Barnett: Kids have been using technology tools from a very young age to learn everything from counting to coding, which has created a generation of learners who are used to having information at their fingertips 24/7. The modalities they’re accustomed to are very interactive and tailored to their needs and interests. If these kids are asked to sit and listen to long periods of lecture in a classroom, how well do we think they’re going to respond? Education is transforming to respond to the needs of this new generation. Education is adapting to this new idea of personalized content. There are now many resources that offer different ways to learn the same concept, so if one method doesn’t work, another can quickly be found that will. Technology can also provide fantastic assistance in the area of accessibility and accommodations to even further meet the needs of individual learners.

How are technology products improving student outcomes in the classroom?

Lisa Barnett:Technology can be an amazing facilitator of differentiation techniques by providing additional resources and tools that will give teachers far more ways to differentiate for content, process, and product. We know that differentiated instruction can directly impact student outcomes as it tailors the educational experience to the needs of the students. Technology can also help efficiently measure student outcomes and analyze this information in new ways to provide the best learning experience possible for each individual learner.

“My 16-Year-Old is in College!?!” – Insights on the High School to College Transition

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

I am the parent of a new college student.  That in and of itself is a big deal for a number of reasons.  But in this case, said college student is also only 16.  Yes, she's a sharp kid, but not some prodigy.  

Our state has an amazing post-secondary enrollment option that allows high school juniors and seniors to attend college full-time and complete dual degrees, funded through the state.  So essentially, when she graduates from high school, she should also have her AA degree.

My daughter has not been a huge fan of the high school experience—she found the drama to be exhausting and she was regularly disengaged in her academics.  While she was a high performing student, she found classes focused on rote memorization to be a game that she knew how to play, but didn't feel she was actually getting any type of academic enrichment from. Partially through her sophomore year, she decided to pursue the PSEO option with our family’s support.  

Fast forward to four weeks ago; she started her first day as a junior is high school and freshman in college.

Tips for Growing Your Soft Skills

Looking to take some time to focus on you this summer? Consider growing your personal and professional self by building in-demand soft skills. To help you get started, Atomic Learning has gathered together valuable resources and insights to help you hone your skills.

If you're already an Atomic Learning user, simply log in using your institution's method of access and check out the links below.

Don't have access? Request information online on how to access these resources and hundreds of others!

Listening Effectively

 

Many people hear without actually listening. Learn the difference and how to become a more effective communicator—a critical skill in (and out of) class.

Learn more

Setting Goals

 

Don't just make a wish for something good, make it happen with SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Learn more

Adapting to Change

 

Love it or hate it, change happens. Resisting change is both natural and common, yet is often painful. Learning how to successfully adapt can make a huge difference.

Learn more

Can't wait to learn more? You can explore additional topics focused on build career and soft skills, as well as college- and career-readiness and a variety of other critical topics at http://www.AtomicLearning.com/k12/professional-dev today!

A New Approach to Teacher PD - Just Launched!

At Atomic Learning we are committed to helping reshape the way we support students, teachers and staff in their learning experience. For the past two years we have devoted energy and resources into shaping a path for schools to overcome the status quo, and have developed Hoonuit by Atomic Learning. Hoonuit includes a learning framework that both enhances and personalizes online learning, using four components:


 

Learn from Best Practices.
Professional learning resources on highly-relevant topics.

Apply Learning to Life.
Activities to apply learning to life—and the classroom.

Connect & Get Feedback.
Collaborative tools to learn from others.

Document Learning.
Assessments and resources to monitor progress.

To align with this powerful outcome-based learning model, Atomic Learning's online professional
learning resources are delivered in a 'learning module' format—here's a quick overview video:

Ready to learn more? Contact Atomic Learning directly at atomic@AtomicLearning.com.

Already an Atomic Learning subscriber? You automatically have access to new learning module course format! Here are a few of our most popular topics:

Contact your school's Account Manager for additional details.

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