5 Education Technologies to Watch

It’s no secret that technologies come and go. In fact, the ever-changing technological landscape makes it incredibly difficult to keep up with the latest and greatest tech trends, let alone plan how new tools can be used to enhance course instruction and student engagement.

The recent 2016 Teaching with Technology Survey, asked participants at educational institutions across the country to predict which new technologies they saw having the greatest impact on education in the next decade. (as well as

Interested in which tools made the cut? Here’s a few of their top choices.

  1. Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
    Topping the list were augmented and virtual reality, one of the fastest growing trends in educational technology today. Beyond the cool factor, much of the appeal for education is the ability to go farther and dive deeper into a topic by not just telling students about it, but letting them experience it.

    One of the questions that comes up for those new to virtual reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is the difference between the two. The short answer is that VR allows you to completely immerse yourself as if you were magically teleported to an alternate location. AR, on the other hand, adds a layer on top of real life—for example viewing a 3D beating heart layered over an Anatomy textbook.

Related Resources:
Go Anywhere with Virtual Reality
Getting Started with Augmented Reality

Pop Quiz: How Well Do You Know Atomic Learning?

If you are only using Atomic Learning for how-to technology training, you're missing out. While this used to be the core of our product, this content is now the bonus on top of a larger range of highly relevant topics in education.

Watch this brief video to discover what’s new at Atomic Learning—and feel free to reach out if you are interested in learning more about these resources for your campus.

To help move learners beyond just knowing how-to use technology, check out a few of the available resources on the highlighted topics below:

Interested in learning more? Contact Atomic Learning at www.AtomicLearning.com/highed/request-information!

3 Tips for Becoming an "EdTech Ninja" this Summer

If you're an instructor (or work closely with them), it's no secret that summer isn't necessarily about rest and relaxation. In fact many educators spend the summer catching up on the latest and greatest teaching strategies and technology—recharging and getting energized for the following school year.

A recent article highlighted several ways that instructors could "become an edtech ninja". Here's a few of our favorites from the list, as well as a couple of our own!

  1. Attend a Conference
    In the words of @jmattmiller "The beauty of a summer conference is time to reflect and act. School-year conferences are usually followed the next day with getting back to business as usual with no time to implement what was learned."

    Of course, depending on where you live, the options vary. One of the biggest is Blackboard World—July 21st-23rd in Washington, DC—if you can't make it, you can always follow #bbworld15 on Twitter.

    (If you ARE planning to attend and want to chat, drop us a note!)

  2. Get Connected
    There are a huge variety of ways to digitally connect with peers and thought leaders today—among the most popular are Twitter and Pinterest. If you're new to one or both, Atomic Learning's training for both is available here.

    Already have some experience under your belt? Be sure to check out this Weekly Twitter Chat List!

  3. Join Summer Session
    If you're an Atomic Learning user, this is a must. This special email series uses fun topics related to summer break to focus on self-improvement, such as Planning a Vacation…or Stay-cation, with resources on popular Google™ Calendar, Maps, and Earth applications—and did we mention there are prizes involved?

    Each time you share a takeaway from the topic highlighted in the email, you'll be entered for a chance to win over $500 in prizes—and qualify your school as well!
    See details.

The Course Copy Road to Nowhere - LTI Best Practices

Reposted from IMS Global Learning Consortium's Best Practices, which features best practices for reference when implementing LTI®.

Just imagine you are the administrator of an LMS holding hundreds of on-line courses, and that your teachers have added playlists for useful videos within each section of their courses. Now think about what happens when these courses are copied at the end of a session to prepare afresh for another intake of students. If the video content is embedded within the course and the files hosted within the LMS then I suspect all will be well; the new copy of the course will happily be linked to these files. But what if these videos are provided via a third-party application which is linked to a course using LTI, what then? In that case the only thing connecting the link in the course to the playlist of exciting and valued videos is a single resource link ID - a strong connection when it is set up, but one which is easily broken when the link is copied to another course. The result is that you (the LMS administrator) are then inundated with calls from disgruntled (angry?) teachers who have to go through their new course and set up all the playlists again (because they all have new resource link IDs). Time for you to either take a vacation or to find a solution!

Well, if finding a solution is the choice you made, then IMS has one to offer. This was exactly the issue facing Atomic Learning and its customers, who, in conjunction with IMS, devised and implemented a simple solution using two new custom parameter substitution variables which have now been included in the LTI 1.2 specification. The values of these variables provide a list of the resource link IDs and context IDs with which the current link has previously been associated. The first ID in each list will be for the course from which the current course was copied; the second will be from the course from which the previous course was copied, etc. Thus, when Atomic Learning receives a launch with a resource link ID which it does not recognise, it can check the resource link ID history to see if any of these are known to them. If they are, a copy of the playlist associated with that resource link ID can be made so the connection can be re-established for the teacher and their students. The history of IDs are provided in reverse chronological order, so that the first match found (most recent) is the one to use.