Webinar Alert: Effective Strategies for Creating an Assistive Tech Professional Development Plan

Atomic Learning invites you to join us as we welcome Gayl Bowser for a FREE webinar on creating an Assistive Technology Professional Development plan. Gayl will discuss flexible and practical professional development assessment and planning strategies that include a variety of training approaches including the use of online tutorials.

Thursday, June 10, 2010 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CDT 

Register here

Higher Education Customers - How Do You Use Atomic Learning?

Greetings once again from the higher education team here at Atomic Learning! We have been putting our heads together to try to bring you the latest and greatest ideas on how you can use Atomic Learning on your campus.

1. As a help desk extension - is your help desk only open limited hours? Is your help desk staff sometimes overloaded, especially when upgrading applications like Microsoft Office? With a site license you can direct your users to Atomic Learning for tutorials on how to perform specific functions when your help desk is not available, or during busy times of the year!

2. Faculty Training - some faculty and staff members in your organization are great at keeping up on technology and integrating it into the classroom. Others are overwhelmed while budget cuts keep them running from class to class. Atomic Learning a great tool to keep your faculty updated on technology they use everyday - whether it's a tutorial on how to add a course link in your LMS, or how to schedule an appointment on their Outlook calendars!

New Content Alert: Safari 4, Word 2010, iPhoto '09, PixWriter 3, Read:OutLoud 6, more

New and expanded tutorial series
Safari 4
As stated by Apple®: "It’s a browser. It’s a platform. It’s an open invitation to innovate. Safari® continuously redefines the browser, providing the most enjoyable way to experience the Internet."

View 2 free tutorials

Word 2010
Microsoft® Word 2010 offers the best of all worlds: enhanced features to create professional-quality documents, easier ways to work together with people and almost-anywhere access to your files. Use this introductory level tutorial series to watch, listen, and learn the basics of how to create high-quality documents that you can be proud of.

View 2 free tutorials

PixWriter 3
PixWriter™ is a talking picture and word processing program designed for beginning and struggling readers and writers. The program combines print, pictures, and speech allowing users to compose written documents even if knowledge of sound-symbol relationships, spelling, and alphabet skills have not been mastered. Teachers can quickly create a customized word bank that includes symbols for students to use for writing.

View 2 free tutorials

Atomic Learning and Don Johnston: Assistive Tech Online Training Collection

You already have some great assistive technology tools. Many of them have had a huge impact on your students. 
But, are your teachers making the most of them?

Don Johnston teamed up with Atomic Learning to solve this problem. We came up with an exclusive bundle of online trainings—some of which you won’t find anywhere else. Subscribers will get unlimited whole-district access to thousands of online tutorials for all of your top assistive technology software and devices.

Find out more

Training & Staff Development for 21st Century Teaching at Lincoln Public Schools (Just Enough, Just in Time, Just for Me)

The first run of this webinar went very well and provided such valuable information that we've decided to do it again.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010 | 12 pm PST / 3 pm EST

Click here to register for this FREE event

In order for students to have 21st century skills to succeed and compete in today's global workplace, districts first need to develop those skills in their teachers. How do you build a professional development program that creates a solid understanding of the skills and develop the ability to integrate them into the classroom?

Join us as a panel from Lincoln Public Schools shares best practices and collaboration between departments to create a successful training and staff development program to help their teachers – and students – succeed with 21st century learning.

Read about the presenters

iPads in the classroom?

I admit that I've been skeptical about the usefulness of the iPad to those of us who like to create content and share information as well as take it in. Sure, it's been billed as a game-changer, but it's also been described as a consumption-only device, not having much ability to store files or spread them around. Many a blog post and Twitter tweet express concern about Apple's tight control over usability and content.

April is National Poetry Month... How about a poetry podcast?

April is National Poetry Month. We've just updated one of our Technology Integration Projects which uses Garage Band '09, and it does a nice job of bringing poetry to any classroom:

Take poetry to a new level! Users will use an audio application to produce a podcast of themselves narrating a piece of poetry. They will create a music track to accompany their poem, and also add images they have found to illustrate their poem. They may elect to use an image capture utility on their computer to create their images. Finally, they will export their podcast for an MP3 player.

View the project here

Are we hearing the voices of students?

As our world has changed, so has education. Through the years there have been several different stages in education, always adapting to the latest technology and theories of the time. Today another change is on the horizon.

Feds release new national ed-tech plan

Although funding concerns remain, the National Ed-Tech Plan is a promising start to turning around education, ed-tech advocates say.
Although funding concerns remain, the National Ed-Tech Plan is a promising start, ed-tech advocates say.
The new National Education Technology Plan, released March 5, sets an ambitious agenda for using technology to transform teaching and learning, ed-tech advocates say–and a call to action that is long overdue.

The plan, called “Transforming American Education: Learning Powered by Technology,” calls for engaging and empowering learning experiences for all students; standards and assessments that measure key 21st-century skills and expertise; a shift to a model of “connected teaching,” in which teams of interconnected educators replace solo classroom practitioners; always-on connectivity that is available to students and teachers both inside and outside of school; and a rethinking of basic assumptions, such as seat time, that limit schools’ ability to innovate.

 Read more at eschoolnews.com

Technology for technology's sake

One of the themes that I regularly encounter in my social media wandering is that technology should never be employed simply to be "high tech". Doing so misses the whole point, which is to engage students and enable them to learn in new ways and collaborate on a higher level. Putting a whiteboard on the wall or a laptop in a student's hands accomplishes virtually nothing without proper technique.

Here's a funny representation of tech for tech's sake. Believe it or not, some classrooms aren't far from this scenario.

Digital Workshop from PBS - 21st Century Schools: Learning in the Digital Age

This project by PBS and the MacArthur and Park Foundations aligns well with recent posts on digital learning. It starts this evening.

More and more educators are tapping into the power of digital media and technology for teaching and learning. The variety of information resources available online is simply staggering. Explore how teachers and students are using the power of social media to promote students' active engagement, critical thinking and literacy skills.

More on teaching with iPods: Preserving tradition and culture

In a recent post I mentioned how the public often reacts strongly to the idea of new technology being used in the classroom. Perhaps one mistake we make is to not reassure them that good ol' fashioned teaching is still taking place, and that these new tools are only augmenting the traditional education they're afraid of losing.

One school in Minnesota is doing it very well:

Cyberbullying: Lowering thresholds of tolerance

After a decade or more online, many of us have become jaded or indifferent to the hostility people sometimes show toward each other in the relative anonymity of the web. If we stray outside social internet communities that are rooted in our physical ones, we find people we're likely to never meet, and they often don't show us the same respect or decency that they would face-to-face. Eventually we may reach a plateau of tolerance that's much higher than it should be, especially when children  are involved.

Bring Back National (or International) Thrift Week?

National Thrift Week had a 50-year run in our history before being dispensed with in the 1960s. It began on Jan. 17, 1916—the birthday of Benjamin Franklin, the “American Apostle of Thrift”—and soon spread to more than 300 communities. Everyone from the YMCA to the Jewish Welfare Board to the National Education Association sponsored the event. Indeed, educators, partnering with financial institutions and businesses, played a key role in promoting thrift during the week.

2010 MLK Day Technology Challenge

We are calling on educators and web professionals to join our new effort – the 2010 MLK Day Technology Challenge. The idea is simple: to connect schools with technology needs to IT and web professionals, developers, graphic designers and new media professionals who are willing to volunteer their skills for good, take on these technology projects and give back to a school in need.

What a great idea in this time of financial crisis for schools in many nations. There's a location feature down the page for those interested.

Cyberbullying legislation in 19 states

Nineteen states have enacted legislation to prevent cyberbullying. Each state has different requirements as to how the policies are implemented; some have introduced new laws where as others have modified previous laws to include various pieces of electronic equipment.

If Only...

As I write this I am in seat 54D on the flight home. We are about to cross the International Date Line and get our lost day back;* we have traveled about 2600 miles since take-off and only have 5700 miles (about 9 hours) remaining. :-)