An intriguing, frustrating conundrum

This morning I was repeatedly reminded of a dilemma professionals in many fields encounter. On one hand, an employee is expected to keep up with the latest technological tools available to them and relevant to their job. On the other, they may already feel overwhelmed with what's on their to-do lists.

Student Take on 21st Century Education (via Tech&Learning)

Ryan Bretag writes:
...the concept of teaching and learning in the 21st Century should focus on students as pre-professionals. To do this, the classroom needed to focus on inquiry and problem-base learning, real world experiences, research opportunities, and field work. As well, the experiences should engage them with challenges that force student application, creativity, and critical thinking.

The 2009 Speak Up Survey (via

“Each year more schools sign up to be part of Speak Up because it offers them – their students, parents and staff – a way to express their opinions about the future of learning, local and national policies, how teaching could be improved and more,” said Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the survey’s facilitator and a national leader in empowering students to have a voice in improving education in the 21st century.

Blogging –The New Model for Building Collaboration in the Classroom

For students around the nation, blogs have become far more than the latest technology buzzword. For many, blogging can be a key method of communication on a social level. While many students already blog in their free time, incorporating blogging technology into the classroom can have many benefits through the use of a medium that already interests students and makes learning more interactive and engaging.

Atomic Learning and Assistive Technology

Atomic Learning has developed a fantastic resource for those wishing to implement assistive technology in their classrooms. Assistive technology can be tremendously beneficial to all educators, not just those in special ed environments.

We offer an entire library of assistive tech tutorials as a companion to any Atomic Learning subscription, or as a stand-alone resource. It's an inexpensive asset that can really have an impact with individual students.

US DoE Challenges Students with Video Contest

In two minutes or less, America's students have an opportunity to show the nation and the world how far education can take them and how they will achieve their dreams.

On September 8, President Barack Obama called on the nation's students to take greater responsibility for their education. Now, the U.S. Department of Education is asking students to respond by participating in a national video contest titled “I Am What I Learn.” (read more)

New Content Alert: Scratch

Here's something that could be a heck of  lot of fun for kids and teachers alike.

Scratch is a free programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art - and share your creations on the Web.

2012 Technological Literacy Framework Project Draft Released

The National Assessment Governing Board released a draft of the 2012 Technological Literacy Framework Project. The draft was a collaborative effort involving groups like The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the State Education Technology Directors Association (SEDTA), and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. The framework is intended to create national standards for assessing students in 4th, 8th, and 12th grade on their ability to use technology.

Textbooks being replaced by digital

The New York Times reports that traditional textbooks are on the way out in some schools, replaced by much less expensive digital forms that are likely much more current as well.

Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.

New 21CS Project Alert: Myth & Lore We Share

We're happy to announce our newest 21st Century Skills Project, "Myth & Lore We Share". A 21st Century Skills Project includes:

  • Step-by-step tutorials that walk you through the project
  • Project Activity Guide - includes how the project infuses 21st Century Skills into the classroom, students assessment rubrics and discussion questions
  • Copy of the finished example project
  • All the resources needed to recreate the example project
  • A Professional Development Workbook – including clear steps on how to adapt the project, a self-assessment rubric, reflection worksheets, and more!

Learn more about 21st century skills concepts here.

Seven Steps to Flatten Your Classroom

This ebook has been very popular, and it's still available free from Atomic Learning.

We can now work with almost anyone, any place, and at any time – and our classrooms should reflect that. Flattening our classrooms is about introducing our students to the world in safe, meaningful ways that will enrich and augment the things that are already working in our schools.

This e-book is based on an Atomic Learning workshop developed by Vicki Davis, who has been recognized for her innovative use of the Web in the classroom. Vicki and Julie Lindsay are currently writing a book on the topic.

Atomic Learning at NECC 2009

Monday, June 29
21st Century Skills: What Do They Look Like?

  • Featuring Brad Flickinger, Educational Futurist
  • 10a, 10:45a, 11:30a, 2p, 3p

Technology Integration: An International Perspective