5 Tools for Your Classroom

Looking to learn something new? Been meaning to look into that great new tech tool you heard about? Atomic Learning's online library has training on over 250 applications—plus soft skills, methodologies, and much more! Here's just a few of the most recent training topics that might spark your interest—and give you some ideas for your classroom!

Creating Digital Portfolios
Gone are the days of 4-inch think paper portfolios! Learn how to collect your digital samples and organize them into a digital portfolio that will wow potential employers in this online course.

In this course, you'll learn about Kahoot! A Kahoot is a collection of questions on specific topics. Created by teachers, students, business-people and social users, they are asked in real-time, to an unlimited number of “players”, creating a social, fun and game-like learning environment.

Coding in the Classroom
In this online training course, you will learn how to introduce coding concepts in your classroom and some of the tools that will help you do this efficiently and effectively. Each component of code will be broken down and then shown how to utilize in the Literacy and/or STEAM curriculum.

Training that demonstrates how technology can be used to foster Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. This series includes several tool-specific examples for each of the 4C's.
Mystery Skype® is an educational game, invented by teachers, 
played by two classrooms on Skype®. The goal of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions.

To see more new training, visit the Recent Releases tab, and check back often! Don’t  have access to Atomic Learning? You can request more information about how to access these training courses, projects, and more.

Classroom Courses Featuring Skype® and Coding Added to Training Library #skypeintheclassroom #codingintheclassroom

Did you hear? Atomic Learning recently added training courses featuring Skype® and Mystery Skype® in the Classroom as well as Coding in the Classroom to its training library.

Mystery Skype® is an educational game, invented by teachers, played by two classrooms on Skype®. The aim of the game is to guess the location of the other classroom by asking each other questions.

Making a Folder in Your Bookmarks Bar - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

I have found that I prefer using my Bookmarks Bar vs. going up to the Bookmarks Menu at the top of the screen, particularly for those sites that I use often.  However, with so much Google Drive use and shared access to documents, there are many sites/links in which I'd want easy access but they don't all fit on my Bookmarks Bar (by the way, the Bookmarks Bar is that small gray space underneath where the URL address lives).  

So I've started to make folders of links that are relevant.  For example, with all of the shared documents I have regarding our high school laptops, I've created a folder for all of the spreadsheets and forms I need.  

To create a Bookmark Bar folder in Chrome:

Go to Bookmarks --> Bookmarks Manager.  In the top left of the screen, click on Organize --> Add Folder.  You can rename the folder by either right-clicking on it in the menu list on the left OR in the Bookmarks Main Menu, when you hover over the folder, you'll see a drop-down menu on the far right where you can edit the name.  To put current bookmarks in that folder, simply drag and drop your current sites in to that folder.

The Power of Kahoot! in the Classroom - Guest Blog Post

Who better to speak to the power of using Kahoot! in the classroom than the eLearning Contributor who developed the training on Kahoot! himself?

Guest Blog Post by Ron Farrow, eLearning Contributor

Student engagement and motivation seem to be at the top of every teacher’s list when it comes to successfully reaching students. Fighting student apathy can be one of the greatest struggles a teacher can face. Luckily, technology has provided us a world of resources that allow us to engage students like never before.

One of my favorite web tools for adding excitement to my lessons is Kahoot!  Kahoot is a web tool that allows you to create a fun game environment for many of your lesson objectives.  You can use it to start a discussion, survey your students, or even assess and review lesson content. The students' devices become their personal game pads, immersing them in the competitive battle to answer quickly and score the most points. After sharing this with so many teachers, this is the one tool that they will come back to me and report their students are actually requesting to review. If you’re looking for a way to add a little more excitement to your lesson, to engage students on another level, try Kahoot. It's such a powerful tool for reaching students.

Watch the series Ron developed on Kahoot! now!

I started as a music teacher for the Farmington School District in 2002, where I taught 5th and 6th grade music as well as High School Percussion. As a music teacher, I had the opportunity to experiment with many forms of technology in the classroom including smart boards, tablets, recording studio equipment, etc. I took this passion for technology and education to the district-wide level in 2010 as part of a leadership cadre for our district, then, in 2012, I became the Educational Technology Facilitator for the district. I joined the Cape Girardeau School District in the Summer of 2013.

I believe technology is the future of education.  But it's more about the change in instruction than the devices themselves. We are in a very exciting time for education! It can be scary to have such a paradigm shift in teaching. However, students now have tools to access a world of information that was previously inconceivable. Through technology, we can foster more creative learning environments, differentiate instruction to meet the needs of every student, and create productive, responsible, digital citizens for future generations.

How I Share Atomic Learning with Students - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

Here’s an example of how I’ve shared Atomic Learning with our students, encouraging them to use Keynote. You can do the same, using this topic, or choose another.

Atomic Learning provides short tutorials and training on a variety of topics including Mac OSX hardware, iOS devices, Android devices, a variety of software, as well as information about resume writing, digital citizenship, and web 2.0 tools.  

For example, let's say you have a teacher who is assigning you to make a Keynote, but you don't know much about the newest version of Keynote. Go to Atomic Learning, log in and search using the keyword Keynote. You will be shown a variety of options for training, depending on the version of the software you're working in.  

Using Your Notification Center - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

So many of us have laptops, and even if you don't, the technology is such that so much of our lives are intertwined.  Calendars are connected to emails, iMessage connects with our phones, any additional apps we have (for me, the biggest in Wunderlist) may remind us of things from time to time.  All of these reminders and pop-ups might become distracting or be something you DON'T want to show while you're projecting during a meeting or in a class.

Or maybe you DO want to see when an incoming mail message comes in, no matter which app you are working in.  The point is, you can control these things.  

The Hour of Code is Coming - Join in December 8-14

Vote to Support Technology-Neutral Lesson Plans for Project-Based Learning

Want help creating lesson plans for project-based learning that are technology-neutral?

Our friends at Connected Consulting partner with schools to create authentic, technology-rich learning environments where all learners are inspired, challenged, engaged, collaborate, and become innovative, self-directed learners. This includes planning and a blended approach to building capacity.

Want to help them fulfill their mission? Vote for this grant.

Infographic: Teachers <3 Technology

Technology has become a pervasive tool in the classroom, as this infographic illustrates, but are teachers equipped with the skills they need to not only love technology, but use it effectively? Make sure they are prepared with Atomic Learning's award-winning online professional development and classroom resources that cover everything from software how-to questions and effective integration to mobile learning implementation and addressing the tech components of the Common Core.

Infographic: Tech Trends

This infographic provides a quick glimpse into how school administrators, teachers and staff are utilizing technology—with a significant emphasis on digital content and mobile devices. Check it out to see how you compare to your peers. Feeling left behind?

Report: The State of Video in Education

Did you know that 90% of individuals believe that the use of video improves the learning experience? This is just one of several key findings in the recent Impact of Video in Education 2014 Report which was compiled from the recent responses of 550 K-12 and higher education professionals working in  IT, digital media, instructional design, senior administration and general faculty areas.
An announcement regarding the report stated:

Recognizing Librarians

This week marks National Library Week, one of several important recognition events of School Library Month. And, in acknowledgement of all that librarians do, we wanted to dedicate a blog post to these incredible, highly-adaptable individuals.
The role of the library has changed significantly through the years, as has the role of the librarian. The library originally served as a central location for books, reference materials and all things print;  it now serves as a central collaboration center for students and an access point for those who need access to digital content, as well as serving the traditional purposes of a library.

Students' Perspectives on Technology in Schools

Sometimes it's hard to get a grasp on a student's perspective. That may be one of the reasons Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society recently published Youth Perspectives on Tech in Schools: From Mobile Devices to Restrictions and Monitoring, a study on how middle and high school students' perception on using technology at school.

Below are a few takeaways:
  • Discrepancies with Devices
    While many students reported positive feelings regarding the current state of technology in their schools, not all are on board with tablets and mobile devices, and would prefer laptops, or even updated computer labs.
  • Phone Frustrations

Getting Started with the Maker Movement

Tinkering, crafting, active learning, MacGyver-ing, whatever you call it, a wave of creativity, collaboration and invention called the Maker Movement is revolutionizing education... but what exactly IS the Maker Movement and WHY should schools care?
Atomic Learning's own Kara Gann recently sat down with Sylvia Martinez, co-author of Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classsroom, a book that is often referred to as "the bible of the Maker Movement in schools," to address these questions. Interested in hearing what they had to say? We've recorded their discussion as an on-demand webinar archive which is part of the Education Eavesdrop webinar series!

Share Your Bright Spots - What's Working for You?

If you're ever looking for a truly great book about change, look no further than Switch by Chip and Dan Heath.  When I started reading Switch, I was doing so as a professional learning opportunity related to business.  Atomic Learning's entire purpose is really about helping people navigate change as they seek to unleash the power of ever changing technology in their teaching, learning and life.  Therefore, we are an organization that is constantly looking to also embrace change as we adapt to the new challenges and opportunities that learners face.

I quickly learned that Switch is far from just a business book.  It is really about better understanding how we, as humans, respond to changes in all aspects of life - from trying to adopt healthier eating or exercise to negotiating with a teenager to working with colleagues.

What Ed Tech can Learn from Product Innovation Models: A Pragmatic Approach

Last week, I had the pleasure of being selected as a presenter at the annual FETC conference where I presented a new topic, “From Awkward to Awesome, What Ed Tech can Learn from Product Innovation Models.” In this session, I drew upon my 15 years of experience in a variety of education technology and product development roles, and spoke to how I see several methodologies applying to education technology initiatives.

SIIA Survey asks how K-20 Educators are Using Mobile Technology in the Classroom

In conjunction with FETC 2014, the SIIA Education Division is happy to announce the launch of its seventh annual Vision K-20 Survey. The Vision K-20 Survey gives educators, administrators, and faculty members from K-12 and postsecondary educational institutions the opportunity to evaluate their current technology and compare it to prior results in a short online survey.