Revealing Items with the "Option" Key in iWork Applications - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

If you (and/or the students) are frequent users of the iWork applications (Pages, Keynote, and Numbers), you may notice that something is missing under the "File" menu these days.  What's missing? The "Save As" command.  

Never fear, though! The "Save As" feature still exists--it's just hidden.  To reveal the "Save As" feature in Pages, Keynote or Numbers, hold down the "Option" key on your keyboard.  When you do this you'll notice that your menu will change:

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Survey Says: Technology Impacts Student Outcomes

These days, there seems to be no shortage of discussion around the impact of flipped learning, mobile devices, and numerous other tech initiatives. However, an important part of the conversation seems to be missing—professional development.
 
A recent survey of over 600 educators found that while over 90% believe that technology can positively impact student engagement, nearly half (46%) of the surveyed educators felt that they do not have access to the training needed to effectively utilize technology in the classroom.
 
These findings beg the question: Are you providing your teachers with the technology skills they need to be successful in the classroom?
 

Re-opening tabs and windows in your browser - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

Today's tech tip is a neat little feature available to you in most of your Internet browsers.  If you're anything like me, once in awhile you accidentally close a window or a tab in your browser that you need about 20 seconds later.  Depending on the browser you're using, you can easily recover where you've been without re-typing in a web address.

Infographic: Going to the Cloud

As this infographic illustrates, cloud-based applications have become commonplace, and many schools are making the move to the cloud. If you're interested in learning more about putting the cloud to work for you, check out Atomic Learning's workshops on Moving Schools and Organizations to the Cloud and Moving to the Cloud for Teachers, as well as specific applications included within Google™ Docs, Adobe® Creative Cloud®, Microsoft® Office 365 and more! (Don't have access? Request more information today!)

Are You Prepared for the Common Core?

Is your district ready for Common Core? If not, you are not alone. According to a recent article, professional development remains a problem for many schools:
Across the country, there is a substantial need for more teacher and leader professional development around the Common Core. Meeting the raised expectations of higher standards will require teachers to educate in profoundly different ways – not just in understanding what the new standards include and how they differ from the states’ old standards, but also how to make the instructional shifts needed for students to succeed.
One of the significant challenges with the new standards are the embedded technology components, meaning that in order to effectively address individual standards teachers must guide students on utilizing appropriate technology tools to complete projects and lessons.

Adding Trinkets to Your Google Calendar - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

If you're anything like me, your Google Calendar has been the only thing keeping your professional and personal life from spontaneously combusting because of its many features in integrating with email, reminding me of upcoming events, and playing nicely with my Smart Phone so I know what my day looks like no matter which device I'm using. 

Planning Ahead: Snow Days as Learning Days

This past winter, several states across the United States were forced to delay or cancel school during inclement weather. As the snow piled up, so did the school cancelations, and suddenly districts are struggling to make up missed days. Consequently, many district leaders are looking for alternatives to avoid repeating this problem next school year. And, while the staff here at Atomic Learning can't control the weather, we have some ideas to maximize your teachers' time.
 
Whether your teachers are homebound because of drifting snow or your district requires them to report even if school is closed, consider converting weather delays/cancelations to informal training days or an impromptu in-service.
 

Webinar: Professional Development with Atomic Learning

Are you looking for ways to track your Professional Development?  Would you like to pull up your progress or view your completed series?  Did you know you can receive a Certificate of Completion for your time and training? If you have asked yourself these questions, please join us for a live 15-20 minute webinar to explore these tools.

Register for a session now by clicking a date below:

Thu, Apr 24, 2014 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM CDT

Google Drive Add-Ons - Guest Blog Post

If you've been in your Google Drive today, you may have noticed a new menu option at the top of your Google Docs titled "Add Ons."  There are many handy dandy little tools now available to you in Google.  

So often someone will say to me, "You know, I really love Google Docs, but...." and then they will go on to talk about some of the limitations of the free software.  These Add Ons might be a solution to some of the problems you've experienced in Google Docs.  Or they might just make your life a little bit easier.  

On-Demand Professional Learning Improves Performance

Recent research has shown that schools who utilize on-demand professional learning show higher student scores than comparable local schools and districts. The study, as published in the International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education (IJERE), states,
Taken as a whole, the findings from this research support the high-participation use of Internet-based, on-demand PD for improving teacher efficacy and improving student performance. Given the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of this PD delivery approach, such methods should be considered as credible strategies for addressing needs for continuously improved teacher efficacy and better student achievement.

Guest Blog Post: Presentations in Keynote

Okay, let's face it, we've all listened to a presentation or two that was less than engaging.  This month, we will talk about some different options for spicing up a presentation.

Let's start with Keynote.  If putting together a presentation in Keynote, there are many tools that might make your presentation a bit more interesting.  

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.

Happy Digital Learning Day!

Today, February 5th, is Digital Learning Day—a day to commit to student success through the use of technology. But did you know it started as No Paper, No Pencil Day in one Virginia school?

According to the Digital Learning Day web site, Mountainview Elementary, the school set aside a day “to encourage both hands-on, interactive and digital, technology-based activities to push the boundaries of learning”.  And, while you can hear more about Mountainview’s story and success stories on the Alliance for Excellent Education YouTube Channel, Atomic Learning invites you to celebrate Digital Learning Day by making your own commitment to fully and effectively integrate technology.

Grow Your PLN

We came across this article on Growing Your PLN and thought it might be helpful PD for you in the summer months. How are you connecting with your peers and building your personal learning community?

Webinar: Fight Summer Brain Drain with Atomic Learning

Does your district provide access to Atomic Learning, but you haven't explored all of the resources yourself? Atomic Learning customers are invited to this free online training session to learn more about the key features of Atomic Learning for professional development and classroom tech integration. This session will cover:

-  An overview of professional development tools
-  Resources to integrate today’s technology into your curriculum with one easy search

Coming Soon: Excel 2013 - Evaluating Data Training

In this series of online training tutorials, we'll cover a variety of ways to set, control and check that data entered into Microsoft Excel 2013 is valid. From creating error messages to checking data, this series will cover how to get the most out of the data validation functions in Excel.

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