How Hoonuit Can Benefit Your District: Instruction

Hoonuit by Atomic Learning offers professional learning designed to meet the unique needs of schools and districts—including top concerns that teachers and instructional coaches, as well as paraprofessionals, substitute teachers and special education staff, may have.

We've gathered a few of our favorites, that we thought you might be interested in:

Teachers & Instructional Coaches
Provide on-going opportunities to build skills, gain confidence, and ensure instruction is relevant to today’s classroom with:
   -  Support for Struggling Readers
   -  Differentiation Techniques and Basics
   -  Classroom Management Strategies

Enable paras to better support students with on-demand learning resources on:
   -  Career and Soft Skills
   -  Tech How-to Resources
   -  Assistive Tech Resources

Substitute Teachers
Help subs support students in and out of the classroom with courses on:
   -  Classroom Management  
   -  Career and Soft Skills
   -  Tech How-to Resources

Special Education Staff
Ensure barrier-free learning for students with special needs, as well as provide support to teachers with specialized resources:
   -  Tech for Students with Learning Disabilities
   -  Non-Visual Desktop Access (NVDA)
   -  Online Accessible Courses

4 Hesitations Teachers Have About Tech Integration

Change is hard. And for many, it can also be scary, whether it involves technology or not. People, as a rule, tend to be creatures of habit, and even those that consider themselves to be forward-thinkers may be among those most hesitant to adopt change.

When it comes to teachers, they’ve invested considerable time in their lessons and projects, have established rubrics, and gathered concrete evidence that lessons have successfully communicated a topic to students. Because of this, they may be more resistant to change than other individuals.

To help overcome this resistance, it’s important to take the time to understand their hesitations. To help, we’ve compiled a short list of some of the most common phrases heard from teachers who are questioning if technology integration is right for their classroom:

  1. Why should I?
    While this question may be delivered in a variety of ways, it’s often fueled out of fear. Sharing the logic behind the need for technology integration, as well as supporting teachers with any necessary professional development, can provide hesitant teachers the nudge they need to take the first steps.

    An easy way to start the conversation on the need for technology integration is by focusing on the importance of ensuring students are college- and career-ready, of which technology plays a critical role. Digital technologies have become commonplace in both college and in the workplace.

9 Things Tech-Savvy Teachers Do on a Regular Basis [Infographic]

A large part of being a tech-savvy teacher is being ready, willing, and even eager to try out and implement new technology tools, especially those that positively impact student learning.

A challenge of being such a teacher is the speed of technological change, which begs the question: How does one STAY tech-savvy?

7 Tips to Take Ownership of Your Professional Development

While schools and districts offer formal professional development, teachers themselves also have the opportunity to learn on their own. Yet with such busy schedules, some teachers struggle to find the time or drive to participate in self-driven learning.

So why should teachers find the time? One article stated it best:

“What makes a professional stand apart from others in his or her field? Of course, she has the educational chops and the hands-on experience that makes her well-rounded and widely respected in her field. But true professionals don’t stop there. In fact, they never stop – especially when it comes to learning.”

For those looking for a place to start, we’ve gathered together seven tips to begin implementing right away:

Research Study: Less than 1 in 3 Teachers are Satisfied with PD

Teachers Know Best, a recent study contracted by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that less than 1 in 3 teachers are highly satisfied with current professional development offerings. Here’s an excerpt:

All told, $18 billion is spent annually on professional development, and a typical teacher spends 68 hours each year—more than a week—on professional learning activities typically directed by districts… Yet by many measures, including the views of teachers themselves, much of this effort and investment is simply not working. In interviews, teachers say that too many current professional development offerings are not relevant, not effective, and most important of all, not connected to their core work of helping students learn.

The level of dissatisfaction shared in the study is an area for potential concern for districts.

How are teachers staying up-to-date on changing instructional practices?

When launching a mobile initiative of over 27,000 devices, McAllen ISD needed to prepare teachers for the influx of iPads in their classroom. They turned to Atomic Learning for on-demand professional development and tech integration training to get everyone up-to-speed.

Atomic Learning helps educators to ensure their instructional practices are relevant to today's learning environment, while helping them gain confidence with technology with resources like:

SAMR Training
An Overview of Learning Methodologies
Differentiating Instruction with Technology

Atomic Learning Admins: Make Learning Fun!

Dulce Gonzalez of Laredo ISD in Texas was the lucky winner of our Atomic-Cache contest recently and she shared that she appreciated the "scavenger hunt" type learning path because she watched courses that she typically wouldn't have gone to within Atomic Learning.

Have you tried the scavenger hunt resource within the "Get the Word Out Ideas" area? Take this a step further and create your own "atomic-cache" contest with your teachers and staff (possibly even strategically, if there's something you really want them to learn about that you know they won't go to on their own!) It can be as simple as having them watch one video or a complete course to find a "nugget" of information. If they tell you the timestamp of where they found this information, they get a prize, or are entered into a random drawing for a prize.

Feeling Appreciated - Guest Blog Post #TeacherAppreciationWeek #ThankATeacher

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked our team member--and former educator--to reflect on what this week meant to her when she was a teacher.

Guest Post by Christine Jegers, Atomic Learning Integration Specialist, and former educator.

As an educator, I often felt appreciated. During my K-12 teaching years, I was recognized in many different ways – from a thank you spoken from the heart of a student, a kind note from a student or their parent(s), to the annual Teacher Appreciation Week lunch hosted by our school district’s PTA. For me, it was always the handmade cards or small gifts from students that meant the most. I still have former students stop me when they see me and thank me for being such a positive teacher/influence on their lives, and it never stops meaning the world to me.

Quick Tip for Zooming in on Your Browser Screen - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

Here's a quick tip. If you're projecting a website, and it's tough to see from the back of the room or you need to show something that's little on a webpage, you can easily zoom in on your screen by pressing command and the "+" (plus) key.  To zoom back out, press the command and the "-" (minus) key.

Celebrating the Small Victories in Teaching - Guest Blog Post #TeacherAppreciationWeek #ThankATeacher

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked our team member--and former educator--to reflect on what this week meant to her when she was a teacher.

Guest Post by Julie Rayhorn, Atomic Learning Product Owner, and former educator.

To borrow a line from the Peace Corps, "teaching is the toughest job you’ll ever love."  For a lot of teachers, it’s the tough parts that make us love it so much...the tough kids, the tough situations, and the small victories that are often the most precious and unexpected gifts.  Even though most elementary school teachers have been presented with every apple-adorned bauble, mug, and ornament that was ever manufactured or made, the small victories are why teachers love teaching.  If you’ve taught, counseled, coached, parented, mentored, tutored or trained, you get it.  Personally, one of the best gifts I ever received was reading a journal entry titled, “I like school”, written by a kid who definitely didn’t like school a few months before and had seemingly endless colorful ways of expressing his displeasure with being there.  

I hope all teachers feel appreciated and that the victories are great, this week and throughout the year.

Reflecting on Teacher Appreciation - Guest Blog Post #TeacherAppreciationWeek #ThankATeacher

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked our team member--and former educator--to reflect on what this week meant to him when he was a teacher.

Guest Post by Garrett Lathe, Atomic Learning eLearning Senior Producer, and former educator.

Gifts and gestures of appreciation, no matter how large or small, really feed a teacher’s soul. But the real hope that we have for students is to witness a lifestyle of appreciation, and make it a part of theirs… not just for a day or week, but a habit of appreciation. Someone who recognizes the full worth of his or her surroundings is someone who is better able to improve their world and the world of others. He or she can find the value in small things, and help them grow into something greater.

Isn’t appreciation, after all, one of the major things that teachers do? We find value in every learner we encounter. We minimize temporary hurdles and focus on the full worth of a person. We partner with them to appreciate their circumstance (both the adversity and the advantages), harness the tools at their disposal, and help them build success into their lives both now and as life-long learners.

Don't get me wrong... cards, flowers, iTunes gift cards, or even food (although I’m a big fan… food and I go way back) always brightens teachers' days. But overall, in my opinion, the best way to show a teacher your appreciation is to fully value the world around you. 

In Garrett Lathe's own words, "My first and primary job in life is being a full-time learner. This way of life improves every other aspect of my life." In line with his dedication to learning, Lathe is Senior Producer for the eLearning team at Atomic Learning, where he helps to create and develop online training content for schools, districts, colleges, and universities.

Lathe is also founding director and current Artistic Director of the Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota where he oversees the vision of the organization.

What I Learned from my Students - Guest Blog Post #TeacherAppreciationWeek

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, we asked our team member--and former educator--to reflect on what this week meant to her when she was a teacher.

Guest Post by Heather Slee, eLearning Production Designer, and former educator.

Prior to this gig, I was the writing center coordinator at a technical and community college. It was a fantastic job—I loved the school, the staff, the faculty, and the students. Especially the culinary arts students. You know. Because they gave us food. (I miss you, Omelet Bar Day!)

But, I’ll tell you. After the first day on the job, I went home and cried. It was too much. The “writing center” was an old, musty classroom that they had used for storage. The computers were dusty, humming ancient artifacts with thick, obtrusive monitors. The chairs were mended with duct tape. The rust-colored carpet was stained and smelly. And the students? There were maybe two who came in just to work on homework by themselves and chat with each other. And I had one student worker who just didn’t like me. (I know—impossible!) All I had was a boss that said, “Here you go. I trust you.”

Using the Undo Send GMail Lab - Guest Blog Post

Guest Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

Ever hit the "Send" button on an email and instantly remember something you forgot to add? Or you just regret the email entirely?

Try the "Undo Send" lab!  Upon hitting "Send" on an email, the "Undo Send" lab will provide a banner with an "Undo" link.  Click on the link after hitting "Send" and the "Sent" message will go to your "Drafts" folder instead.  

Careful, though!  You only have a few seconds to change your mind.  Once the yellow banner disappears, the message is now "Sent" and there's no getting it back.

To add this Google Lab to your email, click on the gear icon in the upper right corner of your email screen.  Click Settings --> then the word Labs on the top row.  In the "Search for a lab" box, type in Undo Send.  Then Enable the lab.  And you're done! 

Maria Burnham is a passionate Library Media Specialist at one of our partner districts in Minnesota, Sauk Rapids-Rice. She shares her passion for technology in education with her peers in a weekly email highlighting tips and tricks to engage users in technology and Atomic Learning, which she cleverly named “Mondays with Maria.” That weekly email is where this guest blog post came from. We will continue to post Maria’s inspiration from time to time, feel free to share with others! You can follow her on twitter:

Using the Faces Feature in iPhoto - Guest Blog Post

Guest Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

It's almost May, and for some of us, that means putting together end-of-the-year scrapbooks for our students or teams.  So today, I wanted to talk about the Faces feature in iPhoto to help you organize your digital photos.

Once you've imported pictures into iPhoto, if you click on the Faces option on the menu bar on the left, you can then go through all of your pictures and identify the faces of your students.  

Infographic: 16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest

Looking to gather and share ideas with fellow educators? Pinterest might be for you!

In their own words, "Pinterest is a place to discover ideas for all your projects and interests, hand-picked by people like you." Making it a great fit for teachers looking to create an organized personal storehouse of lessons and resources relevant to their classroom!

The infographic below highlights just a couple ways fellow educators are using Pinterest. If you are interested in giving it a try yourself, Atomic Learning offers a introductory online training course that covers the basics of setting up an account, organizing boards, and more—including ideas for sample boards to get you started!

Check it out at (Don't have access? Request more info today.)