1 Word Can Change Everything: “Yet”

Every educator can tell you the importance of feedback. And, while it’s easy enough to offer praise for a job well done, what can be done to encourage quick learners to reach higher while simultaneously encouraging those students who haven’t quite gotten it yet?

Recently, Dr. Matthew Arau, a college professor and student leadership expert, created an online course for Atomic Learning focused on Unlocking Potential: The Impact of Mindset of Success. In the course, Dr Arau cites the work of Dr. Carol Dweck—a well-known researcher in the field of motivation and a Psychology Professor at Stanford who certainly knows her stuff.

In her TEDx Talk on the topic, Dr. Dweck states that teachers must “praise wisely.” Instead of simply praising the right answer, teachers need to praise students’ effort, the use of strategies, and documented improvement to ultimately foster a growth mindset.

Many people have what is referred to as a fixed mindset. As Dr. Arau explains: “Someone with a fixed mindset believes that intelligence, talent, and ability are fixed or static. If you are talented, things come easily to you; if you have to put effort into an endeavor, you must not be talented.”

Break the Cycle: Teachers are Key

At Atomic Learning, we work with schools and districts across the country and around the globe on a daily basis, and, even though the populations of these schools are very unique and the initiatives and programs vary, we hear many of the same challenges on everything from student engagement and instructional practices to utilizing technology and ensuring safe learning environments.

Ultimately, these challenges all center around ensuring student success, and on a national level there are some sobering realities:

  • Half of students are disengaged1. This is one of the factors that leads to an average of 5,000 students dropping out of school each day2.  While the number has declined in recent years, it's still a staggering and unacceptable rate.
  • When a school loses a student, there is a financial impact. On average, schools lose over $12,000 of funding per lost student3.  
  • Recognizing that teachers are key to reducing this cycle, consider this: Typical professional development has a real cost of $6,000-12,000 per year, per teacher4.  However, most teacher PD only has a 10% transfer rate into instructional practice5.  That means that not only is PD costly and time-intensive, but isn’t doing what it needs to in order to impact students.

Fortunately, there are proven ways to help break this cycle.

Are Students Fully Engaged in the Classroom?

Are you actively involving students in the learning process? How are you encouraging and supporting teachers to create a more engaging classroom experience?

Atomic Learning equips teachers with the skills needed to engage today's learners with 24/7 self-paced training. In addition to online PD resources focused on teaching strategies, Atomic Learning also offers how-to videos on 250+ applications and a variety of assessment tools.

Take a look at some of the resources aligned to addressing student engagement:
Integrating the 4 C’s
Cool & Fun Classroom Tech
Software-specific Skills Assessments

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.  

Guest Blog Post: It’s All About the Experience!

Guest Blog Post by Dr. Billie McConnell, President of Connected Consulting

As I work with teachers, I am reminded of my childhood experiences and how things have changed. My childhood was different from my children’s and today’s kids are even more different. Many of the experiences that I had have been lost to today’s children. But, I do admit that they also have some that I never had. (I will save the ones that I never had for another article.)

I played organized sports as a kid, but most of my sports were played on the playground, the street, or the front yard. No adults, just us kids. What happened if we had a conflict? We resolved it. No adults! If we wanted to keep playing, then we had to come up with a solution. We learned early how to resolve conflicts. We didn’t always resolve them using the best method, but that was a learning experience as well. Today, however, many of our students are involved in organized activities run by an adult. What happens when there is a conflict? The adult solves it. Children learn that someone else will solve the problem and they don’t get the chance to learn to deal with conflicts. (Hmm. That reminds me of many parent meetings that I had when I was a teacher and administrator.)

Is Your District Innovative?

If your district is taking innovative approaches to learning and PD, District Administration magazine wants to hear from you!

Districts of Distinction is a national recognition program created by District Administration magazine to honor school districts that are leading the way with new ideas that work. District Administration is looking to recognize established initiatives that are yielding quantifiable benefits, and that could be replicated by other districts.

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.

Plagiarism in Education

Plagiarism has always been a challenge for teachers to address. Technology has presented new tools for finding plagiarism, but it has also provided inventive ways for students to skirt around the rules. This edudemic infographic gives some interesting stats on the current state of plagiarism in education today. 

Want to learn more about what Atomic Learning can do to help students learn about plagiarism? Check out these workshops:

New Content Alert: Acrobat XI Pro, After Effects CS6, and more!

Acrobat XI Pro Training
Learn about tools to help you create and share PDF documents. From converting documents to PDF to adding and tracking comments using the Comments pane. Finally, learn how to create forms, track form data and use Forms Central in this training series.

After Effects CS6 – What’s New? Training
In this online training series you’ll discover the powerful new features of Adobe® After Effects® CS6 - taking your skill set from average to advanced. Learn to convert, extrude and edit vector shapes to unlock an endless array of design possibilities.

Desire2Learn 10.1 – Instructor Training

New Tech Integration Projects Recently Added to Online Training Library

Atomic Learning recently added four new tech integration projects featuring both Microsoft® Excel and Powerpoint® 2010 software. The online training library offers over 120 of these classroom-ready projects for educators. These projects can be used as-is to quickly integrate technology into the classroom, or easily adapted to a particular subject-area or skill level. Atomic Learning has also expanded its training collection to include tutorials on software features ranging from learning management systems to photo editing with this release.

A brief description of the new projects follows.

Family Connections – PowerPoint 2010 (http://www.atomiclearning.com/la_fam_ppt10)