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.
 

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.
 

Understanding Technology Confidence

Educators' varied technology skills and confidence applying technology have become a recurring topic for school leaders. Recently, @ICTEvangelist shared his perspective with a chart he created based on his interpretation of Mandinach and Cline's Classroom Dynamics: Implementing a Technology-Based Learning Environment.

http://ictevangelist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Teacher-confidence1.png
 

Teachers Want Resources to Prep for Common Core

A new survey out from Scholastic and the BIll & Melinda Gates Foundation has found that many teachers feel that they don't have enough time to plan and develop lessons to sufficiently address Common Core State Standards. The survey, Primary Sources: America's Teachers on Teaching in an Era of Change, compiles responses on a variety of topics from over 20,000 teachers from across the United States.
 
The introductory letter from Vicki Phillips of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Margery Mayer of Scholastic includes a significant section on teachers' opinions regarding CCSS implementation:
Teachers Are Enthusiastic About the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards,
Even as They Acknowledge Challenges Ahead

Getting Beyond "In the Past"

In a recent article Miguel Guhlin, Director of Technology of a 5A district in Texas and a former president of the TCEA Technology Education Coordinators, shared his perspective on overcoming resistance to change.
 
His insights revolved around three words to avoid: In the past. In fact, Guhlin states that:
When I started a new position in a large urban school district, one of the phrases that people were fond of using was, "In the past." Almost every utterance that meant to forestall change began that way. As if "In the past" would actually have the power to stop impending change. 

Why iPads are Important in Education

A recent blog post on wired.com discusses from a parent perspective why iPads (or mobile devices in general) are positively impacting education.

It is not what the technology can do that makes it important, it is the way it has re-ignited passion and ideas in teachers.

Simplifying the Delivery of PD for PD Directors

Complete with a custom training tool that allows for uploading and sharing of training specific to a district or school, as well as a comprehensive reporting system that tracks individual activity, Atomic Learning expands training opportunities and simplifies the delivery of professional development.

Atomic Learning’s PD resources can be used as basis for PD sessions and collaborative project work by PLC’s which give PD Directors flexibility and provide variety to participants. Sheri, a District Instructional Technology Specialist at Spring Branch ISD says:

Atomic Learning Helps CIOs/Tech Directors Focus on Larger Initiatives

By answering the “How do I...?” questions that can take up much of a Tech Teams’ day, Atomic Learning’s on-demand tutorials free up time, allowing staff to focus on larger initiatives, while still providing the support teachers need to successfully implement and integrate technology in the classroom.

Just ask our customers, like Tami, a Technology Coordinator at Summit School:

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