Prepare for Back-Up - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

It's that time of year again...to prepare for data back-up before summer. I'll try to help you pace yourself through the task of preparing for back-up. Try not to get overwhelmed...just do a few things at a time and you'll get there!

First things first, go through all of your storage locations--keep what you want in a folder and throw the rest in the trash. For me, I keep things in the Desktop, Documents, or Downloads folder. However, if you do keep photos or music or movies, you'll want to look in there as well.  

If you don't see all of these options in your Finder, click on your Desktop background so it says Finder in the upper left corner. Click on the word Finder and select Preferences. There is a tab at the top called Sidebar. Click on any items you want to be able to view in your Finder Sidebar. Remember, too, that clicking on these icons at the top of your Finder window will allow you to view your files as you'd like to see them (icons, single-list, multiple-columns, carousel view).

Each have their own pros and cons. Use what's best for you.

Organize into folders, but be sure to not make the layers of your folders too deep. There's no need to back up the back up of the back up of the back up disc from years past. Clean up what you need and try to limit your folder depth to three or four layers. Sometimes burning the disc gets complicated if your folder layers are too deep.  

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.

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.  

Google Drive View - Guest Blog Post

Guest Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

In Google Drive, remember that you can view your Drive folders and files in list view (default) or in "Grid View" if you prefer.  

One advantage to the Grid View is that you can see a preview of pictures uploaded to your Drive better than in list view.

To change to Grid View, look for the 2 x 2 grid of squares in the upper right corner of your drive screen.  

Quick Tools for Helping Teachers Who Hesitate with Tech

Teachers are considered the experts in their classroom, so sometimes they're a little hesitant to try new technologies, if they feel like they don't know them very well.

Atomic Learning allows them to be able to walk into their classroom, prepared and knowing all the technologies that they will be using.

Debra Atchison, Director of Technology Professional Development
Richardson, Texas

Webinar: Building Teacher Technology Competencies

You want your teachers to use technology to teach, but how do they learn what to do? Join this webinar to find out how Mineral Wells ISD is transforming their classrooms by challenging teachers with projects that integrate technology at all levels.

You'll hear first hand from Dr. Gail Haterius, Superintendent, Greg Bird, Director of Technology, and Consultant Trish Panknin about the iRam program they've put in place and how it can be replicated in your district.

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.

New Video: Make a Card Using iPhoto - Just in time for Valentine's Day!

Check out our exclusive Valentine's Gift to you -- we recently added this video on creating a card in iPhoto as part of the iPhoto 9.6 (Yosemite) Training series. In this online training series, you'll learn about how iPhoto® lets you do more than you ever thought possible with your photos. It gives you easy ways to find, sort, and rediscover your favorites. Simple, but powerful, editing tools let you turn good shots into magnificent ones.

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.  

Add Images into Google Forms - Guest Blog Post

Guest Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

I recently came across this article about adding an Image into your Google Forms!

So awesome, I just had to share!

Atomic Learning has many, many wonderful tutorials on using Google Forms; check out the list of videos here!

 


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:

Digital Sticky Notes - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

For many years now, I've been a big fan of the Post-It Note.  Big, little, bright, or that familiar dull yellow, I just love to use sticky notes to help remind me (and others around me) what's going on.  

Sometimes, though, a physical sticky note doesn't work.  With my laptop, they can fall off or I just plain run out of room to put them...

Boomerang for GMail in Chrome - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

In this blog post, I want to share with you Boomerang for GMail. It's an application add-on that connects with your GMail and appears at the bottom of your new email messages. Basically, the add-on allows you to:

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

Mobile and Beyond: McAllen ISD supports district-wide tech initiative, PD, and tech training needs

McAllen ISD, a district with 1,600 full-time employees, in McAllen, Texas, initially chose Atomic Learning to support their 1:1 iPad initiative (27,000 iPads deployed to every learner, K-12, plus staff). The district has since learned the importance of the Atomic Learning resources to not only support their mobile initiative, but to also expand the depth of technology training district-wide.

McAllen promotes using Atomic Learning in several ways, all of which are driving an increase in Atomic Learning usage in their district. One example of this is that during the last school year, McAllen scrapped their Career Technical Education (CTE) curriculum and transitioned to only using Atomic Learning content. Another avenue is that parent usage is climbing after an Atomic Learning-led parent liaison group. One parent shared that he took Atomic Learning's training on apps like Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, printed the certificates of completion, took those with him to a job interview, and was hired. McAllen encourages teachers to go directly to Atomic Learning for their PD rather than going outside of the district, which is also increasing their usage.

McAllen now has new direction with a new Instructional Technology Director, Ann Vega. Here are Vega's goals for Atomic Learning within MISD for her first year, in order of importance.

  1. Get all administrators trained on Atomic Learning and get them comfortable assigning training to various groups (teachers, admin. assistants, para professionals, HR, parents, and others).
     
  2. Get all teachers trained in Atomic Learning, especially using Google Apps for education (which has a built-in LMS)
     
  3. Get all teachers assigning training/projects/assessments to their students
     
  4. Possibly custom-uploading videos and other resources to assign training to teachers, including new teacher training and other annual mandated compliance training for reporting, such as Blood Borne Pathogens.

Ann especially wants to create user groups so she can assign training, and track it. McAllen is having great success as they continue to integrate Atomic Learning into their district.

Want to get your district on track with teacher PD and training district-wide? Contact Atomic Learning today!

2014 Technology and Professional Development Survey Results Released #techpd14

From the abacus to the calculator, the chalkboard to SMARTBoards, technology has had an immense impact on education and how students learn. However, technology is only one piece of the puzzle. Bill Gates said it best: “Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is the most important.”

But how are teachers using technology? And how are teachers maintaining expertise in the areas of teaching and new technology?

Using Google Chrome Extensions - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

You might be asking yourself, "What is an extension?"

Answer: an extension is a handy-dandy little tool that hangs out on the top of your Chrome browser (to the right of the URL bar), ready and waiting to help you be more efficient in your life.  

To find/obtain Chrome extensions, there are two places to look: 

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