#RealityCheck - Guest Blog Post

Guest blog post by Atomic Learning customer Judy Yi, a Professor at Dallas Baptist University in Texas. You can see more great posts from Judy and others at DBU's ProfHelp Blog.

Several years ago, I read an article in the New York Times that placed Apple Inc. on the same level as a religion.  With its fanatic fans camping outside for days to purchase the newly released device and the devotion they show with Apple products, it’s not too surprising. But what is it about Apple that makes people “hypnotized” to it?
Just last month, I had the opportunity to visit Apple Inc. (the America Operations Center) in Austin with my Ed.D. K-12 cohort, and our speaker, Jon Landis, the Development Executive for educational mobility deployment in higher education and K-12 schools, shed some light on Apple’s secret formula.
Here’s a recap:
By 1997, the world wide web (www.), the Internet as we know it, was easily available and accessible to the general public. It was innovative!
However, to a student who was born in 1997, using and accessing information via the Internet is not new at all. They grew up with it and know no other world. To them, it is not an innovation; it is just a way of life.
Apple’s mental model: Internet is conventional. How can we innovate from it?
In the early 2000s, smartphones were moving into the mainstream. Checking emails and surfing the Internet with your phone was a new technology. It was cool! However, to a student born in the early 2000s, smartphones aren’t smart. It’s plainly a mobile device. They know of no such thing as a “dumb phone” that could not send emails or surf the web. For them, anything mobile-related is not innovative; it is just a way of life.

Using Hot Corners Feature - Guest Blog Post

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

Today I wanted to share with you how to use the Hot Corners feature on laptops.  Many high school students are using this feature to quickly change their screen display if they've been goofing around and not doing their schoolwork. However, Hot Corners is also a great way to get to your desktop or Mission Control quickly.

Basically, Hot Corners is a way to change screen display by moving your mouse to one of the four corners of your screen. You have to set up the activation of your corners in System Preferences.  

To do this:
Go to the Apple in the upper left corner --> System Preferences --> Mission Control. Then, you will see a Hot Corners button. Use the dropdown menus to choose what happens in which corner. You can even preview each corner while still in System Preferences menu, too, in case you're not sure what some of the options are in the dropdown menu.

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:

Accepting that Technology Will Fail

Last month, Dr. Joshua Kim, Director of Digital Learning Initiatives at the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning and author of the popular Technology and Learning blog, posted an encouraging post for technology professionals using Apple's less-than-perfect live streaming event on September 9, 2014 as an example. (Didn't attend? The first 27 minutes of the live video stream was not only choppy, but plagued by dual audio—voices in both English and Chinese simultaneously.)

Kim smartly uses this tech giant's embarrassing moment as a learning opportunity:

What does the Apple live streaming debacle teach us?

More than anything, we need to accept that technology will break. 

The something going wrong with technology will be the norm, not the exception.

The more we introduce technology into education, the more we will have things blow up.

This is not a reason to stop our efforts with blended learning, flipped classrooms, online courses, adaptive learning platforms, or open online learning. 

We should not stop holding synchronous online seminar classes. We should not stop creating rich media learning objects.

What we should accept is that things will go wrong. 

If Apple can't figure out how to stream their big live event we will also have instances where our learning technology fails.

He makes an excellent point on a number of levels.

At face value, we need to acknowledge that while bolstering bandwidth and providing teachers technology training will help alleviate issues, things can go wrong—that's the nature of learning, of trying new things, of pushing forward.

WWDC Update: Apple Announces New Yosemite OS X

Guest blog post by Sarah Holder, Associate eLearning Developer & Jeremy Mikel, eLearning Publisher at Atomic Learning

At today's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), Apple announced a new OS X: Yosemite. It's a powerful update—and it is absolutely FREE!

(Yosemite will be available to developers on Monday, June 9th, for a $99 fee. A public launch is scheduled for this fall.)

The new OS X features easier to read icons on the launcher bar, as well as redesigned title and menu bars and sidebars. Given the windows' translucency, they will take on the personality of your desktop. All new icons, yet fundamentally Mac, appear in the dock. The new look and feel highlights new consistent and clear typography. The design also comes in new Dark mode with dark gray toolbars instead of white. 

Below are some of the new apps and updates our eLearning Development team was salivating over:

Suggest a Keynote for ISTE 2013

Each year ISTE works to recruit the best of the best to keynote at their annual conference and exposition. From Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to classroom teachers and award-winning photojournalists, they've had some amazing speakers!