Amy Schoenrock's blog

05 Oct

Panel Discussion: Accessible Instruction is EVERY Educator's Responsibility

in Atomic Assist, Special Education & Assistive Technology

Providing accessible instructional materials to all students requires strong cross-departmental communication.

Join Atomic Learning for an online panel discussion with Joy Zabala from the National Center on Instructional Materials and Gayl Bowser, Assistive Technology consultant and author, to hear discussion on:

  • tips for engaging school leaders in understanding the importance of AIM, including the PALM toolkit from CAST.
  • resources to share with other educators to help them impact students in their classrooms.
  • the successes and challenges districts have experienced.

If you haven't already, pledge to do your part to bring accessible instruction to all students.

26 May

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 5/26/15

in winner

Congratulations to Kevin Cox from Colby Public Schools USD 315 in Colby, KS, our Weekly Giveaway t-shirt winner!

Not sure what the Weekly Giveaway is? Log into Atomic Learning for your chance to win! New tutorials featured and winners each week so continue to stop back for your chance to win!

24 May

Learn How to Draw Your Own Game Art #elearning #edtech

in Atomic Integrate, Atomic Learning, e-learning, edtech

You’ve got a great idea for a game. Maybe you’ve got the programming chops to code it all yourself. Now you need art. You can hire someone, but that can cost a lot of money. You can license art, but that might not give you exactly what you want. Atomic Learning has an online course that can give you the training you need to do some or all your app’s art production yourself.

Imagine being about to see a style of art or reference image and already knowing the steps to recreate something similar. That’s the true aim of this course. The wide range of topics in the course should make you feel confident enough to try illustrating any aspect of your game, be it the logo, hero, background or interface. We’ll even cover animation and discuss tips to exporting image sequences specifically for games.

23 May

The Course Copy Road to Nowhere - LTI Best Practices

in edtech, lms

Reposted from IMS Global Learning Consortium's Best Practices, which features best practices for reference when implementing LTI®.

21 May

Atomic Learning Admins: Make Learning Fun!

in customers, effective PD, get the word out, just-in-time training, online PD, professional development, teacher PD, teachers, tech embedded classrooms

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.

20 May

Striving Towards District-Wide Adoption: School Board

in District-Wide Adoption
How are different areas in our customer districts using Atomic Learning? In the Striving Towards District-Wide Adoption blog series, we look at various departments and how our solutions meet their specific needs. This post focuses on the School Board. 

Because members of a district’s School Board are tasked with ensuring the success of district initiatives—particularly those involving costly technology—it is important that they are aware of technology tools and have all the information they need to make informed decisions.

19 May

What Can Google Chrome Extensions do for You? - Guest Blog Post

in edtech, online PD, professional development, teacher PD

Who better to speak to using Google Chrome Extensions than the eLearning Contributor who developed the training workshop herself?

Guest Blog Post by Stacci Barganz, eLearning Contributor

18 May

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 5/18/15

in winner

Congratulations to Sonja Mangel from Westby School District 3 in Westby, MT, our Weekly Giveaway t-shirt winner!

17 May

Focus on Learning: My Remote Visit to the “Wax Museum”

in Connected Consulting, Focus on Learning, Tech initiative

This article was originally posted on the Connected Consulting blog by Dr. Billie McConnell.

I had the privilege of recently attending the 4th grade “wax museum” in Marble Falls ISD. The students researched their characters, then created a poster and an iPad recording about them, and dressed up to represent them. The museum was set up in the foyer and hallways of the school so that visitors could tour the museum and listen to the recordings with headphones connected to the iPads. However, since I wasn’t really there, I couldn’t listen using headphones. You see, I was at my home in Kerrville.

16 May

Create a Kidblog for Your Classroom - Guest Blog Post

in blogging, blog, classroom, classroom application, classroom lessons, digital citizens, digital citizenship, digital literacy, tech integration

Guest Blog Post by Ron Farrow, eLearning Contributor

While we all strive to give our students more writing opportunities every day, we struggle with how we can do so online in a safe and meaningful way. Social media can be a great tool for engaging kids in the writing process, but how can we ensure that our writing is meaningful, and that the instrument we use is safe and secure? Kidblog may be just the solution.

15 May

Meet Our eLearning Developers: Drew McConnell

in eLearning Developers

Continuing the series introducing you to our eLearning Contributor team, we'd like you to meet Drew McConnell.

15 May

Haiku Learning and Atomic Learning Integration

in LMS training, intergration, lms

We were honored to be featured on Haiku Learning's blog recently as "App of the Week"!

According to their website, "A Learning Platform should be easy to use, easy on the eyes, and easy on the budget. You have all three in our digital learning platform, Haiku Learning."

An excerpt of the blog post highlighting Atomic Learning reads "As a teacher, when adding an LTI Activity to your class, Atomic Learning will automatically present you with a great search screen, searchable and filterable by application (Adobe, Dreamweaver, Google Drive), topic (21st Century Skills, Common Core, Mobile Learning) and/or category (Mac vs. PC, How-to's, Workshops)."

14 May

Prepare for Back-Up - Guest Blog Post

in effective PD, teacher PD

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

It's that time of year 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.  

13 May

Focus on Learning Series: Creating Authentic Learning

in Connected Consulting, Focus on Learning, Initiative, Leadership, Planning, Planning tools, Tech initiative, Vision, Vision planning

This article was originally posted on the Connected Consulting blog by Drew McConnell.

Listen here.

Chris had a story to tell. He had thoughts, ideas, and interests he wanted to express. The only question was how. Then Chris heard about Film Fest, a month long event at his school where students work together to write, film, direct, and produce their own short films. Immediately Chris knew this was his opportunity to express his ideas. The only problem was Chris didn’t know the first thing about film-making. He was a decent writer, but his film-making experience consisted of taking videos of his dog with his smart phone. Luckily for Chris, his school’s goal was not just to provide students with the opportunity to express themselves, but the tools, skills, and resources with which to do so.

12 May

Top 5 New Courses Including Hapara, Snapchat, and more!

in Top 5, new

Who better to share what they think is the best of the best than those who determine what content is added to the Atomic Learning library? Our eLearning team recently shared with us what they thought were some of the top courses recently added to the site. We've also included why they think this content is so cool--we hope you agree!

Take a look, login, and learn!

Target Instructional Needs with Atomic Learning

Learn how to setup a tech integration program for your school and use the power of Atomic Learning to find the right training solution for your technology needs.

12 May

Help Shape Future Training – Share Your Ideas

in support, think tank, voice, customers, educators, partnership

We value our customers and appreciate the knowledge they provide and feedback they share, so we decided to ask for their stories to share in our blog series "Voice of the Educator."


We value your input and invite you to share your ideas to help determine future training courses from Atomic Learning. Watch this brief video to learn more about the Atomic Learning Think Tank and get started today at We look forward to hearing from you!

11 May

Congratulations #atomiccache Grand Prize Winner!

in Atomic Cache

We want to congratulate Dulce Gonzalez, of Laredo ISD, in Laredo, TX, our Atomic-Cache grand prize winner of an iPad Air! Pictured below is Dulce with her prize (she is also wearing her t-shirt from winning the week 1 prize!)

We asked Dulce to share a bit about her experience Atomic-Caching and what she learned. She had this to say:

"I want to thank Atomic Learning for the prize and for motivating us teachers in this fun challenge. I submitted an entry for each of the 10 clues and I was able to learn a lot from the courses! Starting with kahoot! which I used to create a comprehension quiz and later used during my PDAS evaluation. My students were having fun and were able to assess their comprehension knowledge.

Also, I got a lot of ideas on how to use minecraft in the classroom. I was amazed with all the different scenarios and projects you can propose to the students with this app! The Atomic-Cache clues also took me to training series like Google Scholar, How to  do Effective Presentations, and How to Ask Good Questions to students. I enjoyed using this learning path because I searched for titles that I would not usually look for but the topics were interesting enough for me to continue watching them and - bonus - I learned something new in the process!"

Thank you to all who participated in Atomic-Cache!

11 May

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 5/11/15

in winner

Congratulations to Ysena Gamez from Laredo ISD in Laredo, TX, our Weekly Giveaway t-shirt winner!

Not sure what the Weekly Giveaway is? Log into Atomic Learning for your chance to win! New tutorials featured and winners each week so continue to stop back for your chance to win!

10 May

Using Hapara in Your Classroom - Guest Blog Post

in new, new training

Who better to speak to using Hapara than the eLearning Contributor who developed the training himself?

Guest Blog Post by Ron Farrow, eLearning Contributor

One of the difficult tasks in the transition from analog to digital in the classroom, is how to make the process of sending and receiving work to students, accessing that work, and grading that work more efficient than paper and pencil.  Not only does it need to be efficient, but you want it to be as easy as possible so you avoid a huge learning curve for some new software or program.  Hapara makes interacting with students and utilizing digital work extremely easy.


Using Hapara’s tools, teachers can view and access student work at any time, all from the convenience of the teacher dashboard.  

08 May

Feeling Appreciated - Guest Blog Post #TeacherAppreciationWeek #ThankATeacher

in teachers

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.

08 May

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

in online PD, teacher PD, teachers

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.

07 May

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

in teachers

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.

07 May

Is your PD plan supporting real change? #K12vision

in Connected Consulting, Initiative, Leadership, Planning, Planning tools, Tech initiative, Vision, Vision planning

Ensuring students have the skills they need to be college- and career-ready (and teachers have the capacity to build such skills) is an on-going process. Atomic Learning helps you build a solid plan where teachers are able to successfully create technology-rich, learner-centered classrooms, and students are engaged, meeting standards, and using technology for meaningful tasks—all while developing critical skills necessary for lifelong success.

By combining face-to-face learning with online resources, Atomic Learning creates a customized program for your district. Ready to take your district to the next level? Get started today by downloading our vision and planning workbook here.

05 May

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

in teachers

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.
04 May

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 5/4/15

in winner

Congratulations to Erica Diaz from Berlyn Elementary School in Ontario, CA, our Weekly Giveaway t-shirt winner!

Not sure what the Weekly Giveaway is? Log into Atomic Learning for your chance to win! New tutorials featured and winners each week so continue to stop back for your chance to win!

04 May

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

in teachers, teaching

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.”

01 May

Using the Undo Send GMail Lab - Guest Blog Post

in online PD, professional development, teacher PD, teachers, tech integration

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:

30 Apr

Atomic-Cache: Clue 10

in Atomic Cache

If you're a fan of geocaching, you know how fun it is to get the clues and location, find the cache, and retrieve a small treasure.
For the month of April, Atomic Learning customers are invited to Atomic-Cache on our site while you learn!

Here's how it works.

Today's clue:

You’d be hard “pressed” to find a better tool to create a website.