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.

18 Dec

Focus on Learning Series: Process vs. Product

in 1:1 initiatives, 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.

David was a university student. He had a creative mind and a penchant for media. At the time, I was a technology trainer and media assistant at the same university. I helped students and faculty learn to use a variety of technology and software. Our number one rule as media assistants was to not touch the mouse when assisting people.

Period.

This was not to be mean or to avoid spreading germs, but to follow the fundamental idea that in order for someone to effectively learn a skill, they had to do it themselves. Not watch someone do it or hear someone talk about it, but actually do it.

David was a frequent visitor of our media lab. He would come into the lab, sit down at a computer, and begin working on a media project. The thing you need to know about David however, is he would come in with lofty goals for complex video and image editing projects. These projects were always well outside of his skill level, or in the words of Lev Vygotsky, well beyond his Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD).

Whenever he walked in the door, I knew it would not be long until he moseyed over to my desk to ask for help. When he inevitably did, I would oblige and sit down with him at his computer. David would then explain to me his vision for the project. Ignoring the fact that his ideas were outside his ZPD, I would begin to guide him through the process and encourage him to experiment and try things with the software to increase his skills. Without fail, five minutes into the project he would push his chair away from the desk, throw his hands up in the air, and say “You do it.”

16 Dec

Meet Our eLearning Developers: Nick Tieri

in eLearning Developers

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

Nick received an Applied Associates of Science Degree in Video Production & Applied Associates of Science Degree in Multimedia from Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota.

His professional experience includes being a Commercial Producer for Hubbard Broadcasting since 2009. He also worked as a Videographer and Commercial Producer for Dreamworld Studios from 2005 to 2009. He still enjoys working as a Videographer and Director for Robbinsdale School District 281 which he has done since 1999.

Nick is a Member of the Upper Midwest Emmy Chapter, and has received the Midwest Emmy Award in 2012, and was nominated for Midwest Emmy Awards in 2010 and 2013.

16 Dec

Using Hot Corners Feature - Guest Blog Post

in Apple, laptop

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:

15 Dec

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 12/15/14

in winner

Congratulations to William Clements from Del Valle ISD in Del Valle, 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!

02 Dec

Webinar Tomorrow: Ensuring Your Tech Plan is a Learning Plan

in Initiative, Leadership, Planning, Planning tools, Tech initiative, administrators, webinar

Lessons Learned from a Superintendent and His Team

Has your district invested in technology, perhaps a 1 to 1 initiative, but you're starting to question if it's truly driving change?  Do you wonder if you should even continue investing in technology?

In this discussion, hear how Dr. Robert O'Connor, Superintendent at Marble Falls, TX, asked himself those questions and how he approached answering them to truly move the district forward.  Eric Penrod, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction, and Wade Stanford, Assistant Superintendent, will also join the conversation as they walk us through how they went from asking themselves if their tech initiative was just a waste of money to determining if it was truly improving learning.

01 Dec

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 12/1/14

in winner

Congratulations to Sherelda Pell from Patrick County Public Schools in Stuart, VA, 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!

26 Nov

Online Training on Google Classroom Extends Educator’s Ability to “Go Green”

in classroom, classroom application, classroom lessons, educator, educators, new

Google Classroom is designed to help teachers create and collect assignments paperlessly. In this online training series, educators will learn about Classroom from both the teacher and student perspective, followed by some instruction for administrators. To see a sample of this training, visit http://atomiclearning.com/k12/google-classroom-training#.

To learn more about becoming an Atomic Learning subscriber, visit: www.atomiclearning.com/more.

24 Nov

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 11/24/14

in winner

Congratulations to Dan Keller from Anoka-Hennepin ISD #11 in Coon Rapids, MN, 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!

21 Nov

Creating a Learner-Centered Environment - Marble Falls Tech Initiative

in Initiative, Planning, Planning tools, Tech initiative, Vision, Vision planning, learning, school leaders

Listen as Marble Falls I.S.D., TX administrators share how they are redefining and rebuilding their district’s vision and plan for integrating technology to shape and ensure a solid foundation for instruction and technology, that is learner-centered with the help of Connected Consulting and Atomic Learning. For a workbook to help your district develop a learning-based vision for your tech initiative, visit http://al.atomiclearning.com/focus.

20 Nov

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

in 1:1 initiatives, Tech initiative, Mobile Learning, mobile, mobile devices, mobile initiative, mobile initiatives, mobile learning, online PD, professional development, teacher PD, tech integration

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!

19 Nov

Minnesota District Wins State Award in Leadership and Technology

in ed tech, tech integration, technology integration

We would like to extend our congratulations to our friends at Sauk Rapids-Rice School District for being nominated and selected as Minnesota’s 2014 TIES (Technology and Information Educational Services) Technology Leadership Team Award Recipient. The Sauk Rapids-Rice School District was selected for its innovation and positive impact on learning through technology. 

TIES noted the leadership of the Community and District, the ability to “build” community, innovative uses of technology, and successful community partnerships.

TIES will nominate the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District for the National Award of the Consortium on School Networking (CoSN).

Looking for ways to integrate technology in your district? Check out some ideas from Sauk Rapids-Rice’s Library Media Specialist, Maria Burnham, here.

19 Nov

Infographic: Making the Grade - Great Teachers in Our Schools

in educator, educators, recognition, teachers
As we continue to celebrate American Education Week, we wanted to share this infographic on Making the Grade - Great Teachers in Our Schools, and again say thank you to all the educators that have helped mold us into the individuals we have become and continue to guide future generations.

teachers

18 Nov

Free Webinar: Ensuring Your Tech Plan is a Learning Plan

in webinar

Lessons Learned from a Superintendent and His Team

Has your district invested in technology, perhaps a 1 to 1 initiative, but you're starting to question if it's truly driving change?  Do you wonder if you should even continue investing in technology?

In this discussion, hear how Dr. Robert O'Connor, Superintendent at Marble Falls, TX, asked himself those questions and how he approached answering them to truly move the district forward.  Eric Penrod, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction, and Wade Stanford, Assistant Superintendent, will also join the conversation as they walk us through how they went from asking themselves if their tech initiative was just a waste of money to determining if it was truly improving learning.

18 Nov

Using LucidChart Diagrams - Guest Blog Post

in online PD, teacher PD, teachers, tech integration

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

Today I want to talk to you about the Google Add-On "LucidChart Diagrams."  If you ever need to make a quick graphic organizer, Venn diagram, or flow chart and still be in your Google Drive, consider adding on LucidChart.  

In your Drive, in a new document, under the "Add-Ons" menu option, click on "Get Add-Ons".  Search for "LucidChart" and add it to your Drive.  Now, when you go back into the Add-Ons menu in your document, you should see "LucidChart Diagrams" as an option.  Select it and a side panel will appear.  

Click on the red "Create" button in the side panel, and you will see a menu of options to insert in your document.  Below is a preview of some options.


 

17 Nov

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 11/17/14

in winner

Congratulations to Frankie Medlen from Weston County School District 7 in Upton, WY, 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!

15 Nov

Meet Our eLearning Developers: Greg Lathe

in eLearning Developers

Continuing the series introducing you to our eLearning Contributor team, we'd like you to meet Greg Lathe. Lathe formed Cre8 Solutions Group, LLC in 2012.

Leadership Development has been his passion throughout his career. Starting out as a school teacher he realized the power of focusing on unlocking creative potential in students and received "Teacher of the Year" for the school District of Cudahy, Wisconsin in 1999. His passion for investing in leaders was put into practice as full time Music and Media Director for Oak Creek Wisconsin Assembly of God for the next 13 years as the organization experienced tremendous growth. During this time he worked with leadership to develop their Core Values and establish training and curriculum for all ages.

15 Nov

Smart PD: How to Develop a Learning Plan to Help Teachers Improve

in online PD, professional development, teacher PD, teachers, teaching

"Adults learn in much the same way children do, and unless teachers see that you have a cohesive plan to truly help them improve their practices, they'll tune out the PD and poke at their bagels while they watch the clock during training sessions."

Looking for some tips for effective PD throughout the school year? Check out this article in Scholastic Administrator magazine, where our Director of Strategic Integration, Kara Gann, along with other professionals have shared their expertise for successfully reaching teachers.

13 Nov

What's Your Best EdTech Project? Share and Win!

in ed tech, edtech, education technology, projects, student achievement

Are your students doing amazing projects? Looking for ways to tell their stories? Tech & Learning wants to hear from you!

Share your edtech project.

Three winning teams will be selected (one for Grades K-3; one for Grades 4-8; and one for Grades 9-12). Winning students get passes to Tech & Learning Live @ California on Friday, January 30, the opportunity to present their work at the event, and coverage in Tech & Learning magazine. [Note: prize includes admission, as well as breakfast, lunch and snacks, for up to three students and one adult. Travel and lodging expenses not included]

WHO CAN APPLY: 
Applicants must be a full-time student or teacher at a California K-12 school. This includes teachers or students at online institutions, virtual schools, home schools, charter schools, and private academies. Students and teachers must agree to a public release of their project materials to Tech & Learning for judging, marketing, and media exposure.

12 Nov

Schoology -- It’s Time to Get Hooked! - Guest Blog Post

in lms

Guest Blog Post by Cindy Rybaczyk, Atomic Learning eLearning Developer and Educator

A few months back, I became what you might call a “Schoology Junkie.”  I joined so many other educators who jumped on board with using a Learning Management System. At first, like most people, I started slowly: I created a course, added students to the course I created, and then found myself wondering what to do next. Not really sure of how I’d use Schoology or how much I’d use it, I did like many users do – I started searching around on the Schoology blog and on the web for information about how other teachers used Schoology in their classrooms. I decided to take it slow at first, creating a simple assignment that my students could complete online. That first day in the classroom after they completed their assignment, I knew I was hooked. The responses before were the standard, “oh no, not another homework assignment,” particularly if writing was a component. That day, they told me that it was fun to complete the assignment online because it seemed, and I quote, “different.” Was it different? Not really. Was I going to tell them that? Not a chance!

10 Nov

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 11/10/14

in winner

Congratulations to Ressie Jenkins from Shepherd ISD in Shepherd, 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!

06 Nov

Dyslexia Teacher Shares An Example of How She Uses Atomic Learning

in educator, educators, effective PD, lesson planning, online PD, parents, professional development, student achievement, teacher PD

What she realized was that the end result had more purpose than anticipated.

Sandra Rose, a dyslexia teacher at Richardson ISD, shares how Atomic Learning's training helped her create a video to not only help her students, but also to share program details with parents of students and the community.

Not an Atomic Learning subscriber, but want to learn more? Visit www.atomiclearning.com/more.

06 Nov

Customizing Your GMail Using the "Labs" Feature - Guest Blog Post

in gmail

Guest Blog Post by Maria Burnham, Library Media Specialist

This post focuses on customizing your GMail using the "Labs" feature in your Settings. A couple of Labs I like to have enabled include: 

1. A mini-calendar, so I can see my schedule and my email in the same window. It sits in the lower left corner of your GMail screen and lists out calendar events for the day.

2. Preview pane allows me to see the list of my emails and then on the right, a preview of the email that is selected from the list.  My Inbox used to look like this:

Now it looks like this (and you can kind of see my calendar in the lower left corner of this picture): 

03 Nov

Weekly Giveaway Winner - 11/3/14

in winner

Congratulations to Denise Gerst from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools in Charlotte, NC, 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!

01 Nov

New Content Alert: Premiere Pro Creative Cloud 2014 Training

in new

Adobe's® non-linear video editor Premiere® Pro Creative Cloud® 2014 boasts a number of new and innovative features. In this online training series, you'll explore the live text templates, master clip effects and the new delivery formats. You'll also be introduced to other new commands, including reverse match frame, and enhanced media management features. Not an Atomic Learning subscriber? Request more information.

31 Oct

Helping Students Stay Focused on Learning

in learning, online, student achievement, tech embedded classrooms, tech integration, technology integration, training

Listen as Richardson ISD's Ryan Wright shares how Atomic Learning has helped him stay focused on learning and takes the hassle out helping him learn the technologies he needs. Not an Atomic Learning subscriber? Learn more.

31 Oct

Educators: Download Free Full-Version Autodesk Software

in free resources

Did you know? Autodesk provides FREE access to students, teachers and schools around the world. 

According to their website:

Imagine, design, and create a better world with help from Autodesk Education. Get free access to the software used to make the games, movies, buildings, and products that inspire you. Autodesk is a world leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software for manufacturing, building and construction, and media and entertainment.

Learn more.

30 Oct

We want YOU as an eLearning Contributor #autoCAD #python #java #revit #adobe

in e-learning, eLearning Developers
In addition to a staff of full time in-house eLearning Developers, Atomic Learning regularly seeks out contributors for specialized projects. These eLearning Contributors consist of a knowledgeable group of individuals who are either subject-matter experts or are experienced in related fields that work with Atomic Learning to share their expertise with a worldwide audience, enhance their skill set, and supplement their income. So, without further ado, we ask:
  • Are you looking to make some extra cash?
  • Does technology or a new software release make you giddy?
  • Have you ever been called a geek by your colleagues because of said passion for technology?
  • Do you find sharing this knowledge with others is a rewarding experience? 
  • Have you used screen recording tools to share technology and dazzle your colleagues?  
30 Oct

2014 Technology and Professional Development Survey Results Released #techpd14

in ed tech, education technology, effective PD, online PD, personal learning communities, professional development, social media, social networking, teacher PD

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?

With these themes in mind, the USC Rossier School of Education’s online Master of Arts in Teaching set out to answer these questions by surveying current educators as to how and why they’re using technology, such as social media and Twitter chats, to form their own professional development.

Curious about the results? Read more.