Friday, August 28, 2009

New Content Alert: Pages '09 & Fireworks CS4 (Mac)

Pages '09 - What's New? 
This tutorial series covers the major improvements included in Pages '09. Other procedures for using Pages remain essentially unchanged from the previous version. Follow these links to view tutorials covering operations in our Pages '08 - Intro series or Pages '08 - Advanced series.

Fireworks CS4 - Intro
Rapidly prototype and design for the Web, and create and optimize images more quickly and accurately than ever before with the enhanced toolset featured in Adobe® Fireworks® CS4.

21st Century Skills: What Do They Look Like?

Atomic Learning  T&L logo 2 lines small
Thursday, October 8 | 10 am PST / 1 pm EST
Wondering exactly what 21st Century Skills are all about? Trying to determine what steps to take to begin bringing 21st Century Skills into classroom projects? Join this presentation and discussion around 21st Century Skills concepts, examples, and real world advice on how to bring them into the classroom.

Brad FlicklingerBrad Flickinger, Education Futurist and Educator -- Although being born and raised in Canada, Brad is proud of what he calls his "Perfect American Accent." After high school Brad studied journalism at the University of Western Australia, returned home to Canada, married his high school sweetheart and started his own weekly newspaper.

At the age of 24 he won the Young Entrepreneur of Canada for the work he had done in getting newspapers into the digital age. A few years later he moved his young family to a beach town in Costa Rica for a few years to work as a schoolteacher at a private elementary school before returning to the United States. By this time, the Internet was booming and Brad spent the next few years managing a technology and design company near Seattle before returning to teaching for the past seven years.

Recently Brad has combined his passions for teaching and technology by working a consultant and speaker on new and emerging educational technologies.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Turning Around the Nation's Lowest-Achieving Public Schools

This morning the U.S. Department announced draft requirements for Title I School Improvement grants. The $3.5 billion in funding are targeted at low performing Title I schools. Today starts a thirty-day comment period prior to the grants being issued to the states. When the states receive the funding, they will be issuing grants to local education agencies to foster change in schools which need the most help.

To learn more about the requirements, check out the
Department of Education website. When the formal requirements are announced, be sure to check your state’s education website for more information on how you can use those funds to transform your school.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

21st Century Skills Roundtable Discussions

As the 2009-10 school year begins, we will host a series of roundtable discussions on 21st century skills. These live sessions will facilitate open dialog on training, 21st century professional development, and classroom integration.

Three 30-minute discussions are planned for the following dates and times:

Tuesday Sep 15, 2009 - 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM CDT

Thursday Sep 17, 2009 - 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM CDT

Tuesday Sep 22, 2009 - 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM CDT

Atomic Learning is committed to professional development and 21st century skills training for teachers, and to creating 21st century-ready students. If you would like a consultation on your 21st century skills initiatives and helpful professional development resources, please contact 866-259-6890 or

Upcoming Assistive Technology Webinars

As the 2009-10 school year begins, we'll be hosting a series of free webinars on assistive technology integration. Presented by assistive technology consultant and program director Gayl Bowser, and Amanda Peters, content developer at Atomic Learning, these live sessions will discuss assistive technology for writing, successful classroom integration, and district implementation.

Starting mid-September, a one-hour session will kick off the series and three one-half hour sessions will follow. Interested persons may register for any or all of these webinars:

"Integrating Assistive Technology Tools for Writing into General Education"
September 10, 2009, 12-1 PM Central

"Assistive Technology Integration for Teachers"
September 30, 2009, 12-12:30 PM Central

"Assistive Technology Integration for Development Teams"
November 5, 2009, 12-12:30 PM Central

"District Level Action to Encourage Assistive Technology Integration"
December 3, 2009, 12-12:30 PM Central

We're well known for our vast collection of short how-to videos on many common software applications. We are also committed to helping educators implement assistive technology into both general and special education classrooms. To learn more or try sample training from this collection, visit or call (866) 259-6890.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

FREE Assistive Technology Webinars

Amanda Peters, one of Atomic Learning's content developers, has hosted several assistive technology webinars over the last few months. Feel free to take advantage of this great opportunity.

Quick Ways to make the General Ed Curriculum Accessible and Meaningful
Are you responsible for ensuring your students have access to and participate in the general education curriculum? Do you need some ideas for tools you can use in order to give alternate means of representation, engagement, and expression?

Atomic Learning invites you to a webinar where creative ideas will be shared that will help you differentiate instruction and increase students’ active participation in the general education curriculum. Learn quick ways to break down concepts into manageable chunks of information and give them visual, audio, and concrete 3-D representation.

See examples of how you can transform common tasks that are typically presented in a rigid way into accessible and meaningful activities for all students. Participants will be encouraged to share ways they have made curriculum accessible and meaningful.

The Power of a Programmable Switch Interface
Looking for a better way to access the computer using one or more switches?

Atomic Learning invites you to attend this webinar that will demonstrate the possibilities a programmable switch interface opens. Learn how to use one to maneuver the Start menu on a Windows machine or open applications in Finder on a Mac. Learn how to make use of keyboard shortcuts to access features in popular software programs. The StealthSwitch AT and the Crick USB Switch Interface will be demonstrated, but the methods shown can be applied to other programmable switch interfaces as well.

Windows Vista Accessibility Features

Are you wondering if the accessibility features built into Windows Vista would be helpful?

Atomic Learning invites you to this webinar where you will get an over view of all the features available such as Speech Recognition, Narrator, On-Screen Keyboard, and Magnifier. Come learn how to get started with these tools.

Windows XP Accessibility Features

Wondering if there are accessibility features built into Windows XP that would be helpful?

Atomic Learning invites you to this webinar where you will get an over view of all the features available such as Narrator, On-Screen Keyboard, and Magnifier. Come learn how to get started with these tools.

New site migration moving along smoothly

We're working hard to successfully and painlessly migrate our customers to the new Atomic Learning website. So far, feedback has been fantastic and hiccups have been minimal. It's going really well.

If you haven't been migrated yet, you can take a look at this highlights overview to get a better feel for what the new site offers. If you have been migrated, or if you're just really curious, take a look at this guide to the new site.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Blog Promotion

Here are some blogs worth checking out for anyone who cares about education, children, technology, and the advancement of global society.

Cool Cat Teacher Blog - Vicki Davis is a teacher, entrepreneur, conference presenter, writer, and a leader in the online education world.

Kathy Schrock's Kaffeeklatsch - Kathy is a Tech Administrator and active blogger. Along with the Kaffeeklatsch, she participates in several other education-related blogs and podcasts.

The Power of Educational Technology - Liz Davis is a Tech Director and blogger. She has a lot to say about the big conferences and education in general. - Scott Meech is a Tech Facilitator and popular Twitter user. He offers great insight into emerging educational technology.

The Learning Edge is a colaborative blog by a number of doctoral students. They discuss professional development and education, among other topics.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

2012 Technological Literacy Framework Project Draft Released

The National Assessment Governing Board released a draft of the 2012 Technological Literacy Framework Project. The draft was a collaborative effort involving groups like The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), the State Education Technology Directors Association (SEDTA), and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. The framework is intended to create national standards for assessing students in 4th, 8th, and 12th grade on their ability to use technology.

A recent Education Week article discusses the framework and provides a link to the full report. Check it out and see what may be expected of 21st century students.

Textbooks being replaced by digital

The New York Times reports that traditional textbooks are on the way out in some schools, replaced by much less expensive digital forms that are likely much more current as well.

Textbooks have not gone the way of the scroll yet, but many educators say that it will not be long before they are replaced by digital versions — or supplanted altogether by lessons assembled from the wealth of free courseware, educational games, videos and projects on the Web.

“Kids are wired differently these days,” said Sheryl R. Abshire, chief technology officer for the Calcasieu Parish school system in Lake Charles, La. “They’re digitally nimble. They multitask, transpose and extrapolate. And they think of knowledge as infinite.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

New Content Alert: Volume Release!

We've released a bunch of new content this week--too many to introduce in detail. Visit the individual links to find out more.

Tech Skills

Project 2007 (PC)

Blackboard Learning System: Vista and Campus Edition (PC, Mac)

VoiceThread (PC, Mac)

Windows 7 (PC)

Fireworks CS4 – Intro (PC)

GarageBand ‘09 (Mac)

Tech Skills & Assistive Tech

ActivInspire Primary – Professional (PC)

Atomic Learning Web Site (new platform support tutorials)

21st CS Projects

Internet Safety & Social Networking – using Ning (PC, Mac)

21st CS Workshops

Netbooks in the Classroom Workshop

21st CS Skills Concepts - updated
Added a tutorial - “Cross-disciplinary themes” - appearing as movie B8 in this series

Monday, August 03, 2009

It's here! The new Atomic Learning is live!

The new was launched over the weekend. This marks a new day in what we have to offer. New features include:
  • Simplified Search and Browse
  • New assignment capability
  • Enhanced integration tools
  • Site customization

A Note to our Valued Customers

In order to utilize these new tools and features, your school must migrate to the new training platform. If your school has not yet migrated, you may not have immediate access to these new tools and enhancements, but will continue to receive access to Atomic Learning's online technology training resources through our traditional site.

To test your migration status, simply login with your current username and password.

If you are directed to the standard Atomic Learning site, your school has not yet migrated and you will need to schedule your migration date.

If your school has migrated, you will experience a site with a similar look and feel to this page. Rest assured that reference materials will be available to help you navigate the new platform and staff training sessions are available.