Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New Content Alert: OpenOffice.org 3.1

We've released a big batch of new tutorials this week, starting with a series on OpenOffice, the free, open-source productivity alternative.

OpenOffice.org 3.1 Writer - Intro (PC)

OpenOffice.org 3.1 Calc - Intro (PC)

OpenOffice.org 3.1 Impress - Intro (PC)

Watch our What's New page in coming days for all our new product releases, including tutorials on Moodle, Comic Life, Windows 7 and more.

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Feature Alert: Assignment notifications

We're excited to announce another new feature of our redesigned network. If an administrator has provided valid email addresses for his/her individual users at the time of account setup, those users will soon start receiving an email notification indicating they have been assigned training or an assessment. 

Each night the Atomic Learning system will check for new assignments that have been created. In addition, it will check the dates of existing assignments to find those which are coming due soon or are overdue.  If a new assignment has been created, all users will receive an email notification. Those users who have an assignment due within 7 days will receive a notification as well. If an assignment becomes overdue, the user will receive a notification on the day following the due date.

Users will not receive multiple emails of the same type.  If more than one assignment is created, or coming due or overdue, the user will still only receive one email for each scenario on any given day, for a maximum of three. The subject line will indicate the type of notification.

All users will have the option in My Profile & Settings to turn on or off the “Receive Email Updates”  feature.  By default it is set to “Yes”.   However, to ensure that all users continue to receive notifications, administrators may contact Customer Service to request that users not have the option to change the notifications feature.  After CS makes the change, the option will no longer be visible to users in their My Profile & Settings area.  Or, if you would rather not have the notification feature at all, please contact Customer Service. We’d be glad to turn off this feature for your account.  

We hope you find value in the much requested feature!  Thank you to those of you who share your suggestions and feedback!

(Thanks to Jacki)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Cyberbullying legislation in 19 states

Nineteen states have enacted legislation to prevent cyberbullying. Each state has different requirements as to how the policies are implemented; some have introduced new laws where as others have modified previous laws to include various pieces of electronic equipment.

Summaries of state laws regarding cyberbullying are available here. Regardless of the specific legislation enacted, teaching students to treat their peers with respect is something that any school district can embrace.

(Thanks to AtomicKristi)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Career Opportunity Alert: Assistive Technology Sales Manager

Assistive technology plays a tremendous role in leveling the playing field for many students whose disabilities need not be hindrances to learning. If you're passionate about learning and have a background in sales and some knowledge of assistive tech, drop us a line!

The Assistive Technology Sales Manager is responsible for Assistive Technology account sales and sales related activity for the Domestic Sales Team. This position requires knowledge of solution-based selling, education organizations and a strong understanding of the education sales cycle. This person must act as the liaison and be the main contact person between Atomic Learning and defined accounts.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

If Only...

As I write this I am in seat 54D on the flight home. We are about to cross the International Date Line and get our lost day back;* we have traveled about 2600 miles since take-off and only have 5700 miles (about 9 hours) remaining. :-)

It's easy to complain that we have to be on a plane for 14 hours, in somewhat cramped conditions, (The person in 53D is reclined, so the monitor on my laptop is only about 70% open and to type I have to press my elbows against my seat back so my fingers don't overshoot the keys), with food that we may not make at home. There are some inconveniences, to be sure. There are only a dozen bathrooms on board for about 500 passengers, there are only 2 meal choices, and though I asked for Pepsi with a lemon they only had Coke and a lime.

It's easy to say “... if only...”, but let's break that down a bit:

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

When learning is done well, the technology becomes transparent

Today was our last day in Australia, and we are exhausted. Our feet and legs are tired from walking, and our brains are tired from taking in and processing so much information. I believe we have served Atomic Learning well on this trip, giving lots of people in lots of schools lots ideas for how to utilize the features of our site and bring 21st century concepts into the classroom. I know that the people we have met with have also served AL, providing us with important feedback and knowledge about the educational systems within their country.

We spent the morning at CEO Sydney*, a wonderful facility and an organization with lofty goals and every intention of meeting them. Over morning tea (which means coffee and snacks, either “sweet” or “savory”), they shared with us their iLearn program and some of the projects teachers are developing and students are diving into.

Monday, December 07, 2009

It's about simple respect, really

Hello from Sydney! We spent today as tourists, (so far we have only been “travelers”), riding a bus to Featherdale Wildlife Park and The Blue Mountains. Featherdale started as a koala refuge and now is home to probably 50 different Australian critters—fins, feathers, flippers and fur all included. It was a delight to kneel next to (and pet!) a “free range” kangaroo relaxing in the sun and have a photo shoot with a snacking koala, (or his buddy in a eucalyptus-induced stupor!) Those non-bears are so adorable, and just watching a kangaroo move is a good lesson in physics. We loved the little penguins, and I think the wombat is probably the cutest thing on 4 legs.

What was most fascinating, however, was the behavior of some of the other guests at the park. We were “nudged” out of line by impatient adults and then waited through juvenile antics and various exhibits. Worse, though, were the folks who showed no respect for the animals. An eating wombat was pestered incessantly, first by folks putting their flash camera within inches of its face and then leaning over the rail of the enclosure trying to pet it. Later, a group of people took turns dancing with a kangaroo who was obviously not interested. As the roo got more and more agitated they tried harder and harder to be successful and get their photo, paying no regard to the animal and concerned only with satisfying our wants and needs.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Australia: Not upside-down, but certainly forward

When I was a kid growing up in the midwest, I was sure the people in Australia had a constant head rush, what with all that blood flowing to their brains from being upside down all the time
As I grew up, I still didn't understand how neither of us were upside down but blindly accepted my teacher's explanation and focused my down under attention on kangaroos, koalas (not koala bears), and around that time, Crocodile Dundee. Australia had always been a romantic, faraway, and exotic place, (a visit to which has been on my bucket list for years), but, I'm embarrassed to say, somewhat removed from my global understanding and perspective. Until now.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Save $50 at FETC 2010 in Orlando compliments of Atomic Learning, booth #946

We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to participate in FETC 2010 – the most comprehensive ed-tech learning event in the U.S. — at a significant discount! FETC 2010 is the content-rich conference that brings education leaders and technology experts together to exchange techniques and strategies for administrative, teaching and learning success.

With more than 200 Concurrent Sessions, 70-plus workshops—and an exhibit hall of 400-plus solution providers displaying and demonstrating the latest products and services—it’s
the most comprehensive event of its kind, and an invaluable resource for educational innovation in your school and district.

Take $50 off full conference registration, or visit the conference hall FREE!

Download the $50 Attendee Coupon here.