Atomic Learning Quick Start Guide All staff, students, parents and community members have access to the Atomic Learning web-based software training and support site through the latest E2T2 grant awarded to the United Northwest Minnesota INFOCON. This is a 2-yr subscription we hope you all learn to use on a regular basis. Embrace Technology. Empower Yourself. All students, parents and non-teaching staff can log onto atomiclearning.com using the user name: RLF@infocon with the password: atomic The teaching staff should log onto atomiclearning.com using their school e-mail address (as their user name) with the password: infocon. Once logged on, teachers should go to My Account and change your password to something you will easily remember. The tracking of both the generic account and all teacher accounts will be recorded and used in the evaluation process of the grant to help determine the effectiveness of the Atomic Learning site as a tool to help technology integration so please use the site as much as possible and encourage your students and parents to use it, as well. Many schools use Atomic Learning for professional development , as either a supplement to face-to- face instruction or as an independent learning opportunity. Check out the ideas, resources and case studies in this section to get ideas for your professional development program. You are encouraged to take advantage of the many on-line workshops to help you earn continuing education credit toward license renewal right from your own home computer or at school after hours or during prep/staff development/ workshop time. The account tracking system of your teacher accounts may be used to document your professional development activity. Get up-to-date information on future upgrades to the Atomic Desktop and Atomic Learning by subscribing to Al's Weekly Tech Tips and Atomic Learning News. Before we go any further, take the AL Self-Assessment to see where your technology strengths and weaknesses are. When finished, you can e-mail the results to yourself for future reference. Atomic Learning is a great resource for integrating technology into the curriculum, whether you are showing tutorials in the classroom, assigning Lesson Accelerators or encouraging your students to use Atomic Learning at home. Ideas for Incorporating Atomic Learning • Encourage students to use Atomic Learning when they have software questions in and outside of class. • Require students to complete a series of tutorials to prepare them for a technology-based project. • Use Atomic Learning to introduce students to a new software application. • Link to Atomic Learning within a course management system. • Link to Atomic Learning in the class wiki or blog. • Assign technology-based projects called Lesson Accelerators which can be completed in a group or on their own. To search all available tutorials click on Training Library: Technology Skills Click on PC or Mac to narrow your search. Click on the first letter of the software for which you are searching a tutorial (ie: click on "W" for Word 2007) Select the tutorial(s) that best meets your needs. To see which tutorials you have viewed, click on the My Tracking tab. It will list all movies viewed and the elapsed time viewed. This is one of the items that will be used to issue Continuing Ed credits. Atomic Learning Resources: Atomic Learning has many resources you can use to help you integrate technology into your classroom. Click on the Resources tab to start exploring these helpful resources. The first on the list is Lesson Accelerators: What is a Lesson Accelerator? Lesson Accelerators (LAs) are project-based lesson plans that contain everything a student needs to create a technology product: • the tutorial movies • an example of the finished project • any images or other media needed to recreate the example project exactly as it is demonstrated in the movies As such, they are easy projects for classroom implementation and can be used as a way to bring a technology component into the curriculum. What does this have to do with staff development? “Student” doesn’t have to mean just the children or teenagers in a classroom! Teachers and staff can also use the Lesson Accelerators to increase their own technology skills. The tutorial movies progress step-by-step through the process of creating a fun and interesting project. A person who completes every step demonstrated in the movies will have a tangible end- product that shows off their newly acquired skills. The movies are easy to follow and can be viewed over and over again at the viewer’s discretion. Best of all, these resources are available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week! How would I use LAs for staff development? 1. Identify a Lesson Accelerator to use: What type of software skills would you like your staff to learn or enhance? Working with a database or spreadsheet? Using a presentation or multimedia application? Lesson Accelerators are categorized by o type (i.e., database, spreadsheet, word processing, etc.), o specific application (i.e., FileMaker Pro, Excel, Word, etc.) o by platform (Mac or PC) You can sort and filter the list of available LAs by any of these criteria and then watch the Preview movie to find the one that best meets your needs and interests. 2. Once you have chosen a Lesson Accelerator, prepare to follow the tutorial movies: a. Download the resource packet that contains the materials needed to complete the project as demonstrated in the tutorial movies. This packet includes a Project Activity Guide as well as any images, text documents, or other files that are used in creating the example project. b. Read through the Project Activity Guide so that you have an understanding of the goals and objectives for the project. c. Save copies of all the resource files to the computers your staff will be working on. 3. Recreate the example project: Introduce the example project to your staff as a way to become familiar with the basic tools used in the software application. Lesson Accelerator projects are relatively short and easy projects to complete. An individual should be able to watch all the movies and recreate the example project within just a couple of hours. The example project gives the participant a context in which he/she can practice and acquire new skills working with a particular software application. The content or subject matter presented in the example project may or may not be directly related to the subject matter the staff person currently teaches, but they’ll find these exercises effective and valuable no matter what the topic. 4. Go beyond the example project: The example project is structured so that it can be easily adapted for other subject/content areas. For example, the Lesson Accelerator entitled “Painting Light and Shadow” uses information about three great French Impressionist painters as the subject of a PowerPoint presentation. The same skills and procedures that participants will learn by creating the example project could also be used to create a presentation about writers, music composers, scientists, or any other subject the participant would like to research. Have your staff demonstrate that they have learned the skills taught in the Lesson Accelerator tutorials by choosing another subject that is relevant to their area of expertise, finding images and information that fit that subject, and creating a project similar to the example project, but using their own material! 5. Assess the work that has been done: Your school or district may require some type of assessment to document that a staff member has met certain technology competency standards. Many districts are basing their own requirements on a set of standards which are published by the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) as the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Teachers. You will find more information about NETS for Teachers, and also NETS for Students on which the NETS for Teachers is based, on the ISTE Web site What about assessment rubrics? Rubrics are useful tools to assess demonstrated competency in achieving specific, measurable objectives. The Project Activity Guide found in the downloadable resource packet for each Lesson Accelerator includes objectives and task list for creating the example project. Many of the Project Activity Guides also include a rubric that the teacher can use to assess student work, or that the student can use for self-assessment. The LA rubric could be used “as is” or modified to provide an assessment tool for staff development, regardless of whether the project being assessed uses the sample subject matter provided with the LA or uses custom material. PRACTICE ACTIVITY I Topic: Using PowerPoint 2007 Step 1: Complete the Meet My Mammal Lesson Accelerator “as is.” Step 2: Then, create an individual project, such as “Meet My Class” or “Meet Me” OR PRACTICE ACTIVITY II Topic: Creating a Classroom Newsletter Using a Word 2007 Step 1: Complete the Extra! Extra! Lesson Accelerator “as is.” Step 2: Then, create a classroom newsletter that can be sent home to parents The second resource is Teacher2Teacher Teacher2Teacher offers technology training developed for teachers by teachers, designed to dissolve barriers to use technology easily and effectively. Teacher2Teacher activities illustrate how to incorporate software into existing curriculum. Each activity provides: • detailed instructions • sample projects • student planning sheets Use the classroom activities with your students or use them as a "getting started" resource for lesson plans you create. The third resource is: Workshops Atomic Learning's workshops help school faculty and staff members learn essential communication skills. • Try using the mail merge and newsletter workshops to help you learn how to better inform parents of school happenings. • Podcasting and vodcasting workshops can teach you how to communicate through cutting- edge technology. • Our charting workshops help you communicate important information visually. Workshops can be used individually or through your professional development program. Click the link to locate a Workshop written for PC: Limit your choices by clicking on Mac, PC, or All You can search by software name, subject area or State Standards. Customer Support Click on the Support tab to discover a number of ways to help you learn more about Atomic Learning. Here is where you will find the Atomic Toolkit and a number of useful tools to help you, your students, staff and parents learn more about this useful on-line tutorial site. If ever you need assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will promptly respond to your inquiry.