Friday, March 27, 2009

Tools at the Library: Atomic Learning

Dave, who's now blogging library stuff over at Big Building, Lots of Books, was cool enough to check out Atomic Learning. Atomic Learning provided training movies (screencasts) that teach you how to use different applications, from the practical Microsoft Office programs to things like PowerTeacher Gradebook. The tutorials are short, step-by-step videos that teach you how to use the program you are interested in. I have been using it to get a better grasp of how to use Excel and also to learn DreamWeaver. It also provides a whole list of other resources, like their Lesson Accelerators, which are basically project-based lesson plans, that you can use with your students.

As a school, you can get a subscription for teachers and students, which is another added bonus. We have students who love just opening up Photoshop or Publisher and just go in and try to figure things out by clicking away. Since we do not really offer classes in using these tools, this is another way to let students learn on their own.

So far I am pretty excited about it and have shared it with students who are interested in programming. I think, it might be a great way to get more girls interested in technology. This way they can learn on their own time, at home and not feel so self-conscious about being a girl who likes programming.

Is anyone else out there using this in their schools? And if so, how are you using?


Elisabeth Abarbanel said...

We use it too, but not that much, I'm afraid. I think it is mainly for faculty at our school, but I don't see why kids shouldn't know about it too. That is a great idea. I was using it to learn the "New Word" as I like to call it, but I got bored. Maybe I need to use it to learn something more interesting..

Anna M. said...

I am interested in seeing how students use it. They seem to be more interested in the click and learn method, I guess, like playing a video game. But sometimes that way is less efficient so we shall see how that goes. Some of the LT7 teachers are into it but I don't know how much the other teachers will use it. But it does have a ton of stuff besides MS Office. :) I think they need to rethink how it's set up though because it's a bit of a mess with all those lists.