Posted by: Paula Dinneen | October 15, 2012

New Support: Atomic Learning

What is Atomic Learning and why should it matter to UMass Boston faculty?

Atomic Learning is a library of thousands of short, easy-to-understand, video software tutorials designed to help you and your students learn to use hundreds of different technology tools and programs.

UMass Boston faculty who are working with new educational technology tools and platforms such as Blackboard Learn often need immediate answers to their questions  Traditional workshops can’t fit the schedules of all faculty.  And a one-size-fits-all workshop doesn’t necessarily address the questions that come up for individual faculty users. At the same time, faculty are often concerned about having to use class time to show students how to use Blackboard or other tools.

UMass Boston has now partnered with Atomic Learning to provide all faculty, staff and students access to the highest quality technology training and support resources available. And because these resources are available resources 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—individuals can get the instruction they need, exactly when and where they need it.

Atomic Learning offers three types of resources

  • Tutorials that guide the use of specific tools such as Blackboard Learn 9.1 for faculty and for students, or answer particular questions about those tools—how to create a question set in Blackboard, how to add an author to a WordPress blog.
  • Projects that guide users to apply the use of a tool or tools to completing a larger activity—creating a photobook in Iphoto, reporting on historical events in the persona of an eyewitness with a blog, creating an iMovie for iPad of a kitchen science project.
  • Workshops on larger topics—some for students, such as one on avoiding plagiarism that offers both principles of citation and instructions for the use of online tools for working with citation and bibliography and other for working with APA or MLA style;  and some for faculty, such as creating an effective online discussion.

In addition, Atomic Learning offers a video storytelling guide, as well as  a “my training” feature with self-assessments that will allow faculty to assign or recommend particular modules to their students as individuals or to the class.

We recommend that you check out Atomic learning.  You will find a site that

  • Contains resources for most of the technology tools you use or plan to use, including Blackboard, Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Camtasia, and WordPress blogs, the platform for our blog network. (Unfortunately, Atomic Learning has no tutorials for Wikispaces, but you can use our home-made ones on our wiki users wiki or those offered by Wikispaces.)
  • Offers resources for activities you might assign to students, such as creating podcasts or video stories.
  • Provides answers to many of your own and your students’ “How do I do that?” questions.
  • Is easy to access:  Just log in with your full UMB email address and password.
  • Is easy to search using keywords, specific applications, versions, and/or platforms.
  • Is easy to share – Faculty can share direct links in Blackboard to support each other in developing necessary software or technical skills, and students can share a tutorial with a classmate.

An iPad app is also available.

Ready to get started?

Simply go to www.umb.edu/AtomicLearning and log in with your full UMB email address (including umb.edu) and password to begin building your 21st century tech skills on over 205 applications.

Questions?

Contact paula.dinneen@umb.edu or 617-287-3147 for assistance.

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