Although I have had a personal account with Atomic Learning for years, this is my first year to have an account for my entire school. So yesterday I did my first online training with Tom Peterson from Atomic Learning to make sure everything would be up and running for when my teachers and students return back to school next week. Tom explained that today's online training was going to be broken up into two different sections; an interview to find out how Atomic Learning can best fit the needs of my school and then the actual training on how to use their product. I did roll my eyes a bit when he said that he would "train" me on how to use Atomic Learning. After all, I had been using their product to make me look smarter than I was for years. To my surprise I later found out how much I didn't know -- basically, I had only been using about 50% of my subscription. (Yes, I'm an idiot, I know.)
Part 1: The Interview
On the computer screen in front of me I could see both Tom's screen and also my own Atomic Learning account. Tom spent about a half-hour asking me questions about the challenges I faced at my school with regards to technology and professional development for my teachers. We then discussed my goals for the upcoming year and how I would be measuring the success of these goals.
It was obvious to me that Tom had a lot of experience working with schools and technology training. He assured me that my challenges were common (Whew! I'm not alone.) and my goals were realistic for this upcoming year.
Tom then covered some of the physical aspects of my school -- things like computer platforms, browsers versions, software and hardware, etc. so that he might be able to sniff out an unseen obstacles between my school and his service.
He concluded with Part 1 by making sure that I would have time available to train the teachers on how to use Atomic Learning and how I need to send in the staff list so that they would all have their own accounts set up in a few days.
At the time I didn't realize just how important this first part was to being able to use all the services available, but as I found out later, Tom referred to my challenges and goals as he trained me on how best to use my account.
Part 2 will be posted tomorrow...