Atomic Learning What Specific Considerations Need To Be Taken With Regards To Online Assessment?

Online test preparation companies and general online education opportunities have offered the educational community a wealth of opportunity in the past couple of years.

I’ve been reading a lot of commentary lately on how the Facebook and Apple apps have been designed and what the State and Federal Governments are doing. The general theme has been and is that online assessment programs are being too focused on the individual versus the critical mass of student data that is being taken. With that in mind, I also have been reading a ton on Atomic Learning.

My first impression on the company was that their programming and technology looked impressive. Their initial marketing materials caught my eye as well. Atomic Learning has been producing a long line of educational programs, and many students and teachers have been taking advantage of them. However, their latest offering with COMPASS (www.compass.com) has me wondering, can Atomic Learning’s rapid rise into the public spotlight be in part due to the fact that their technology has been so well implemented?

Atomic Learning’s Originated 3 Years Ago

I started looking at Atomic Learning three years ago when I was a Fellow at the Reynolds Institute for Educational Leadership in Dallas, TX. I was a product and business advisor for the program, and was looking for innovative companies to work with. When Atomic Learning contacted me, I remembered reading their website from about three years ago, and that they had quite a bit of senior leadership experience. My initial impression was that it sounded like they were from the technology world.

Their list of customers includes the U.S. Dept. of Education, Stanford University, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and the City of New York, to name a few. One note that stood out to me was that several of the schools and schools districts that have selected the company’s Programming software for use in some school districts used ALPS (http://www.alps.us) in order to create, transfer, and store performance reports for their teachers. I know that I have read and talked about the data-driven approach many of us are embracing in our teaching. And it seems that Atomic Learning is very well placed to benefit from this approach.

Atomic Learning Understands What the Parents Want

Perhaps one of the reasons that Atomic Learning has not been nearly as well-known is because its programming is so easy to learn. At the same time, its rapid development and time-to-market is unlike other educational companies. If there are educators in your family that enjoy using a portal like ComPASS, then you should take some time to review what type of technologies that could be deployed.

I wouldn’t recommend the ComPASS Software over a tabletop assessment program like ALPS, but are you aware of a mobile device equipped with a tablet or smartphone that could be used to administer the software? With teachers and students in the palm of their hands, anything is possible. In a fast-paced world in which accountability and new learning styles are necessary to continue teaching and learning, the ability to have instant access to data while in the classroom could be a game changer.

Looking to the Future

Atomic Learning also offers a mobile, web-based enrollment program that could easily work with a geo-based enrollment system. Even though the Internet is ubiquitous, access to connectivity in a classroom environment can be difficult. Many families would love to download a mobile application for Android devices. This could be a very interesting evolution of the classrooms.

Over the past few months there has been an interesting transition with the online learning space. We are moving away from solely text-based programs and programs that utilize technology. I’m sure we will continue to see growth over the next few years in this field.

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