In this post I’ll quickly highlight some welcome changes in the latest version of the ATLAS curriculum mapping tool released this month.

We introduced ATLAS about five years ago in support of our Middle Year Program (MYP) authorisation process. At that time there was no real proven alternatives and a number of products have since entered the mapping arena. Despite its ‘dated’ interface and other clunky bits, it certainly served its intended purpose of helping us consolidate documentation necessary for our official authorisation.

Here are some of the updates that have caught my eye and warrant a closer look.

1. Enhanced Dashboard Personalisation

In my tinkering with the system I discovered that you can now setup profiles for individual and/or logical groups of educators, giving them at first glance once logged in, analytical reports of the programs they are responsible for.

I’ve setup a Curriculum Coordinators profile that a displays a break down of assessment types (diagnostic,formative,summative) for each subject area and ‘pinned’ a recently updated curriculum block as well.

The New Dashboard in ATLAS

With Reports Front and Center Your Conversations Are Enhanced

My next project will be to setup personalised dashboards for the Heads of Department, providing them with discipline specific reports on criteria assessed/not assessed, comparative vertical curriculum maps and exemplary units.

2. Recent Mapping Activity at a Glance

Now you can see who is searching for what (word cloud) and what maps have been recently updated! I like this feature as it fosters engagement. When people can see active use of the technology they are more likely to attach value to that technology.

What's New?  Now You Know.

What's New? Now You Know with the Activity Channel

3. Mobile Responsive Design

As more and more schools integrate mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, a responsive screen layout is paramount. Viewing the system on an iPad is fluid, especially in landscape orientation and you have pretty much full functionality.

Responsive design on iPad Mini and iPhone 5

Great to see a responsive design here on iPad Mini and iPhone 5

4. Speed Sharing

Starting conversations about curriculum has been made easier with the new sharing feature.  For example, you can quickly share a report with colleagues on your assessment types or essential questions used.  You can even include a comment about the report and associated attachments.

Quickly Share Reports

Quickly Share Reports With Your Colleagues

In summary, with the introduction of these new features teachers and leaders have the ability to make the mapping process more sociable, accessible and ultimately valuable.

Have you had a chance to review the new features? Appreciate your thoughts below.