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Sue Evans

From the Chief Chalkie - November Highlights

Hello Chalkies! Did you notice that several brand new features have been added to SoftChalk 7 since its initial release last August? A recent update included a few fixes, but also enabled a new "ReadSpeaker" feature and Curriculum Standards Chooser. Also in the works is the ScoreCenter for Moodle plugin, which will be released Friday, November 11, 2011. Read below to learn more about these exciting new features.

We've also been busy working with BlendedSchools.net to build BSNCloud, an independently branded version of SoftChalk CONNECT. BSNCloud will host Open Educational Resources (OERs) built by BlendedSchools.net. Teachers from around the world will be able to directly embed or link to these learning resources to expand and enrich instruction. Learn more about this initiative at this month's Innovator's session (see below to register).

The SoftChalk Team has been hard at work on the next version of SoftChalk, scheduled for release next summer. In addition, look for a re-design of the SoftChalk CONNECT site due in early spring. If you have any suggestions for enhancements to either product, feel free to drop us a line at help@softchalk.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

-Sue Evans, SoftChalk CEO

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New Enhancements to SoftChalk 7

Make sure you’ve updated to the latest version of SoftChalk 7 – several new features were included in a recent update, including:

ReadSpeaker – provides an easy way to allow students to “listen” to your learning content. When you enable ReadSpeaker in your lesson, a “listen” button is added to each page of the lesson. When clicked, the page is automatically “read’ to the the viewer. The ReadSpeaker feature requires an additional license fee. Learn more about ReadSpeaker.

Curriculum Standards Chooser – in collaboration with Achievement Standards Network (ASN), SoftChalk now offers a feature that allows you to easily identify the specific curriculum standards that align with your lesson content. This standards data is automatically incorporated into the metadata of the lesson, and is also used to generate a page in the lesson that describes the related standards.

Coming soon! SoftChalk ScoreCenter for Moodle 1.9 – If you’re a Moodle 1.9 user, you’ll be excited to learn that SoftChalk will be releasing a Moodle Plugin to support the use of SoftChalk ScoreCenter with your Moodle LMS. With this enhancement you will be able to track detailed student score data, and pass student scores directly into the Moodle gradebook. Students will love the SoftChalk ScoreCenter “resume” feature which allows them to leave a lesson without completing it, and then later “resume” where they left off. Learn more about ScoreCenter.

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Just Announced - 2012 Lesson Challenge

SoftChalk Lesson Challenge

We're excited to announce our fourth annual Lesson Challenge! You won't want to miss this chance to win $500 just by sharing the lessons and eCourses you've created with SoftChalk. To make things more streamlined, we'll be using our learning object repository, CONNECT, for the submission process again this year. For full details on the Lesson Challenge or to see the winning lessons from previous years, visit the Lesson Challenge page.

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Top 5 Benefits SoftChalk Provides for Students

The Centre for Learning@Home delivers online schooling and blended programs to students all over Alberta, Canada and throughout the world.

In a recent article, The Centre for Learning@Home shares how the implementation of SoftChalk's content authoring software has revolutionized the way they are able to teach online. Students and faculty alike are enjoying the interactive elements that SoftChalk created content provides.

Read the top 5 benefits SoftChalk is providing to the students of the Centre for Learning@Home.

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Webinars OER Webinar Series Wrap Up

The OER Webinar Series came to an end last month with the final session on funding OER. Cable Green (Director of Global Learning - Creative Commons), Paul Stacey (Director Communication, Stakeholder & Academic Relations - BCcampus), and James Glapa-Grossklag (Dean, Educational Technology, Learning Resources, and Distance Learning - College of the Canyons) participated in an informative panel presentation on how OER projects are funded and maintained.

For more information on this webinar, check out our recent blog post featuring tweets from the session. As a note, all of the webinars in the OER Series were recorded and can be found on our website.

 
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Innovators

Empowering Schools to Teach and Learn Online using SoftChalk CONNECT to create Open Educational Resources

As blendedschools.net (BSN) creates their learning initiatives it is committed to providing their teachers, students and parents with quality sharable learning objects. BSN is the first to use an independent branded version of SoftChalk CONNECT to enhance their blended learning initiative. BSNCloud will host Open Educational Resources (OERs) built by BlendedSchools.net. The resources will be available worldwide and teachers will be able to directly embed these resources in their learning environment or link to the resource to expand and enrich instruction. During the session BSN will discuss next steps with this tool and how it they plan to use it to encourage and support blended learning initiatives across the country.

Wednesday, November 16

3:00pm ET https://softchalk.com/learn-more/intro-webinars
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Webinars Learn More About SoftChalk

Introductory Webinars
These webinars introduce the key features of SoftChalk and SoftChalk CONNECT. The demonstrator will show example lessons and then demonstrate how the lesson content was created using SoftChalk and how CONNECT, SoftChalk’s Learning Object Repository, allows you to find and share content. For more information or to register, go to https://softchalk.com/learn-more/intro-webinars.

Short Courses
Check out our FREE online training sessions! SoftChalk Short Courses are live, one-hour training webinars, conducted online by a SoftChalk instructor. The courses typically include a presentation and examples, as well as an opportunity for you to ask questions and receive assistance from the instructor. For more information or to register, go to https://softchalk.com/learn-more/short-courses.

Innovator Vignettes
SoftChalk’s Innovators in Online Learning webinar series highlights educators who are using SoftChalk in innovative ways. Take a quick look at what all the excitement is about by checking out some of the 5-10 minute Innovators previews. To view the previews or to register for an upcoming Innovators webinar go to https://softchalk.com/learn-more/innovators.

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