Virtual School Meanderings

September 8, 2011

September eNews Featuring Mobile Best Practices, An OER Webinar And Blackboard And More

Also from yesterday’s inbox…

SoftChalk Enews Banner

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Brittany From the Editor – September Highlights

September is here and everyone is getting ready for the new school year. Perhaps you were too busy catching rays and eating ice cream this summer to hear that we launched SoftChalk 7 and CONNECT Plus. No worries, because you can still experience all the new features, including SoftChalk SmartMobile, by downloading a 30-Day free trial of SoftChalk 7 and registering for a 30-Day free CONNECT Plus account.

This month Paige Brooks-Jeffiers, from Kentucky Community and Technical College System will be demonstrating how she uses SoftChalk, Blackboard and BbMobile to keep her students engaged and increase learning outcomes. Check out the full description and register for the webinar below.

The Open Educational Resources (OER) webinar series will continue this month as well! See the full description for the third session and register to attend.

-Brittany, your SoftChalk news editor

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Blackboard Deliver Engaging Content in Blackboard

Paige Brooks-Jeffiers, from Kentucky Community and Technical College System, uses SoftChalk to create and share learning content that can be used within Blackboard courses and with BbMobile.

Learn from Paige how easy it is to combine the resources of digital repositories with your existing content, add interactives, video, web widgets and other rich media to develop engaging content. SoftChalk content can be published with the click of a button and student score results go directly into your Blackboard gradebook! Register now to learn more.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 2:00pm ET http://softchalk.com/learn-more/intro-webinars
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Innovators OER Webinar Series, Session 3
We’re continuing the popular OER webinar series with the third webinar focused on creating Open Educational Resources. Register to attend today! If you missed one of the previous sessions, you can easily get up to speed by checking out the archives:

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Open Educational Resources Series, Session 3:

Creating OER: The WHO and the HOW Who is developing OERs? Who should be? How are they doing it? How can standards allow OER content interoperability? How can standards assure quality? How can you get started? How can you find the tools for creating OER content?

These questions, and more, will be answered by Rob Abel from IMS Global and others. In addition, we will discuss different models for developing OER materials and demonstrate various authoring tools for creating OER content. Models for OER development will include work by the math department at the College of the Redwoods. You will also see how Jacqui Cain from Tacoma Community College, as part of a Bill and Melinda Gates foundation grant, re-purposed Sherlock Holmes stories to create a full online course in Remedial English.

Wednesday, September 21
12pm PT | 1pm MT | 2pm CT | 3pm ET
http://www.softchalk.com/webinar/#innovators

no imageThe OER series is sponsored by College Open Textbooks, Connexions, IMS Global, MERLOT and SoftChalk. Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #OERseries.

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Top Five M-Learning Best Practices
In a recent blog post we outlined the top five best practices for delivering SoftChalk content on mobile devices. Here’s a brief overview:

  1. Use the automatic mobile formatting feature in SoftChalk 7
  2. Avoid using Flash-based content
  3. Keep sidebar items to a minimum
  4. Avoid overly large or complex pages or lessons
  5. Test your design

Check out the blog post to read the full article and share your tips in the comment section.

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Why Connect with SoftChalk via Social Media?

SoftChalk was recently highlighted as one of the top 80 Best Twitter Feeds in Instructional Technology! In addition, our social media sites are always being updated so you can keep up to date on the latest SoftChalk news, meet other SoftChalk users, and possibly win one of our contests. Join the SoftChalk LinkedIn User Group and Forum, become a fan of SoftChalk on Facebook or follow SoftChalk on Twitter.

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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 http://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 http://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 http://softchalk.com/learn-more/innovators.

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