Online Learning Resources

SoftChalk 6 Adds 'Connect' Learning Object Repository

Ed tech developer SoftChalk has released an update to SoftChalk, an authoring suite for instructional content. The company also announced that it will be expanding the capabilities of the Web-based system further this summer through a new premium option.

SoftChalk is an and interactive content authoring tool for K-12 and higher education. It's designed to let instructors create and edit e-learning content on the Web without the need for HTML or other programming knowledge. It includes built-in style sheets for page navigation, layout, and other design elements and automatically packages the content for use in a learning management system or other delivery medium.

The latest release, version 6, adds a new learning object repository called Connect, which lets users browse online learning activities and embed them in external sites. Connect is a free service that also includes social media features, with support for rating individual learning activities, commenting on them, and embedding polls and widgets within them.

In addition, SoftChalk will launch a premium Connect service this summer, one that will allow users to "publish full SoftChalk lessons or eCourses, as well as control access to their published learning materials via privacy and group settings," according to the company.

Version 6 also offers the ability to package content as executables for Mac OS X and Windows systems and adds several new templates for creating interactive elements. Other new features in version 6 include enhanced metadata support, IMS Common Cartridge packaging, enhanced integration with a variety of learning management systems (with "one-click" publishing to Sakai, Blackboard, and others).

SoftChalk 6 is available now. Further information is available here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the executive producer for 1105 Media's online K-12 and higher education publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. He can now be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/THEJournalDave (K-12) or http://twitter.com/CampusTechDave (higher education). You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192.

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