A Review of the Latest Developments in eChalk July 23, 2008
Released in 8.5 • Parent Registration for Class Email Alerts • RSS
Class Email Alerts… • Improve the school-to-home connection • Allow parents to be informed of child’s class work on a regular basis via email • Provide parents with the option to receive email alerts on a custom schedule or only when content has been updated • Prevent parents from having to search for classes on the school’s Web site • Automatically generate a database of parents’ email addresses that can be repurposed for other notifications
School creates & publishes a parent registration form. Parent enters his or her information. Page 5
Parent is emailed the site URL and username / password to login and set up a class email alert. Page 6
Once logged in, the parent can set up a schedule for email alerts (Daily, Weekly, or only when content has changed). Page 7
Parents will receive an email alert in their Inbox that contains upcoming announcements and events for all of their children’s classes. Page 8
When a parent signs up via the parent registration form, we’ll automatically create an email distribution list of all parents’ email addresses. This list can be used by Site Administrators to communicate emergency situations, school closings, etc. Page 9
What’s an RSS Feed? RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and it is just that. It’s a simple way for end users to see a syndicated feed of data from a Web site. Page 10
Benefits of RSS • Allows parents to receive the information they want in one central location • Saves parents time by eliminating the need to search for information on several school sites across the district • It’s fast & easy to set up, and very convenient!
Click on any RSS icon within Site Announcements or Upcoming Events! Page 13
Choose the reader you want to add the content to.. If none of these readers work for you, simply go to: www.download.com and search for RSS reader & you’ll find hundreds to choose from! Page 14
New Features Released in 9.0 • Blogging Tools • Emergency Alert System • Language Translation Tool • Google Web Analytics Service • Google Search • Enhanced Grade Book Support • Active Directory Support • Storage Upgrade
What is a Blog? The term “blog” is short for Web log Users post journal-like pages to a Web site in chronological order • Blog posts often contain photos or media • Blogs can be commented on by others, allowing for and encouraging dialogue • Blog posts can be “tagged” to organize content and facilitate easy searching Page 17
Benefits of Blogging for Students • Helps students find a voice • Creates enthusiasm for writing and communication • Engages students in conversation and learning • Provides an opportunity to teach students about responsible journalism • Safely empowers students
How Can a Teacher Use a Blog in Class? Put a biweekly writing prompt up on the blog and have your students respond to it by a certain day. Ask them to also comment on one of their classmate’s ideas, drawing a name from a hat or rotating to be sure that all students receive a comment from someone. Foster peer-editing by asking each student to make a suggestion for improvements to content and mechanics (editing) of the other student’s submission. If you use the approval process before allowing student responses to show, you can skim posts to be sure there is nothing cruel or inappropriate. Invite parents to comment back to their elementary children. Appoint a weekly blog team in your elementary classroom to write that week’s blog entry, describing the events of the week in Room XYZ. Invite moms and dads to comment and watch the excitement grow! Soon you will have students begging to write the summaries. Practice good reading strategies and check comprehension by asking students to respond to an assigned reading, reflecting on how it applies to their own experience. For example, after reading a non-fiction piece about the McCarthy Era, students could tell about their own experiences with labeling. Post a statement with no supporting facts. Ask students to find facts to support or refute the opinion, using links to reliable Web sites and their own persuasive explanations. This could work well for environmental issues, political issues, or any topic that is debatable. Post a link to a Web site related to a topic your are studying and invite students to give their personal evaluation: Does the site show bias? Does it seem well-researched? Is it a reliable source? Comment on current events - Post a link to a current events story and ask students to comment on its implications in your local community or their own lives. Even young students can respond to stories from the local paper’s online pages.
Create a Blog Choose a title and theme for your blog and determine the appropriate visibility setting.
Read Public Postsand Subscribe to New Content Rate posts Add comments, email posts to friends, subscribe to a feed of interesting posts, and more!
Emergency Alert Service • Each user can set up their wireless settings within their Email > Options page
Language Translation Tool Visitors to your site will be able to convert all public content into any one of 23 supported languages using the new Language Translation Tool powered by Google.
Language Translation Tool • Japanese • Korean • Norwegian • Polish • Portuguese • Romanian • Russian • Spanish • Swedish • 23 Languages supported: • Arabic • Bulgarian • Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) • Croatian • Czech • Danish • Dutch • English • French • German • Greek • Hindi • Italian
Google Web Analytics Site Administrators can learn even more about where visitors come from and how they interact with their site using Google’s Web Analytics Service. Track page views, compare the number of new versus repeat visitors, analyze the amount of time spent on your site, and much more!
GoogleSearch Tool Site visitors will now be able to find what they’re looking for even easier using Google’s robust search tool directly from the main Search option on all public pages.
Enhanced Grade Book Support • eChalk now also supports easy integration with: • Easy Grade Pro 4.0 • Making the Grade 10.0 • Grade Quick 12.0 • Gradekeeper 6.4 • And continues to support: • Easy Grade Pro 3.6 • Grade Machine 2.0 • Grade Quick 9.0, 10.0 • InteGrade Pro 9.0.1 • Making the Grade 9.4 • MyGradeBook.com • ThinkWaveEducator 2.5.7 • Any customized tab-delimited export from a grade book
Active Directory Support • Create and update eChalk user accounts using your school’s or district’s Active Directory. • Once logged into your network, users will be able to access their eChalk account without having to enter a username or password!
Storage Upgrade • We’ve increased storage capacity across the board! • 50 MB of file storage for every user • 100 MB of email storage for every user • 50 MB of School & 50 MB of District file storage • 500 MB of hosting storage • And, as always, storage space within Classes and Groups remains unlimited • And, to provide users with greater flexibility when uploading files, we’ve increased the limit for attachments in email to 20 MB and everywhere else throughout the application to 100 MB!
What is in 9.1? • Quick search within folders • Auto-filing of email messages • Creating links to RSS feeds via Resources • Third-party application integration (netTrekker +) • Ability to designate whether a link should display within the same frame or in a new window • New option to print the calendar without images
Add a Link to an RSS Feed Page 42