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Where is Education Headed?

A recent article in Huffington Post highlights some of the issues educators face and suggests some directions for the future.  One theme that comes up is adaptive learning and individualized instruction.  The new learning system called i-Ready from Curriculum Associates is listed as one of the waves of future education.

 Read the full article

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Does your e-learning content pass the test?

Does your content authoring software… Make it easy to quickly create rich materials?

Allow you to share, explore and manage online content?
Work seamlessly with any LMS?
Automatically meet critical learning and accessibility standards?
Provide all the tools you need to create and deliver e-learning content as well as track student scores?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, it’s time you tried SoftChalk! Attend one of our upcoming webinars to learn more about this award-winning content authoring solution. You’ll see how easy it is to create interactive content that engages your students, improves learning outcomes, automatically meets standards and maximizes your LMS investment.

Register today to reserve your spot!
Monday, April 23 2pm PT | 3pm MT | 4pm CT | 5pm ET
Tuesday, May 8 8am PT | 9am MT | 10am CT | 11am ET

For more information, please email or call 877-638-2425.

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Bibliography on Direct Instruction Research

The National Institute for Direct Instruction’s (NIFDI) Office of Research recently compiled an extensive bibliography on Direct Instruction’s research organized by the type of research design used and by publication year, with entries ranging from the early 1970s to studies as recent as 2011. Many of these works are also included in NIFDI’s online searchable research database.

Read more about the bibliography by visiting our webpage at:

Questions about the bibliography or suggestions for inclusions should be directed to the NIFDI Research Office at

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Eight Tips for Adapting a Reader’s Theatre script

Benchmark Education has recently posted eight tips to help you adapt a Reader’s Theater script for your classroom needs.

For Example: To use a script with the whole class, divide the class into several groups and have all groups read the script and then perform it for one another. Allow students who have the same part to work together to determine characterization, voice, and expression. Or use a script with a whole group by allowing several students to choral-read certain parts.

Read all eight tips >>

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SoftChalk in Action: Diane Painter Shares Her Experience

At Shenandoah University, students in teacher education preparation programs are learning to create lesson content that are given to large and small groups of children on interactive whiteboards such as Smart Technologies’ Smartboard and Promethean’s ActivBoard. To create this content they use resources such as lesson plan ideas, primary sources, and links to content partner sites along with SoftChalk to develop interactive lessons that are given to K-12 students during their field placement and student teaching experiences. This brief video will show how a student uses the Interactive Whiteboard in class.

Join special education teacher-educator, Diane Painter, as she begins with a brief overview of Verizon Foundation’s website and shares some of the lessons that have been created to support K-5 content through various kinds of Softchalk activities such as photo album, sorting, jigsaw puzzle, DragNDrop, labeling and other engaging activities that spark the interest and active learning of elementary-aged students. Presenter: Dr. Diane D. Painter, Assistant Professor, School of Education and Human Development, Shenandoah University

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Teacher Created Materials Wins Learning Magazine Teachers’ Choice Award

Teacher Created Materials has won Learning® Magazine’s 2012 Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family for Take-Home Backpacks and Kids Learn!. The Teachers’ Choice Award is the only award that is exclusively judged by practicing teachers who are also parents and has become one of the most recognized and prestigious awards in the educational market. Learning® Magazine launched the Family program to meet the needs of companies whose educational products work in the home environment.

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Teacher Created Materials February Giveaway.

Enhance your mathematics lessons! During the month of February, Teacher Created Materials will give away one Guided Math Bundle (over $120 value) per week! Plus, each teacher who enters will be able to choose a FREE lesson plan of their choice from our popular series, Daily Math Stretches: Building Conceptual Understanding K-2, 3-5, 6-8.


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SoftChalk Wins Brandon Hall Group Technology Excellence Award

SoftChalk content authoring and collaboration software wins a Brandon Hall bronze award for excellence

SoftChalk, a leading provider of content authoring and collaboration software for educators, won a coveted Brandon Hall bronze award for excellence in the Best Advance in Content Authoring and/or Content Management Technology category. SoftChalk won for its SoftChalk 7 with SoftChalk CONNECT products. The win was announced on January 25, 2012.

“SoftChalk content authoring and collaboration products are critical to the success of e-learning initiatives, giving educators an easy, affordable way to create, organize and share rich content that captures students’ imaginations and inspires learning,” said Sue Polyson Evans, CEO. “We’re excited to be honored by the Brandon Hall Group.”

SoftChalk 7 is content authoring software that empowers educators to create and organize content quickly and easily. SoftChalk CONNECT is a Cloud-based learning object repository where educators can share SoftChalk learning content with the global community, discover shared content for themselves and edit content collaboratively. Entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior judges, along with Brandon Hall Group’s industry expert analysts and leadership.

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50% OFF Borrow-a-Book Program

One of the most popular and effective ways Canadian schools encourage and support family literacy is through a “borrow-a-book” program where classroom library books go home with children on a regular basis throughout the school year. Until December 31, 2012, Curriculum Plus will offer a 50% discount on all titles purchased for use in your school’s borrow-a-book initiative, subject to the following conditions:

The first 250 schools whose applications are accepted will qualify for the special discount. An application consists of

  1. the school’s name and complete address, phone number and email address, 
  2. a contact name, and 
  3.  a brief description of how the borrow-a-book program is conducted in your school.

    Submissions should be sent, via email, to The names of all successful applicants will be announced on our Web site at:

Each qualifying school may purchase up to a maximum of $2,000.00 ($4,000.00 catalogue price) until December 31, 2012. This amount does not include HST/GST or shipping and handling.
This special offer is open to individual schools only and may not be used by school districts, book bureaus or book resellers.
This offer cannot be combined with other special discounts/offers.
Curriculum Plus reserves the right to quote from successful applicants submissions in its marketing promotions.

Apply now and be among the first to take advantage of this exceptional offer!

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Six New Companies join Marathon Learning

Marathon Learning has added six new lines of great learning resources for 2012. The new companies represented by Marathon Learning are:

  • Benchmark Education 
  • Curriculum Plus 
  • EMC Publishing 
  • Rosen Classroom 
  • SoftChalk 
  • Teacher Created Materials 


With the addition of these lines, Marathon Learning is now Canada’s largest sales group for supplementary materials. We have 25 Sales Reps across the country for 2012 who are happy to visit you and demonstrate products in a number of areas, including e-learning and authoring content systems. And with these additional products we carry solutions from Kindergarten through to College and University.

Find your local sales representative to discover how these additional resources can help your classroom.

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Free Shipping on any combination of Red Rocket Readers

Get in quick and make the most of our special offer!
Free Shipping on any combination of Red Rocket Readers, available to the end of January 31, 2012. (Minimum Order value = $500)

Online Orders

Visit the Red Rocket Bookstore
Make your selection
Enter this code in the “voucher” field of the shopping cart: FreeShipXmas Click “recalculate” and voila, free shipping!

Fax Orders
Visit the Red Rocket Bookstore Print and Complete a Red Rocket Order Form
Include this text in the special instructions area of the Order Form: “Free Shipping Offer Xmas”
FREE FAX your order to 1-888-269-4059

Got questions or need help with your order?

We’re standing by to help – click here to send an email.

Happy Reading! The Crew at Flying Start Books

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SoftChalk Announces Webinar on ReadSpeaker

SoftChalk is hosting a live webinar where you will see how Georgia Virtual School uses ReadSpeaker’s online text to speech service, and SoftChalk’s e-learning authoring product.

With ReadSpeaker, Georgia Virtual School students can now click a button on a page of any lesson and have the text on the page read to them. ReadSpeaker makes the online content created with SoftChalk more accessible to students with cognitive issues, learning disabilities, and vision problems, as well as individuals who do not speak or read English as their first language.

Additionally, it provides multi-tasking opportunities for learners and portability of content to other devices such as smartphones and tablets. Georgia Virtual School will demonstrate a variety of courses created with SoftChalk’s award-winning software and show how students view lessons using any standard web browser or on mobile devices.


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Free Webinar: Reading Eggs Program Overview and Live Demonstration

Brought to you by Study Island, Reading Eggs is a comprehensive, online supplemental literacy program for early learners ages 4 through 8. Grounded in extensive educational research, Reading Eggs builds on and reinforces the five key reading pillars: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

This FREE 30-minute webinar will give you an overview and a live demonstration of this exciting new program! We will also provide time for live Q and A immediately following the presentation. Attendance certificates available upon request!

With interactive animations, learning activities, fun games, great songs and lots of rewards, Reading Eggs is a great support to classroom instruction.

Register for a session now by clicking a date below:

Tue, Nov 15, 2011 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM EST

Wed, Nov 16, 2011 6:30 PM – 7:15 PM EST

Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration
with information you need to join the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.5 or newer

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SoftChalk benefits in Alberta

St. Paul’s Academy, which is part of Christ The Redeemer Catholic Schools, located in Alberta recently wrote a blog post about the benefits SoftChalk is providing to their students. From increased interactivity, memorable lessons and fast communication through to mobile access… it’s worth taking a look at SoftChalk.

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SoftChalk at ECOO

Marathon Learning will be at ECOO on October 20 – 22 with an exciting new product.SoftChalk is a provider of software solutions that make it easy to create, share, deliver and track engaging e-learning content. SoftChalk allows educators to transform existing course materials into interactive and engaging e-learning content with minimal time, effort and resources.

Look for SoftChalk at the Marathon Learning booth in the displays area at ECOO.

BONUS! The first 25 people to complete our SoftChalk survey will receive a $10 iTunes Gift voucher.

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Discussion on Interactive Whiteboards

Patti Walker will talking to educators during the month of October about the implementation of Interactive White Boards in the classroom. As well as taking part in a National Panel discussion in Calgary, she will be talking with teachers across the country about their IWB experiences.

Discussions will include:

  1. the penetration and distribution of IWBs in the classrooms, schools, districts
  2. the efficacy of the IWB training
  3. teachers’ ongoing use of IWBs, post-training (identifying barriers, if any)
  4. the availability/quality of published content which meets curriculum expectations
  5. the assessment of quality of teacher-created IWB lessons

A survey will also be undertaken across Canada during the month of October to gain more insight into the effectiveness of these teaching tools.

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