SoftChalk is a surprisingly simple yet professional-looking Web lesson editor.
With this computer program, you can create interactive lessons for an entire
classroom or for only one student. These lessons can range from drill and practice
to reinforcement through games. I received a download of the software and easily
installed and activated it. The program is set up to resemble a word processing
program, thus making it familiar and easy to use. It takes only a few simple
clicks to choose a template for your lesson and personalize the look. Then you
are ready to start creating. The information you can include in the lesson is
limitless. Almost anything that can be built in Word can be copied and pasted
into SoftChalk. In addition, images, videos, audio, hyperlinks,
and more can be incorporated into the lessons to make it multisensory.
The lessons can be created on several pages, or a series of lessons can
be compiled into an e-course.
Each page you create can include a table of contents (if the lesson has
more than one page), sidebars, and buttons to go back to the top or to
the next page, making it very easy for a student to navigate. Within
each lesson, the creator has the choice of 11 different activities to
present the information to the student: Crossword, DragNDrop, Flash Card,
Hot Spot, Labeling, Ordering, Photo Album, Seek a Word, Slideshow, Sorting,
and Timeline. Once the information has been learned, there are seven
quiz formats that can be used to assess the student's retention of the
material. These include True/False, Multiple Choice, Multiple Answer,
Short Answer, Matching, Ordering, and Essay. All of these activities
and quizzes are so easy to create. I simply had to plug in the facts
and/or answers, make a few choices about how I wanted things displayed,
and that was it.
As you develop your lesson, you can view it in a browser to see how it
will appear to the student. You can even click on the activities to see
how they work. Once you complete a lesson, it can be packaged in several
different formats, such as zip, CD, and scorm, depending on how you want
to export it. These lessons can be geared toward any age group, from
toddlers (if they can work a mouse) to adults. This product could be
used by educators from elementary through college level, as well as professionals
wanting to train their staff. I definitely can see this being used in
a homeschool setting as well. This is such a wonderful tool and so easy
to use that anyone can create lessons for his student at home. I think
this would actually make a great computer course for a high school student.
- Very simple to use
- Professional looking
- Ability to keep score
- Fun activities
- Variety of formats to keep it from getting repetitive
- Perfect for students with an aversion to writing
- Useful for
an individual student as well as a group
- Inability to
see how the lesson will actually look until it is viewed
in a browser
- Difficulty distinguishing files because the program
creates so many different ones with similar names
In the short time I reviewed this program,
I barely began to tap into all the possibilities it has to offer. You
can view online demos to see just how much this program has to offer.
In addition, the company offers wonderful online training courses you
can take right from your home. I took one of these courses and learned
a lot from it. It was a live class, and participants were able to have
questions answered. Customer service was impressive as well. Any time
I had questions, I got a quick response.
I really enjoyed using the SoftChalk software. Their motto, "If it's not easy, it's not SoftChalk," is
very true. Within a short amount of time, I was able to create an interactive
lesson for my son that reviewed material we had covered throughout
the week. He loved it! It is not easy to keep his attention or find
something school related that he enjoys. This product passed the test.
He was able to learn and review material on level, but the activities
I chose did not require any written work on his part. Students who
have an aversion to writing or who struggle with written expression
will find this a nice alternative to paper work.
This program is available at several different prices:
- Retail: $995
- Educators: $550
- Students: $150
I checked to see if the student price is available
to homeschool students. I was told yes, as long as the purchaser
is able to provide documentation showing he is homeschooled.