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HotChalk

By Sally Finley - Posted Jan 1, 2012
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Company: HotChalk, Inc., 1999 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 1020, Campbell, CA, 95008, customerservice@hotchalk.com, (408) 608-1679, www.HotChalk.com

Price: HotChalk is free to teachers and schools. Premium content and professional development services are available on a subscription basis.

Audience: Pre–K–12 teachers, librarians, curriculum managers, and technical administrators use Hot Chalk.

System Requirements: Internet access via a computer is needed.

Description: HotChalk is a learning management system that includes a lesson plan library. Teachers can manage curricula, develop student rosters, distribute assignments and quizzes, create lesson plans, post messages, share resources and best practices, and maintain an electronic gradebook.

 

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: HotChalk is accessed with a username and password. A user profile is required as part of the registration process. In­ stallation Rating: A

Content/Features: HotChalk covers Pre–K–12 subjects, including math, science, music, language arts, computers and internet, social studies, art, and physical education.

MyLibrary provides access to a digital library of educational content to enrich lesson plans. This includes lesson plans, e-tools, worksheets, textbooks, podcasts, articles and images, and audio and video. MyLibraryPlus, available through subscription, enables the teacher to subscribe to premium content that best meets curricular needs.

MyDesk enhances professional experiences with news, articles, product updates, practical resources, best practices, tips, and blogs.

MyClasses allows the educator to automate daily classroom tasks including managing homework, communicating with parents, keeping student notes, and managing gradebooks and schedules. An online calendar shares curricula schedules. Test Assignment & Quiz Manager enables the teacher to create and manage assignments, quizzes, and questions that can be distributed to the class. Email links on every page provide student and parent access to the teacher. Teachers can provide notes to students using Student Touch Points. Post Messages is available for classes, students, and parents.

Curriculum Manager allows teachers to create and maintain curriculum maps adaptable to a state’s educational standards and requirements.

Premium Digital Content, available through subscription, provides access to digital content from world-class producers and educational institutions. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: HotChalk is quick to set up and easy to use. A menu bar provides easy access to the key features of the program. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Email support is available from support@hotchalk.com. A support form is available online. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: HotChalk is an excellent tool for today’s busy teacher. It automates repetitive classroom tasks, such as assignments, homework, and grading. It fosters communication with students and teachers and helps the classroom teacher establish an online learning environment. Teachers control every aspect of the site.

Parents have instant access to their child’s progress using their child’s code and can communicate easily with the teacher through an email link. They can view grades, track upcoming tests and projects, and receive automatic email notification for assignments.

Students can receive and hand in homework, keep track of their assignments and tests, check on due dates, ask questions of the teacher, discuss issues with their classmates, and view grades.

The data bank of lesson plans provides an excellent resource to engage students in meaningful school activities. These activities have been written by teachers and cover a variety of topics for all grade levels.

The basic HotChalk program is free to teachers and schools. Additional resources are available through subscription, which provides content from world-class sources. I highly recommend HotChalk as a site that will provide every classroom teacher with more time to teach. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer: Sally Finley, educational consultant, Coral Springs, Fla.; sallyfinley1@yahoo.com.


 
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