Innovations That Matter

Online space for kids, teachers & parents

Publishing & Media

Keeping kids at the head of the class often involves a joint effort by teachers, students and their parents—so it makes sense to get them all on the same page. The HotChalk Learning Environment does exactly that, using the convenience and versatility of an online community to complement the classroom experience for grades K-12. Teachers can create websites for their classes and can log on to manage lesson plans and grades, post assignments and announcements for students, including attachments and even video clips. They can also collaborate with other teachers and take advantage of continuing education opportunities, available through a partnership with McGraw-Hill. Students can receive and submit homework, view handouts and reference materials, access grades and, of course, pose questions and comments as needed. And parents can keep a watchful eye on their children’s progress and stay in touch with teachers. HotChalk is free of charge, so schools and parents can take advantage of all of its features without breaking the bank. Funded in part by corporate sponsorships, the site does accept money from advertisers, but it does so very selectively, using the HotChalk Community Standards Engine. The company doesn’t accept any ads they deem inappropriate. Moreover, ads are never displayed during the school day or to children younger than age 13. One of the fastest growing internet properties in the US, HotChalk may well be a model worth adapting to other regions or professions. Spotted by: Bill McMahon


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