ATutor 2.0 Released

*ATutor 2.0 Released*
July 6, 2010

ATutor 2.0 has now been released. This version has some significant new features and represents a change of direction for ATutor software from its LMS roots to a collection of tools for developing online classrooms. ATutor administrators should upgrade their systems at their earliest convenience.

Follow these links for addition details, and read below for a list of new features.

*ATutor 2.0 Demo*
http://www.atutor.ca/atutor/demo.php

*ATutor 2.0 Download*
http://www.atutor.ca/atutor/download.php

* *What's new in this ATutor Release* *
This release includes some major new features. Much of the source code has been rearranged to make it easier for developers to add and remove core and standard modules. There's also a new look, and ATutor now has a companion, the AContent Repository, described in more detail below.

*New Features*

*Things Current*: ATutor modules have been extended with a new news feature. Modules now feed out current activity that gets compiled into a "Things Current" list on a user's home page, providing quick access to current information.

*Integrated Photo Gallery*: The Photo Gallery module created for the previous version of ATutor, has now been integrated into the system, available as a standard module. The Photo Gallery allows users to create their own private or shared albums, or create a personal Profile album for gathering profile pictures for their networking area of ATutor. Photo albums can also be created to allow students and instructors to share photos within courses.

*FlowPlayer Integration*: The FlowPlayer multimedia player is now available as a standard module. Adding a movie to content is as simple as uploading it and clicking the Insert button. Flowplayer is now the default media player used with the [media][/media] tags in the content editor.

*Preferences Wizard*: Each user can now quickly adjust their personal preferences using the new Preferences Wizard. Adjust various ATutor settings, modify the appearance to make ATutor easier to see, control which content adaptations display (like showing a transcript with a movie), and add and remove navigation elements to suit each individual.

*New Look and Feel*: The ATutor default theme has been updated with a new look, adding to the collection of themes included with ATutor, and including many new Web 2.0 features. (a mobile theme will be available in the coming weeks)

*Simplified Content Editor*: Much of the ATutor Content Editor has been redesigned to make it friendlier for novice users. Tools have been rearranged, and a new editor tool bar has been added. The Adapted Content editor, for developing IMS/ISO AccessForAll conformant content, has been redesigned making it easier to create content that adapts to each person's learning needs. The editor tool shortcuts have now been reduced to a nice little button bar available to content authors from anywhere within the content of a course.

*AccessForAll Tool Bar*: For content that has AccessForAll adaptations available, users can now view the alternate forms by clicking an associated icon, or by setting their content preferences with the Preferences Wizard.

*Integrated Common Cartridge with AccessForAll*: Another import, export, authoring first in the ATutor implementation of IMS interoperability standards, now content, assessments, and learning activities can be packaged with accompanying AccessForAll content, to create complete, adaptable learning units.

*OAuth Authentication*: The Open Authentication standard has been implemented in ATutor, making it easier to link it to other systems that support the standard, create a single signon across the systems ATutor might be paired with.

*ATutor Social API*: Developers can now create client applications to link ATutor Social networking into other social networking sites. An ATutor Social iPhone app is currently in development as part of this year's Google Summer of Code, and should be available near the end of August.

* *AContent 1.0 Beta 1 Release* *
The inaugural release of AContent is here. AContent is an elearning content authoring tool and repository. We've taken the ATutor content editor, test editor, AccessForAll editor, and interoperability import and export tools, and built them into their own content management system.

AContent can be used to create, archive, and import or export content as IMS common cartridges, IMS content packages, or IMS QTI compliant test or question bundles. AContent is ideal as a tool for authors and instructors using learning management systems that do not create or export their own accessible or interoperable content. You can now create content in AContent, and import it into your LMS.

There will be a number of AContent development releases over the coming weeks, with the final release planned for late July or early August.

ATutor users are encouraged to install a version of AContent for testing, or use the demo site, and provide feedback over the coming weeks on adjustments or improvements that might be made before the final release.

*ATutor/AContent Integration*: ATutor and AContent work seamlessly together, allowing instructors to search for shared content in the repository and import it directly into their ATutor courses. Or, authors can develop content in ATutor an export it directly to AContent where it can be developed further, and shared with others.

For more about AContent, visit the development site at:
http://www.atutor.ca/acontent

*AContent Demo *
http://www.atutor.ca/acontent/demo.php

*AContent Download *
http://www.atutor.ca/acontent/downloads.php

*Translation*
Translators are encouraged to get started updating the ATutor language packs they are maintaining. There are about 120 new language items in this version of ATutor. And, they are encouraged to get started translating AContent, which has about 790 language items. Login to MyATutor to Translate, or translate on your local installation. See the Translator documentation for additional details about translating and sharing language packs.

MyATutor
http://www.atutor.ca/my/

Translator Documentation
http://www.atutor.ca/atutor/docs/translate.php

Posted by Greg Gay 2010-07-06

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