Back to School 2017 with icurio

Welcome back to school!

Between trips to the pool, fireworks,Ai?? and a few backyard barbecues, we’ve been gearing up for a productive new school year with exciting improvements to icurio.

We’re happy to announce that the icurio integration in Schoology and Canvas now helps you easily find teacher recommended resources for the standards that you use most. If you don’t use icurio in Schoology and Canvas, you’ll still have access to the same teacher recommended resources for your standards.

Just like the websites that we bookmark and use on a daily basis,Ai?? you probably have standards or skills that you use frequently, and rarely change during the course of the school year.Ai?? We’ve made improvements to icurio that will help you store your preferred standards so that it’s effortless to find the standard you’re teaching, and see the best aligned resources.

After you confirm your school in icurio, you’ll select the grades and subjects that you teach. These preferences will narrow your focus, and will let icurio know which standards you care about most.

The icurio integration now includes quick paths to begin browsing through these standards. By typing the text from the standard number, or a concept included in its description, icurio will quickly present you with your standard.

Once you select the standard that you’re teaching, icurio will return a teacher recommended set of resources that you can embed in your course. We’re now offering teacher recommended resources for most Math and English Language Arts (ELA) standards, and will soon offer these resources for more standards, including broader coverage for Math and ELA, and also Science.

icurio also continues to offer powerful search refinements that help you narrow resources down according to how you want to deliver content in your course. In addition to academic level, readability level, language, and learning resource type, icurio now offers a broader selection of publishers for refinement. icurio has replaced the static list of 20 or so collections for refinement with the thousands of publishers that are included in the icurio collection. We’ve included a few of them here.

If you’re not using the Canvas or Schoology integration, you can still use resources that teachers have recommended for your standards. Once you select your standard, you’ll see the teacher recommended icon below each resource’s title.

We also know that standards can often include a number of different topics, concepts, or skills, so use the subject menu along the left side of the page to narrow your results to the topics or skills that matter most to you.

For more information about these exciting updates, check out the video below, or reach out to us at contact@knovationlearning.com.

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Supercharge Your Canvas Courses with netTrekker Resources

canvas-logo

We are excited to announce that we’ve made improvements to the netTrekker external tool in Canvas, making it incredibly simple for teachers to embed reliable online resources into Canvas modules and assignments.

While teachers already rely on netTrekker to add engaging online resources to their Canvas courses, the process today can be a bit challenging as students have to perform a step or two to sign in to netTrekker. We’ve simplified the process to no longer require these extra steps!

Once netTrekker has been installed in Canvas, online resources can be easily added to a course module or assignment. The new netTrekker external tool provides a streamlined pathway to the same great resources available in the full netTrekker application, now in a way that is optimized for the Canvas experience.

Once a teacher identifies the resource that they would like to add to their course, they click the ‘Embed’ button. By doing this, the resource is now available to students who can use it without having to sign in to netTrekker.

blog screenshots

Just like with netTrekker, we monitor online resources embedded in Canvas to make sure that they remain alive and appropriate for the classroom.

We’re excited about the new external tool and look forward to hearing your feedback!

Check out the video below for a sneak peak of the new and improved netTrekker integration in Canvas.

https://youtu.be/sZtR9oJsTG4

Improvements to Read Aloud and Dictionary Tools!

Why are we upgrading?

TM_Texthelp_Logo_RGB-400px

The existing read aloud tool was created quite a few years ago, and is built on technology that some browsers struggle to support. As a result, we have partnered with the literacy software provider, Texthelp, to provide our users with text to speech and dictionary services. Texthelp is well respected organization, and has partnered with high profile clients, such as Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Pearson, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt , and others.

What are the benefits?

Texthelp change SThere are slight changes between how the read aloud and dictionary section works today, and how it will work as a result of the upgrade. Click to enlarge this image showing the new Texthelp toolbar, and how to operate its features.

1. As mentioned above, the new solution will be significantly more reliable. In addition, the turnaround in producing audio when text isAi??Ai?? highlighted will be much faster than the current tool.

2. As text is read, it will now be highlighted, which will help early learners and struggling readers.

3. Voices have a more natural sound, compared to current voices.

4. As mentioned above, the dictionary will now be integrated into the read aloud toolbar, instead of being a separate tool.

5. In addition to text definitions, netTrekker and icurio users will now have access to a picture dictionary as well.

 

Ai??What do you need to do?

read aloud preferences S
Read aloud and translation settings – Click to enlarge

1. The translation languages (to > from) needs to be set up under your “My Preferences” menu, together with read aloud settings.

2. If youai??i??re having problems accessing the text to speech, dictionary, or translation services through Texthelp, please inform your network administrator that that following two URLs should be whitelisted:

https://knovationservices.speechstream.net and https://knovationtoolbar.speechstream.net

 

 

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Browser Support Changing For Learning Resources

A small percentage of the resources that Knovation curates rely on the Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI), which is a plug-in that extends the capabilities of browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. NPAPI was developed by Netscape 20 years ago, and was introduced as a way of allowing users to interact with media-rich content, such as videos or simulations.

A lot has changed since 1995, and as publishers have gradually moved away from this older technology, so too have browsers. We now find that resources which rely on NPAPI plugins are often slow to load, cause the browser to crash, or even compromise the security of your computer. As a result, Chrome has decided to phase out the support of resources that rely on NPAPI plug-ins, such as Java and QuickTime.

Knovation is committed to staying close to this development as browsers make this shift. During this time, we will be continuously analyzing resources that we curate, and removing those that no longer meet the high standards that we apply to every learning resource that we make available.

We encourage you to alert our curriculum content team in the event that your browser is unable to display a resource. If you find a resource that no longer works as expected, please let us know by reporting a problem. Youai??i??ll find the ai???Report a Problemai??? button next to every learning resource in netTrekker and icurio.Ai?? We will work quickly to resolve the issue, or locate additional resources that you can use in their place. If youai??i??re experiencing issues with QuickTime or Java resources using Chrome, consider opening the resource on a different browser, such as Internet Explorer.

Let us know if you have any questions. 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