Following is a video playlist for Knovation’s icurio application:
Enhanced Standards Alignments for Content
To better serve educators, Knovation is automating the updating of state and national education standards in icurio. This means that searching and browsing for standards and their aligned content is current. One outcome of this monthly automatic update process is that certain labels for standards documents have changed.
- Looking for Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)? Start with Achieve, the governing authority for NGSS and other national standards.
- Looking for Common Core educational standards? Start with NGA Center/CCSSO (CC), the governing authority for Common Core. The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).
- Looking for ISTE NETS? When reviewing the list of standards documents, teachers now have 3 options: 1) ISTE NETS for Administrators, 2) ISTE NETS for Teachers, and 3) ISTE National Educational Technology Standards.
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, you probably have standards or skills that you use frequently, and rarely change during the course of the school year. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why are we upgrading?
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?
1. As mentioned above, the new solution will be significantly more reliable. In addition, the turnaround in producing audio when text is 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.
What do you need to do?
1. The translation languages (to > from) needs to be set up under your “My Preferences” menu, together with read aloud settings.
2. If you’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:
icurio Customer in Mississippi Uses Blended Learning to Create Personalized Learning for Every Student
We had the pleasure to facilitate an interview with the Superintendent of Corinth School District in Mississippi, Lee Chlidress, by Scholastic Administrator.
Lee shared the steps adopted by Corinth to launch their “eMerge: Learning for the Future” initiative, to coincide with rolling out a 1:1 initiative. Personalized, blended learning is at the heart of eMerge, though the strategic plan also involves a strong literacy component, early learning collaboration, and additional curriculum enhancements. The district’s ultimate goal is to create an engaging learning system that empowers students to both exceed academic standards in the short term and thrive in a global society in the long term.
eMerge was the byproduct of a yearlong process of planning and discussion among administrators, teachers, students, and parents, and the comprehensive plan was unveiled in January of 2015.
With the groundwork in place, Corinth focused on finding the best digital content and instructional tools for their students, prioritizing content that aligns with state and Common Core standards, offers personalized, real-time feedback through data, and is vetted by educators. After reviewing numerous digital content solutions, the district selected icurio because it packages all of Corinth’s priorities into a single, easy-to-use platform and crafts meaningful curricula. The high level of professional learning services provided by Knovation to guide teachers through the implementation of blended learning was also an important factor in the decision.
We are thrilled to partner with Corinth in the implementation of its successful 1:1 program, ensuring every student in the district will have his/her learning needs met!
icurio’s resources are tagged and contextualized by a team of highly qualified educators with extensive experience around digital learning and educational content. Every resource found in icurio goes through a 127-point certification process that includes resource contextualization by using Learning Resource Type (LRT) tags. LRTs help users target their results for the intent or essence of a resource, describing its primary intent.
Targeting a Set of Resources
Any time you use the Find feature in icurio, you will receive a set of resources relative to the keyword(s) you have used in the search terms. Each result could contain a plethora of resources in a multitude of types: videos, learning games, assessments, etc.
So, how do you target these results for the types of learning resources and opportunities for your learners? Opening the Type menu on the left frame of the results window gives you all of the Learning Resource Types available within that particular set of resources.
Varying Types of Resources within a LRT
Some LRTs represent a single kind of resource, for example Video. On the other hand, some LRTs are intended to identify a set of common characteristics, such as Visual Material or Learning Module.
Have you thought about all the different types of resources that can be used in your lessons? Want to vary the type of assessment of learning? Looking to provide a resource that drives student learning via a game or interactive experience? Curate specifically for these pieces and bring the different types of resources together to help learners accomplish those objectives you are focusing on in your lesson.
Consider some of the most common Learning Resource Types below:
A resource that provides a method of gauging a student’s understanding of a topic or concept is considered an assessment. Different types of assessments include:
A resource that delivers interactive media-rich content such as: Flash, moving images, motion graphics, animations, etc. The Interactive Media LRT requires that the user be actively engaged in the resource in some way. These resources may contain conventional video and/or audio as well, but may not be exclusively composed of this media.
Resources that include little text, primarily relying on graphics, illustrations, or other visual elements as the primary source of content are considered visual materials. Different types of visual material types include: Artwork, Chart, Diagram, Map, Slideshow
There are many other Learning Resource Types that provide additional choices to target your results. Check out others like: Whiteboard Resource, Learning Game, Test Preparation Material, and eBook. Remember that, depending on what you’re searching for, some results may show a variety of resources in different types. Also, depending on what you’re searching for, some results may not include certain kinds of Learning Resource Types (like Article for a search on Acute Triangles). Make sure you take advantage of the work our expert content team has done for you by utilizing the Learning Resource Types in your Find within icurio today!
As the days grow warmer and the sun shines longer, schools often wind down their learning plans. But we all know that learning never stops. Kids may not be in the formal classroom setting, but their learning opportunities continue. So, instead of treating summer break like a break from learning, we can embrace opportunities that present themselves. There are plenty of ways to get creative about summer learning. Here are some ideas to help warm up to new learning during the summer months.
Summer Learning Tips for Parents: general tips for parents, highlighting the importance of keeping kids intellectually stimulated while also suggesting topics and activities to do during the summer months. It provides a quick summary of the research on sustaining academic activities and gives ideas on how to keep kids engaged.
Summer Reading Fun
One of the most popular summer learning activities is reading. Kids get the opportunity to engage with a variety of books and ideas that grab their interest. Competing with video games can be a challenge, but these Scholastic resources are up to meeting it. These resources provide solid strategies and outlets for age-appropriate, summer reading fun.
- Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge
- Summer Reading Tips for Students and Parents
- Teaching Plan to Encourage Summer Reading
- Novels for Growing Readers
Summer Science Exploration
Just because school’s not formally “in session” doesn’t mean that fun science projects aren’t possible. Quite the contrary; whether you’re in the city, suburb or rural setting, kids have wonderfully creative outlets to “get their science on!” The increased hours of sunlight during the summer gives kids countless opportunities to get outside and explore. With great ideas for science experiments you can do at home, suggestions for exploring nature, interactive science history and geography games, and links to summer science camps, these resources provide great ideas for summer science exploration.
- Science Buddies: Find a Science Summer Camp
- Science Activities for All Ages
- Science at Home
- Science Explorer: An Exploratorium-At-Home Book
- Science Buddies: Topic Selection Wizard
Summer Sun – Health and Safety
That summer sun can be super fun, but we need to ensure that we stay safe. We love to feel the warmth of the sun on our skin, but we all need to remember the importance of protection from too much sun exposure. These resources provide some nice health and safety tips for enjoying the summer sun.
icurio 2.0 helps every educator easily blend curated digital learning resources and instructional design for their own classroom and learners as they build lessons. Though the lesson components are easily created, there are some angles that can help design student-centered, engaging and easy-to-follow learning .
Angle 1: Dividing a Lesson into Meaningful Chunks
Thinking about your lesson organization gives you the opportunity to provide a logical flow, comprehensive topic coverage and an uncomplicated layout for learners. Lessons are completed through one or multiple activities, which can be structured to address different levels of knowledge, traditional lesson components, unit plan components or any number of instructional approaches. Each lesson can be organized in the most relevant way for your learners – from structures that reflect textbook organization to formats that scaffold learning from the start to the end of the lesson. Even after you have created your lesson activity components you can change or reorder them using handy drag and drop functionality.
These meaningful chunks of learning are driven by the organization and instruction that comes with each piece – from the lesson overview down through each activity and each question within activities. Every educator looks at lesson design through a unique lens that factors in their instructional style, their learners, their learning environment constraints and many other considerations. The lesson design tools in icurio 2.0 let educators design to that point, making every component of the lesson truly meaningful to their learning objectives.
Angle 2: Varying Types of Questions and Resources
Activities are present with each related resource and questions to keep students on track and provide learners with information about where they are in the lesson and what they still have to complete. Developing questions that are relevant to lesson resources gives insight to student understanding, right at that point of learning with that resource. Leverage a variety of questioning techniques that let students show what they know as well as develop their skills with online responses and information literacy. Resources are learning opportunities curated from icurio content searching, external content links, online documents/presentations, and online photos/videos.
Have you thought about all the different types of questions and resources that can be used in your lessons? Whether you vary the type of evidence of learning you ask for in your question or you provide a resource that drives their learning by providing a game or interactive experience you can bring these different pieces together to help learners accomplish those objectives you are focusing on in your lesson. Consider some of the different combinations below:
Angle 3: Using Learner Feedback to Improve Design on the Fly
Once a lesson has been assigned to a class there is no looking back, right? Not with icurio 2.0, even after the lesson assignment has been made to your class you are able to tweak the instructions, the images, the resources, the organization, the questions and even the feedback you are giving – this allows you to understand how your instructional design impacts learning and gives you opportunities to adjust instruction based on how your learners are perceiving what they are being asked to do.
The icurio 2.0 lesson builder tool provides strong lesson design that is flexible enough to fit your unique learning situation. Educators have discovered many different angles for managing lesson details, organizing and adding lesson related resources and creating a variety of knowledge gathering questions – strong instructional design tools to build engaging digital learning experiences for every learner!
You don’t have to be a language arts teacher to love April. After all, it is National Poetry Month – a whole month to celebrate the beauty, the emotion, the meaning that poetry adds to life. Poets write about all subjects, not just “English-y” ones, and that means that you can introduce poetry into science class, math class, social studies class, art, music, foreign language, even physical education. Shake your students up and start class each day during April with a poem. But don’t think you have to do all the work of finding or reading these poems. Once you get the month started, you’ll find that students are delighted to share poetry they have found.
Off to a Good Start
icurio offers a broad spectrum of poetry to enjoy, and to begin with, former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins offers a poem that suggests how we might approach poetry in classes across the curriculum in “Introduction to Poetry.” Then, to demonstrate to students that poetry is for everyone, use “Americans Saying Poems They Love.” For high school students the Library of Congress site begun by Billy Collins, “Poetry 180” is a great place to find poetry to share.
Ideas across the Curriculum
Science teachers have plenty to choose from, as so many poets have written about the natural world. From “PBS: Poetry Everywhere“, you might choose to share Kay Ryan’s “Turtle,” Ted Kooser’s “Daddy Long Legs,” or Charles Simic’s “Stone.”
Two more interesting sources are Karen Glenn’s poem sampler, “Ten Poems to Get You Through Science Class This Year”, with selections by William Carlos Williams, Christina Rosetti and others, and “30 Days of ‘Quantum Poetry’ Celebrating the Glory of Science”, which offers seven poems by British biologist and poet Joanna Tilsley.
Poetry about sports can help us see more than the play on the field, just as physical education teachers know that they are teaching more than just rules of a game. Poetry Foundation has several collections of sports poetry to share:
Find these resources and more in icurio with the keyword search: April Newsletter
This week we learned that both netTrekker and icurio have been named finalists for EdTech Digest’s Cool Tool Awards. netTrekker was named a finalist for the “content provider solution” category and icurio is in the running for the “e-learning solution” category. We’re honored to join the distinguished list of nominees for the acclaimed online education publication’s annual awards program.
As more and more school districts shift to digital, they need solutions that truly support teachers and impact students. netTrekker and icurio help make this transformation more manageable by providing easy access to standards-aligned, educator-vetted Open Educational Resources (OER) and tools for building and delivering instruction in a blended learning environment. . We’re thrilled that the education industry recognizes the importance of Knovation’s solutions to truly personalize learning and engage all students.
Stay tuned for the results; the winners are announced on Thursday, March 19. You can view the full list of categories and finalists here.
Featured Lessons in icurio 2.0
The Knovation content team has created Featured Lessons for icurio to provide teachers with high-quality models for designing digital instruction in icurio 2.0. Our curriculum designers share lessons developed by the Knovation content team or built by other icurio teachers. Teachers can easily copy, reuse and repurpose Featured Lessons in their own classrooms.
Using Featured Lessons
- To copy a Featured Lesson, simply click the grey Copy Lesson button when viewing any of the Featured Lessons.
- The Featured Lesson will be copied into your My Lessons area where you can then modify activities, resources or questions to meet your needs.
- When you’re ready, you can assign the lesson to your class.
New Featured Lessons
New Featured Lessons were recently added in mathematics and science.
Lines of Symmetry
Dive into the concepts of symmetry using a new fourth grade mathematics lesson titled “Lines of Symmetry.” In this lesson, students discover if all figures have the same number of lines of symmetry and whether there are figures that don’t have any lines of symmetry at all. This engaging lesson includes videos, hands on interactives, and fun games to reinforce skills.
Weather vs. Climate
Explore the differences between weather and climate in our recently featured lesson for fifth grade science titled “Weather vs. Climate.” In this lesson, students discover weather patterns and phenomena, making connections to the weather in a particular place and time. They are then led through the process of predicting upcoming weather events from weather data collected through observations and measurements and explain global patterns that influence weather in different parts of the world.
Some other Featured Lessons include:
icurio Champions Program
The new icurio Champions program is designed to build a PLC to create and share best practices, develop and recognize educational leaders who share a sense of purpose on the path to educational innovation, and support districts in increasing icurio’s adoption and impact.
Following a learn-by-doing model, icurio Champions develops resident icurio experts within districts and provides new ways to leverage the power of icurio and its digital learning resources to create engaging, dynamic learning activities. No matter what your role, icurio Champions is for you if you feel:
- Passionate about discovering new ways to bring blended learning into the classroom
- Inspired by the opportunity to connect with peers to collaboratively build engaging learning activities
- Eager to develop best practices using icurio to transform instruction
- Enthusiastic about becoming the resident icurio expert and guiding its adoption by coaching others