netTrekker Announces New Support Site and Application Updates – December 2017

Knovation is pleased to announce the launch of its new netTrekker Support site and certain other updates to the netTrekker application. Notes for the December 2017 release are listed below.

New netTrekker Support Site

netTrekker has a new and improved support site: This site provides a wealth of information to assist users in effective use of netTrekker. Users benefit from the support site’s easy and intuitive interface, and the site’s main search bar uses type ahead to quickly find answers to questions.

Web Search: Keyword Search Type Ahead

To support effective keyword search for learning resources, the type ahead feature has been added to the netTrekker web application search bar. When a user clicks on the “Web”, “Image” or “Famous Person” radio button and starts typing a keyword in the search bar, suggestions are displayed that match the entered characters. Clicking on a keyword or key phrase suggestion and then clicking the “Search” button opens a search results page for that keyword or key phrase.

Publisher Search Refinement

Many netTrekker users are interested in refining their search results by a specific publisher (like Khan Academy or CK-12). To enable this refinement, “Collections” have been updated in the netTrekker web application to “Publisher” in the “Refine Search” panel where a user can select one or more publisher names and click the “Refine” button. Refinement by publisher is also available in the “More Search Options” panel where a user can enter the publisher name in the publisher field and click search. In “More Search Options”, the user also benefits from type ahead for the publisher field.

netTrekker Application and Content Update

Enhanced Standards Alignments for Content

To better serve educators, Knovation is automating the updating of state and national education standards in netTrekker. 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.

Learn more about netTrekker!

Back to School 2017 with netTrekker

Welcome back from summer break!

As we start the 2017-2018 school year, know that Knovation’s teachers have worked over the summer to ensure that the the Knovation Content Collection and the netTrekker application are “back to school” ready.

Content Updates

On a  quarterly basis, Knovation publishes Content Matters, a report summarizing recent updates to our Content Collection including types of content and highlighting certain publishers. Following are recent reports:

Watch for the Back to School 2017 issue in early October:

netTrekker Integrations

As we work with Districts, one big challenge their teachers and students face today when using technology is the fatigue caused by jumping between applications (passwords, usability, practicality). Search no more as netTrekker integrates with Google Classroom, and today’s leading learning management systems, Canvas and Schoology ensuring that teacher-curated, quality content is easily accessible for lesson planning, teaching and learning.

For more information about netTrekker, check out the video below, or reach out to us at

Supercharge Your Canvas Courses with netTrekker Resources


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.

Improvements to Read Aloud and Dictionary Tools!

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?

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: and



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May 2015: Summer Fun – Learning in the Sun!


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.

Summer Science Exploration

science 2

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.

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.

April 2015: Celebrate National Poetry Month!

National Poetry Month

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

Poetry 180

netTrekker 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.

Some great general collections of poetry can be found at “The Children’s Poetry Archive” and “Josie’s Poems.”

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.

In math class, you might share “Numbers”, by Mary Cornish, or “A Love Poem for Lonely Prime Numbers”, by Harry Baker.

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 netTrekker with the keyword search: April Newsletter.

And the Winner Is… netTrekker!

netTrekker Named Best Content Provider Solution by EdTech Digest

Cool Tool Award Winner

netTrekker was honored as the best Content Provider Solution by EdTech Digest’s Cool Tool Award.

Chosen from a group of ten finalists, netTrekker provides easy access to the industry-leading library of open educational resources (OER). Each one of netTrekker’s 360,000 digital resources are vetted by educators, aligned to standards, tagged according to grade level, content type, readability, subject and educational theme, among other characteristics. The all-in-one content solution for personalized learning aids in the transition to digital resources by integrating with districts’ current assessment and management systems, and enables teachers and students to instantly find resources they need for in-class instruction, homework and research.

Learn more.

We are thankful for the recognition—the most reliable digital resource solution is now also the coolest one!

netTrekker and icurio named EdTech Digest Cool Tool Award finalists

Cool Tool Award

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.