January 2014: Digital Learning Every Day

Educators are focusing on digital learning at this time of the year, especially since Digital Learning Day (on February 5th) provides a national focus on the opportunities and approaches that digital learning provides for educators and learners. With your netTrekker subscription, amazing digital learning opportunities can happen every day and impact learning all year long! Activities and learning objects can be as simple or as challenging as you like. From interactive activities to lesson plans, full project-based learning units and more, netTrekker has digital learning opportunities for every child, every day!

Start the New Year with a new idea you can quickly incorporate into everyday instruction, the netTrekker Timeline.

Suggestions for timely digital learning in the classroom:

  • Give a famous person a “life,” by discovering events, innovations, and even other famous people related to that famous person based on their own timeline.
  • Have students create their own personalized timelines, encouraging them to discover how events, arts, discoveries and famous people from their lifetime have impacted their lives today.
  • Give students a choice of two famous people from the same time period to compare and contrast – have them create a story relating possible or imaginary interactions.

Spend some time with the Timeline…

  • Drill down through the Timeline for deeper exploration
  • Expand/contract the categories for additional resources
  • Create a customized Timeline by entering your own dates
  • Make interdisciplinary connections with your students

Use the Tools tab (A) on netTrekker’s main page to access Timeline (B) – there are two simple ways to explore Timeline.

1. Select a Timeline from grade-relevant selections by topic (such as U.S. History)

  • Scan the entire page, as you scroll down the page, note the different directions you can take with the timeline:Events, Innovations/Discoveries, Arts and Famous People
  • Each item title leads you to curated content results for deeper exploration.

  • Access additional timeline information for that specific item by clicking on the timeline icon( ).

2. Choose to customize your own Timeline using Enter a Time Span. Enter From / To Year fields for your defined results.

What do BC and AD mean? Find out now

  • Expand/contract the five categories of Eras, Events, Arts, Innovations/Discoveries and Famous People by selecting the plus/minus (+/-) in the upper left corner of each section.
  • A solid bar displays Timeline objects. The length of the bar reflects the time span of that item. For example, the Texas Revolution (A ) was a short time span, but the Reform Movements (B) shows a longer bar.

January 2014: Start Them Off Self-Directed

As you begin the new year, perhaps you are reflecting on changes you would like to make in the second half of the school year, like helping your students develop independence and self-direction. Here are a few questions you might ask yourself:

  • Are my students able to discover information in an effective manner?
  • Are my students able to access help resources to understand information, after they have discovered it?
  • Are my students able to think critically about the information they have discovered?

icurio supports self-directed learners to…

–> Sharpen their research skills as they find more effective and relevant resources

Empower your students to find information that is more closely aligned to the work they are trying to get done. Curious?

  • Subject Navigator

    In icurio, resources are organized by school subjects. One way students can target a search is by drilling through subjects, topics and subtopics that best describe or define the concepts or subjects they are looking for. Use the Subject Navigator for this type of search. The Subject Navigator is one of the three exploration tools accessible from the Discover home page.

  • More Search Options

    icurio enables students to refine a search based on: curricular subject, source type (encyclopedia, government, museums, non-profit organizations, etc.), rating, readability, multimedia type (audio, video, interactive, etc.), learning aids (formulas, maps, learning games, etc.), collections, and language. With More Search Options, students can also add or exclude words or phrases from their search.

  • Did You Mean?

    At the top of each icurio Learning Content results page, you will often find a Did You Mean? list. The words or phrases in this list may be useful if your students aren’t certain about the spelling of a search term or are looking for related search terms.

–> Evaluate the resources they find, enabling them to become expert consumers of content

Help students evaluate the resources they find in icurio, enabling them to become expert consumers of digital content. Curious?

Each resource in icurio has a summary of relevant information associated with it, called Content Details, that can help students determine the value of that resource as it relates to their individual needs.

Have your students click on View Content Details below any resources on the Learning Content results page.

  • Author/Publisher/Source Type

    The Author/Publisher field provides the name of the entity that has authored or given access to the site. One way to help validate the reliability of a site’s information is to identify the Source Type (which is listed below the Author/Publisher). For example, sites might originate from governmental agencies, colleges or universities, businesses, non-profit organizations or individuals. This information helps students understand the point of view of the site.

  • Resource Ratings

    These ratings are determined by the educator/evaluator who assessed this resource. All results can be sorted by their overall rating in a Learning Content results page, click here to see how to sort results.

  • Student/Teacher Recommended

    Through the voting process, teachers and students can recommend resources they find especially useful.

    If a site has been recommended by either a teacher or a student, that recognition will be noted to the right of the resource in the Learning Content results list as well as in the Content Details screen for each resource. All results can be sorted by student or teacher recommendations , click here to see how.

–> Understand their own learning preferences as they experience various ways to learn

Help students understand their own learning preferences as they experience various ways to learn. Curious?

As students gain a better understanding of how they learn, they also gain the ability to make better choices about the types of resources they use and they will be able to find more meaningful avenues of assistance to help them comprehend the information.

  • Narrowing Results

    In icurio, the ability to Narrow Results gives students more choices about the specific types of content they wish to see. Students will see menus at the side of any Learning Content results page. These menus make it possible to narrow results by choosing any of the available options, such as quotations, games, maps, video or resources in Spanish.

  • Readability

    Readability is a measure of the relative difficulty of reading written text, usually reported as a numerical value keyed either to a grade level or to a point scale. If students know their reading level, they can easily choose resources that are aligned to that level using the icurio readability score scale. Click

    here to see how.

–> Strengthen their comprehension skills as they interact with icurio’s flexible digital content and tools

Help students evaluate the resources they find in icurio, enabling them to become expert consumers of digital content. Curious?

  • Read Aloud
    The Read Aloud feature in icurio provides text-to-speech functions for all text information in icurio learning content. Students can highlight any text passage withing a resource and they will be able to hear the text read aloud through their computer speakers or headphones. This allows students to hear content that may be more difficult for them to read and/or less engaging in text format. The text-to-speech function also allows students to decide when they need assistance, and it provides privacy for them as they get the help they need while reading (when combined with headphones). The Read Aloud function can be activated from the frame above a website that students have accessed from a Learning Content result.

    When students want to hear text read out loud to them, all they need to do is highlight the text. There is no software to download, and no additional assistance from the teacher is required.

  • Dictionary/Translation Tool

    icurio provides a robust dictionary students can use to find definitions of words they do not understand. Students can also translate words from English to another language, such as Spanish or German. The dictionary is easily activated from the frame above a website that students have accessed from a Learning Content result.

When your students are self-directed, it frees you up to focus on identifying individual needs so you can personalize learning for every student. Partner with your students by enabling them to drive more of their own learning, and you will enhance their ability to succeed in future college and career endeavors. Work together with your self-directed learners to discover new approaches to learning and increase the “fun factor” in your classroom.

Review the Basics in icurio

In case you are curious about how icurio works and would like a refresher, you can watch our video tutorial, Quickly Find Content and Activities to review the basics.


December 2013: The Content Gift Exchange

The Content Exchange – Giving and Receiving Learning Opportunities

In this season of gifting, Knovation’s Content Team welcomes you to the Content Exchange: Giving and Receiving Learning Opportunities with icurio!

To: icurio Educators, From: Knovation Content Team

At Knovation, our curriculum content team and evaluators are experienced educators who curate incredible collections, like the current events collection and our elementary themes especially for our icurio subscribers. Remember, you can see these collections from the icurio Discovery page within the Subject Navigator.

Current Events Collection

This extremely powerful collection provides engaging learning opportunities in all topic areas. The collection delivers a quick start in the most enticing news, perfect for a hook in different topic areas or providing an authentic informational text reading opportunity. Looking for current events in specific areas? Direct your attention to the space to the left, using the topic navigation, to find more news in more areas like Science news, news from Antarctica, or by states.

Elementary Themes Collection

The Elementary Themes area is a much loved collection for K-6 educators, delivering great thematic resources that lend themselves easily to cross-curricular instruction. From Fossils to Friendship, you will find that these collections capture the hearts and minds of learners, yet bring the kinds of learning opportunities across all subject areas that many educators are seeking.

Dig deeper into any theme to start your discovery – taking the opportunity to note the variety available within the results. Look at the results through different lenses to see the amazing choices available:

  1. By collection, for example the BrainPOP collection – under the collections drop down menu to the left of the result set
  2. By subject, for example Language Arts, Writing Process – under the subject area section to the left of the result set
  3. By characteristic, for example Learning Games – under the learning aides drop down menu to the left of the result set

To: Knovation Content Team, From: Icurio Educators

With every content gift we give, we know we will receive so much back from educators. Partnering with our subscribers to understand how content is being used in learning has helped to shape icurio into the comprehensive digital curriculum content solution that it is today. We encourage feedback about additional content needs and use a collaborative approach to ensure we understand and respond to your specific needs. Our content team constantly reaches out to icurio users to make sure we are supporting the rich learning opportunities in your schools.

Feedback on individual content resources

Contact the content team and give us your gifts, whether they are better key words we can use, helping us improve the relevancy of results or just suggesting resource we need to add.

Use the “report a problem” link directly in the individual piece of content. It’s always in the right-hand corner of your screen. You can choose one of the clarification types or you can provide your own comments. The actual resource is sent to our content team so we know exactly what you are referring to. The content team, in turn, can review it, take it out of circulation, make corrections or retag it for better clarification before restoring it for use.

Use the “contact us” link at the bottom of every page in icurio. There are categories you can choose, or you can use the open feedback field. Simply supply your name and email address and then share. You can ask questions, share feedback, make requests, as it relates to content.

Collaboration with our content experts for content topic help and ideas

When you share with us, we can better understand where we have gaps in our content collections and how we can help educators with additional or improved ways to access content. Feel encouraged to partner with our team and give us feedback about where you need to see content, if you’re having trouble finding content, and how it can be tagged more efficiently to help you access it.

Use the power of the content team for your whole school/district curriculum plan. We know that sometimes understanding the content needs within your district or school can be a challenge – your district curriculum team can work with Knovation’s content team to identify and think about ways to address your specific instructional learning opportunities! Contact your icurio subscription account manager – they can facilitate a collaborative approach with our team.

Review the Basics in icurio

In case you are curious about how icurio works and would like a refresher, you can watch our video tutorial, Quickly Find Content and Activities to review the basics. Also, check out other monthly topics available in the Getting to Know icurio archive.

Happy Holidays From All of Us at Knovation!

December 2013: 12 Days of Learning Opportunities

The holiday season is always an exciting time for students and teachers. To help celebrate, we’re counting down the 12 days of learning opportunities, presenting you with our gifts of content collections from the netTrekker content team. You’ll find rich, engaging content, game-based opportunities, plenty of interaction, instructional support, and links for additional research. You can find coverage in all subject areas and grade levels. Truly the gifts that keep on giving, we with you a happy holiday season with glad tiding of learning and joy!

Content Collection gifts

“…on the first day of the holiday season, the netTrekker Content Team gave to me….12 days of curated collections offering amazing learning opportunities”

To open these amazing gifts, click on that day’s button to go to a sample result set OR enter the name of the collection in the netTrekker search box. Remember you can refine your search using the subject directory available in the left navigation bar. Click on the tablet screen to see the highlighted example from that collection. (You must be logged in to see these resources)

Vocab Ahead

…PSAT and SAT vocabulary building

…word-of-the-day, word lists & crossword puzzles

…animated video definitions and context for each word

Manga High

…voted in Top 100 by District Administrators

…animated comic book style with math concepts

…students can unlock new levels of learning through mastery


…engaging game-driven content in math and language arts

…for elementary and middle school grade levels

…extremely popular – check out student favorite Make A Snowman

The Why Files

…science and social studies topics for curious students asking “why”

…for elementary and middle school grade levels

…article format gives learners engaging informational text


…game-based activities and exercises

…topics drawn from Nobel Prize award winning content and ideas

…photos, interviews and much more about Nobel Laureate recipients and their contributions


…fun name, fun collection, intended to connect with today’s learners and their styles

…articles and images in social studies, math and languages

…ACT/SAT math support

Read Write Think

…focused on reading, writing and critical thinking

…lesson plans with tools for instructors

…students can print, save or email to instructors right from each activity


…covering current events shaping student’s worlds

…comprehensive articles with videos, charts, graphs, and monitored student comments

…paired with netTrekker’s tools articles increase comprehension with non-fiction text

Science Buddies

…project-based learning in science

…develops scientific literacy, vocabulary and procedures

…detailed experiment choices and descriptions

Teacher’s Domain/PBS Learning

…rich video and interactive pieces

…teacher content includes discussion topics, questions and video transcripts

…in Operation Heart Transplant students learn parts of the heart to save a patient!

We Give Books

…browser based literature

…perfect for use on tablets, whiteboards and computer lab machines

…additional quick search capabilities within the collection to find books by subject area


…engaging video based resources

…extremely effective in a flipped learning environment

…quick assessment pieces available in each resource

In this holiday season, we wish you…Great Tidings of Learning and Joy!

November 2013: Sharing in the Harvest of Resources

November is a time to stop and enjoy the harvest, and in netTrekker, we have a cornucopia of resources, curated by our content experts. These experts create and manage collections that will open your eyes, organized by curriculum topics, themes, or content providers. These curated collections are constantly groomed and expanded – always ready to be reaped by educators and learners.

How Does the netTrekker Content Team Help You Fill Your Table with Resources?

Collections based on curriculum subject areas

netTrekker’s Browse tab now gives you a carousel of subject areas to explore – allowing you to hone in on the collection most relevant to your curriculum.

Each content area is rich with curated content – including a wealth of subtopics relevant to that area, featured content in that level (selection of highlighted resources for the topic/subtopic you have navigated to) and resources about famous people relevant to that content area.

Amazing Social Studies Collections You Can Check out Right NOW in netTrekker …

Collections based on cross-curricular themes

netTrekker’s Browse tab also gives you a carousel of themes to explore – including a collection of popular Elementary Themes.

Amazing Elementary Theme Collections You Can Check out Right NOW in netTrekker …

Collections based on content providers

As any good curator knows, you also have some content collections that are more interesting and inspiring to you than others – as such, our content team has managed to build in ways for you to get quickly to those content collections that you have identified and want to target.

While in the Search tab, enter a topic or keyword into the Search box.

Then click on Refine Search as you’re viewing your search results.

You will see the collections of Featured Content that are included in your search results at the bottom right-hand corner of the box that appears. Place a checkmark next to as many of the featured content collections as you like, and then click Refine. You will receive a set of content results that includes only the featured content collections you selected.

On the netTrekker home page, you can click on the Featured tab to view collections your school has added to your netTrekker subscription from different content providers (such as BrainPOP and Defined STEM). You will also see any free content available from these premium providers listed if your school hasn’t added the collections to your subscription.

If you like a specific collection of featured content, you can simply type in that content provider’s name as the keyword in your search (e.g. Teaching Channel) to access all of the resources our content team has collected from that specific content provider.

Amazing Elementary Content Provider Collections You Can Check out Right NOW in netTrekker …

Give a Few of These Ideas a Try and Share More with Everyone

At Knovation, we are inspired by all the creative ways educators make their marks, and we are honored to know that we can help you do that with great digital resources. Thank you for everything you do!

November 2013: Digital Citizenship

Supporting Digital Citizenship with icurio

Ensuring students are good digital citizens at home and school can be easy with the right resources. icurio can help you and your students quickly understand the basics of good digital behavior, potential areas for misuse, and how technology can make our lives both richer and more challenging.

What exactly is digital citizenship, and how can we help our students become responsible digital citizens?

“Digital citizenship can be defined as the norms of appropriate, responsible behavior with regard to technology use.” ( www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html)

The ISTE National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for students and teachers address responsible use of technology, effective application of technology to support learning and how we get work done, and more.

Follow the directions below to discover the ISTE NETS related to digital citizenship, and to find icurio content related to those objectives.

1. Click on the Standards tab and Select ISTE NETS

2. Then select ISTE ISTE NETS for Students ⇨ National Educational Technology Standards for Students – 2007 ⇨ (Select the appropriate grade level range, and you will be presented with the Standards or Indicators for those grades.)

3. Continue drilling down through the standards until you reach a place where you see associated topics. Click on the topic of your choice to access content that has been aligned to that topic. If you don’t see a topic that interests you, you can enter a keyword of your own in the search box at the bottom of the page.

When does inappropriate online behavior cross the line and become cyberbullying, and what can you do about it?

“Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.” ( www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbulling/)

It’s important for students to understand online etiquette and consider the emotional, spiritual and, at times, potentially criminal implications of their online behavior. As the number of documented cases of cyberbullying has increased in recent years, a wide variety of resources have been created for educators to help you teach your students how to avoid being a cyberbully and how to appropriately report activity of this nature.

icurio has a variety of excellent resources you can use to teach your students about cyberbullying. On the Discover tab in icurio, enter cyberbullying as your Search term to check out these awesome resources!

What are the possibilities and potential pitfalls of using digital media in our socially connected culture? How can we help our students become responsible digital citizens?

You will find the answers to these questions, along with a plethora of additional resources on digital citizenship, by selecting theMy Content tab in icurio, then selecting the Curios tab, and exploring the content in the Digital Citizenship Resources folder that our content curators created just for you!

Additional Information on Digital Citizenship

To find out even more about Digital Citizenship, you can discover on your own in icurio by entering any of these keywords in the Search box while in the Discovertab: digital citizenship, online safety, digital etiquette. You can refine your content results to your specific subject area, grade level and more!

Review the Basics in icurio

In case you are curious about how icurio works and would like a refresher, you can watch our video tutorial, Quickly Find Content and Activities to review the basics.

Share Your Ideas

Are you ready to create responsible digital citizens in your education community? Please share your story below so we can all learn from each other!

October 2013: Connected Leadership

Use icurio to Connect and Lead with Powerful Content and Curriculum Building Tools

“Teachers who are thinking outside of their classrooms, teachers who take risks inside their classrooms, teachers who aren’t afraid to say they don’t know something, or who aren’t afraid to show what they do know … we loo for those teachers, and we plan around how to develop their skills further so they can lead their colleagues in refining practice and collaborating more effectively.” (Elena Aguilar, Transformational Leadership Coach, Oakland, California. Becoming a Teacher Leader, Edutopia.com)

When you are connecting, collaborating and leading, whether in a single classroom or at the district level, you need powerful resources and tools to support you and help you save time. icurio provides content that will directly impact your learning landscape and allow you to be a leader in the following ways.

Lead professional development or coaching efforts with content that is developed and delivered via the My Content folder (at the school or district level).

A school leader uses My Content to prepare for a staff meeting:

“Teachers, students and parents in our school were struggling with the new challenges posed by liabilities the new technology implementation was uncovering in terms of student safety and responsible use. I created a collection of resources from icurio around digital citizenship and moved it to the school level of My Content. During our staff meeting, we were able to accomplish one group activity around a resource and have content ready for small group discussions around specific issues we were seeing. It was a very efficient way for me to lead the direction of the meeting and get the group to look at ideas and potential solutions.”

Lead with content that will allow you to develop new instructional strategies and enable you to better meet the needs of your 21st Century learners.

On your discover tab page (or home page), click on the Teacher Resources button to view these collections: 21st Century Skills, English Learners, Teacher Tools and References.

When you are teaching a 21st century skill, you’ll want to make sure you are using 21st century content and approaches. Educators can easily find content that is relevant to their students within the Teacher Resources collection at each grade level. For example, the character education results at the Elementary level are much different than those at the High School level. You can click on the grade level tabs to toggle back and forth between results).

Lead by sharing your own content collections with fellow educators at your school or district.

District level expertise can often get locked into larger initiatives and not be accessible to classroom level educators. Your colleagues might have effective approaches to address challenging instructional objectives or unique ways to teach a topic that is less interesting. How can you leverage these valuable resources? You have the ability to curate collections in My Content, and you can add instructional advice you use in delivering the instruction or intended objectives. In this manner, you can take your approaches and translate them into a library of leadership. You can take the curriculum plans that have already been developed by your district’s curriculum leaders and share them with classroom educators. This would give all teachers in your district the opportunity to leverage and personalize the curriculum plan through the district level units in the My Content area.

Example of district level unit resource developed by curriculum specialists:

Check out the basics of how to curate in icurio, and start sharing your expertise today!

If you’re still curious how icurio works, review the basics with the video Quickly Find Content and Activities.

Read our success stories on how icurio is helping one district at a time.

“Please share an example of how you plan to implement any of the ideas in the discussion/comments area below. As we work together and share these stories, we as educators are embodying the true notion of Connected Educator Month!”

October 2013: Collaboration + Common Commitment = Connections

October is Connected Educator Month … so what is the big deal behind being connected?

Educators who participated in the Connected Educator Month activities last year benefited both personally and professionally by connecting with other educators and collaborating around a shared purpose. The word connected also implies a connection through technology, and the digital learning community can take many forms and leverage many different learning approaches. With the myriad ways to connect, it’s best to start simple.

You can learn more about how you can connect using the tools and technology that are already in place in your school or district.Think about your own “local” professional learning community that already exists (i.e. teachers at your school, across the district and your teacher friends from other districts) and go from there.

How can netTrekker help you make connections around learning?

  • Connect with a student, parent or another educator in your school or district through My PortfolionetTrekker’s My Portfolio gives educators the ability to share learning resources with specific students or with other educators in their school or district. Resources shared at the school level can benefit any user (student or teacher) within that specific school. Resources shared at the district level can have a huge impact for any user (student or teacher) at any school throughout the district.

    Connections that are happening NOW through the use of My Portfolio in netTrekker …

    At the school level

    – A fourth grade classroom teacher is connecting with teacher aides for specific

    students in her class to provide relevant learning modality focused resources for them.

    – A high school science teacher is connecting with parents by sharing resources

    that allow parents to talk to their children about troublesome topics

    (like the effects of using steroids over time).

    At the district level

    – A district Language Arts Curriculum Specialist is connecting with Language Arts

    teachers at all schools to share resources that provide higher levels of text complexity

    and focus on vocabulary building.

    – A district Dual-language Specialist is connecting with campus media centers by

    providing them resources that help the specialists support instruction in multiple

    languages across multiple topic areas

  • Connect by becoming a netTrekker Navigator and joining a community of educators across the country to gain valuable professional learning opportunities for you and your district.
    In an environment where digital learning is becoming more prominent in the classroom, educators often benefit from the support of others to help blend these digital opportunities into their traditional instructional paths. One community of educators that is committed to helping others in this manner is the netTrekker Navigator group. Supporting learning in districts across the country, netTrekker Navigators connect within their own districts, as well as with educators in other districts to enhance professional learning and develop and share best practices for transforming learning in their classrooms.
  • Connect with Know New Ideas, a larger educator community that focuses on new ideas related to teaching and learningAt Knovation, we are dedicated to the community of educators we serve and the learners they impact! We are helping them connect in meaningful ways to advance teaching and learning. With more than 2,700 members, Know New Ideas is a place where educator-only connections, discussions, events, and learning cohorts are focused on improving our schools and helping our learners stay in the game. This community is only a click away in the My Menu area of your netTrekker subscription.

Give a few of these ideas a try and share more with everyone below.

At Knovation, we are inspired by all the creative ways educators make their marks, and we are honored to know that we can help you do that with great digital resources. Thank you for everything you do!

September 2013: Be Curios… Cultivate Exploration and Discovery Using icurio Digital Curriculum Content

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney

Be Curious…

Curiosity is a curious thing. The process of exploration, questioning and wondering are integral to the process of learning. We know that students need to be given opportunities to stay curious so they can actively explore and discover to build new understanding.

Developing and nurturing curiosity can have significant impact on driving learners to mastery, as a result of their discovery and exploration. Learning can be viewed as a cycle: achieving mastery in one area leads to new curiosity, discovery, exploration and repetition…which then leads to new mastery in another area.

Curiosity in Your Classroom

Is there a focus on curiosity in your classroom? Have you considered new way for your learners to discover new ideas that interest them or explore subjects they are passionate about? Learners at all levels can benefit from being consistently asked the question, “What do you want to know?” Check out the video below – you may hear things that your learners have been curious about, you may think about how you could help some of these learners find out what they want to know, you may chuckle a little at the endless amount of curiosity we see in kids. You may just find something you want to get curious about in your own classroom!

Student Voice from Knovation on Vimeo.

Cultivate Curiosity with icurio….

Cultivate exploration and discovery using the subject navigator to dive into the depth of content available. Check out some popular explorations and discoveries from our users, like current events and themes.

  • Curiosity within the curriculumDiscover the breadth and the depth of the subject areas and objectives you use in the classroom. Many educators who use icurio for the first time are amazed by the subject navigator – they find new content to explore for areas of their curriculum they had never considered. When you review content in the different curriculum collections, you will begin to see focus points across subjects, modalities and formats that you can investigate further.
  • Curiosity sparked by curated collections by peers
    Educators will be coming together next month for Connected Educator Month (CEM) to encourage connections and collaboration among educators. When collections of resources are curated by peers in your organization and shared within icurio, it creates endless opportunities to explore the approaches and ideas of others. Sharing resource collections helps educators understand the different ways of approaching a topic, and it allows them to easily discover topics that might otherwise intimidate them. Check out the basics of how to curate in icurio, and start sharing today!
  • Curiosity driven by authentic learning leading by real eventsThe current events options in icurio area a great focus for sparking curiosity. Learners have the opportunity to interact with content that highlights real eventsthat are happening in the world. This immediate relevance creates a certain sense of “realness” to what students are learning in the classroom, and that often excites further investigations and discoveries. Check out the current events area in icurio, which includes Breaking News, News Event Analysis, News by Topics, U.S. News (including by state and city), World News (by country) and Featured Articles that have been hand-selected by Knovation’s content curators.
  • Curiosity focused on the connections between past and presentHave you ever checked out a history exhibit at a museum? Wouldn’t it be fascinating to have the ability to further explore something in an exhibit that peaked your interest? What if there was a way to focus on an event, an invention, a famous person, a book or a song and dive into your area of interest to uncover more information? What if you could understand how these different pieces were related in a given time period? The timeline builder in icurio allows learners to uncover information based on exactly what sparks their curiosity. There are many facets of the timeline exploration in icurio that educators and learners are surprised to discover – learn more with this overview from our content team.

Review some of the basics of icurio….


icurio Tutorial – Quickly Find Content and Activities from Knovation on Vimeo.

Curious about trying a few of these ideas? Be sure to share your curiosity with everyone below.

At Knovation, we are inspired by the myriad of ways that educators spark curiosity and cultivate it within their students!

September 2013: Making Your Mark This Year

Increase your impact – every teacher yearns to make a bigger impact each year. It’s in our nature as educators to reach far beyond our classrooms to impact communities and improve the overall quality of education.

How can we make that happen? What creative things can we do to make the best use of the time we have each school year? We can try new approaches and place an emphasis on our own creativity in everything we do. Perhaps the answer is developing and nurturing our creativity, which would then manifest itself in everything we do in our classroom and with students.

Is there a focus on creativity in your classroom? Considering all of the potential that creativity unlocks and unleashes for students and teachers, increased creativity in the curriculum could be the key to real results. International Dot Day (September 15th) reminds us to re-commit and re-connect to the power and potential of creativity. Have you read Peter Reynolds’ book The Dot? (See description dot).

How can netTrekker help you make your mark?

  • Creative resources to develop and nurture creativity
    How? The Creativity Resources Collection in Global Portfolio . Explore, extend and exercise creativity for both learners and educators. Our content team has curated some amazing resources you can use to celebrate Dot Day and keep creativity alive in the classroom all year long.
  • Creative approaches to meeting Common Core mastery with your students
    How? Use out-of-the-box thinking to meet the unique challenges that exist with the Common Core State Standards for your learners. Find content with formats to engage and inspire your students to take their learning to deeper levels. Use resource types like primary sources or biographies, which can be found using the refinement options in netTrekker, or look to raise the complexity of the different types of texts learners are using .
  • Creative ways for you to connect with parents
    How? Connect with parents by sharing content you have hand-picked for students’ home learning environments (using netTrekker’s My Portfolio tools). Content curated by educators is a powerful resource for parents – especially when their students are struggling in certain areas. When a teacher selects resources that students can use at home it creates a powerful partnership between home and school that will significantly impact the learning outcomes. Connect parents to the ideas you have for their children by using netTrekker’s My Portfolio feature to create special folders for your parents – either using the class folders or emailing functions within a folder. Check out an example of teacher created folder for a first grade student to use over the summer at home to extend reading and writing skills for the next school year.
  • Creative collaboration methods for educators to connect and share lessons and resources
    How? Collaborate with colleagues to create a learning community in your school. Whether you are sharing approaches around creativity and Dot Day or new learning ideas to address CCSS and the gaps the school may have in the curriculum, the tools in netTrekker’s My Portfolio provide solutions for collecting and sharing that important work at every level in your organization. See some of the great ideas that groups of teachers have shared with us for their classrooms – built using the tools, content, and the unique knowledge these teachers had about the needs for learners in their organizations.

Give a few of these ideas a try and share more with everyone below.

At Knovation, we are inspired by all the creative ways educators make their marks, and we are honored to know that we can help you do that with great digital resources. Thank you for everything you do!