April 2013: Getting the Right Resource for Learning, Right Now

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Refining a Search in netTrekker Search

netTrekker Search provides you with the ability to personalize your search results by refining your results to only include the specific types of content you choose. When a search result contains websites that have more than one form of content, netTrekker Search provides a Refine Search button at the top of any Search Result page. This takes you to a menu of choices that makes it possible for you to narrow your results by choosing any of the available options. Do you need quotations by or about Abraham Lincoln or a map of South America? The Refine Search menus make it easy to find websites within your results that include exactly what you are looking for. The list of options will include only those choices which are available within the resources in your Search Result list.

Example of Refine Search Options


The five Refine Search Menus can be used individually or in conjunction with each another. To choose a type of refinement, click on the check box next to that refinement. When you have chosen all the refinements you want, click on at the bottom of the list.

The Learning Aids Menu

The refinement menu focuses on characteristics within resources that are helpful for learning and instruction. The Learning Aid menu choices are:

Assessments

Looking to provide a variety of assessments for learning? This choice offers informal and formal options, interactive and printables, even choices that build assessment into a game. Start looking at differentiation of assessment as an option to help personalize learning for your students with this refinement.

Biographies

Famous people are very popular in learning environments – whether you are looking to find facts about a person OR their point of view and lifetime experiences, Biographies is a good place to start.

Books/Bibliographies

Locating full-length books, references to books or literature of a subject is difficult without the right kind of focus. Bibliographies are invaluable tools for researchers to quickly access the collections of information that subject matter experts have already compiled – often viewed as a huge help while researching a particular subject or area.

Formulas/Examples

Certain subject areas are rich with formulas and examples – all of which illustrate the concepts that learners are trying to understand. Many times educators will need to find a quick example of a theory or a quick formula to share with their learners, and this area provides a perfect way to get to those.

Lesson Plans (available only to Teachers)

Looking for lesson plans? Whether you want something you can repurpose for your own classroom, a sub plan or even just ideas…the Lesson Plan choice delivers a variety and a wealth of options.

Learning Exercises

Practice, practice, practice – sometimes a concept goes from short-term to long-term memory after it has been applied repeatedly. Learning Exercises is an option that will help you locate resources that give learners the opportunity to apply a newly learned skill, practice a technique or simply try to perfect their understanding of something they are learning.

Learning Games

You don’t have to explain this option to a student. They are looking for the ability to learn and have fun at the same time. Resources you find with this option give learners opportunities to utilize their own curiosity and problem-solving skills to figure out and “win” in a game based resource and approach.

Maps/Charts

By studying and investigating maps and charts, students can understand more about the economical, political and social features of a country, in addition to gaining geographical knowledge. The study of maps and charts also increases critical and abstract thinking skills and provides a global context that will help students as they progress in school and life.

Primary Source Documents

Primary Sources are snippets of history. They are incomplete and often come without context. Resources that are primary sources require students to be analytical, to examine them thoughtfully and determine what else they need to know to make inferences from the materials. They also help students relate in a personal way to events of the past – which allows them to come away with a deeper understanding of history as a series of human events.

Quotations

A quotation is the repetition of someone else’s statement or thoughts – in that way, quotations function much like primary source materials and give students direct access to the ideas of the person who is being quoted.

March 2013: Removing Barriers for Struggling Readers with netTrekker

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Struggling readers need tools that engage them in the text and aide in comprehension. netTrekker Search features can do just that: by providing text to speech support, by providing definitions of words in context, and by giving educators opportunities to deliver resources to readers that are in their reading “sweet spot.” Help your students “Tame the Wild Text” (Susan Allen) with some of the approaches we share here…

Removing the reliance on one or two types of reading material

Count on netTrekker Search to enable you to offer a wide range of materials and information so that your struggling readers will have opportunities to learn from a variety of different sources.

How? Have you browsed the Language Arts subject area and looked at all the literary genres?

First, switch to the Browse approach, and drill down into Language Arts area under the Subjects selection.

Check out the Current Events non-fiction information under Themes…

Also, in our ELL Theme we have a great section devoted to reading and highlighting a variety of types of materials like movie scripts and comics.

Removing the need to interrupt learning to find assistance with reading

Give readers a toolkit of literacy support approaches that will build their confidence and independence when reading challenging texts.

How? The Read Aloud tool converts text to speech, giving students the ability to have assistance with passages they are struggling with AND offering them a higher level of engagement with the text. Our dictionary tool functions at the individual word level, to give just in time definitions,synonyms and translations in text, helping readers overcome the gaps in their vocabulary and increase overall comprehension.

Look in our ELL Theme area again, this time notice all the other topics in the Skill Development section – check out stellar resources and collections that build ELA skills such as vocabulary and parts of speech awareness.

Removing the experience of frustration with text that is too complex

Let students read at their comfort level and for fun! Understanding how difficult resources are to read (or their complexity level) can be extremely helpful for teachers and learners to be able to target material that they will be successful with.

How? The netTrekker Readability Score is an easy and quick way to gauge the relative level of difficulty of information – allowing users to remove levels that are not at comfort level and sort by difficulty to see the complete range for a certain topic. Look for a readability score next to each resource in a result…hover over them to see their grade level correlation.

Removing the lack of choice in reading materials for learners

Give readers tools to curate their own reading lives and help them build a love for reading and increase their independence.

 

How? My Portfolio allows readers to select and collect materials as they are browsing – a powerful, just in time way for them to keep resources they enjoy or think they want to come back to.

Removing the language barrier for those who are learning English

Struggling readers often have one main area of difficulty, for your non-native English speakers there is a language barrier. When you offer material in multiple languages you are able to remove the additional stress of cross translation into their home language to aid comprehension. As confidence and English skills develop, ELL readers are less likely to have lasting struggles and more likely to be successful with material in English.

How? netTrekker offers quick and easy refinements to your search results, getting you and your readers to content in many languages effectively.

Within our special collections, Español is given special focus – for example, BrainPOP Español is rich, animated content that is supported by audio and text subtitles.

Recall that our Dictionary tool allows for quick, single word translations within content in English and can be set to always give translations first rather than definitions in English. Users can change their settings for the Dictionary tool within the My Preferences area under My Menu.

February 2013: Finding the Famous Fast in netTrekker

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Finding the Famous Fast in netTrekker Search

This month we take a special look at famous people, with a focus on Presidents. Presidents Day is February 18th and it’s a great time to look at contributions from these famous politicians and others. Use the Famous People tool with your students to discover those who are famous – by name, by occupation, and by many other characteristics. Create lists of people who are famous for those selected characteristics OR explore famous people in the context of a timeline.

Famous by Name

With netTrekker Search’s Famous Person Search, you can quickly and easily locate information about well-known people, including political leaders, athletes, scientists, artists, writers, and more. The Famous Person Search is one of the options accessible using the Search function. These options (Web, Image, Famous Person, and, for teachers and admins, Standards) are available both from the home page and from any Search Result page throughout netTrekker Search.

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Searching famous people for the name George

 

Famous by Time Period

Have you used the netTrekker Search Timeline tool? Did you know the fifth area of the timeline is devoted to Famous People? The results in this area indicate the famous people who were/are alive during a particular time period. First, click on Browse on your home page. Next, choose the Tools button and choose Timeline. If you want to see more famous people for that time period, expand that section by clicking the plus sign on the section header for Famous People.

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Famous by Any Characteristic

Using netTrekker Search’s Famous Person tool, you can create a famous person list based on your own criteria. First, click on Browse on your home page. Next, choose the Tools button and choose Famous Person. You can use any or all of the criteria types to create your list – this can be really useful if you want a list, for example, of 19th century American political figures.

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If you are looking for famous people, find them fast using one of these fast techniques in netTrekker Search today!

January 2013: Learning Content to Start the Year Off Right

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Learning Content to Start the Year Off Right

New year, new instructional approaches – now is a great time to discover and use new content to help your 6-12 grade learners stay on track or get on track for the remainder of the school year. Using SAS® Curriculum Pathways® from icurio is a great place to start. Educators can access customizable, high-quality, interactive content tailored to student’s learning styles. With over 200 interactive tools, inquiries, web lessons and audio tutorials, educators are sure to find a variety of instructional strategies in SAS® Curriculum Pathways® to target higher-order, critical thinking skills and active learning.

About SAS Curriculum Pathways Content

  • Web-based curriculum resources in all the core disciplines – simply perform your topic discovery and personalize for the SAS collection using the SHOW & PERSONALIZE tools on the left in icurio.
  • Customizable, high-quality, interactive content to incorporate into lesson plans – check out all the interactive resources in the SAS collection by entering SAS as your discovery term and NARROW by interactive content in the SHOW & PERSONALIZE tools on the left in icurio.screen1
  • Include a variety of instructional strategies tailored to each student’s learning style – the SAS resources range from interactive guides to reading complex nonfiction texts more effectively to digital lessons and units with complete lesson directions and subject specific tools like the interactive atlas.

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Getting to Know icurio Archives

Trying to find that helpful Getting to Know icurio email? No worries – we have an archive available so that you can see all the great tips and resources from previous issues. The archive is available in our educator community . We are always adding new content – so be sure to come back and check out all of the other new ideas!

Our Educator Community is Growing – Join Us!

Where can you connect with hundreds of other educators, get great information about educational transformation, find tips and advice about how to use your digital curriculum content subscription to empower your teaching and become more effective for your own digital transformation? Our educator community! Come check out our blogs, events, content highlights and discussions in the Know New Ideas Community . Our membership has surged to over 2,200 members – join us and be a part of this important conversation.

JANUARY 2013

 

FREE WEBINAR

Tuesday, January 29th

3:00 – 4:00 pm EST

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855.566.8283 contactus@icurio.com

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January 2013: A Cross-Curricular Slice of History with netTrekker

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Learning from history and past events happens most effectively if you can step back and look at the larger picture – at all the different people, places and things associated with a certain period of time. How do you look at a slice of time across many different subjects and topics? Take a moment and check out the netTrekker Search timeline tool. You’ll find that looking at the big picture has never been easier or more dynamic for you and your learners.

Find Content Through the Timeline

Find content that is associated with dates under Browse > Tools > Timeline. Timeline content is organized by categories: events, famous people, innovations/discoveries and the arts. What can you learn from this timeline tool?

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Build a Custom Timeline

Use the year fields to build a custom timeline for a specific period, including the personal lifetime of a student or yourself.

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Use the Topic Based Timelines

netTrekker Search offers several pre-defined timelines from a variety of disciplines with content appropriate for each grade level. U.S. History is a favorite from our Middle School section.

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Read the Timeline

Give your learners context and perspective on the impact and duration of major events by examining the visual representation of the event on the timeline. Is the bar representing the Civil War short or long? What does that tell us about the duration and impact of that event? Also, check out the links to related resources by clicking on the event title or focus only on the timeline for that one event by clicking its associated timeline icon ( image4 ).

Expand and Add Layers to the Timeline

Use the +/- to open and expand the different sections to show more information or collapse to show less. For example, you may not be interested in Arts for the U.S. History timeline, so collapse that section, but you might want to expand the Events section to see all the U.S. History time period’s available events. image5 Think about adding layers to the timeline to increase the scope of information and allow for higher level thinking about the comparisons between the layers of information. Try adding World History as a layer to the U.S. History timeline. By using the legend developed as each layer is added, learners can compare and contrast events or famous people from the two different contexts. Drill down into a famous person’s timeline to investigate the details of that person’s life span.

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Save Your Timeline

Saving a customized timeline to My Portfolio is easy – simply look for the Save button to show up on the top right corner of any timeline you have generated.

Find out more about the Timeline tool and all you can do with it.

November 2012: Learning in All Languages… Content and Tools for the Diversity at Your Table


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Learning In All Languages…Content and Tools for the Diversity at Your Table

The ELL population continues to grow with some reports estimating that the ELL population has increased to 65% in some schools districts. This diversity means that many students must master a new language, understand a different culture and find ways to tackle grade level content. Teachers must draw on new instructional strategies and methods to support their ELL students. Here are all the helpful ways you can use icurio to find digital content and tools to address the needs of students speaking a wide variety of languages at your learning table.

*Check out a complete overview video at http://vimeo.com/49181871 for more information about icurio.

  • Give learners the opportunity to listen to content using the Read Aloud text to speech function to support and increase comprehension. ( see how this is done )
  • Deliver digital content that drives skill building around reading, writing and communicating in English with the Skill Development area for English Language Learners in Teacher Resources and in the Subject Navigator. ( see how this is done )
  • Access a wealth of resources through the Mulitcultural Pavillion section for English Language Learners in Teacher Resources and in the Subject Navigator to address cultural differences and increase multicultural acceptance. ( see how this is done )
  • Identify resources at an appropriate reading level for ELL students by utilizing the Readability score personalization filter. ( see how this is done )
  • Keep learning moving by providing a translation tool for individual words in context of the content. ( see how this is done )
  • Improve topic comprehension by using readily available digital content in their native language via the language personalization filter. ( see how this is done )

Digital content and tools are also beneficial to support family literacy or support group literacy for ELL/ESL/ESOL learners – increased literacy and learning in the community surrounding a learner dramatically increases student achievement.

Getting to Know icurio Archives

Trying to find that helpful Getting to Know icurio email? No worries – we have an archive available so that you can see all the great tips and resources from previous issues. The archive is available in our educator community

Our Educator Community is Growing – Join Us!

Where can you connect with hundreds of other educators, get great information about educational transformation, find tips and advice about how to use your digital curriculum content subscription to empower your teaching and become more effective for your own digital transformation? Our educator community! Come check out our blogs, events, content highlights and discussions in the Know New Ideas Community . Our membership has surged to over 2,200 members – join us and be a part of this important conversation.

October 2012: Design for the Core… Retooling Your Curriculum with Dynamic Content and Tools


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Webinar Recording

For many educators the time has come to redesign their instruction to address the new Common Core State Standards. With icurio, dynamic content and powerful learning supports are at your command as you retool existing instructional strategies or discover new ones to address more rigorous standards. Take advantage of the digital content our curriculum team has aligned to CCSS objectives (and your state standards, too) based on both language and intent.

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Finding content to address all your objectives starts with the very first search term, and icurio offers multiple paths to match your style and support your instructional needs.

  • From the Discover or home tab, enter your search term and discover standards in the right side of the comprehensive content results ( see how this is done )
  • From the Standards tab, select your state standards or Common Core State Standards and do a keyword search, or drill down to a specific area within the set to search in context ( see how this is done )
  • From your Standards results page, you can also switch between your state and Common Core State Standards to automatically re-search for the same keyword and grade level ( see how this is done )

    *Remember to log in to icurio to access the resources highlighted below. Check out a complete icurio overview video at http://vimeo.com/49181871 .

Focus your efforts to move your existing lessons and instructional design to reflect the new levels of rigor and diversity of high impact standards…

CONTENT AREA FOCUS: Using more content across more curriculum areas

Any comprehensive results page from any search term will let you look at learning content across multiple curriculum lenses.

show and personalize

Check out this great list of starter ideas and resources that work well in cross curricular instruction in elementary grade levels.

CONTENT TYPE FOCUS: Using multiple formats and content characteristics to increase learning opportunities

Another way to look at any of your learning content results or even your comprehensive content results is by content types.

Check out all the different ways to refine your results.

Getting to Know icurio Archives

Trying to find that helpful Getting to Know icurio email? No worries – we have an archive available so that you can see all the great tips and resources from previous issues. The archive is available in our educator community

Our Educator Community is Growing – Join Us!

Where can you connect with hundreds of other educators, get great information about educational transformation, find tips and advice about how to use your digital curriculum content subscription to empower your teaching and become more effective for your own digital transformation? Our educator community! Come check out our blogs, events, content highlights and discussions in the Know New Ideas Community . Our membership has surged to over 2,200 members – join us and be a part of this important conversation.

September 2012: Get the Big Picture – Gather the Different Types of Content You Need from a Single Starting Point

This monthly email will provide tips and tools to help you make the most of your icurio subscription.

Webinar Recording

Looking for digital content can be a real challenge! So many questions to be answered. What standards do I need to cover? How do I know what grade the content is appropriate for? Are there images to bring visual connections to my instruction? Are there videos I can use as a hook for beginning a lesson? icurio can help. From the Discover page, one topic search can help you identify powerful learning resources, images, and standards targeted to a concept and provides multiple lenses with which to view content.

*Remember to log in to icurio to access the resources highlighted below. Check out a complete icurio overview video at

http://vimeo.com/49181871

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DISCOVER LEARNING CONTENT

Performing a search from the home page in icurio will bring back digital learning content for your topic. Learning content can be accessed via

 

  • Keyword search box
  • Subject Navigator
icurio content chart

 

In the left column of your content results page, you can easily switch between All Results, Learning Content, Images and Standards for teachers. If you focus on Learning Content only, you can:

 

  • See the entire set of learning content results
  • View and sort by readability, rating and recommendations
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DISCOVER RELATED STANDARDS

The comprehensive content results page also displays up to four standards related to your keyword for your academic level. This area also provides links to additional standards with that keyword.

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DISCOVER TOPIC RELATED IMAGES

icurio’s Image Search offers a quick and easy way to find images to use in lessons, presentations, and other assignments. You can access the first few images for your keyword from the comprehensive content results page. You then have three choices:

 

  • Save Image
  • View Image
  • View More Images
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DISCOVER MULTIPLE CONTENT LENSES

You know best what your students need, so the next step is to personalize your content results using the refinement menus to the left of the content results. These menus make it possible for you to narrow your results by choosing any of the available options. Do you need quotations by a famous American, or perhaps a learning game for a mathematical concept? The Narrow Results menus make it easy to find content within your results that help you personalize instruction for your students.

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Our Educator Community is Growing – Join Us!

 

Where can you connect with hundreds of other educators, get great information about educational transformation, find tips and advice about how to use your digital curriculum content subscription to empower your teaching and become more effective for your own digital transformation? Our educator community! Come check out our blogs, events, content highlights and discussions in the Know New Ideas Community . Our membership has surged to over 2,200 members – join us and be a part of this important conversation.