icurio by Knovation

3/27/2012 By: Carol S. Holzberg

www.knovationlearning.com/solutions/icurio $16.50-24.50 per student based on district size.

The recently released icurio is an online K-12 curriculum content service providing 330,000+ digital resources. Think of this Web-based subscription service as a one-stop source for multimedia-rich digital content aligned to state and Common Core standards.

Quality and Effectiveness: Developed by Knovation (formerly netTrekker), icurio is more than just a search tool on digital steroids. The lesson plans, learning games, interactive whiteboard resources, customizable activities, assessments, video clips, and audio materials come from hundreds of sources.

Ease of Use: The power of this tool lies in its flexibility. You can combine multiple layers for historical context and drill down to resources associated with particular events and personalities. Teachers can also explore by Elementary, Middle, and High School levels. Alternatively, they can search for resources aligned to most standards.

Creative Use of Technology: Once teachers log in, there are three pathways to content: Discover, Standards, and My Content. Choosing “Discover,” teachers can investigate using one of three “Exploration Tools:” Subject Navigator, Famous Person, or Timeline Builder. Teachers can also explore by grade level and most standards, and save everything in their “My Content” area. Students can also save content and resources in personalized My Content folders for later reuse.

Suitability for Use in a School Environment: Although the product is not a one-click guarantee of improved student achievement, icurio provides teachers and students with content vetted by chosen content partners, editors, and consultants who understand K-12 education needs. The activities are self-paced; students can access content their teachers assign and they can also explore resources icurio makes available. These are all educational plusses associated with using the service.

TOP FEATURES

• Aligns content to both state and Common Core standards, making it easy for teachers to find materials to support student learning.
• Students can work with teacher provided content or explore resources on their own.
• Diverse content supports high achievers, strugglers and English language learners with read alouds, video-based demonstrations, self-paced activities, interactive games and quizzes.

OVERALL RATING: icurio earns high marks for “curating” a wealth of high-quality digital content targeting a range of K-12 curriculum, including STEM and 21st century skills. It makes that content available in engaging, user-friendly ways, providing several modes of access to meet diverse student needs.

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