We have a tool in netTrekker d.i. called My Portfolio which is useful in creating Project Based Units. For the next week, we are going to explore the My Portfolio features and all of the uses. We are going to showcase how to save searches, add links outside of netTrekker d.i., how to add a template, how to organize your project folder and then how to share your folder with your school or district.
Let’s start at the beginning.
When you are logged into netTrekker d.i., you have the ability to save websites that you discover during your search. Start by doing a keyword search. I chose to use the keyword “scientific method” and will be creating a folder to prepare for the spring science fairs. In the middle school tab, this keyword brings me 136 results that I can easily customize using the refinement menu.
Next to each result you will see a checkbox. If after reviewing the website you decide it is one that you want to save, just put a check mark next to it. Go ahead and view the results on the next pages and check the ones you want to save on those pages as well. Once you have your results checked off, scroll to the top of the page. Under the refinement menu you will see a button that says “Save Search”.
(If you are IP Authenticated, you will need to log in at the top right hand corner in order to see the save search feature.)
When you click on Save Search, a new window will come up. This is where you start your organization of
your saved search and name your folder for the results. Your keyword and the date of your search will
automatically fill in the title field. You are welcome to change the title if you choose. Next, you’ll see a place to add a description. This is not mandatory, and you can leave it blank if you want. You can see the changes I made to the Title Field and the description I added in the photo
Since this folder will be about science fair projects, I did another search on science fair experiments. After selecting the search results I thought would be most helpful to my students, I clicked on “Save Search” again. Instead of creating a new folder of results though, I checked “Add to Existing Folder” and then selected my Science Fair Project folder to add these results to.
You can also save Famous Person Search Results, Dynamic Timelines, and images to your folders as well.
It’s your turn now. I want you to decide on a topic and create a folder of a project of your choice. Tomorrow will add more detail to your folder.
We receive many requests from our customers for suggestions on how best to communicate the features of netTrekker d.i. to students, teachers and parents. Traditionally, schools and districts have used print and electronic media to get this information out. netTrekker d.i. provides an online tour and training videos, customizable parent letters and school newsletter articles, instructions on establishing netTrekker d.i. browser, desktop, and website links, and access to printable Quick Reference Guides, and Bookmarks.
One customer took this a step further and created a podcast to explain netTrekker d.i. and its benefits to its community of users. GrantWood Area Education Agency is one of 10 agencies established by the state of Iowa to work with the public and private schools districts to ensure all students reach their potential by providing resources, services, and educational programs. In the fall of 2008, Grant Wood AEA purchased a netTrekker d.i. subscription for the schools in its service area. This large subscription provided netTrekker d.i. access to over 180 schools and over 75,000 students and teachers. The implementation began with emails sent to the netTrekker administrators in each building to bring awareness and instructions on accessing netTrekker d.i. This was followed up by an onsite netTrekker d.i. Train the Trainer workshop attended by Grant Wood AEA staff and some district administrators. Finally, to help these individuals get the word out about netTrekker d.i. to this large community – a podcast was created.
The podcast was facilitated by Kay Rewarts, Grant Wood AEA consultant, as she asked the following questions of Marci Campbell, netTrekker d.i. Customer Support & Training Specialist.
- Explain what netTrekker d.i. is and it’s benefits to teachers
- How can netTrekker d.i. help teachers align their curriculum with 21st century learning skills?
- What are some of the advantages of netTrekker d.i. compared to some of your competitors?
- Can netTrekker d.i. be used by students and parents? How can parents use it effectively to reinforce learning at home?
TO HEAR MARCI’S ANSWERS … check out the netTrekker d.i. podcast!