I am spending today in a full-day PD session on Nettrekker. If you are a teacher and haven’t heard of Nettrekker, call your district Ed Tech department now and ask them when they will be providing this resource to you and your students.
Nettrekker is an Internet search tool for students. It allows for three different levels of searches – Elementary, Middle, and High School.
Unlike other search engines, every resource is teacher-approved, rated, and provided with a readability level. As teachers, we can search by state standards, and yes the Common Core Standards are included. As a technology teacher, I can even search by the National Education Technology Standards for Students. This means you can ensure that each and every resource you and your students use is aligned directly to instructional goals.
Teachers can create classes and bookmark folders so that specific resources can be shared with appropriate students. Students can then access those resources through a generic class account or their own individual accounts. Students can also create folders to share their research with others as part of collaborative projects. Teachers can share professional resources, lesson plans, and more with other teachers throughout their school or district, helping build a greater PLN.
Nettrekker has several content partners, including BrainPop, PBS, Smart, and Promethean. This means that you can search many of your favorite sites from one search. (Sadly, Discovery Education isn’t a content partner, yet.)
Nettrekker is a subscription service. So yes, budget may be an issue. However, because of the safe searching it provides, it meets many of the requirements of FERPA and CIPA. So the cost up front could save the district money later. Plus, the peace of mind it gives knowing that students won’t “accidentally” stumble upon an inappropriate site is worth much much more.