Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Many Incredible Features of net Trekker

Net Trekker is an incredible resource for K-12 teachers. First of all, every website is researched and approved by teachers. You can refine (filter) your searches by readability levels, subject, languages and other criteria. This will reduce the number of sites in your search results. As much as I love Google, they don’t offer these options. There are a lot of features in net Trekker but I want to direct your attention to two that you will find very useful. The first is read aloud. Click the “open read aloud” button located beneath the high school tab. This will place a bar at the bottom of the window. Simply select some text in your website and Mike, Lauren or Crystal will read it you. Personally, I’m partial to Crystal. You can even choose from five speeds that it is read to you. Your English language learners will benefit from this tremendously.

The next feature I want to point out is the dictionary. To the right of every website found in your search results is a “dictionary” button. It actually looks dimmed and you might think that it’s not active, but that is not so. Instead of clicking on the link to go to the website, click the dictionary button. This will take you to the same website. However, when you click on any word, a window pops up giving you the definition. But wait, there is more. You can also choose to translate from English to Spanish (for example). There are many languages to choose from.

These are a mere two features of the many that net Trekker has to offer you. You can also search by famous people or an events timeline. The references page has links to the English language, quotations, books online, online museums, encyclopedias & internet libraries, maps, geography & almanacs, measurement & conversion, calculators & graphs, math assistance, US government, worldwide government, law, medical information, images, clip art, sounds, news article searches, library finders, time zone finders, area code & phone numbers, and zip code finders. The district pays for this service because they believe it is such a great resource for you. I sure hope you agree and use it. Contact your District Instructional Technologist to help you create a login.

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