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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

edYOUcator: How To

So you’ve heard all the buzz about edYOUcator. You might have access or you might still be waiting to receive your pin number, but either way, you'll be using it soon. We want you to help edYOUcator grow. Every day, we index hundreds more of the best lesson plans, units and other instructional materials that we think educators will benefit from, but we want to hear from YOU.

edYOUcator was built for you, the educators. Using the edYOUcator search engine results only in what we believe to be the best resources for educators. As many of you who have used the edYOUcator search engine have seen, it’s easy and simple to use. But there are a few advanced options you may wish to use as well.

  1. When searching use the “Advanced Search Options” to search within a specific subject or grade level. Say you’d like to find crafts for a Kindergarten class. Just type in Crafts and click the “Advanced Search Options” then check the “K” box like so:



  2. To be more specific in your search, choose a subject area to search in by using the drop down menu in the “Advanced Search Options” as shown in the screen shot above. By choosing a subject area, your search is limited to lessons within that subject.
  3. Another edYOUcator feature is being able to preview a page before you visit it. You can do this by hovering your mouse over the magnifying glass by the lesson title. By using this feature and reading the short descriptions you can be sure it’s a plan you’re interested in without even leaving the search page.



  4. Another option is to click “Help” under the search bar. This will bring up a list of helpful ways to type in your search. One helpful way is the Title search. It is used when searching for words or phrases in the title of a lesson. If you search title:”ABC” your results will yield material with “ABC” in the title of the plan.



  5. If you still can't find what you're looking for, then please, please send us an email at edYOUcator@allofe.com. That's the only way we'll know to look into the problem and once we're aware of it, we will do everything we can to fix it. We want you to take ownership over this, and we want you to get the most benefit possible.

Here are some more helpful tips to find exactly what you're looking for in you edYOUcator search:

  • Keep it simple - don't complicate your search. There's no need to specify you're looking for a lesson plans, so instead of searching "algebra lesson plans", just search algebra.
  • Use the Advanced Search Options - You can choose one specific grade level or multiple ones and even search within a certain subject area.
  • Keep using it - The more you search the more edYOUcator will grow and the better your search results will become.

So what’s next?

As edYOUcator grows we will be incorporating new features into the site! There are some features in progress:

  • By having an account on the site you’ll be able to fully benefit from these future features, especially ones like tracking and rating your favorite lesson plans.
  • Another feature we’re currently developing is allowing users to search for state specific and national practice assessments. These resources will focus on tests like the SAT, ACT, Texas’ TAKS and New York’s Regent Exams to name a few,and will include helpful practice tests, former exams and answer keys. If you can't find practice assessments from your state, please let us know at edYOucator@allofe.com.
  • Finally one of the features we’re very excited about is allowing educators to be able to contribute their own plans! edYOUcator is a network of educators that we want to share and engage with other educators. While this is not something we’ve added as a feature yet, if you’re interested in contributing lessons please let us know at edYOUcator@allofe.com.

As educators you are the focus of edYOUcator! If you’ve been using it, how do you use it and how would you like to use it in the future? Any suggestions on how we can improve? Leave a comment or e-mail us at edYOUcator@allofe.com!

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