INDIANAPOLIS — Certell, the creator behind the Poptential™ family of free social studies course packages, announced a significant update to its digital curriculum and platform designed to help students better understand the principles that have shaped American history while giving teachers tools to better manage their classroom and improve learning.
Poptential course packages have been updated to incorporate “American Principles” designed to foster a greater understanding of American civic life and sharpen critical thinking skills among students. Additionally, Certell introduced a powerful new dashboard for teachers called Engauge™, which helps instructors understand student engagement with Poptential e-books in real time.
The integration of American Principles into Poptential social studies courses is a significant milestone. These principles are fundamental ideas that have shaped U.S. history, culture, and identity, serving as the bedrock of American civic life. The goal is to ensure that students not only grasp these principles but also understand why they were deemed essential by the nation’s founders.
Julie Smitherman, a former social studies teacher and director of content at Certell, expressed the importance of this update, stating, “An understanding of American Principles is as relevant today as it was at the founding of our country. It equips students to analyze history critically and think independently when addressing current issues, preparing them to become engaged citizens.”
The seven American Principles seamlessly integrated into Poptential are Civic Engagement, Egalitarianism, Entrepreneurship, Governance, Individualism, Liberty, and Trade.
In addition to American Principles, Poptential e-books now feature Pop! exercises designed to cultivate students’ Passion, Original thinking, and Power to change the world. These exercises enable Poptential students to gain a profound understanding of the world and how they can positively impact society.
Used with Poptential e-books, Engauge captures real-time data on student engagement with online materials and homework. The free dashboard provides teachers with a range of insights, including:
● The ability to track completed, partially completed, and unfinished work.
● Class-level data showcasing how students engage with the e-books.
● Comparative data to assess individual student performance against class averages and other benchmarks.
“Many data-driven tools provide formal assessments of students, but Engauge is different because it provides evidence of student engagement in the tools used for learning,” said Andy Wiggins, social studies teacher at North Central High School in Indianapolis, IN. “This behind-the-scenes look at student learning activity can help teachers set students up for success when it comes time for more formal assessments.”
Engauge also serves as a helpful professional development tool for teachers. Since data-informed decision-making is at the heart of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs), Engauge can help teachers analyze student learning data to identify areas of strength and areas for improvement.
Poptential courses offer comprehensive content for instructors, including lessons, e-books, bell ringers, quizzes, tests, and pop culture media to make learning engaging and relatable. Poptential offers course packages in American History, World History, U.S. Government/Civics, and Economics, all available for free at www.poptential.org.
About Certell, Inc.
Certell is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to fostering a generation of independent thinkers. With over 100,000 users across the United States, Certell’s Poptential™ family of free social studies courses has garnered numerous awards, including recognition from EdTech Digest Awards, Tech&Learning, Tech Edvocate Awards, the National Association of Economics Educators, and Civvys Awards. For more information about Poptential™ and Certell’s mission, please visit www.poptential.org.
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