Learning Tools

Certell Updates Poptential Digital Curriculum and Launches Teacher Engauge Dashboard

Social studies course creator Certell has updated its free digital curriculum and platform with the integration of an "American Principles" course as part of its Poptential library. The company has also added Pop! exercises and the Engauge dashboard to help teachers with their workload.

The course contains sections on civic engagement, egalitarianism, entrepreneurship, governance, individualism, liberty, and trade. It is designed to help students understand the ideas and forces that have shaped U.S. culture, its past, and its changing identity as part of American civil life.

"An understanding of American Principles is as relevant today as it was at the founding of our country," said Julie Smitherman, director of content at Certell. "It equips students to analyze history critically and think independently when addressing current issues, preparing them to become engaged citizens."

Visit the American Principles course page to learn more.

Poptential courses feature content for teachers to use, including lessons, e-books, bell ringers, quizzes, tests, and pop culture media. Course packages include American History, World History, U.S. Government/Civics, and Economics.

A list of available free courses can be found on the Teacher Resources page.

Certell has also added Pop! exercises with its e-books to help students understand concepts and think critically and originally, encouraging them to consider how they can contribute to making a better world, the company said.

With the Engauge dashboard, teachers can capture data in real time on how students are doing with online materials and homework. The dashboard provides:

  • Tracking of completed, partially completed, and unfinished work;
  • Data on how the class is using and engaging with e-books; and
  • Data on individual student progress, compared with class averages or other measures.

Teachers can use these insights to help with their own professional development, the company said, to determine where students are already competent with the material and where they might need more help.

"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. "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."

Visit the Engauge dashboard page to learn more about how it works.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.