Product Index
Teacher Needs
In Summit Reflections, educators review tools that they have seen at an EdSurge Tech for Schools Summit. Summit Reflections can only be completed onsite at the event; reviewers are incentivized to leave reviews.
Desktop Administrator, School Type: Middle School, High School, College Prep School

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would love to put all my lessons on here to make them accessible to any student with a device anywhere. I would use it to keep students on task in class as well as use it to keep kids at home caught up with instruction. I would also like to use it to collaborate with other teachers.

Strengths: I love how it's really organized and you are able to share lessons with other teachers. I think it helps teachers stay on top of their lessons. It solves the problem of disengaged students who are missing instruction.

Suggestions for Improvement: Make the lessons teachers make accessible in a bank for other teachers.

Have a wiki format for kids to collaborate and share what they are learning.

Verdict: It makes learning more engaging and more accessible.

Kate, Reading Specialist. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, 1:1 Devices

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This would make sharing planning across the grade levels as well as keeping the interactive components much easier. I like the ability to simply move over, adjust, and redo plans.

Strengths: Solves the ability to interface with administration and teammates.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to be able to move the content into student resources easily or create a powerpoint of class objectives. Easy access in the classroom would be nice as we need school wifi.

Verdict: This product makes planning so much easier than simply writing it all out. Adjustments and additional information can easily be added.

Computer Teacher, School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this program for my students by building their vocabulary skills and reading comprehension for my curriculum.

Strengths: I found this program to be very help with building comprehension skills and reading skills.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would add vocabulary

I would add rewards/points system

I would add parent portal

Verdict: Its an engaging activity for students to learn and build their science skills for class.

David, Teacher. School Type: High School

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Alchemy Learning’s Smart Binder is an excellent tool for Teachers that are working to flip their classroom. I intend on using it this year when I work with a colleague to flip instruction for one of our units. This software has a tired pricing structure that makes it so that I pay for only what I want to use and I’m super grateful for that pricing structure.

The Smart Binder allows me to upload a file (video, text, image, etc.), include guiding text and a formative assessment question so that I can measure student understandings and misconceptions while they are still at home watching a video of the lesson.

Strengths: It provides an excellent platform for flipped instruction and allows the teacher to deliver content while also getting feedback from students as formative assessments.

Suggestions for Improvement: One thing that I couldn’t find on their website is a free trial option of the paid accounts. I would really like to see how different they were before hopping on to the higher tiers but even now I’d be willing to pay for the collaborator account.

Verdict: I would definitely recommend this for schools that have teachers looking to flip their instruction or even develop intervention and supplemental curriculum that students can use on their own time. I also heard a teacher’s idea at the conference about using the Smart Binder to develop sub lessons so that students can still get to hear from you when you aren’t their to help in person.

Christina, Science Teacher. School Type: High School, BYOD Devices

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: This seems like a great tool to use in flipping the classroom or using during BYOD. It would allow me to upload a video as well as a worksheet or questions that the students could answer.

Plus it would allow me to see how they are doing, and what concepts they are struggling with.

Strengths: This seems like a great tool to use in flipping the classroom or using during BYOD. It would allow me to upload a video as well as a worksheet or questions that the students could answer.

Plus it would allow me to see how they are doing, and what concepts they are struggling with.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be nice if there was a way to export a list of student scores a spreadsheet so that you could print it out and transfer the scores to your grade book. Having to go student by student and write down grades seems to be time consuming,

Verdict: This seems like a great tool to use in flipping the classroom or using during BYOD. It would allow me to upload a video as well as a worksheet or questions that the students could answer.

Plus it would allow me to see how they are doing, and what concepts they are struggling with.

David, Teacher. School Type: High School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I have been thinking about flipping my classroom instruction and it seems like Alchemy Smartbinder will work great as an organizational tool for content delivery outside of the classroom. I would use this so that I could add questions to youtube videos that I find and also that I upload myself.

Strengths: The tiered pricing is perfect. It really makes it so that teachers can easily use the software to do the basics or pay for the next level of service that they would actually use. The ease of content organization works great.

Suggestions for Improvement: Based on my limited experience with the product, I cannot think of something I would change.

Verdict: If many teachers are intending on using digital resources for instruction, Alchemy Smartbinder will work well as a content delivery system for those teachers. It will definitely be worth the investment by the administration. The price seems right for the data and content management system that you get.

English Teacher, School Type: High School, Low Income Population, College Prep School

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: To store all of my materials. With unlimited storage space, I could combine my dropbox, googledocs, school shared drive, and other places where my work is stored.

Strengths: 1. Unlimited space to save materials. That is awesome!

2. The realtime access to the materials while in the classroom is a nice feature.

3. PARCC assessments are already built in.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Incorporate Promethean Board technology into the program.

2. Incorporate Ponder into the program.

3. Perhaps incorporate links to texts and curriculum already being at the school or in the county.

Verdict: My biggest concern is one that I addressed with the representative; is it possible to include my Promethean Flipcharts into the Alchemy site? I use the Promethean board everyday in my classroom and a great deal of my material is in flipcharts.

lisa, Reading Specialist. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High ELL Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would add this to my daily powerpoints. This software would allow me to ask questions to the class and do formative assessment on the spot!

Strengths: visually appealing. It allows students to look at the text and answer questions on the same screen. It is a great way to lead a formative assessment in the classroom daily. The data is also very useful.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to allow the students to answer the questions from an Ipad or smartphone and then having the results of their answers immediately. We could discuss the answers as a group and therefore becoming a critical discussion.

Verdict: I have already contacted my administration to look into this product.

Ms Latin Teacher; School Archivist, School Type: Middle School, College Prep School, 1:1 Devices

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Sounds like a better version of the curriculum management system we currently have (Moodle). It seems like it might be less cumbersome and offer better interactive features for students.

Strengths: Involves less tedium and frustration for teachers; offers more flexibility for content that would engage students.

Suggestions for Improvement: Can't tell at this point

Verdict: I would need to investigate it more thoroughly, but from what I have seen, it would provide a less frustrating experience for teachers to load and manage content, track performance, and incorporate engaging material for students.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: This is a great alternative to class collaborating and communicating. Studdents can see tools and resources uploaded by their teachers and respond to quizzes.

Strengths: Provides good information, flexibility and options for instruction for teachers. Can be used for organization of material, monitoring progress of students, or collaboration.

Suggestions for Improvement: The premium options sound like better options but don't know pricing, were not demonstrated for us.

Verdict: More responsive than edmodo, more feedback, more options.

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