Product Index
Curriculum Products
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.
Teacher, School Type: Middle School, College Prep School
Oct 18, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: My students are conducting a research project on the holocaust. They are creating 100 note cards on 10 different topics focusing on different aspects of the holocaust. In addition, students must apply the concept of acceptance and tolerance to their research. Artifact will help students find books that match their topic to the concept at their own lexile.

Strengths: My students will be able to use Artifact immediately without having to have a lot of tutoring. It is self explanatory and guides the student within the program.

Suggestions for Improvement: Artifact is still a new program, so I think it will improve over time. I think Artifact will grow faster if teachers are surveyed to offer input.

Verdict: Artifact is a FREE program that will benefit the students by using books at their individual lexile.

Second Grade Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this tool in several ways, first I would use it to identify books that match specific skills. I would then pull those books and categorize them for units of study. I could use these bins to teach various writing strategies as well. I could also put together skill bins for small groups or for kids to revisit to help meet individual goals.

Strengths: Often times I have so many books that I forget what I really have. When planning for a lesson it takes forever to pull books and screen books for a specific purpose. This product does all of that for you in a fraction of the time. Awesome!!!!!

Suggestions for Improvement: I would add the ability to link graphic organizers that help students organize their thinking about a specific topic. Also, it would be really cool if there was a way to have kids scan a book for checkout to take home. Maybe add a class message board so you can recommend books to read with parents at home.

Verdict: This offers an easy comprehensive way to organize classroom libraries and use the resources we already have on hand. This would save hours of work in terms of finding and pulling books for instruction.

Special Education Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would mostly use it to search for books that would support the concepts that I am teaching, especially when teaching social skills.

Strengths: What I have done in the past is just search online (like a google search) or on teaching blogs or pinterest, etc. to find children's books that support my lessons. This product would allow me to save my searches and put them into collections to access easily. It would also allow me to search more meaningfully based on the tags that others have added to a book and I could add some myself.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Expand book collections and categories especially for social skills and character building 2. Make it easier to inventory classroom libraries like scanning or take pictures, etc, 3. Make the tags shorter: one or two words instead of having to write a narrative.

Verdict: I would recommend it because it would give teachers the ability to make collections and search collections of others both in their own classrooms, the school library, and the public library. It would make accessing the right books much easier.

3rd 8th Reading And Science Teacher And Instructional Technology Specialist, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, 1:1 Devices
Oct 18, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to search for relevant books for my students and to have students keep track of what they have read. I want students to track what they enjoy and don't enjoy and save their searches.

Strengths: Great layered search to find great books for my students!

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) seems cumbersome to save searches 2) want to be able to track what students read each year and from year to year (I teach third through eighth grade reading so I have the students for six years) 3) connect to my Google account - make it an add-on app or extension for Google

Verdict: It's free and relevant and based on the demo seems user-friendly!

Administrator, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School, Blended Learning
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I'd use it to choose theme based books for units or for teaching literary elements.

Strengths: This would solve the searching for books for theme units and by Lexie problem. I currently use Titlewave and then Amazon. It will be great to be able to cross search by standard rather than just theme/topic.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. I'd like to see interest level added for picture books for use as mentor texts for both teaching literary elements rather than just search by reading level. Picture books regret for middle school direct instruction. 2. I'd like to see a writing component added tied to ELA CC for searching for mentor text passages in books. (See Ralph Fletcher's books on Nonfiction and Fiction Lessons. 3. It would be great to add a teacher upload of lesson plans tied to the books for both reading and writing. 4. I didn't see what your Fiction to nonfiction ratio was but the more nonfiction the better.

Verdict: I like it for searching for books by theme and Lexie. I'd like to se it more robust by weaving in the ELA standards for writing as well for mentor texts.

English Teacher, School Type: High School
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: This product allows you to search for texts based on a topic, essential question, and pull up suggestions with publication data about the book. Can be useful for reading groups.

Strengths: This is a great product for teachers, or parents looking to find a text that meets a student's particular topic interest.

Suggestions for Improvement: I wonder if it could be connected to my school library, so that it could find the texts that we know we have in the system. I am interested in knowing where their lexical numbers came from. Also, can teachers add books to the list?

Verdict: Unfortunately, the model used at my school would not be overly conducive to using this product. We have texts selected, we need more curriculum ideas.

Kindergarten Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to tell the reading levels of the students and to design lessons to match to the common core... example of sequence of a story and select that component of the common core

Strengths: i am very impressed. It is an organizational tool that i would use to modify and help all levels of readers. I can teach whole class lessons on the projection station.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would add a word counter I would add TCC level system I would put picture cues of the common core standards so that sequencing would say 1, 2, 3

Verdict: It is a simple to use and awesome way to communicate reading level and appropriate levles of reading of books to students and parents. It is awesome way to colloborate with educators about using a book to teach a specifid reading component of the common core

Classroom Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I can't wait to use this product. I see many different ways to incorporate it with what I am doing. It will make my life so much easier to find books that support a concept I am teaching.

Strengths: Ease of use, organization, the passion behind it's creator for wanting to improve her product to make it useful for teachers to use. Can't wait for the mobile app to launch. The possibilities are endless.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would love to see a checkout system? Student/Parent access

Verdict: This product would make it so much easier for teachers to find books that support CC and the standards they are teaching to along with finding books at their students levels.

Ell, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Oct 18, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to more appropriately use the books that are already in my library at school and level said library.

Strengths: This solves the problem of searching through shelves of books for one story to teach a specific strategy. It also would help make my library more well- rounded, in that it would archive the books and levels I scan.

Suggestions for Improvement: I am happy it is going to soon be an iPad app. The scanning feature will come in handy. Keep it free if possible because free is BEST for teachers nowadays :)

Verdict: This app greatly assists teachers in enhancing the use of their libraries. It's a very smart way to use all your resources.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Looks like a great resource for finding book collections to support what you're doing in the classroom. I like the idea of being able to sort by reading levels as well as themes, genre, etc. Appears to be a great tool to differentiate reading to support the main lessons.

Strengths: Again, any product that can save me time is greatly appreciated. Being able to find and sort books based on whatever criteria I needing with just a few keystrokes...priceless.

Suggestions for Improvement: Being able to have a way to link into our own school's library data base would be awesome!

Verdict: Seems like a great time saver when pulling books together for lessons.

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