Product Index
Educational Operations
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.
Daniel, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I used it last year as part of our Teacher Eval system.

Strengths: Teacher vetted resources is a plus!

On the eval side, bloomboard has user friendly graphs, helpful reminders, and many tools that help evaluator/observer manage tasks.

Suggestions for Improvement: The recommended articles are useful. If there were a way to see if the teacher actually reviewed the recommended material that would help an observer engage in follow up conversations.

Verdict: I think various ways teacher's get feedback is helpful. I liked that articles could be recommended to teachers' based on their eval scores.

The teacher collections seem like a rewarding way to gather and share information.

Michael, Ed Tech Tosa. School Type: Middle School, High School
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to help streamline access to professional development for teachers. The online curation of resources is wonderful, and it also allows tracking of resource access, so you can keep track of who is using what resource.

Strengths: I eliminates a lot of the searching that goes into finding individualized PD resources for staff. It also helps administrators track which staff member is working with what resources.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Integrate more detailed use profiles.
2. Include as many opportunities for reflection as possible.
3. Allow teachers to prove the have mastered the topics covered through some sore of "certification" process attached to each PD resource and curate the results.

Verdict: It collects and vets myriad professional development resources - from books to full courses, and organizes them in a single space.

Tosa, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to reinforce trainings and professional devlelopment that I attend. I enjoy learning about the different resources and products that are available, and I would be very interested in receiving credit or offering it as an additional incentive for the teachers I would with.

Strengths: The product allows teachers to maximize and further incentive their education.

Suggestions for Improvement: At this point, there is nothing that the program could do differently, more that the school district, county, state, and country need to acknowledge and support a higher teacher salary :D

Verdict: Not all teachers need professional development credit. Some teachers have maxed out the educational/pay scale, and it would not make a difference for them.

Mark, Director Of It. School Type: Middle School, High School, College Prep School
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Our teachers are geographically spread out across many time zones and we would use this to assign and track asynchronous professional development.

Strengths: Easy to use, offers great breadth of trainings.
it makes it easy to assign subject specific training.

Suggestions for Improvement: I'd like to be able to embed the videos in our LMS.
I'd like to be able to integrate training assessment and track mastery.
I'd like SSO integration to our School management software.

Verdict: It would save us time managing PD, improve the classroom experience and a future offering of micro-credentials could be a marketable advantage for our school and teachers.

Technology Integration Specialist, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would use this to discover best practices and gather ideas from a larger community of educators from other regions.

Strengths: This product is visually appealing. The overall organization of the BloomBoard reminds me a lot of Google Classroom. In this way, navigating the site was very intuitive. The modular design of the site makes it easy to find what you are looking for and difficult to get lost. This product solves the problem of spending hours on YouTube or Pinterest finding the perfect resourve.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) Brand identity. Although on one hand I like that the site looks very similar to Google Classroom, on the other hand it sort of gives me the impression that this has been done before. I wonder if there are some visual tweaks that could give this product a more unique brand identity.
2) Micro-credentials and CEUs. This seems like a really neat feature that I'd like to know more about and might draw me towards this product over others. How does it work? How much does it cost?
3) Visual network of teachers. It would be insightful to see a map that graphically demonstrates where the teachers who use this site are from, color-coded and shaded to indicate areas of high-use.

Verdict: Teachers become overwhelmed by options. Teachers have been exposed to other online educator communities like Edmodo, with varying responses. I'm not sure if my district is ready to jump into an online community yet... There is more research to be done before rolling this out on a large scale.

Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

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Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

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Non Profit Leader
Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

Usage: Would use it to id PD needs especially w/regard to move to common core

Strengths: The tagging and aggregating features for individual teachers and groups of teachers sorted in different ways is effective and useful especially in terms of how you might want to organize collaboration/meeting time.

Suggestions for Improvement: It does not appear to have a feature which would be helpful for districts to aggregate individual school needs.

Verdict: Principals -- but with the caveat that the initial inputs are time sinks.

Teacher
Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

Usage: We have been looking for an online observation tool and PD manager and this seems like a great solution

Strengths: Very detailed and personalized feed back for teachers on observations and PD plan development. I like how system keeps track of teachers on an individual basis.

Suggestions for Improvement: Currently it looks like it supports everything I would want it to do.

Verdict: We have been trying to build this with google forms and it is very difficult to maintain. This looks a well developed package

Mark, Stem Resource Teacher
Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

Usage: Do not use

Strengths: Helps teachers develop and keep track of their own PD.

Suggestions for Improvement: Teachers in my district (and most low income districts, I'm guessing) would not respond well to PD that is totally online/impersonal. If there isn't someone in front of the room who is part of their culture and/or community delivering the information, it probably won't make it through.

Verdict: A very tech-friendly school with self-directed teachers might do well with this.

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