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.
Kahlil, Teacher. School Type: Middle School, High School, Project Based School
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use Captivity as a Fundraising Rites of Passage. Leading up to the real fundraiser, would learn business basics and definitely have a competition with student groups competing against each other, and a marketplace with fake money.

Strengths: So many. It is like a Google Doc for creating a business. It is not just the business basics which is awesome, it is the fact that students are planning, collaborating, learning how to articulate their vision, and even voting on each other's ideas which are the strongest aspects. The interface is very user friendly and simple.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) Make stronger disctinctions for virtual sales (vision/test, etc.) and actual sales. 2) It is a little boxy. There are certain aspects of the interface that I wish were more fluid. For example, when students are commenting on each other's ideas, you have to go really deep to see it. I almost want some aspects of that to be visible sooner. Basically, more emphasis and/or visibility on the student to student interactions that are happening. 3) Of course we can celebrate when we make a sale, but I wish the program celebrate achievements more.

Verdict: I think that basic business skills should be learned once in each school level: elementary, middle school, high school. Doing that through a fundraiser is a great idea. Captivity is an excellent tool for doing this.

Head Of School, School Type: Elementary School, Project Based School
Sep 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it as part of the current projects I'm working on to help the students at my school keep track of the fundraising they're doing for the project.

I can also see myself building a project based around this tool and entrepreneurship.

The main use cases I see is helping kids collaborate with each other, get a high level perspective of business concepts by seeing how they connect to one another, and building specific skills such as how to develop ideas, how to sell, how to keep track of a product.

Strengths: The highlight for this tool is the way the process of building a business is structured and how easy it is to see how the business is doing.

Suggestions for Improvement: 3 things I would change would be:

1. Make it possible to use real money through the app. There is a big difference between people saying they will buy something from you and actually giving you their money.

Verdict: I would recommend we get it because the interface is beautiful, it's very intuitive to use and it has a way for the kids to track what they're doing for fundraising.

Jenna, Ed Tech/Steam Specialist. School Type: Other
Sep 10, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Since I don't have a classroom, I would encourage my teachers to use this program. I would invite them to use the different simulations to connect to what they are already teaching. For example, if a teacher wanted to do the PBL on the cafeteria, I would also encourage them to bring in some gardening, agricultural practices, and the like to meet the NGSS.

Strengths: This product's strength is in the automated design of the micro-problems inside of the overview of the entire project. It makes PBL easy because it supports student collaboration and integrated learning.

Suggestions for Improvement: - pacing, some way to slow students down when they are responding to questions.
- ranking, some way for students to discuss how they are FEELING about particular peices of the project
- summarization, some way for students to summarize what they have learned from the project.

Verdict: It's FREE!!!! It's interactive, full of automated lessons that walk students through the project. Students can also comment on each other's contributions to conversations!

Noemi, Math Teacher. School Type: High School, High ELL Population
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this as an extera class assignment to make my math lessons relevant to the real world. This can be very useful in making math concepts applied in the students' life. I will also use this for an elective math.

Strengths: Connection to the real world. This really makes this learning relevant because they get to apply whatever concepts they learned in class. This would hopefully solve the problem of students not being motivated enough because they don't see the relevance of what they are learning in class.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if this product is availabale for each of my students. It would also be good if the parents can see what their kids are doing in this project. It would also be good if this could be shared to the other teachers in the building so they would know what is happening in my classroom.

Verdict: Relevance to the real world.

English And Tech Teacher, School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, BYOD Devices, Blended Learning
Oct 3, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would like to use this program for my technology class for each subject area. Hospitality, Landacaping, Auto, and Design.

Strengths: I think it's got an excellent layout. It's easy to navigate and allows for easy collaboration.

Suggestions for Improvement: I wild add a project management tab that allows students to create goals and milestones like a real business. I would also allow the ability to sell products through the site (a little bit like etsy). I would also like to see the option of donating proceeds to charities of choice.

Verdict: I would recommend it because it would show my technology students how to create their own jobs and how to make money doing something creative. Technology is often thought of as "just shop class" but students forget about the possibilities of owning their own business.

Sophia, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Sep 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This allows the students can ignite their creativity

Strengths: This product is so interactive! It allows the students to be very creative. It teaches them how to manage a business and sell products to their students.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would suggest that it has a basic theme that teacher can use for units in their classroom. I feel like the students should be able to use this program in a classes not just social studies and business.

Verdict: I would recommend that it be age appropriate die elementary students. Beginning in fourth grade students are now having to manage money as a skill

Math Teacher, School Type: Higher Education, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product as part of Freshman Seminar. This is a class that teaches freshmen different skills for success in high school. Many students have asked to learn about finance and business so this is a great product to teach this. I could do this as a term project to teach collaboration and help students understand what it means to be "working". It is also great to show them customer service.

Strengths: I love the real world application and how it shows student what can really happen in a business. It takes into account several different aspects that students need to learn, especially about cash flows. Students need to understand money is not unlimited. By having a section showing what you have on hand and that it goes down when you spend really hits home for students.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to have a demo version for those school districts like mine who are cash strapped or who want to "kick the tires" before spending the money. I didn't see options for different business models (perhaps I missed that). This would be quite helpful. Adding a personal finance option in addition to the business. Having students be able to run a business, get paid, and manage their own finances might be a great way to give them a true real world connection.

Verdict: I would explain to them that this tool is great for students with an entrepreneurial spirit or for those looking to enter the workforce right after high school. I liked the cash register option which teaches student important cash handling skills and how to handle change, etc. I would tell them that this type of class has been requested by students and can incorporate many important real word skills that can also be tied to the curriculum.

Math Teacher, School Type: High School, Low Income Population
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use Cashtivity for project-based activities with my students. I teach math, and I have students collaborate using the platform. I love the idea that students can work in small groups and they do not have to be physically together in order to work together. As long as they can connect to the Internet, they can monitor their projects. The timeline component is very useful for teachers to monitor students' progresses.

Strengths: This product provides a great platform for students to start thinking about creating valid business models and work out the financial components in thinking about running a business. The survey and graphical displays are great tools for students to use when using this platform. Teachers will have a lot of flexibility in creating the types of groups that they want in using the product since there are no limits as to the number of users. The layout of the platform is very intuitive and easy to use.

Suggestions for Improvement: One thing that I would add is to have the survey link be accessible via a link so that students can generate more data right out of the link. Another thing I would add is to have an export option for the data that students generate so that students can freely manipulate the data. The last thing is to make it mobile friendly so that students can access the platform with their cell phones.

Verdict: I would recommend this tool because our school has implemented a financial math literacy for our advisory groups. This is a great tool for students to start thinking about the financial and technological elements in creating a business and being entrepreneurs.

Angela, Humanities Teacher. School Type: Middle School, Project Based School
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this design tool to support project based learning at my school that prepares students for the real world.

Strengths: This service does a holistic job of bringing together everything needed to carry out projects in which students are creating their own business and running numbers to explore the profit potentials and other key elements of those entities. Rather than using separate services to assist students with crunching numbers and setting up their business structures, this is an all-in-one exciting tool merging school-to-career skill development in an exciting, 21st century format.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would have ways that other kinds of project based learning units could be supported that aren't necessarily based on economic concepts. For example, if students could be involved in a PBL that was assessing solutions to real world problems wherein all of their components of their project were accessible through this tool, that would be outstanding. Another feature that would be helpful is integrated ways to grade student products.

Verdict: I would recommend it because the tool integrates most of the components necessary for implementing a project based learning unit that is business management focused.

Wickman, School Type: Elementary School
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would develop Math Performance Task Teams for a PBL project once each trimester. They would probably be so enthused they would want it to be a competition or they would play ahead....

Strengths: What a wonderful idea! I was hesitant at first, since this would ADD to my things-to-do list rather than make my life easier, however I became addicted to the idea of making a product and making a profit after careful consideration of costs. What teacher would not want her kids to do the same? The bar graphs are easy for kids f all ages to read and determine whether their product/service is making a profit or not.

Suggestions for Improvement: There would be some specific pre-teaching that would need to occur. Also, since kids can collaborate on projects the means of communicating is present, but could be less redundant. Marissa told me they are putting in a conversation feed along the right side, so yeah!

Verdict: I would encourage the upper grades and perhaps secondary to see this Cashivity as an application of financial literacy/math skills/critical thinking/creativity.

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