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.
Teacher, School Type: High School

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would send out class assignments to students and their parents. When students have questions about assignments ("Do we need to write out complete sentences?"), I would be able to provide answers to the whole class, so everyone gets the update.

Strengths: ClassOwl is a very user-friendly tool for keeping students and parents apprised of their assignments, which is really important. It also facilitates communication between teacher, student and parent. For example, if there's an essay due Friday, everyone will know. And if students or parents aren't sure how to write citations or how to format the text, the teacher can easily respond to such questions.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would make it easy to forward messages to ClassOwl from other programs (like Gmail), because my students are used to using Gmail. I would make it easy for parents to participate, maybe giving them separate accounts from their children. I would connect ClassOwl to PowerSchool so the same data could be entered in both systems at one time.

Verdict: I would recommend ClassOwl because I think it would improve homework completion. Students and parents would be able to keep track of assignments easily. I especially like that it's mobile first -- my students always have access to their cell phones!

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Classowl is a platform that allows you to post content for your classes and communicate with your student via the same platform. It has good potential in helping to streamline student to teacher communication in the classroom as well outside the classroom.

Strengths: It solves the problems of communicating and reaching students especially when they are absent for long periods of time.

Suggestions for Improvement: Please find a way to integrate across multiple platforms such as school websites where updating via Classowl allows it to update and post across multiple webistes and perhaps other class room apps like classroom dojo. More options within classes such as photos perhaps to personalize textbook integration

Verdict: I would recommend it IF it can integrate with the school website where teachers already have a profile and post content via widget or something that can help streamline the process of posting content online.

Teacher tech coach, School Type: High School, College Prep School, BYOD Devices

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I use it to push assign to students so they can easily track whether they are on track.

Strengths: This product pushes assignments and due dates to students on mobile devices via email. The website I use for publishing assignments can be linked in the intro screen

Suggestions for Improvement: 1.Maybe it is there, but I'd like a way to have students submit assignment back through email if needed. 2. Way to interface with my content management system 3. Maybe it has it, but I didn't yet see a whole week or month calendar view

Verdict: This is an easy to use tool that will help students keep track of their assign in an easy way on whatever device they have

Terry, Teacher. School Type: Middle School

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: Lesson planning on line may be good for core subjects, but would not work well for me in a project based class. I have too many students on different levels.

Strengths: The student contact component is good. Reminders of assignments pushed out to the student phones is great.

Suggestions for Improvement: Make a class template then allow students to be imported via a CSV or text file. Parent contact should be included.

Verdict: LAUSD currently has a web based lesson format that most teachers do not use unless they are being evaluated. This system seems too be a bit cumbersome

Teacher, School Type: Higher Education, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School, College Prep School

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to communicate homework assignments and deadlines with students.

Strengths: It solves the problem of students now knowing what their homework is, or being confused about deadlines. It allows for students to organize their tasks, and for students to communicate immediately with students and parents.

Suggestions for Improvement: I am not sure if students are able to add more than one class, but it seems like a good feature to have.

Verdict: It seems very easy to set up, and I like the way it interacts with student devices to create a list of tasks for them.

Belinda, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, BYOD Devices

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use to interact with the students and assign/extend learning activities.

Strengths: The product is collaborative which allows students to view assignments and share with classmates. Class Owl is an extra tool that enhances/extends student learning.

Suggestions for Improvement: Make it accessible to younger aged students. Make it web-based. Make it more appealing to look at and use.

Verdict: Great tool to communicate with students and parents. Collaborate tools for students enhance their learning.

Math Coach, School Type: High School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would use this to keep my students up to date on what's due.

Strengths: Strengths include having a safe way to interact with students and keep them (or their parents) informed on what's due in our classrooms which keeps them accountable.

Suggestions for Improvement: Perhaps, having a way for us to interact with our colleagues, and not just students.

Verdict: I would recommend this because it's a safe way to interact with students and keep them (or their parents) informed on what's due in our classrooms which keeps them accountable.

Chinese Teacher, School Type: High School

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would use to assign homework and remind them test dates

Strengths: I solve the problem that my students can say I forgot we have test today anymore. It help both students and me to keep on tack of the assignments, upcoming project and tests.

Suggestions for Improvement: I am not sure they have the feature yet, but it would be cool if I can see which student finish their work and check it off. It would help me to keep them on track

Verdict: The notification and check off feature really help students to on track

Librarian, School Type: High School, Project Based School, College Prep School, BYOD Devices

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: Seems redundant of other tools I have and my current role as a librarian makes it irrelevant to me.

Strengths: Cool that the students can comment and ask questions. Does it work if students don't have a smart phone? Great that you can upload docs also.

Suggestions for Improvement: A better viewable calendar, maybe something that if you swipe a finger over the date it pops up in a swiping preview box without clicking on it. Does it send reminders?

Verdict: Seems like it is better than something like remind 101.

Seth, Tsai Hsing. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, High ELL Population, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would use this to connect teachers who are teaching the same class together.

Strengths: Simple setup. Good for collaboration. Low barrier of entry.

Suggestions for Improvement: Synchronize with google classroom, other LMSs.

Verdict: It's a pretty simple task manager - people might have their own systems already in place that they prefer.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Blended Learning

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: It seems to be geared more towards high school students. Elementary students do not have smart phones with internet access. The concept is great, and it may even work at the middle school level, but this doesn't seem to work for the elementary level unless they are a 1:1 tech school.

Strengths: It solves communications problems at the Secondary level, and gives students "chat rooms" to respond to and ask questions about assignments and grades. It keeps electives or extra-curriculars organized.

Suggestions for Improvement: Doesn't seem suitable to the needs of Elementary.

Verdict: Not well-suited to elementary school, but better for secondary. Not suited for multiple subjects but great for teachers with different courses at the secondary level.

teresa, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

full starno starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: This product offers no parent access and I don't feel it's appropriate for elementary students, specifically 4th graders.

Strengths: This product has a timer to let student know how much time an assignment should take. I guess this would help them keep their pacing.

Suggestions for Improvement: correllate with CCSS

Verdict: This product is more like a planner for upper grades, intermediate school, or high school. In elementary 4th grade students are not so independant that they would just look at a lesson plan and do it. They need to be taught and guided.

Paraprofessional, School Type: Elementary School, Blended Learning

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would yous this tool during tutoring in small groups and to students who voiced their opinion that he/she would like to be involved.

Strengths: I feel that with this product it will allow students to engage in group activities and become comfortable with expressing their ideas and reading out loud and gaining confidence with what they have learned.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would not change too much with this product.

Verdict: More the more that we gain higher technology is what keeps me involved with incorporating it into our school system. This allows our students to gain the knowledge at an earlier age.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I used this product to track participation and then sent home a print-out at the end of each week for parents. Student created goals for participation.

Strengths: Easy tool to use

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. archive posibility

Verdict: Easy tool

Christina, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: This is a great playlist option for students to check off the tasks that they have completed.

Strengths: I love that you can check off the tasks that you complete. They can see all the assignments listed and even the ones that completed.

Suggestions for Improvement: I wish that when you assigned a task they have the ability to turn it in. If an attachment is shared it automatically gives them a copy to complete and not have to share with me.

Verdict: This is a great product to keep the kids on track with common core standards and see where they need reteaching.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would like to use it with younger children in the classroom, K-3 grade level. I would like to see it adapted to meet the needs of my students in a group setting.

Strengths: I like that it tracks student learning. It makes it easier to assign classwork to accommodate students at their learning level.

Suggestions for Improvement: Make it more K-3 friendly. Make it more accessible to lower income students.

Verdict: I would like to see it more K-6 friendly and more accessible to students from lower incomes that do not have many technical devices at home.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: I teach 5th grade and I honestly don't think this will meet my classroom needs.

Strengths: This program would be most beneficial for older students. I think they'd be willing to stay informed about assignments and try to prepare ahead of time.

Suggestions for Improvement: I don't think this product will keep my 5th grade students on track unless our site has 1:1 devices to take home. I do love the idea of students coming to school knowing exactly what they need to do for class!

Verdict: I think this product will work best for teachers in middle schools and high schools.

Leticia, Tech TOA/coor.. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: It is designed for 13+. Modifications need to be made for elementary.

Strengths: I would use an elementary version similar to class dojo

Suggestions for Improvement: Aviators would be great!!!! Follow COPA laws Make it Elementary friendly!!!! Add Teacher accounts vs std only The concept is a great parent / teacher communication tool that teachers need. It also limits kids without phones/tablets.

Verdict: Not user friendly for K-12 & an LMS or Googledrive can serve the purpose

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