Product Index
Curriculum Products
Categories: Coding and Engineering
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.
Tommy, Ed Tech Coordinator/Tosa. School Type: High School, Other, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, College Prep School, BYOD Devices
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product in lower level elective classes teaching script based coding and to show other teachers at the Elementary level how to integrate tech in curriculum

Strengths: This product uses an open source version of javascript. Could be longer though.

Suggestions for Improvement: It needs lesson plans for less techy teachers. It could be longer It needs a way for teachers to view student success

Verdict: I think teaching coding as a modern language is very important

Caroline, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to teach perserverance and coding skills, although I don't know what it is myself! After playing around with it, students will be able to learn how to use code to play a game. This would be a great addition to centers.

Strengths: I like the way the students are able to go back and try again (perservere). The ruler tool is also a great addition that allows students to "research" what they need to enter their code.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if this was geared for 3rd grade, had more levels, and incorporated different characters.

Verdict: I would recommend it because our school does not have anything else like it! This would give exposure to computer programming for all students. It's interface is very appealing for the kids from 3-5 grade, too!

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: One of the ways that we use the product is within small groups. Students read the same article and we discuss the article and then students answer the questions that are posed. Students other times are assigned to choose two different articles to read and then check in with teacher when finished taking a quiz.

Strengths: The game element is strong with this product. Like how it teaches coding to students.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would increase the explanation of specific programming concepts to the students, i.e. loops and conditionals.

Verdict: I would recommend it to be able to teach coding to students I like that the simplicity of the interface. The visual nature makes it appealing to students as they progress through each level.

Matthew, Pd Coordinator. School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, College Prep School
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use the product to teach MYSELF how to code using CoffeeScript - it's fun, well-designed and engaging. Code Monkey would be an ideal solution for introducing Java-type language with "intro to coding" or "intro to computer science" class.

Strengths: CodeMonkey solves the problem of teaching introductory-level coding to students by teachers unfamiliar with coding. The application is approachable by even the least experienced user.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Other languages (Python?) 2. Story line for a more mature user base

Verdict: CodeMonkey is addictive, game-based, fun, clever, well-designed, and builds real-world skills students will need to make a decent income here in Silicon Valley.

1st Grade Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this tool to help introduce what "coding" is. I teach 1st grade and students love to play video games, but don't realize that its written in code. This is a fun way to teach kids important computer skills.

Strengths: I really like how students can use the ruler to help measure out the number of steps their character has to take to reach the banana. Also, as a teacher I can re-watch the lesson my student has finished and see where they made an error.

Suggestions for Improvement: It should be free.

Verdict: I would recommend this tool because it is very fun and engaging. It is a simple way to teach kids a better understanding of how programs are created.

School Site Tech Coordinator, School Type: Elementary School, Project Based School
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to teach coding at the next level. This would be good to supplement more advance coding concepts. This would be good to teach critical thinking skills as well.

Strengths: The teacher dashboard is great where you can check the student's progress.

Suggestions for Improvement: i would like to see a feature where a teacher can provide instant feedback on the dashboard whenever a student is stuck.

Verdict: Fun for the students to learn coding because of the great animation and interactive nature of coding. This would be good for students who have learned basic coding.

Math Teacher, School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, College Prep School, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to introduce students to programming. And then to rake them even deeper. To actually write code.

Strengths: I have not seen another product that makes entry into programming so easy. I can easily imagine student using this to become real programmers

Suggestions for Improvement: On line help. Sample programs Maybe exercises wiyh code errors to correct to help the learning process.

Verdict: Cheap. Free to start. Easy to use. This is a critical skill for the future. But maybe more important, it is a great way to get kids to think! To solve problems.

Robin, Science Teacher. School Type: Middle School
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this in my once-a-week "life skills" rotation with my 6th graders. The teacher who was demonstrating the product for me told me that her class uses it once a week on Fridays, and that they retain what they have learned from week to week

Strengths: The graphics are engaging (even swears the piloting teacher I talked with, to eighth graders) and the lessons build upon each other so kids can gain increasing skills. Kids can "pass" a level with three different degrees of accuracy, and the teacher can choose to insist that a certain level of accuracy be attained before they move on. Since the software is self-paced, nobody is left bored during the class period. The language is CoffeeScript, and kids can directly transfer these skills to many other coding programs and tasks, such as Lego robotics materials.

Suggestions for Improvement: Apparently the current 90 lessons were completed by a few students in this one teacher's class before Thanksgiving break. I'd like to see enough lessons in it to get me through an entire semester with high-achieving students.

Verdict: This is a very efficient way to allow kids to learn to code at their own speed. It also tracks each student's progress (HELLO, report cards!) and allows the teacher to inspect actual student work, which is archived an accessible on the site.

Jamelle, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, BYOD Devices
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this program to teach students the functions of animations. In my class I have 40 minute period of high level students, who have shown an interest in coding. Even though coding is not part of the curriculum, I believe that I can incorporate it into some of my lessons.

Strengths: It is very kid-friendly. The screen is bright and colorful and captures a kid's interest. It makes coding fun and very easy. This would help me to solve the problem of students not showing creativity or critical thinking skills.

Suggestions for Improvement: Price- Because I work in a public school, price is a very delicate matter. The cost could deter an administrator, especially if it is not beneficial to the entire school.

Verdict: I would explain to my administrator that this program uses critical thinking skills, lots of focus and also teaches connection to the text. Students can take a subject and animate in order to present what they may have learned in social studies or science.

Stem Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I love the idea of teaching the kids how to code in a fun and interactive format. It is geared towards 5th grade and up and so if I was teaching those grades, I would totally use it! It is also done in a well thought out way where a non-coder could understand and learn to code using the program. I tried it out and it was easy enough to understand for me and it really does take persistence to try and get the monkey to the banana!

Love the idea. Wish my first graders knew how to spell and type well enough to try coding. I will suggest this program to the older grades!

Strengths: Explains how to code step by step. It really builds upon each other with each level of the game. It's a great way to teach directions and steps.

Suggestions for Improvement: NA, I think its great, just not for my grade.

Verdict: Great way to teach persistence and coding in an easy to understand way.

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