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.
Technology Teacher/Integration Specialist, School Type: Elementary School
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I use this product to teach coding in a club - it helps make the leap from block programming to actual coding syntax. I reviewed how to get started, finding coding/syntax blocks, run programs, and submit work. After that the students were off and running. I love the dashboard and the level of detail it provides to me. The kids benefit because they have a built-in class page where they can share and show off their work.

Strengths: I love that it literally translates blocks of programming into the actual commands that you would type to code a program. Students can change their programs on the fly without having to search for other coding blocks.

Suggestions for Improvement: The layout can be somewhat confusing because it is not broken up very well. There should be more of a solid break between the coding block area, the programming area, and the stage.
If you could create a curriculum for 3rd-4th grade that would be great.
Quick video tutorials about the different parts of the screen might save even more time for teachers - students could log in and be off and running all on their own.

Verdict: I would recommend it because it gives each student a chance to go at their own pace to learn the coding skills at each step.

Anthony, Director Of Curriculum. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Blended Learning
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Maybe once a month in order to enhance active student learning. I believe its important that ALL students enhance their digital literacy. This is the best way for students to understand how computer programs are created.

Strengths: User friendly, allowing a user to learn the interface relatively quickly. When mistakes are made it immediately informs you.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) price, $10 per user per year is quite expensive for small districts with limited money.
2) there should be descriptions about what EACH tab does.
3) The coding should do a bit more when it comes to actions.

Verdict: I believe its one of the more user friendly versions of coding out there on the market. It also gives full lesson plans for teachers to submit to their administrators before handing the lesson along with curriculum.

However, the $10 per student per year cost is quite high. This could end up costing $1000's and it only comes with a 1 year lease. I believe that licenses should be for longer periods of time (or a smaller fee, trial period should be given).

Technology Coordinator, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I currently teach programming to 5th graders using MIT's Scratch program. I would use this with that grade level, after I completed my Scratch unit.

Strengths: It addresses the issue of teaching coding syntax, which my current program plan doesn't.

Suggestions for Improvement: I found the text and screen very small, and I'm thinking it might be hard to see, even on a SmartBoard.

The drag and drop is not as intuitive as other programs I've use.

Code entered into "loops" is not as easy to place, especially since I'm not familiar with the language.

Verdict: I like a lot of the features of the program, specifically how students begin to learn coding syntax. My reason for not putting effort into advocating for it is that the cost is more than I normally have available to spend, and there are other (not quite as good) free resources. There is a per-student cost - I'd be interested in a site licenses.

Supervisor, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: IN our tech classes to promote coding

Strengths: -coding with real coding language
-very engaging for students
-I like the way students de-bug the process

Suggestions for Improvement: -make this free
-monitor for innappropriate use. The first project I came up with said, "What the HELL!"
-Release some of the lesson plans for teachers to review before purchase

Verdict: In this 21st century, students need to have some understanding of computer science

Technology Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: Use it to teach coding in my middle school classroom

Strengths: Has lessons to help students learn to code...has them work on their level at their pace...great for fast learners. Allows me to assign work to students and see progress

Suggestions for Improvement: Cost less, more characters and backgrounds, more engaging game design. Maybe have characters that students see in their everyday lives...current "hot" characters

Verdict: There are many features of this that are available for free on khan academy

Technologist, School Type: Higher Education, Low Income Population, BYOD Devices, Blended Learning
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: To implement STEM classes at my institutions.

Strengths: The interface is responsive, user friendly, provides the syntax, allows the students the understanding of how to rewrite their code, lets them be aware of the building blocks of creating code and syntax.

Suggestions for Improvement: I really don't know enough about the product to recommend.

Verdict: The interface is responsive, user friendly, provides the syntax, allows the students the understanding of how to rewrite their code, lets them be aware of the building blocks.

Media Specialist, School Type: Middle School, High School, 1:1 Devices
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: To teach computer science to middle school students.

Strengths: Lessons are great, online component is great, lots of data for the teacher, and lessons plans are provided. It has a great interface. The features like Scratch are easy to use. I like that you can create personal coding projects.

Suggestions for Improvement: It could be even less money. It could have more courses - JavaScript, Mobile Applications, etc.

Verdict: Strong product, supportive, and competitive pricing.

Tech Teacher/Tech Coach, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This would make a nice addition to our technology curriculum for elementary/middle school.

Strengths: Teaches kids to code in a well-organized interface. It helps kids to see their coding process along with the result.

Suggestions for Improvement: Sharing of coding projects--like saving to Google Drive automatically.

Verdict: It is a nice alternative to using Scratch. I love the interface, the dashboard, and the options for coding.

Technology Integration Specialist, School Type: Middle School, College Prep School
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This would be a great tools to use as the primary teaching tool for a coding elective course in middle school.

Strengths: Provides the curriculum
Differentiates instruction
Easy to use
Engaging

Suggestions for Improvement: At this point, I cannot recommend any changes. Perhaps more than 40 lessons.

Verdict: Comprehensive tool that is affordable and provides excellent material.

Diane, Superintendent Of Schools. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: To teach coding to students
Encourage creative thinking
Encourage mathematical

Strengths: Teaching coding, creativity, love the Lego method of learning

Graphics were good too

Suggestions for Improvement: Being completely free :)
School partnerships
Monitoring for inappropriate use

Verdict: Valuable, timely instruction
Students would really enjoy it and learn as well

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