Product Index
Curriculum Products
Categories: Reading and Language Arts
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.
Elizabeth, Teacher. School Type: High School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I love Curriculet! The content is excellent. There are quite a few free items already available and now they have a partnership with HarperCollins that will allow students to "rent" books at a reasonable price. Hopefully, they'll be able to get that price down when whole districts adopt their products. I love that there are questions, quizzes, and videos already embedded in the books, but that you can alter these and add your own. Students can also highlight, annotate, and define words. iBooks allows you to see all your highlights at the end on one page, so that would be nice to see in the future. I would use this to monitor my students' progress and to test them along the way.

Strengths: The content, as I've mentioned already, is excellent. It is easy to use, visually appealing, with embedded assessments. Students can access their work anytime, anywhere on their devices. I can see what students don't understand so we can discuss it more in depth in class. We can also include questions to prepare them for their "embedded assessments" or projects. I love that I can "spy" on them and know who is reading and how much time they are spending on the work.

Suggestions for Improvement: I was going to use this, but our county does not have one-to-one devices and I didn't think that would be fair. Unfortunately, this is a equity problem. Students with more money/resources will benefit more until the playing field is evened. BCPS is addressing this by implementing devices over the next few years--exciting! I would REALLY like to see the feature where you can click a button and all the student's highlight and annotations are on one page. When I taught with iPads, this feature was remarkable. I gave my middle school students four themes to highlight and most used four colors to correlate with each theme. Then when we wrote essays on three themes in the book, all the highlights/annotations were right there. I would also suggest some way of making it so that students have to submit an answer before they can progress. I don't think curriculet does this, but I liked that ActivelyLearn did.

Verdict: I teach five classes of standard level students and many of them do not complete homework assignments--and I don't know why. That is, I don't know if it's because they're "unmotivated" or if they are actually having trouble with the assignments. By using curriculet, you can see if students are understanding it when they are using it in the classroom. Then you can work with students to help them along. Also, it is possible to have different students work on different books at the same time, at their own speed. This might get complicated, but it is an option for differentiating. It is also low-cost/free. Also, Common Core questions are embedded throughout so I am sure that I am covering the core elements. A district could also adopt the books and embed their own questions so each book is aligned within the county.

Science Department Chair, School Type: High School, Low Income Population, College Prep School
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This tool is relevant to our curriculum goals at St. Pius X- St. Matthias Academy. In terms of the English department, curriculet has a library that has novels and texts currently used by PMA’s English Dept and Social Sciences Dept. For example: Things Fall Apart, The Grapes of Wrath, The Alchemist, Life of Pi. For science, which is the subject I teach I can upload lab documents and flip the classroom by embedding videos explaining these documents to the students so that they come to class prepared for their lab experiments.

Strengths: Ability to upload your own WordDocs & PDFs Able to embed videos of teacher talking about text (flipped classroom) Able to input documents for Spanish and French Class level report on data Average quiz grade, time on task, homework completion For time tracking: Only tracks when students are actively in the app. If they leave to visit social media it stops tracking Able to see class level standard progress Example: diction, textual evidence, point of view, & purpose The ability to track the students behind the scenes addresses issues with students not actually reading and cuts down on the time needed to analyze data.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) Continue to add to the curriculet library 2) Add discussion board feature No further suggestions at this time.

Verdict: 1) Enrollment & cost is reasonable 2) The following features: -Teacher can create questions or use stock questions -Student dictionary -You can upload your own WordDocs & PDFs -Able to embed videos of teacher talking about text [Flip Classroom] -Able to input documents for Spanish and French 3) Functions for Teachers/Data Analysis: -Class level report on data -Average quiz grade, time on task, homework completion -For time tracking: Only tracks when students are actively in the app. If they leave to visit social media it stops tracking -Able to see class level standard progress

Stacie, Tech Coordinator. School Type: High School, College Prep School, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: At Garrison Forest School we're looking to make the transition to ebooks, but are struggling with finding tools for annotating online work. We've had problems with Diigo (glitchy features, creating accounts isn't very easy, joining classes can be confusing) which has in turn slowed down our transition to using online texts. This seems like a great way to start making that move to reading online.

Strengths: Embedding photos and videos into annotations is very easy it also looks pretty which is always a plus! I also like that students must answer questions while ready to move forward. The reports are also very aesthetically pleasing and easy to understand.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be nice if you could embed the etext into a website/moodle page/etc. (Similiar to the way that you can embed a GoogleDoc or PDF from GoogleDrive into a website and scroll through the embedded file directly on a website.

It would also be nice if you could share the curriculet files with students who were not enrolled in the course. You wouldn't be able to receive feedback but it would make sharing the text with students who were not able to create accounts (for whatever reason).

I think that this software is missing a way for students to share annotations with each other. If students could annotate work as they go (or maybe were required to submit three annotations per chapter before moving forward) and then teachers moderated the annotations to share with others, that could be really useful. Some sort of discussion feature at chapter marks could also be interesting.

Verdict: It's free!!!! Also, the costs of texts are low, much lower than paper text. The interface is very user friendly and creating accounts is easy for both teachers and students. The annotating feature is very straightforward.

Melanie, English Department Chair. School Type: High School, College Prep School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This product allows me to centralize all of the material I want to use for instruction. Multimedia, reading, assessment for both in- and out-of-class purposes. It allows me to monitor students'progress in different ways-from a more holistic perspective to one that is broken down by standard, concept, or student. It facilitates my ability to get quick feedback about students' progress, not just to save me personal time, but also to allow me to get feedback almost immediately so that I can plan for instruction that is truly based on students' actual progress and achievement, not just on what I assume.

Strengths: Time issues, abilities to create something great and timeconsuming only oncebut use it over and over again

Timely feedback, real data to drive instruction, teacher ability to tailor/adapt/modify/etc.

Rented texts!!!

Suggestions for Improvement: Not much. If school's don't have students who have connectivity at home, that's a huge issue, but no one that this product can deal with

Verdict: This really is a product that shows how blended and student-centered digital learning can be a win-win for all involved: teachers, students, and parents. Monitoring students is much, much easier. Data can be collected easily. Teachers are saved time. Differentiation of lessons based on timely collected student achievement data can be made.

I would advise that this product be compared to others that are similar. What makes this product better, more comprehensive, etc.? How can it be integrated with other products and/or updated/upgraded to keep up with emerging and changing technology? Lots of potential here...

Assistant Principal, School Type: High School
Mar 1, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Support student reading development. School wide digital reading platform to assign novels, non-fiction, and current events (and other magazine, journal, etc). Best part is the ability of the teacher to customize for groups of readers (down to individual student)

Strengths: Allows the teacher to develop and assign specific subset skills, such as identifying the main idea or compare and contrast. It allows the teacher to develop a personalized learning experience for each student based on collected data for the program. It allows for genuine differentiation of instruction within a hybrid class model

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Be able to construct a year long reading course. So it would have long-range planning capabilities and students could follow. No longer students back by the pace of the class, or allowing students to move slower if that is needed.
2. Wider range of reading resources, i.e. allowing the importation of a kindle book to allow more selection
3. A tool that allows for more flexibility in adjusting for student lexile level. This is something Achieve 3000 does really well.

Verdict: It supports reading instruction in all content areas. In turn it supports SAT instructional strategy. It offers a digital platform for what has been traditional hardcopy only experiences, but it also allows for personalized and differentiated instruction. Additionally it allows the teacher to embedded Q's, and alternate experiences that work on the development of specific skill subsets, such as "similes" for example.

Bryanna, English Teacher. School Type: High School, Low Income Population, BYOD Devices
Feb 21, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This would be a great program to use in preparing students for Common Core type questions. There is a large selections of texts (that are, unfortunately, not ALL listed on the site) and a good repertoire of questions. It was a bit confusing to preview how the students will view the site, but the questions and format of the website are solid. The site also translates well from browser to iphone.

Strengths: A good selection of texts with a great selection of questions, Curriculet allows students to actively read the text and engage with it in a paperless environment. The collaborate teacher environment is also a plus!

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. A larger selection of texts would be nice you can never have enough texts!

2. An ability for students to type and rationalize their answering would help teachers see the thought process of the students from a distance.

3. A way for the students to collaborate on answers or questions have them take control of the answers and discussions about the texts.

Verdict: As students at my school are moving towards Common Core and PARCC style testing, this is a good bridge between the traditional pen-and-paper test the students are used to and the fully-computerized PARCC test of the future. The models of the questions are also great for a common core newbie like me!

Teacher Leader (Tech), School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Higher Education, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, BYOD Devices, Blended Learning
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product with students as they progress through their research process. Students would read provided materials, and the teacher would/could ask essential questions throughout their reading.

Strengths: Although the product does not appear to save time on the front-end (as teachers will most definitely need to read material before releasing to students), teachers potentially save time on the grading end. Additionally, there is less of a paper trail to be concerned about when distributing and collecting assignments.

Suggestions for Improvement: I was unclear on text-to-speech ability; however, this would be ideal considering the fact that SBAC offers this for certain populations of students. Seems as though Curriculet allows for the "pull in" of ReadWorks content, but the questions that pre-populate are not always the same as the questions asked in the printed versions of ReadWorks.

Verdict: The ability to ask essential questions throughout the reading without breaking students away from the text is always ideal. They remain connected to the content and they can pace themselves through the readings.

Esl Specialist, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Jul 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would upload my own content, questions, and annotations. I would also have students create flashcard decks through Quizlet based on vocabulary words they don't know in the text.

Strengths: This product allows me to create my own questions and track student data for text that students read online. This product allows kids to click on words and get definitions.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) I would build in the capacity for students to make flashcard decks for vocabulary words they learn as they read. Students need to practice retrieving words they learn in order to solidify those words in their longterm memory.
2) I would allow teachers to see student annotations.
3) I would create a digital way for students to "request" books for independent reading from their teachers.
4) I would allow teachers to see the Lexile level and/or F&P levels for as many texts as possible.

Verdict: 1) You can easily see the data for student performance on different standards. 2) Students can access Curriculet on their phone. 3) Students need to practice annotating text on the screen to prepare for PARCC.

Tracy Ann, Technology Integrator. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, Low Income Population, Project Based School, 1:1 Devices, BYOD Devices, Blended Learning
Jul 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This could be used daily or weekly as a review or a way to keep literacy and research in the classroom.

Strengths: Is visually appealing and easy to use and adapt to the applicable ages for the product. One of the best features is to be able to share lessons among other teachers. It would also be a good product to have for teachers to use when they are out, especially unexpectedly instead of having just grunt work. It seems like adding students is seemless

Suggestions for Improvement: Be sure site is WAVE scan ada compliant

Be able to have a way to easily share product/what student did with other teammates for evaluation especially with IEP students

Have a way for parent to work with at home.

Be sure to have a free VERSION with less features which is the best way for a tech integration decision maker to show administration why then need to buy in. Free trials seem like pressure.

Verdict: More than any other information and assessment type literacy product it seems to have all the bases covered with many of the important aspect of functionality in the classroom.

Administrator, Curriculum Specialist And Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Higher Education, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product in my K-6 school as a resource for teachers to keep track of CCSS mastery levels in the reading standards.

Strengths: This tool allows teachers to collect compreehnsion mastery information linked to the CCSS. It allows you to purchase ebooks, upload your own books, for use in your classes. You can use pre-formatted comprehension questions alligned to the CCSS or create your own. The reporting features are rich and you can sort mastery-levels to quuikly identify those students who need intervntion. A great tool for ELL's!!

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Not all students have internet access, so a bubble-sheeet option that could be scanned would be great!! 2. Better reporting features for students that allow you to create and monitor intervention. 3. Maybe some kind of a comprehension question-maker that can help teachers to design good comprehension questions.

Verdict: This is the first tool I have seen that allows teachers to collect reading comprehension mastery data and that can be used to design interventions.

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