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.
Dawn, Technology Support Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, Low Income Population
Mar 1, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would love to schedule time in the computer lab for students to complete tasks related to Science, Math, Science, Social Studies and Music. I can also see this program being part of an afterschool activity where students are divided into teams that are competing against each other to complete the tasks, gather data and prepare a presentation and actual experiments that link the online learning with actual lab work when possible.

Strengths: The product combines the virtual game world with learning activities aligned to Common Core Standards. It is visually engaging as well as motivating, so that while the concepts may be hard for some students, they will stay engaged in the game which will make learning the concepts easier.

Suggestions for Improvement: Just keep adding new activities regularly. The ones that are there are great, so keep the program expanding. Allow teachers the opportunity to add their own assessments into the game as part of the program, and allow them to add their own ebooks.

Verdict: I would most definitely recommend this product and I would be advocating for the use of it in my school. At the moment, the game is free but if it reaches the stage of costing, I would still be advocating for the purchase of the game. Since I have not had the opportunity to use it yet with my students, I would have to wait until I can get a more realistic picture of how it will appeal to students and how much time will realistically be needed for implementation at the school level.

Gerald, Staff Development. School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This product could be used in the classroom to teach content to the students for the first time. Additionally, this could be used in the classroom as students apply their learning, or even for the students to extend or review content that they have learned. The students will be learning about content through playing an interactive game.

Strengths: Interactive for the students, will help increase student engagement. Students applying and learning content in a fun way. Students will be able to work at their own pace, a different way to assess student learning, more like project based learning.

Suggestions for Improvement: I cannot wait until there is more that is created and going beyond science but expanding into other content areas.

Verdict: This is a product that will get the students engaged in learning. To successfully complete the game the students will need to apply what they have learned in class as well as learn content while they are playing the game. Connecting student interests, games, with content.

Elizabeth, Technology Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would like to start my unit out with a problem to solve and have them use your site to explore to be able to find the answers to the problems. Ideally it would be neat if they could use your site for the entire unit. You could start them out with a problem and explore to learn and solve the problem.

Strengths: It is super interactive, great graphics and visuals. The kids can connect to the experience by creating their own avitar. I love the content that you choose.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would make assessments that the teacher can review to see if the students are learning and hitting objectives.

You could include some non digital features for teachers to use after. For example some engineering challenges.

I would make more of these for all grade levels and all the standards for the NGSS. It would be so cool if this was included for all lessons.

Verdict: It's very engaging and lets students interact with the digital world. It makes learning fun. It seems very real world and problem based.

Tech Coordinator, Computer Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This tool allows you to create a class for your students to learn stem concepts in a 3d immersive environment, they have an avatar and can enter different locations to learn in a game like environment or just test out cause and effect of their actions/scripts

Strengths: I really think this could be used to help me with my third through fifth grade Lego league kids to learn mindstorms ev3 and NXT programming. They need to include the content though, but I'd be happy to advise.. Email me!

Suggestions for Improvement: Maybe less walking by the avatar? Environment looks cool but sometimes it's not so good to have too much of a real world feel. Hope that makes sense. I'd like to see social learning in this environment for kids with autism too. Would like to see more content that really links with programs I'm using for example scratch or kodu and mindstorms integration.

Verdict: It's free, and the kids will really enjoy it and we need to encourage more stem like interactive tasks for the younger kids.

Linda, Computer Apps Teacher. School Type: Middle School, BYOD Devices
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use the product with my 8th grade gifted students who are taking a high school science course in environmental science. The demonstration involved discovery and accurate identification of an unknown species found in the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Austrailia.

Strengths: The product fully engages students in an authentic investigation that emulates the work of an environmental scientist or marine biologist. As we teach students according to Common Core, there is a correlation in these investigations between the content learned in class and career opportunities for students.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would change the grade levels suggestions for the investigations, as teachers are more likely to try something if the grade level is a range rather than specific.

Verdict: The investigation fits the present science course in BCPS with very little change. I suggested to the developer that change I would make for determining grade levels for their various explorations.

Dawn, Technology Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I visualize either use in the computer lab to supplement their science instruction and also after school or at home practice and enrichment. Since I teach in the lab, I would love to try this in the lab environment once a week.

Strengths: This is hands on and interactive. The content is relevant and challenging as well as motivating. The graphics are amazing!

Suggestions for Improvement: Pretest as well as post test would be useful to gauge prior knowledge.

Teacher created e books to supplement materials

More students in a class for larger class sizes

Verdict: I think this highly motivates students, provides opportunities for interactive learning, practice and immediate feedback. It has a lot of modules to choose from, and since it is customizable, it can be used for different grade levels and abilities.

Professional Development Teacher, School Type: Middle School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This is a great engaging program for student lo learn based on the CCSS.

Strengths: This program does a good job of capturing student interest and supporting the standards for a STEM school

Suggestions for Improvement: Making sure the teachers know what standard are being assessed within each lesson.

Verdict: Now a day we need something that will spark student interest. We want to provide student with a highly engaging and challenging educational experience but making sure we are focused on the standards set forth by the state to ensue that the students are prepared to become productive citizens. Programs like this capture there interest and for some teach them without them even knowing that they are indeed hitting those standards. How fun is that.

Dara, Science Instructional Support Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, Low Income Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use the robotic arm as an introduction to a engineering task of designing a prosthetic arm. I would have them examine the design home it works. Compare the advantages and disadvantages and then come up with a better design.

Strengths: A interactive world that is as exciting as the one they experience on xBox.

Suggestions for Improvement: Assessment piece to check for understanding of the concepts.

More physical science concepts.

More integration between math and science.

Verdict: It gives students the opportunity to think outside of the box and to experience these that they may not have exposure to in their community. It also encourages critical and creative thinking.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this in my classroom to demonstrate physics concept and other stem content.

Strengths: Virtually explore and learn.

Suggestions for Improvement: More modules.

Verdict: This is so relate able to students.

Kiesha, Biology Teacher. School Type: High School, Low Income Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to enforce the evolution and ecology unit. Students can practice taxonamy, nomenclature, and explore adaptations while playing a video game. Also students can identify abiotic and biotic factors as well as different ecological facts.

Strengths: It solves the problem for keeping students engaged.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Allow teachers to put in prerequisite question that students must answer before they can start the cyber learning games. This will help the teacher reinforce skills and manage the class. Students may be more interested in the homework if they know that the first 3 questions are going to be the prerequisite questions from the home work.

2. Ask at least 2 analysis questions at the end of the game.

3. Due to the common core standards force the students to read at least 1 paragraph midway through the game. For example, allow them to read a paragraph about an adaptation, or describing the environment. Please make sure that it uses key vocabulary and definitions.

Verdict: 1. Students would be engaged in the lesson.

2. Used to reinforce pbis (incentives).

3. Additional enrichment for students who finish early.

4. Variation of instruction and modification for visual and tactile learners.

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