Product Index
Curriculum Products
Categories: Math 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.
Chief Academic Officer, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, 1:1 Devices
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: Too expensive

Strengths: Bundles various software under one umbrella and uses some metric to identify weaknesses and uses what it considers the best app to teach those skills. This is a very helpful addition for a school or district since we don't really have the time to preview all of the software and apps that are available to enhance student learning.

Suggestions for Improvement: Cross platform to include macs, pic, android

Include more grade levels so that students can use it grades k-5

Have transparent pricing....the pricing model is not set.

Verdict: Seems to be too complicated

Response from eSpark: Thank you for your feedback! eSpark’s content fully serves PK-5th grades and is designed so that districts are able to utilize the creation and app capabilities of the iPad. If you’re interested in a web-based solution, you may want to consider Frontier, our project-based learning platform for 3-8th grade that’s currently in beta in school districts across the country.

Assistant Superintendent, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Low Income Population
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: This product looks good for differentiating instruction.

Strengths: The data tools look good. I think that the support for teachers through PD is good too. I would like to see more about the product.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if there were translation services for ELL. THis might be a part of the program, but I'm not sure. I would like to learn more about the product before making suggestions.

Verdict: The product has a curriculum that can be used on iPads.

Response from eSpark: Thank you for your feedback. Good news! There are a number of districts using eSpark in ELL populations with impressive results. eSpark provides students with audio support, and we’ve designed our creation challenges to ensure that ELL students get ample time to practice speaking and listening. eSpark blends direct instruction with authentic reading practice, allowing students to learn and apply concepts at their own pace. Additionally, we’re actively researching and building new product features designed specifically to support ELL students. If you’d like to learn more about how districts are using eSpark for support English language learners, check out the data from this large Michigan district: http://info.esparklearning.com/ell

Media Specialist, School Type: Elementary School
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: Would like to use this with primary grade levels providing that it can be purchased.

Strengths: Engaging program for students with teacher dashboard features

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. More interactive activities
2. Additional ways to promote higher level thinking opportunities besides filming responses
3. Activities for other subject areas.

Verdict: Cost of the product

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Feb 26, 2016

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: I didn't get a clear understanding of what it offered, how it assessed the students prior, and how it could help them.

Strengths: None at this time. please give more info and I can I can give more feedback
The presenters weren't clear and not presenting the product. They were asking us more questions than they were giving information. Asking cost was ... I can talk to you individualy.

Suggestions for Improvement: please give more info and I can I can give more feedback
The presenters weren't clear and not presenting the product. They were asking us more questions than they were giving information. Asking cost was ... I can talk to you individualy.

Verdict: Same as above.

Response from eSpark: We’re sorry that our presentation didn’t give you a clear understanding of our product. We hope you’ll visit www.esparklearning.com/our-solution/ to learn more about how we meet students at their level with differentiated content on the iPad. Alternatively, we’d love to connect with you to share more about how eSpark works: http://info.esparklearning.com/contact-us

Jason, Sped Rsp/ Teacher
Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

Usage: Have not yet

Strengths: eSpark is an app curation tool that uses other existing apps as the eSpark educational content. A student will log in to the eSpark app and will immediately be given a choice of several apps that were picked by the the eSpark program for each specific skill that the teacher wants the student to work on. For example, Ms. ModernT wants her class to be able to identify certain vowel digraphs. Ms. ModernT picks the skill and eSpark picks the appropriate apps for identifying digraphs like sorting activities and a vowel sound identification app. The student will complete each activity on the iPad and data is collected and shown in the eSpark teacher dashboard for how each student did on each activity.

eSpark takes the time to vet the 1000's of edu-apps out there, packages it in an easy to use interface, and collects data on student progress where possible. They also offer to install the apps onto school iPads for the schools for a fee. sSpark seems to be in the business of helping schools get started with very focused use of their iPads rather than just using them as word processors or internet access devices. This is a good service for schools with limited iPad and tech plans.

Suggestions for Improvement: eSpark sounds like a wonderful idea. What teacher has the time to look through an entire library of apps during their precious prep or free time? I have questions about how useable the data is if you don't really know how each app is measuring student responses other than the student got the answer correct or not. I would love to see the program in action in the classroom. Who is the panel that is vetting the apps? What were they looking for when they chose them?

I think because eSpark is not in charge of the content that they run the risk of not being accountable enough for what they are offering? I also realize that I have not had enough experience with the program to really judge that aspect of it.

Verdict: If the content that a teacher can choose to give to their students through eSpark is really as skill specific as it says and the data collected is useable by the teacher to guide further instruction then, I think eSpark is a wonderful development. I'd like to see more.

Jennifer, 1st/2nd Grade Teacher
Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

Usage: differentiate ELA

Strengths: assesses current student understanding of the topic specific for each strand of Common Core, provides students a path of learning including videos to watch and apps to play for a specific Common Core strand and tracks their progress, checks in with students for how they're feeling so students get feedback on the mood of the room as well as the mood of a specific individual, assesses learning following the video/app path and then asks students to create a video explaining their learning, I really like this higher learning portion

Suggestions for Improvement: nothing at the moment, I wish my school district would adopt

Verdict: I have recommended it to district instruction department because it fulfills the requirements of following Common Core, keeping students engaged, and differentiating learning.

Cynthia, Bagby
Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

Usage: Yes I would use this product because there are so many apps to choose from that you are not to sure what is valuable and effective. I wondered if there was a resource like this. Also, this is excellent for differentiated instruction. As a teacher, this would be extremely helpful for curriculum and lesson planning, and grouping students.

Strengths: As I mentioned briefly in the previous question. This is a great teaching tool to match a students level and skill with the appropriate class work for skills practice and deeper understanding.

Suggestions for Improvement: not too sure...I hope it is not too expensive.

Verdict: yes...because teachers are always looking for a lesson or worksheet for the students academic level.

Lourdes, Sdc Teacher
Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

Usage: I would like to start using the product.

Strengths: Having esparks search for apps that are appropriate for my students and the grade level will make my time more useful. Knowing that what esparks recommends is safe and educational is really great.

Suggestions for Improvement: there isn't a thing that I would change about their program.

Verdict: having apps. that are safe and educational and searched for teachers give teacher time to focus on the many other jobs they have to do to have a successful class.

Matt, Vice Principal / Program Manager
Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

Usage: I wish we had the iPads for this.

Strengths: Ease of use. Very simple to get started. It looks like any teacher could get to work on this and be effective in very short order.

Suggestions for Improvement: It's only for iPads, which limits the usage for schools without them.

Verdict: If you have iPads, this product looks really good, and will be a valuable tool for education.

Mr., 4th Grade Teacher
Nov 2, 2013

— Rating unavailable for this review.

Usage: I use eSpark to allow my students to expand their reading comprehension skills.

Strengths: eSpark utilizes different reading comprehension skills and programs to teach the concept.

Suggestions for Improvement: Allow teacher to focus on free apps when using eSpark.

Verdict: It allows for easier differentiation.

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