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.
Cathleen, Librarian. School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would encourage my weekly gamer club to spend as much time building a game as they do gaming. In this way, they would become better gamers because they would see and be able to predict next steps since they have been designing them too!

Strengths: Students, upper grades are scared of coding, and I don't blame them! I luv UI and hate coding. But to get them to try? This would do the trick.
Pleasing UI, and it would get kids to sign up!
After booking them, they would see coding language and blocking and geek terms!

Suggestions for Improvement: Pricing. Lol.
Ideas incorporated for Next Steps ... nice students finish this one year course, need a transition course that takes the framework they are familiar with and scoots them over into writing the real code for it...and then gives them opportunity to design or edit the games using "real code" only instead of the drag and drop blocks.
Proprietary.....if it is not a common-ish code language, I would want it to be dang close, so they / students are getting real world experience they can immediately port to a coding language.

Verdict: Against:
cost.
Surety of students enrolling in course.

Pluses:
IPad platform...or maybe mac, not iPad. Didn't ask but would like to know . We are 1:1 iPad so students are familiar with and comfortable with the UI.
I REALLLY LOVED that the edit game scene screen included the library on the left and the code/function blocks in the right
I can't wait u till a long break to do the five day demo and see if it is as easy, friendly and engaging as it appears to be.

Gt, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product for my Gifted and Talented Students' interest station time. They are able to choose any interest station after they complete their project based learning tasks for the day, each day they're with me in my classroom.

Strengths: This product allows students to get hands on experience in coding, which is great STEAM work. It would also encourage students to expand their creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills. It solves the problem of students who are bored or finish their regular curriculum early.

Suggestions for Improvement: To make it work better for me, I'd want it to be detached from a curriculum. I'd want it to be flexible enough for me to start with a standard and devise a lesson utilizing it to teach the TEKS that fall within my district's scope and sequence, using the coding as a METHOD to teach the standards that I need to teach in a PBL setting. I would not have time in a regular classroom day to follow the set curriculum that the product includes.

Verdict: I would recommend this product because it would help our Gifted and Talented students learn about coding, which might be an interest for them in career choice. It would also strengthen critical thinking skills in any students who were able to use it, although I am not convinced it would be worth the price for each classroom.

6th Grade Science Teacher, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use GameSalad to build games to engage my students in my content.

Strengths: The product takes away the headache of syntax and functions and all the ugly stuff that makes me averse to game/app development.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Move away from proprietary language, and allow users to edit on a code level once they're comfortable enough to do so.

2. Incorporate more game types, like augmented reality

3. Increase the library of graphic and sound assets.

Verdict: I would recommend it as a way for educators to build more engaging content; gamification is proving be a very viable strategy for this current generation.

Teacher, School Type: High School
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: If I could afford to use it this way I would use this curriculum to supplement instruction in a Video Game Design class. I would hesitate to use it for the entire curriculum, because i like to customize my projects and the curriculum is pre-packaged.

Strengths: Provides complete video game design curriculum and an easy-to-use student and teacher interface. It would be great for novice teachers or new programs where curriculum doesn't currently exist. It would allow for self-paced student work.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would make as much of the curriculum customizable as possible. I would offer teachers access to part of the curriculum for part of the price, as they might want to supplement their existing coursework but not use the entire online curriculum.

Verdict: I would recommend it for new programs in Video Game Design or novice teachers in this area, as it appears to be a complete curriculum package and student/teacher interface. I would not recommend it for experience game or programming teachers, as the cost is probably not work it for an educator who already has developed his or her own lessons.

Christy, Librarian. School Type: Middle School, Project Based School, BYOD Devices, Blended Learning
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: As an after school club to learn game design

Strengths: it's a step up from Scratch coding, so it would have a great appeal to MS/HS students. It also allows students to create and import graphics, images, and other files.

Suggestions for Improvement: more cost affordable, less windows/areas for creativity-the parts and pieces all in one space with the final product as it's being designed, better promotional materials with details on use

Verdict: The product offers a good platform to learn game design, but the pricing is rather absorbent for a campus to fund.

Rhonda, Ppcd Sped. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: To teach all students about Tech

Strengths: I believe this highlighting tool will help all students and make learning fun

Suggestions for Improvement: I hope this product will user friendly for first time users.

Verdict: It will allow all teachers students and families to learn and teach others about and how learning is evolving in the 21st century.

Kitty, Educator. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: This program would build great critical thinking skills that could be used across the curriculum. Because this program is game based, it provides students a learning environment that enjoy! I find critical thinking skills and understanding why students do what they do is sadly lacking, and this program would definitely be a fun engaging way to help my student develop these critical skills

Strengths: We did not get to dive this deep into the product

Suggestions for Improvement: Because I teach elementary students, I would love to see an elementary version.

Verdict: Once teachers have mastered free resources, this would provided the ability to grow and achieve much more.

Parent, School Type: Elementary School, Project Based School, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I think this would be a really fun and simple way for me to learn how to code and have fun at the same time, even if it does look to be geared toward young teens and below.

Strengths: What it does well is present a seemingly-difficult concept (game-building/STEM application/Coding) in a simplified and fun format.

Suggestions for Improvement: If I had to change anything, it would be to create a platform that looks like grown-up type concepts to create as a game.

Verdict: it is not a learning system where you are just following directions on steps to take - you are actually creating and learning and playing at the same time, and the screen graphics/colors are very engaging

Sheri, Teacher. School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School, Blended Learning
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this tool to allow students to show their learning through technology and gaming. They could show their understanding of a topic by creating something for other students to use.

Strengths: Total student engagement in learning. Content becomes fun.

Suggestions for Improvement: How do we keep students on task?
How do you modify?
What is the cost of th product? Per campus? Per student?

Verdict: Technology plus gaming equals increased student learning.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Give students a different way to learn a world language. Giving students a different platform to learn to read and practice in a different langauge.

Strengths: different media format to reach more students.

Suggestions for Improvement: More templates available of teachers of world languges to adapt and use for their languges.

Verdict: Great way for teachers to provide different platforms for student to access the game.

Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up