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.
Teacher, School Type: Middle School
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Since we use the free MIT Scratch program in our district as part of a course all 6th grade students must take, Itch seems like a better program because it comes with courses, quizzes, rubrics, and allows me to modify any of these to fit the needs of the curriculum and my students. The tutorials are much easier to understand for students and teachers.

Strengths: The plus sides of this program is the video tutorials are in English and not in heavy French accents (which are extremely hard for my students to understand). Students can follow the easy to understand tutorials and learn step by step procedures. Teachers can also follow these tutorials to prepare themselves to answer student questions.

Suggestions for Improvement: I think it is perfect the way it is. The only suggestion that I have is to make sure they have multiple levels of tutorials for differentianted learners. Maybe other languages?

Verdict: I would sstrongly reccommend that our district substitute the free Scratch program with the Itch/Scratch program because it prevents students from going online to play games or copy other games. Itch seems like a better program because it comes with courses, quizzes, rubrics, and allows the teacher to modify any of these to fit the needs of the curriculum and students. Also, the tutorials are much easier to understand for students and teachers.

Library And English, School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, BYOD Devices
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I use ITCH to teach coding in my Multi-media class. I am not a trained coding instructor, but this allows me to teach introductory coding.

Strengths: ITCH solves the problem of not having coding experience or a designated computer science teacher. Any teacher is able to implement computer science and introductory level coding in their classroom. As an English teacher, I use ITCH to "code across the curriculum". I believe that this really does allow me to prepare my students for the reality of a future where computer science will be part of every job.

Suggestions for Improvement: I want them to expand to include more advanced coding content. I would love for them to create consumable handouts. I get that it is computer science, but I still like to give my students a handout to follow along with.

Verdict: This product really is amazing. My students are able to pick up coding in just a few minutes without my help. I think this is the perfect product for a school or teacher who wants to expose students to computer science and coding but is limited by experience in computer science. This allows me, as the teacher, to take a back seat and facilitate the learning while the ITCH teach teaches through the videos. It also allows for a wide breadth of differentiation.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This is fantastic product to introduce coding in the classroom. It is an engaging, rigorous, platform for students. I found myself spending my own time playing around with the lessons, just for fun! I can see how this could be easily implemented for intermediate elementary students and above. The flexibility of Itch is also an advantage for teachers to meet teachers exact needs. I am excited to share this with my collegues!

Strengths: Itch provides an easy platform for teachers and students to collaborate and learn if you wanted to learn coding. It gives ability for teachers to create lessons. It provides quick feedback for students and teachers, and I love videos that walk you through the steps.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if it was a bit more accessible for younger kids. It would be great to have a more sophisticated system to filter the lessons for teachers to easily search. The price for teachers, individually, may be difficult.

Verdict: - 21st century skills
- Ease for teachers
- Student engagement

L Ibrarian, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use Itch to teach coding to my K-8 students.

Strengths: I appreciated that Itch is based on Scratch programming; a coding language that is intuitive for students to learn and use. I also like that there is professional development and support included.

Suggestions for Improvement: The first change would be a less busy interface. It appears a bit visually cluttered.
I would also like to see a feature where students can collaborate on coding projects in real time- this may exist, I didn't see it.
The price is also a consideration given that there are similar sites that are free (code.org)

Verdict: I would recommend Itch because it is based on scratch programming and would provide a framework to teach coding with professional development support included.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would use this as another platform for coding.

Strengths: I like that it gives tutorials of how to use a product that is already available.
I like that it tracks student work and provides structure to an unstructured program.

Suggestions for Improvement: The screen is very busy. Perhaps, creating a dashboard that could be divided into parts (like a puzzle) and only view what you need at that time. I wonder if there are audio directions in multiple languages. I teach in a high ELL population and this would be helpful

Verdict: The cost may be prohibabive.

Student, School Type: High School
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: To learn scratch incase i tutor elementary or middle schoolers on programming.

Strengths: This program is very helpful for elementary and middle school students. It would also be nice to teach others so those people can teach people. It is also to meet the face and voice of the website.

Suggestions for Improvement: (1) More online classes more than scratch (2) Different voices for different lessons to switch it up and get a change which is healthy (3) More deatailed lessons

Verdict: Great for the start to programming

Teacher, School Type: Middle School
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I teach a 12 week tech class for 6th grade students. Three of those weeks are spent learning Scratch, a computer programming platform for kids. Scratch uses "blocks" to program games, stories, etc.. There are times that I don't have answers to student questions, or the available Scratch tutorials are not as helpful as they could be. This is where "Itch" can fill in those blanks and help students solve technical problems with their Scratch program.
Itch has video tutorials that students can watch, stop, and learn how to make their Scratch program better. Also, they can follow along with the video and complete the tutorial. I can also make a tutorial to focus on the specific areas we are learning in class. The biggest plus is that no coding skills are necessary to use this program!

Strengths: The video tutorials are in English, very clear, and easy to understand. Students can go right to the videos and learn how to use the correct blocks and program on their own. Also, teachers can learn Scratch by watching Itch tutorials and feel prepared to answer questions.

Suggestions for Improvement: Add as many scenarios as you can to answer any Scratch programming question.

Verdict: Since we use Scratch in our district, I would advocate for Itch to be a support program. Currently, Scratch tutorials come with speakers that have a very heavy French accent and are difficult to understand. In addition, they are limited. Itch would be a perfect addition for students to view on their own, or for teachers to view to learn how to help their students.

Teacher Librarian, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would like to use this with my elementary students to introduce and teach coding. I would also like to collaborate with classroom teachers to create projects to demonstrate learning.

Strengths: This program teachers coding for beginners to advanced students.

Suggestions for Improvement: Not having used this program I really don't know what would not work well for me. I would like an opportunity to find out though.

Verdict: This program has step by step videos that help students understand each of the actions they will need to compete thier activity. These can be used over and over to assist students individual learning.

Digital Learning Coach, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use itch to create units that pair computer programming with other subjects. This would be a great tool to use with project based learning.

Strengths: I love that it provides a safe platform for students to use and share scratch. It makes Scratch much more accessible for teachers. The best part is that it can be aligned to individual teachers needs, curriculum, and projects.

Suggestions for Improvement: Nothing, I just wish it were free. I think they need to do a better job explaining why their product is worth the money.

Verdict: None.

Librarian, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: We have scratch program on every student computer at our school. I would use this program to supplement student learning and combine with Hour of Code activities.

Strengths: Teacher monitoring, student progress
Video instruction
Make the

Suggestions for Improvement: Make price affordable
Add student reflection
Individual classroom plan

Verdict: Price, budget might be limited.

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