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.
Kelly, Special Education Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Feb 16, 2017

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use the workshops offered online to further my own understanding and application of different technology tools in my own teaching, planning and student data management. I would encourage co-workers with similar needs and students to use the seminars to encourage collaboration.

Strengths: This product solves on problem of how do I find information about all the different tools and opportunities technology affords and learn when I have a limited schedule to take classes and have unique questions and needs. I think by having at least some offerings for free, it does solve part of the equity issue for teachers with less school resources just based on where they live/work. I do think the product solves the problem of incorporating true teacher practice into technology tools so that the learning is applicable after the course is complete. It also allowed you to skip around in the course so you could hone in on what information you needed.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if there was a survey/ assessment piece that would then be able to recommend courses for teachers like me who do not even know where to start. Maybe having an area devoted to special needs students and tools/ seminars related to our concerns would make it easier to select courses and more likely to pursue the pay level of seminars. I do like the badges feature as a visual but perhaps seeing courses linked together so you are working toward proficiency in a bigger topic would be a good way to track teacher learning.

Verdict: I think that many continuing education tools provided to educators are from a specific product/ platform trying to promote itself. What I found refreshing about kyte was that teachers send proposals to the company and in a conversation, a plan is laid out of something to be useful to educators. I liked that a teacher could access a changing set of a set number of seminars for free each month. I come from a low SES school system and we need to learn and grow but don't have many funds. I like how it is self paced and each seminar has a portion directly tied to classroom practice as a teacher in the field uses it.

Tejkumari, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this by myself in order to learn how to better integrate all the new technology that is available within my classroom. This is a professional learning product that is focused of integrating technology into my classroom.

Strengths: This product provides tutorials for teachers on how to integrate technology into the classroom. It gives step by step directions for users to view. The major strength is that It is created by teachers which means the viewpoint of the creator is similar to my own viewpoint. Another teacher has a better perspective of what I need as compared to someone who has never stepped into a classroom. No one else knows the challenges of a classroom as much as I do. Finally I love the fact that I do not have to leave my home or school to get this professional development. I can work at my own pace.

Suggestions for Improvement: It requires payment. I would have to go to my administration to get access. It seems a bit limited in the searching capabilities. This is not going to be a one stop shop because they are new and still working on broadening their videos. I cannot thin of any other drawbacks. This would be a great tool for me as a teacher.

Verdict: I would recommend this product because I see a lot of different products that I know would benefit my classroom but, I do not know where to begin. Honestly beginning is the hardest part! Using this product would give me an idea of how to integrate the new technology. Sometimes all I need is a starting point and this database of professional learning will give me that opportunity.

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

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: With the ever increasing use of technology, I would use this product for pre-teaching. For example, if I were to do campus PD on Google Classrooms, I would have teachers complete the Kyte training on Google Classrooms prior to PD, so we could focus on implications, applications, and innovative uses of the product at the PD session.

Strengths: This product reminds me of Atomic Learning, but in a much friendlier user interface. It allows teachers to either keep up with the Tech that comes out and are applicable to classroom use, as well as give those that aren't comfortable with tech a chance to learn it at their own pace. I LOVE the idea that they're working with Google to see if they can use this platform for Google Certification.

Suggestions for Improvement: Perhaps come down in pricing so it's more accessible to campuses/districts. Not sure about the other two since I haven't played with it in-depth. I was very impressed with the product and can see so many ways to save me time to do my assigned job instead of spending time constantily showing teachers how to use their tech resources.

Verdict: This would save so much time at PD sessions involving technology/apps by minimizing the learning curve. This would also give non tech savvy teachers an opportunity to learn in a self-paced manner. Teachers would be able to explore apps to see if they're applicable to their classroom prior to rolling them out with students. This lends itself to self-selected optional PD for the PPfT (teacher appraisal system).

Teresa, Librarian. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it for tech PD. This would be helpful in providing basic tech tutorials on new ed tech products I want to use. I would use it troubleshoot issues that I am having with tech products I am already using for work and with my students. I would use it to find out about great ways to leverage, further integrate, or reach greater heights on the SAMR scale with my tech use in the classroom. I would use it to get inspiration on great tech-based lesson plans.

Strengths: Organizes PD options by logical categories or products/platforms. Tracks and collects PD data and completion. Provides PD opportunities that a teacher can access 24 hours a day at their convenience.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) Allow me to gain college credits directly through Kyte
2) Allow me to track my progress towards a salary scale increase based on the credits or clock hours earned through Kyte

Verdict: I would recommend it because it has the possibility to allow teachers to explore their own ed tech interests and learning needs. It can be personalized learning instead top-down prescriptive learning which is the PD regime I suffer under now!
Also, this solves a problem for administrators and teachers, how to track and showcase the PD I have participated in or lead in my school or district. With the hours logged, badges and certificates collected in my online profile, Kyte provides a user-friendly, organized, cloud-based learning portfolio that I could access and share from anywhere as my ed career develops.

Yeyn, Teacher / Website Developer. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this program to train teachers in ways of using their technology more effectively WHEN they are free.

I aptos also use this to futher the education of our parents and our children to become more effective leaders within our community.

Strengths: This product takes into consideration the fact that teachers have a very limited amount of time to do their professional development. What it does for them is that it allows them to get that professional development in when they have time instead of setting up a specific time for them to you do that professional development. That is wonderful, because it gives the teacher flexibility with their schedule. In a way, it gives the teacher part of their life back.

Suggestions for Improvement: First, I would consider the look and feel and would suggest that maybe it could be changed a little bit to make it look a little bit more friendlier for those that might be a little bit less proficient on technology. Second, It would be nice too if an application could be developed to allow for training to be taking place more conveniently. Last, an addition could be to have some avatars that would make it a little bit under for the teacher. I understand that teachers don't have a lot of time, but this would be a neat feature to a lot of teacher to be a little bit more creative and let the child in them shine, since they are used to being the adult.

Verdict: Better prepared staff will allow for better prepared students in our school.

Krisha, Ed Tech Specialist. School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, College Prep School, Blended Learning
Jan 28, 2017

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I am the Regional EdTech Specialist overseeing about 14 schools in my region (in San Diego and Orange County), and a big part of my job is training teachers in using technology. Unfortunately, because of the great distance I have to travel between schools, hosting trainings (especially for one-on-one trainings with individual teachers; and helping teachers with unique products that we don't have trainings already prepared for, like "one teacher wants to get my thoughs on how to use Remind101"). This would save me a lot of time and hassle with traveling.

Strengths: I like the ability to get badges and to jump to specific topics within a course. I also liked that they may soon add assessments other than just tests (like "please upload a Prezi").

Suggestions for Improvement: No improvements. I think it is great the way it is. Maybe just keep growing the catalog of courses. We use Edmentum/PLATO and APEX the most at our schools, so as soon as they can add courses on this to their catalog, the better it would be for us. Thank you!

Verdict: I really love everything about this product. Unfortunately, our administrators already purchased Synergy for Google/GAFE, but I like that this service covers numerous products (aside from just Google). I think it would save them a lot of time/money on sending me to host trainings.

Jonathan, Teacher/Tech. School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Jan 23, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Is this program to help with the professional development of teachers which would allow them to be able to obtain certificates that would help towards professional development requirements.

Strengths: Goal is to be able to help teachers and give them the tools to be successful with in their classroom. So many teachers today are wanting to use technology in the classroom but do not have the knowledge or tools to be able to implement technology within the classroom. This product gives the teacher the professional development To be able to learn and apply what they've learned into the classroom every day and giving them the hands-on tools to incorporate technology within their classrooms.

Suggestions for Improvement: Having just as time goes by advancing the products and bringing in more products and companies with excellent programs to apply end of the classroom would integrate and applied to every day use within the classroom and at schools as well.

Verdict: Our professional development training's have been lacking as far as eating teachers to learn effectively and able to adopt positive learning within the classroom. This product would allow multiple functional development topics as far is presenting assessing products to be able to Be on the cutting edge of construction within the classroom.

Elaine, Teacher/Librarian. School Type: Elementary School
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to learn new software and be able to share my knowledge with the school community. It looks like quite an engaging format, similar to what I currently use (atomic learning), but the splash pages are much more engaging. If there was a program that I felt expert enough at I would love to be a creator of content.

Strengths: Our district currently uses training modules that are not visually appealing. The fact that this interface is so jazzy is engaging. I think the fact that it trains only very current programs is also a plus. Being able to earn money by training products you enjoy is an added bonus. One drawback is that the district already pays for a similar service, so it is harder to justify spending the money.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would perhaps like to give schools a choice in which ed tech training (atomic learning vs. Kyte) because I think that expense may be a factor.

I would add a social networking component so that you could "follow" trainers that you enjoy.

I would create a tutorial enabling teachers to become prospective trainers.

Verdict: The fact that the training modules are created by teachers is a valuable option. I think it "takes one to know one" at times and teachers are most likely to point out the pros and cons.

Special Ed Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Feb 14, 2017

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to deepen my knowledge of the craft of teaching. I am always looking for new ideas on how to present materials to my students. I would also like to have inservice that would apply to my classroom situation and that was relevant to what I do on a daily basis.

Strengths: This product would allow administrators access to what courses each person in the school is taking and how well they did on the content. This knowledge would help the administrator to know what subjects to cover during whole school in-service and could also allow for individualized learning for those in special situations.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. I would like to see more courses geared toward the special needs population so that I can improve my skills..

2. I would like to know if this product is approved by the county/district I work in so that I could use it even if the entire program wasn't adopted.

3. I would like to see courses in behavioral science to assist those of us working with students who are experiencing behavior issues.

Verdict: I would recommend this product as an alternative to what we are already using. I believe that the course offerings are more relevant to special needs teacher while also being relevant to regular ed teachers.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Oct 3, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to develop my knowledge and comfort level in using a variety of products. I would consider creating lessons if I felt comfortable with a product and wanted to share my knowledge with others.

Strengths: This product provides teachers with the opportunity to develop professionally and become familiar with different products. It allows teachers to control their development at their own pace. The lessons are created by others and so the way they are created will appeal to teachers.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) Allow for pay per use, allowing teachers the option to pay for each lesson as they want to use it.
2) Look into relating completion of the lessons into "official" certification.
3) I think a good focus would be on selling this product to districts. Teachers may not want to spend the money, but if the lessons are offered for free from a district, they are more inclined to use the product.

Verdict: The Education World is changing quickly and many teachers are finding it hard to keep up with the changes. Kyte offers teachers the opportunity to develop professionally at their own pace and with a focus that is of interest to them.

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