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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.
Corinna, Teacher. School Type: Middle School
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would like to use it to supplement my biology curriculum and also as a unit in computer science as part of science class. It would be used as a design project or as part of a lab.

Strengths: Ease of use is a definite strength. Students could figure out the basics of how it works quite easily because they snap together (or don't snap together if you have it incorrectly placed), allowing them to figure more complex things on their own. It solves the problem of having to buy all these separate components- wires, lights, motors, etc. because everything comes in a color coded kit.

Suggestions for Improvement: I cannot think of an improvement at this time. Maybe if I actually tried it in my classroom I would be able to find something to improve. It seems fun , easy to use, and valuable!

Verdict: I would recommend it because students need a well rounded science curriculum that is inclusive of computer science. LittleBits are a convenient way to incorporate computer science into my curriculum because they are a seemingly simple system that can actually be combined with the other systems like arduino to do more complicated tasks. Middle school students can learn a lot from utilizing the little bits system and would have a lot of fun learning at the same time. They would have plenty of freedom to explore and learn on their own while trying to meet a specific learning or design objective and that is what we want in a strong science curriculum.

Gene, Student. School Type: High School, Blended Learning
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I'm not a teacher, just a student for the panel but even at my young age I can see this product has a high amount of potential, little bits can probably help a child discover a passion in engineering at a very young age, not to mention strengthening the logical portion of their brains, to be honest I'm a little jealous that I was able to use this as a child because I love engineering and this wouldve helped my passion grow even more! I highly recommend this as a learning tool to all grades in the school curriculum.

Strengths: Little bits seems like the perfect tool to teach students how technology works and since in this modern age students need all the help they can get to learn how things work and why

Suggestions for Improvement: The product seems easy to break and lose so I'm think making it bigger and more simple would make it easier for students to get their hands on it and not be scared by what they may think looks complicated and scary, I'd also color code what each component does and an instruction booklet that's easy to read on how and why each component does what.

Verdict: A couple of reasons why I'd recommend this as a tool for educational purposes is that it could keep children on task because of its flashy colors and shiny surfaces while secretly teaching them logic and reasoning

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Nov 4, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to allow my kindergartners to explore the world of robotics and see how they can use their hands t make the things in their imagination come to life.

Strengths: I like the idea that this is accessible and safe for younger students to use--even though they may not yet be creating the "next big thing", this will enhance their ideas and prompt their imaginations.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would somehow make it less expensive to schools in areas that would have trouble purchasing something like this for its intended use. This would give low income students the same opportunity to use this product and gain the knowledge it was intended for. At this point, I would not be able to purchase this for the whole class to use and this limits my ability and time to use it. Maybe the company could choose a school to sponsor every quarter or something and gift a set to a school or something like that.

Verdict: I would emphasize the need for this product to encourage our low income students to create and know that their dreams can come true--that they can entertain the idea of a career in science and robotics in a real way. I would also refer to the common core standards--STEM, etc.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to teach technology and engineering skills. If given time and training, I would work with other teachers to incorporate it into other subject areas.

Strengths: This product seems extremely easy to use out of the box. It makes things happen right away, so kids will be engaged in making. The color coded nature makes it easy to organize and possibly teach.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great to have detailed lessons and content to teach using this product. Classroom kits are great, but the incorporation into classes right away with hands-on ideas tied to standards would help. In person training would be nice.

Verdict: This is a great tool to use in multiple classrooms. It integrates tech and engineering practices in a hands-on way.

Gilen, Lead Educator. School Type: Other, Low Income Population, Blended Learning
Sep 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This product an/or program will be used to develop a sense and/or interest in engineering and technology. As an educator of three year old it will also serve as a hands on way to demostrate casue and effect

Strengths: The hands on ability for a child to create develops a sense of validation that they can be successful when they see immediate results.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would increase the size of the bits for a younger population of students.
I would include and/or have access to a type of camera that would project the lesson and the parts for clarity in presenting the lesson

Verdict: This is an excellent approach to sharing innovative technology with young children that would foster a desire to create and develop.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to encourage cooperation among my students. This will also help the students verbalize their thinking and get the kids to start talking.

Strengths: I love that this encourages the students to build and figure things out on how things would work.

Suggestions for Improvement: I hope there are explanations for each component of the product and what they do, that way the students will be able to use them correctly. We just got a quick explanation but I wasn't sure how the input, outputs, etc. worked together to make something work.

Verdict: I would love to encourage this among my students. To get them to figure out how different things work and get them excited about science.

Tricia, Library, Media, Technology, Ged, Science. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use littleBits to ignite student engagement with developing quick results.

Strengths: I think this product is really awesome for immediate feedback for students, they can see immediate success; which keeps students engaged. Because the parts are magnetic it will be easy for my students with limited motor skills be successful.

Suggestions for Improvement: I do not like how easy the pieces could "go missing" or walk out the door, because the pieces are so small. I do not like how expensive the product is, it will take a serious grant to raise enough money to get this at our site. Lastly, I can't imagine the headache with the sound attachment for 30+ students for 7 periods. Science specialists have feelings, too.

Verdict: I recommend this program to ignite interest in science, engineering, and future art skills.

Ed Tech Committee, School Type: Elementary School, Higher Education, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: As part of a maker space or in the classroom in small groups.

Strengths: The product is really well designed - color coded for kids and teachers to easily understand. The kits are put together well - packaged in a smart way that makes it easy for teachers to start using it right away.

Suggestions for Improvement: The biggest thing by far is price - they are really expensive and I think the cost is prohibitive for most schools. $200. per kit is a LOT for schools to invest, when each kit can only serve about 4-6 kids at a time.

Verdict: Kids really need hands on learning opportunities. Traditional education is killing our kids spirit for learning. LIttle bits could help change that.

Instructional & Technology Specialist, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Sep 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I don't know enough about the use of the product. I know I could use them to teach circuits-open and closed. I'd like to learn how it could be integrated into other subject areas.

Strengths: Interest students in engineering. Show open and closed circuits. Great hands on activity.

Suggestions for Improvement: Have students build up from more basic products to the end products that students will use; provide PD for teachers who need to learn to use the product most effectively; connect it to current curricula.

Verdict: Mainly for science. However, I need to learn more about the product.

Teacher, School Type: High School, Higher Education, Other, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Mainly for fun, it would be hard to justify this for government class, but it's a tinkerer's dream.

Strengths: This product encourages creativity in an idiot proof way. I want a set for myself.

Suggestions for Improvement: Price point.

You might get more initial buy in with a lost-leader bare bones kit. If I could get a few basic components for half the cost, I would definitely come back for more.

I might make the pieces a little larger so that it would be more difficult for them to wander off.

Verdict: Our school needs more resources that make class fun.

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