Product Index
Educational Operations
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.
Jesse, Educator. School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices, BYOD Devices
Jan 28, 2017

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this tool for several goals. First, I will be able to teach my English Learner students not only content but skill set. The easy translation element between me, the student, and parents will provide a median to over come the language barrier. Second, me and the parent can work together as they can re-emphasis the lesson and help with study habits. Most non-English parents do not engage in their students work because they do not understand what is being asked. However, they can contribute (from previous knowledge) after getting the subject matter topic or instructions. Lastly, I will be able to scaffold lessons by uploading images and video as part of my SDAIE strategy.

Strengths: - Parental buy in. Parents participate in the student’s progress with access to their
- Direct translate into 150+ languages.
- Push. No need for parent/student sign up. Living Tree draws from school accounts. Regardless of phone number, both parties will receive web post, email, and text
- Parent(s) have a centralized access to multiple students across the different levels of grade schools
- State reporting of parental engagement
- Parents see posts/work of their student
- Living Tree sends automatic attendance and grade alerts
- Phone feature (currently principals only) will deliver instant message on behavior, missing assignments, praise, etc.
- Post messages and photos. This gets parents curious and may have the opportunity for engagement.
- Video link from Youtube, vimeo, and soon personal video
- Summer 2017 will feature a receipt of any file viewing

Suggestions for Improvement: Three things to improve is teacher access to parent notification. Currently only the principal have this option. It will take more time to convey thoughts over to a third party. Second, is to speed up the receipt feature. This is needed as students and parents at times will not take responsibility for negative actions.

Verdict: I will inform administrators that a common obstacle teachers have is bridging instruction to students and keeping students on task. Juggling 35 different learning styles, disabilities, and needs is unrealistic and sad. This is because there will be those students who fall to the wayside. This tool helps as parents have a buy in and responsibility towards the achievement of learning as well. In addition, classroom management distracts everyone. The ease of instant notification of student behavior and academic progress can be remedied with a quick entry.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Jan 29, 2017

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to share my classroom with parents. I would post upcoming project due dates. i would also post pictures on a weekly basis so show parents what their child did in my class that week.

Strengths: The translating feature i find very helpful for my population of students that i work with.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) i love the whole idea but i feel it would be a bit time consuming.
2) im not use if there can be multiple owners of this product. i belong to a team of 4 teachers and it would be nice if we could all belong to the same "page" so that our parents would not need to go to multiple places to check on their child. Parents would only need to go to one place for their child's teachers.

Verdict: This product would allow for parent involvement. Parents can be involved in their child's classroom without having to set foot in the classroom. For a science teacher i can post classroom supplies that i need whether they are for labs or just everyday use i can post and have parents donate these items. With this product parents will be brought in to the classroom on their own time and are able to keep up with their child's schooling. Not to mention this product can translate for the parents.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, College Prep School
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to communicate with student's parents to communicate what is going on in my classroom. When? Asking for volunteers for a certain function such as workdays in caring for school garden. It would very benefical.

Strengths: It would involve parents even more with the teacher and the whole school. The communication would be even more evident.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would improve it by:
1. Making it more consumer friendly (for people that are not familiar with set up
2. Making the videos simpler
3. There is no other changes I would make.

Verdict: One of my recommendations would be so that I could ask parents and staff to volunteer for a certain function.Stressing the importance of attending the certain event. Asking for parents to make sure a certain homework be completed.

Pedro, Director Of Instructional Technology. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, Project Based School, 1:1 Devices
Jan 28, 2017

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Instant communication between teachers, parents and students.

Strengths: I really like and appreciate the clean and appealing platform. The calendar option is great, something that is of importance for my school site to improve on.

Suggestions for Improvement: Lower prices: a small school as mine has a tight budget and we continually work to improve teacher salary, class offerings and investing money in the arts and specialties.

Verdict: We need a better system for communicating to all entities of the school. I really like the calendaring option, especially for volunteer opportunities and/or scheduling conferences.

Maria Margarita, 2. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to send some permision form to home.

Strengths: Is a great tool to send home any information about an activity or some fundraising.

Suggestions for Improvement: I think it is a good idea and a great tool.
Communication is mor easy and clear.
Fast communication with parents and the teacher have the opportunity to get a report for the activity more faster.

Verdict: It make more easy parents communication. Also is a friendly form to fill out and gives report for the clasroom activity.

Crystal, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School
Jan 28, 2017

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to communicate with my parents about upcoming tests, events, and general information. I really loved that parents had the option to see all information from special classes and for all their children. The translate feature is a great tool for English Language Learners and their parents.

Strengths: The translate feature is really great. It will help teachers and our school in general communicate better.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if the call feature was available for teachers, especially given the fact that it can translate. It might also be helpful for there to be a separate section for homework and upcoming events (this might already be there but wasn't a feature I got to explore). I'm also curious about the process of implementing this to parents and schools so it effectively for all users.

Verdict: I would recommend this tool because our current program does not offer the same things this program has. We currently use Blackboard and I am blow away at the what this program can do in comparison. I think it would help us communicate better with our English Language Learners and their parents. It would also help to provide insight into our classrooms for the day.

Technology Support Technician, School Type: Elementary School, 1:1 Devices
Jan 28, 2017

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Definitely suggest it to be used in the school. I think its important to have one place where someone can do a lot and not have to go from website to website.

Strengths: I think its great that it allows the SIS to be imported. Also, it is important that parents can have immediate communication from the school/teacher.

Suggestions for Improvement: From a Technology Standpoint, I'm not sure that I would change much. I believe that the product would work great for a teacher who likes to communicate with other social media apps, since its very similar in how it works. I also think that parents would like it because of that aspect.

Verdict: I think its great to have one place where communication can be done for educators and parents.

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

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: As an instructional technology specialist for ManorISD I would love to see a campus in our district adopt Living Tree for community and parent engadgement.

Strengths: The paper announments that go home are hardly ever read.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1-Ability to post to Twitter on approved posts.
2-Have a default page for others to view that hides private information. A public Page
3-Student Rating

Verdict: Building and maintaining websites is very difficult for our Teachers. LivibgTree would make it easier for our Teachers to keep ongoin communication with parents and community and save a ton of paper.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Oct 1, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I use it to alert the parents of any pertinent information that did not go home physically in their communication folder. I can also include links and photos. It can serve as a reminder and substitute the use of an email.

Strengths: Last minute notification and convenient photo sharing.

Suggestions for Improvement: I think it needs to be more visually organized for some users to better navigate. Possible photo album saved area so easier to go back to -- search function? Permanent links or information that could be kept within the page.

Verdict: Mixed reviews amongst families and teachers who use the product. Those who have multiple roles in the school (both a parent and a teacher/admin/staff) have it a bit more difficult to navigate through the alerts. There isn't a save feature to maintain each class page and previous year's info does not get saved.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, BYOD Devices
Jan 28, 2017

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: Teaching math I really does not fit with what I am teaching or how I teach.

Strengths: I do love how they set up the user interface and the idea is great to include so many languages.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would expand the collaborative part of the product. I would love to see it try to put more math. I also feel that my learning style will clash to how the material is presented.

Verdict: I would recommend to my colleagues but I would not use it personally.

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