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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.
David, Director Of Technology. School Type: Middle School, 1:1 Devices
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use MathChat to empower our students to become the teachers and teach each other about math concepts that they find their peers struggling with.

Strengths: It is a really straightforward app that gives students the opportunity to communicate with one another via a built in text messenger. It solves the problem of having to be encumbered by only text-based communication. MathChat delivers in real time the math problem itself, as well as the ability to use all the appropriate math signs (which text messengers often don't have).

Suggestions for Improvement: Since this app is relatively new, I don't believe it has much in the way of tracking data. It would be very important for educators to be able to see how long it takes students to answer questions, which ones they answer correctly on the first try, etc. Perhaps some kind of video capture mode that teachers and students could use to review their learning and teaching processes would be very beneficial for metacognition and reflection. I would like to see MathChat expand to cover graphs, statistics, and other kinds of mathematics beyond just equations and arithmetic.

Verdict: The fact that students already help each other with their math difficulties is obvious - the problem that exists is that before MathChat there existed no streamlined way to accomplish the goal of helping one another in a single app. This app lets students communicate with each other a la text messenger, but they can also write on each other's math problems, check work and give suggestions.

Jeanine, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use mathchat during math lessons where student have to use the Common Core mathematical practices. Students would be asked to solve a math tasks in small groups and use the classroom ipad to chat with other groups. I would also use this product during small group instruction, where students would mentor each other.

Strengths: The ability for students to chat and solve math problems together. Another strength in the way students input the numbers and words is comparable to how they are now being required to do for assessment. Another strength is the use of drawing tools in addition to a number pad and letters

Suggestions for Improvement: An improvement would be a way for teacher to create math tasks and assign them to student groups. The resulting work could be saved in a document and sent to the teacher's email.

Verdict: I would recommend it because students will be taking their CAASSP online and they need daily and weekly practice explaining their mathematical thinking not only on paper but electronically. Also it will help ELL students to practice using the academic vocabulary they need to be successful.

Ed Tech Specialist, School Type: Other, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School, 1:1 Devices, BYOD Devices, Blended Learning
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Reteaching and remediation Would allow students who understand concepts to teach others as part of team chat

Strengths: I like team chat feature that allows team lead to annotate problem - hand drawing I like the term levels rather than grades or course tittle - allows teacher to assign problems at lower level to struggling student Allows personalized learning Allows concept reinforcement at self pacing

Suggestions for Improvement: See previous answer Scanner, larger repository of problems, and batch add if teacher wanted whole class activity Districts might be concerned for young learners at going outside class or identified network of students - how is safety and security addressed. Does annotating allow for inappropriate messages - if so, a video with age appropriate characters might be helpful

Verdict: Would like to see batch enroll for adding all students in class Would like to see scanner so teacher could add problems from paper assignment Would like to see search feature by concept so teacher could assign group of problems to student Would like to see larger problem repository, again searchable by concept

Instructional Coach, School Type: Middle School, Blended Learning
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would definitely use it with students to encourage collaboration when solving math problems. I would also use it as a means of providing students with extra assistance or coaching on more difficult math problems outside of school hours.

Strengths: 1) Type math text 2) Reach out to close friends or classmates for help 3) Use of multiple tools to work through problems 4) Embedded checks for accuracy along the way

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) Make the tool slightly easier to navigate back and forth between friend and problem screens 2) Consider add more types of math tools that students can use to work through problems 3) Embedding hints or information to address misconceptions when they arise

Verdict: I would definitely recommend this tool because it aligns with the digital resources that students already use in their everyday lives and the ability to effortlessly and easily type math text is AMAZING!!

Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I teach students in taiwan via distance learning, so I could use this during class time or when students are doing work at night (morning LA time) I could be there to help realtime.

Strengths: Visually it is very easy and intuitive to use. I like the drawing tool that can be screen shared so easily too.

Suggestions for Improvement: Long term student and class data would be great. A way to grab the text and drawing that were used to solve the problem would be good too. Maybe even have the student who is trying to answer it mark or circle the statement that helped them solve it. Could be useful to identify how kids get unstuck. We always are concerned with what they get stuck on, but seeing how they overcome it is great too!

Verdict: #1--Free. #2 very easy collaboration. Bottom line, it is about working together to solve math problems. No videos or anything else. Math should be collaborative!

Susie, Teacher/Tech Coordinator. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Great help tool for kids. Gives immediate feedback while allowing kids to collaborate.

Strengths: Step by step help and support. The communication and peer support and coaching is great!

Suggestions for Improvement: Allow a way for teachers to set up a class and control enrollment. Make a way fir keyboards to switch for younger students.

Verdict: Great feedback. Allows collaboration. Kids can both type and use fingers/stylus.

Assistant Principal Of Curriculum, School Type: High School, Low Income Population, College Prep School, 1:1 Devices, BYOD Devices
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would use this to give feedback to my students as well as help them work through the math process. It would be a great tool for students to mentor each other. The function do writing on the problem to show work is helpful when helping students out.

Strengths: The writing function to show work even though it is not "checked" teaches student good practice when solving problems. The opportunity to chat with someone to ask for help is also great. The best feature it to see someone work on the problem in real time even if they are not seated right next to you.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would include more functions used in higher level math (calculus notation) If possible the ability to graph and get it checked. Not sure if this was part of it but being able to see how long it takes a student to solve the problem or on what step it took the most time so teachers can see where students get stuck.

Verdict: As a high school teacher who teacher calculus, the functionality needed for my students is still being developed. This would be a great tool for math up to linear algebra but until it has functionality for higher level math, I would probably only recommend to math up to algebra.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Sep 14, 2014

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would use this product to get students talking about how they solved math problems. Students can interact with each other and the teacher while working on solving a math problem.

Strengths: I like the fact that it this product gets students communicating about the math they are doing. With the new standards for mathematical practice students need to persevere and be able to explain their thinking. This product would be very helpful with that.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if this product was available for all grade levels in elementary school. All students can benefit from math chats since they can be used to practice several mathematical practice standards. Another suggestion is if it had some sort of pre and post assessment built in. This would give the students and teacher an idea as to what the students already know before beginning a new concept.

Verdict: I would be more willing to recommend it if it were available for all grade levels in elementary school. As of right now, it is geared more towards fourth grade and up, however, all students need to practice talking about math.

Edwin, Teacher. School Type: Middle School, High School, College Prep School
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: I don't think my students will enjoy using mathchat. I have my own teacher website in which I already support a chatbox where they can ask their friends for help with problems and can even take/post pictures of problems for help.

Strengths: Allows students to seek help from friends and teachers. Students can invite others to help out and see real time help.

Suggestions for Improvement: Ability to embed or add-on with a Google classroom or a class Wiki. Feature which allows students to take pictures of their work and post picture. Access to a library so that teachers do not have to create their own problems.

Verdict: Mathchat would require ANOTHER service for them to use for school. It's not compatible with a Google classroom and I can't embed it into a website. Seems like more work to use it than to text a friend for help.

Math Coach, School Type: High School, Low Income Population
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to have students work on problems together or individually.

Strengths: I really liked how this product allows students to chat/collaborate with one another and solve problems by annotating or typing it into the ipad. I also love that it can be downloaded FOR FREE on an ipad or iphone! Very cool!

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like for it to be able to pick up nearby devices instead of having to preload people into the contacts area. This could allow for students to regroup and immediately connect to one another.

Verdict: I would recommend this product because it promotes collaboration and the standards for math practice in a very cool way.

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