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.
Admin, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, BYOD Devices, Blended Learning
Feb 28, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Mosa Mack is just in the pilot phase right now and they only have one video to view. When I returned to school I took the opportunity to view this resource with a few of my teachers. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Many of them saw this video as a lesson starter to begin to activate prior knowledge or build background knowledge. The videos could also be posted on Edmodo or a similar site for students to view at home prior to class. The pilot video was engaging, humorous and most importantly very educational. We thought the characters were unique and students would engage with them the way they do with Mobi on BrainPOP. The Mosa Mack character on the main site represents a more diverse student population and I think that they may be an attractive quality to school districts world wide. I am hoping they will begin releasing additional videos on a variety of topics. Our students and staff will enjoy them.

Strengths: - Humorous
- Engaging
- Digital resource can be accessed from home and school
- students can work with this resource independently or as a whole group
- Lesson starter and activator for teachers when introducing a topic or as a reinforcement for the objective and essential questions.

Suggestions for Improvement: More content.

Verdict: A great digital resource that students could access and view independently or in a small group. Parents would also engage with this resource from home and as way to connect with their children on the content being discussed in school.

Sheraie, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would recommend this product because it make science more interesting and involves the student to use what they know and learn to solve a mystery.

Strengths: This product make science interesting and fun. It makes students accountable for knowing the information so they can successfully solve the mystery. This product allows students to see science as an interesting subject that they want to learn more about.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to see this for the lower grades. My students love science and going through their science books. They would enjoy a program where they can be a detective of science. For the students who are already interested in science it will increase their enthusiasm and grab the interest of those who are not interested. Get students interested in science early!

Have differently levels of difficulty for the mysteries to challenge students.

Make a home connection where students can also use the program at home in order to gain more practice at solving the mystery.

Verdict: Science is an area that as educators are putting more of an emphasis. Also, this product does not have the student answer questions but solve a mystery. This program is more applicable and interesting for the students.

Sasha, Special Educator. School Type: Middle School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: To make science more interesting to students. Many of the science materials are outdated and not interesting to students. Have students use textual support for their answers. The common core and PARCC require students to use textual support in their answers and this would be a great product for reinforcement. I will also use it for vocabulary building because the more interaction students have with a word the better chance it will become part of their everyday language.

Strengths: It would help with vocabulary building and allow students to see the words in action. It would also help students see science in a more interactive manner. Many students see science as dull and uninteresting. I think the visuals will allow students to be more engaged.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Produce more episodes

2. Provide a way for teachers to monitor progress

3. Provide a tutorial program to help teachers learn how to use product.

Verdict: There is currently only one pilot episode so it is difficult to ascertain what it can do and the full capability of the program.

giesha, Special Educator. School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population
Feb 21, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would try to use this product at the beginning of every new science subject. Because I teach in a high poverty area that has a high rate of special education students, this product would become a relevant piece to my students that would help them understand science in a fun interactive way. We all love cartoons.

Strengths: This product does a great job in introducing science in a fun way to minority students who would otherwise not be interested. It solves the problem of minorities being able to relate to STEM education.

Suggestions for Improvement: The only thing I can think about changing in this product is maybe adding more music that the children can recognize from current artist.

Verdict: I would highly recommend this product because it is free and relevant to the struggle that schools are having with minorities relating to and taking interest in STEM classes and programs.

Dawn, Technology Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I can see using this product to supplement science instruction by providing the short video followed up with learning activities. This would also make a good science club activity after school to keep kids motivated and engaged in learning even after the day has ended.

Strengths: It is simple and easy to use. It can be used during the day or after school, and it is not too costly. It is kid friendly, interactive and we'll worth the investment.

Suggestions for Improvement: Without spending more time with the product, I cannot really comment on how it could be improved.

Verdict: I really liked this program as an after school enrichment activity as well as a good support for classroom instruction. The cost is not prohibitive and it can easily be adapted for different ages and abilities.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Blended Learning
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This could be used in the classroom during science. I would use it as a full class lesson. I thin doing it over a few days would give me the opportunity to keep the students attentive to the lessons.

Strengths: The vocabulary and explanations in the program were very kid friendly. The students would like to use not only the vocabulary terms but also the definitions. It is very kid friendly.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would not change anything. I feel it is a very strong program.

Verdict: I think the kids would really enjoy the videos and the cartoon character. I think the students would enjoy taking the lesson and quizes in the program.

Kim, Teacher/Technology Liaison. School Type: Middle School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: The product provide short video clips about a science topic. The episodes are 6 minutes long to solve a mystery. Each episode provides a teacher discussion guide and vocabulary flash cards.

Strengths: The mystery video is colorful and have characters that will capture students attenntion.

Suggestions for Improvement: The program I'd in the pilot phase. Currently it is free, but unsure of future price.

Provide student worksheets.

Provide a group activity to go along with video.

Verdict: Engages students in content. Does not provide answers but rather require students to answer a question based upon facts presented in the video.

monica, Department Chair. School Type: Middle School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Review and assessment. Possible subplans.

Strengths: Kid friendly. Aesthetically appealing.

Suggestions for Improvement: Interactive worksheets. Separate venue to go deeper with in a topic. Interactive assessment.

Verdict: Still in beta.

Principal, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Science prep for state science assessment

Strengths: Strong representation of minority students

Suggestions for Improvement: access to parents

Verdict: ELL student population would love to see the representation

Elizabeth, Technology Teacher. School Type: Elementary School
Feb 20, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: During the engagement portion of a STEM lesson, video clips are a great way to get students thinking about the topic. Often videos cover all the topics and do not provide opportunities for students to engage in an inquiry based lesson. Traditional science videos found at United Streaming / Discovery Education provide excellent facts and information; however, students are not given a question or issue to explore.

Based on the format of the Mosa Mack pilot episode students are left with a question or a "mystery" to solve. It seems obvious that the level of motivation for students will greatly increase when presented with a "mystery" versus answering the teacher's Essential Question written on the board or a worksheet. The mystery and the teacher's question are identical; however, the inherent entertainment factor from the multimedia content engages the 21st century learner in a way the teacher's question by itself may not.

The supplementary materials include vocabulary cards with images, great for ESL and students with special needs, as well as group discussion questions. Additionally, there are links to online resources where students can learn more about a topic.

As NGSS are implemented in our county, these videos appear to be an excellent tool for engaging students in the inquiry process.

Strengths: Problem locating multimedia materials designed to support inquiry lessons

Traditional science videos present facts and support them with evidence.

There may be a question presented within the context of the video; however, the facts and information related to that question are given to the student. The Mosa Mack pilot episode posed a "mystery" for our students to solve. Students were given key vocabulary and some background, review, or new information related to the mystery.

In the informational video about mosamack.org the students were shown being engaged in conversation using science vocabulary to solve the mystery after viewing the video.

I envision using the video to start conversations and then to spur focused research or experiments based on hypothesis. Students will then have to present evidence to support their solution to the mystery. What a fun engaging and 21st Century approach to learning!

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) The pilot video is geared toward 4th grade and up.

Could or are there videos available that address our early learners in Kindergarten through third grade?

2) The supplementary material for the pilot lesson include only one online resource.

Additional online resources would provide options for teachers and allow for backup sources if a website is down or has been removed.

3) Additional images/characters that present women and minorities in STEM fields

Perhaps Mosa Mack could visit a female engineer, etc... when learning about issues related to the mystery

4) Math extensions/ connections related to the mystery

Verdict: Supports NGSS and inquiry based lessons

- online content

Mosa Mack is a female role model for our girls to look up to and aspire to be

Supplementary materials to support inquiry based conversations in the STEM classroom

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