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.
Teacher, School Type: High School, Blended Learning
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Otus is free and has multiple uses. It comes with multiple uses. It has over 8 major linkages for example: Split screen, class page, bookshelf Browser, Poll, Assessment Center Blog and EdPen. I was given an edpen and was fascinated by it. T Its dual application has made me resolute to leave this conference, stop by a computer store and purchase a tablet. In this day and age, people are looking for more effective ways of learning while also making the learning fun, engaging and in line with common core. Otus does all these and is also free. The representative not only patiently explain how Otus works she convinced me to register and I started using it already. As a teacher, having the flexibility to modify instructions, differentiate and meet various students' needs have never been this better. I learned that Otus is a social enterprise with a mission to level the educational and social playing field to the betterment of our country and our world. Working in a school where there is a yawning gap academic achievement, I can understand, appreciate and express my gratitude to Otus for its innovation, foresight and continued effort at making relevant data at the fingertips of individuals. Any organization that recognizes cultural, racial and academic differences is a genius. More importantly, to recognize this need and take steps to help ameliorate the situation is equally refreshing. Otus will gain a wider appeal if it will contact me so we could brainstorm about widening the market to include the 54 African Countries. Please note that many African countries have the money, not the technology. If these two factors could be carefully examined and ways found around meeting them, your market will be a major player and leader.

Strengths: Browser, Assessment Center Bookshelf Class Page Split Screen Blog EdPen Easily adaptable to other preexisting programs

Suggestions for Improvement: If you do not get in touch with some of us Africans so we can show you how we can market such a wonderful product on that continent, you will be guilty of inaction. With your competitive spirit and you preamble of 'leveling the playing field, I dare ask, what the heck are you guys doing not going into Africa?

Verdict: 1. User Friendly 2. Free 3. Multi-functioning 4. Easily tailored to meet every student's needs 5. Enables behavior tracking 6. Ensures student confidentiality Effective in Parent-Teacher conferencing.

Princpali, School Type: Elementary School
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to track attendance, track behavior, as a student calendar and assignment tracker, as a way for students and parents to track grades. The most important use would be in the development and assessment of tests and assignments. Tests would be better and easier to develop with the question bank. With the analytics the teachers would be able to assess not only which standards had been mastered and which not, but also, with tags on the questions related to Bloom's taxonomy, they would be able to tell if the student was having problems with knowledge, or higher level thinking. With this knowledge, remediation becomes more precise, showing if more work with the concepts was needed, or more work in developing higher thinking in the student.

Strengths: assessment- see other comments; it puts much of the important data for a student in one place that is sharable; it gives parents as much, or as little, data as they want. Some want all of the data all of the time and some want only some of it. it puts information on assignments, papers to read, etc. at the student's fingertips, no more saying I lost it, never got it, etc.; price is right.

Suggestions for Improvement: Would be better if entry of info could be done less labor-intensively.
Needs more development to get to maximum potential.

Verdict: better tracking; more student accountability; more information to parents when they wanted it; better tests; assessment that helps pinpoint the exact problems of each student and makes remediation more specific and accurate.

Suzanne, Technology Librarian. School Type: High School, 1:1 Devices
Oct 18, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This is another classroom management system. However, it seems to easily integrate with other platforms that exist (e.g. Google Classroom), except many more bells and whistles than most of the "freebies" out on the market.

Strengths: The strengths of OTUS is that it solves many of the problems in choosing a CMS/LMS for our staff. This product has all the bells and whistles of what is currently being used with the addition of many other features. These "bonus features' include ability to differentiate, make collobration groups, and easily customize all the features. You can tell a teacher had a hand in designing this!

Suggestions for Improvement: The three things I would improve are: 1) ability to embed outside items especially video (when students go to other sites, often they get distracted and don't come back) 2) a way to import existing Google Classrooms 3) ability to import/embed assessment items from places like Edulastic.

Verdict: We currently have many frustrated teachers who like bits and pieces of many classroom management systems. And, adminstration allows them to choose what they will use (or are most comfortable using). This may be a solution as it has all the best of what is out there and has many additional features such as polling, blogs, ability to markup.

Ann-Marie, Teacher. School Type: High School
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this program as my replacement LMS instead of JupiterGrades and my website at www.historyadventure.com. I would also recommend that this LMS be tested out at my district so that teachers and the tech committee could consider it for adoption as a possible LMS replacement. I believe that it covers most/all of my needs in my teaching and only needs to connect with our current/possible future SIS to be a viable possibility for adoption.

Strengths: The LMS is well designed and has a a number of features that I am looking for - connection to google drive, connection to apps such as Zaption, a stable grading program, a viable analytics function, a clear grouping function.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like this LMS to be connected to AERIES so that I could truly sell it to the district. This is really the only negative that I see :)

Verdict: As I stated before, this program has all of the features that I need to function efficiently as a teacher - a stable grading program, a blog feature, a large hosting capability via google drive, an analytics feature, and a stable grading feature.

Stacee, Ela Teacher. School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this program as a learning management network (if my school weren't starting with Schoology next year). I like the ability to assign students things individually or as a whole- or small-group. The interface as a whole is very user-friendly and intuitive, which I like.

Strengths: I loved the connection to Google drive and the browser. All the interface tools were easy to use and identify, which would be perfect for students and teachers alike. I love that it's free most of all!

Suggestions for Improvement: I honestly can't think of any improvements. Based on the presentation I saw, the product would fit my needs perfectly.

Verdict: I would recommend this program because it's FREE! Most of the LMS programs that are available are paid, so I love that this is free for teachers and students. The best thing for me was the direct connection to the browser (with split-screen capabilities), and the connection to Google Drive.

Education And Training Program Manager, School Type: Other
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to manage assignments within my class and to monitor the progress of my students.

Strengths: I would say the highlight of this product is being able to monitor student activity and progress real-time, which not only ensures educators are aware of student activities, but frees them up to assume the role of facilitator as the students engage in interactive, project-based learning. I am also impressed that this was created by educators as a way to resolve several gaps in similar programs. This is really the best 1:1 product I have seen so far :)

Suggestions for Improvement: I have not had the opportunity to use this program extensively enough to evaluate whether or not anything else would be value added or if any improvements would be needed.

Verdict: I would recommend this tool because it allows the educator to monitor students' activities real-time and gives the educator flexibility in managing assignments.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to organize students into groups, push out units, make seating charts, assign quizzes, and inform students of upcoming assignments/labs/tests.

Strengths: This product seems to do everything class dojo, class charts, haiku, and more do but all in one easy to use site.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would add a feature to add notes about individual students so I could keep track of communication/discipline in one place. Also, an option for how students work with each other to help in making seating charts. I would add a multi-student bookshelf so students working in a group would always have access to all their material/previous research.

Verdict: Teachers can keep track of so many things at once for each student and the whole class. Teachers can collaborate with each other and share resources/assessments. Admin can also oversee all teachers and students.

rory, Ela Teacher. School Type: Middle School, BYOD Devices
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to manage my aaaroom when we go 1:1. The lms we are currently using is very clunky in comparison, and thia has a lot more usable tools. I love the flag Feature because history especially has integrated classrooms and finds it difficult to differentiate

Strengths: I haven't used it, but the demo makes it look quick and facile , which is not a characteristic of our current management system. Also the assessment tool and the connection to standards seems very valuable. It puts a lot of things in one place.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would have it interface with existing electronic grade books and SIS,ss such as aeries. I would link it with grading tools such as paperrater.

Verdict: I think the sleekness of the product is impressive, and it would allow administration much greater ability to see how differentiation is actually happening.

Teacher, School Type: High School
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I will use it to ask for work submitted using this website. I will download my calendar and my rubrics for students to know what they are supposed to do. I will also like to use it to get feed back from my students. I think this will educate students a lot and they will be using technology.

Strengths: I think it does a great job organizing students work and given assignments. I think students will be able to do better than what they do using paper because they are using something phone and engaeching.

Suggestions for Improvement: I think having some fun games that use more vocabulary for students will be very beneficial.

Verdict: I will go for this product because I think my students will benefit a lot from it. They will learn a lot of skills using this product that will help them in their highter education.

Brianna, Classroom Support. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population, College Prep School
Apr 25, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This product has huge potential for both classroom engagement and management, as well as communication to parents and amongst colleagues.

Strengths: I love that this product has the flags which allow for targeted information and data assessment. The bookshelf feature is highly desirable because it allows the links to be shared much more easily.

Suggestions for Improvement: This product really has everything we are looking for. Out of five stars I would rate it at five stars.

Verdict: This product provides the ability for the teacher to be engaging with the students in a social network setting, which the children are already familiar with, as well as providing progress monitoring and assessment value.

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