Product Index
Teacher Needs
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.
Annie, Language Arts Teacher. School Type: Middle School, BYOD Devices, Blended Learning
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: As a teacher that has implemented genius hour and passion-based, project-based, inquiry based, student-driven learning, this tool would be a wonderful complement to my classroom. Students would be able to project manage their personalized learning, setting their own goals and reflecting on their progress.

Strengths: Teaching students to project manage is a needed skill in our future students. This tool provides opportunities for students to take ownership over their learning and be autonomous as they learn a real world skill - project management. Again, it also solves the need for a more human, metacognitive aspect of student's learning.

Suggestions for Improvement: I am still grappling with how to manage utilizing a tool like this with 160+ students. It does seem that the scale of use can be altered to make this more manageable.

Verdict: We need more tools that can tailor learning to individual students. Analytics and stats only go so far. For a teacher to understand in a more holistic way how students are learning is paramount. Additionally, the human element of this tool (ability to write narratives and explain student's own learning) is needed in our classrooms. The customizable widgets, syncing with Google calendar, and no need for a student email address are also selling points for me.

umar, Teacher. School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it in my leadership classes to track students' progress on projects. Each semester I ask students to design and and complete a community service project. I would be able to monitor which phase of the project students are working on, have them provide feedback, use the platform to promote deeper inquiry to hit learning targets, and define a course of learning for each individual student.

Strengths: This product streamlines paperwork, offers actionable date and tracking for non traditional assignments and assessments, and offers a platform to push student thinking on their own individual efforts or respective projects.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if this product offered a quick link to share a student's work or a screenshot of their profile to a parent to quickly update parents on their student's progress and growth.

Verdict: I would recommend this product because its interface is clean, clear and concise while offering the functionality that I definitely need in a project based learning setting.

Teresa, Librarian. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: This product fills a very specific need at less tradtional schools and programs. I love that a lot of the constraits in a traditional classroom or with a standard LMS are not present with this tool. I feel like this would be a perfect tool to use with students in a project-based learning environment.

Strengths: Project Foundry allows for project management at a more granular level than most LMS systems. I could see this filling a real need at our non-traditional schools that are more project based in nature and in innovative classrooms in more tradtioanl school settings.

Suggestions for Improvement: allow for school or district customization of the dashboard
add a component for tradtional assignment management
integration with existing district LMS tools

Verdict: For the right program, this would be the perfect tool for project management. I feel it would necessitate teacher training for it to be utilized fully, and it would take some training time for teachers to explain and model its use with students. That said, it allows projects to be managed at the granual level with teacher input along the way--great for gradually releasing that responsibility and ownership to the students, the true agents of the learning.

Student, School Type: High School, Project Based School
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I use this product to monitor my progress on competncies, and project learning. We use this as an entire school for every project that happens.

Strengths: The evidence documenting feature is really helpful because students can go back and review their evidence later for use in their exhibitions.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would change the messaging feature because read messsages dont always stay or they remain as something that is unread. I'd also fix the UI to make it a lot easier for people to understand. Finally, I'd add a tutorial for people to use, so they knew how to better use the product.

Verdict: I would reccommend Project foundry because it it very useful in aiding the learning process and it also helps document evidence.

Joshua, Instructional Technology Specialist. School Type: High School, BYOD Devices
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I believe this could be a powerful tool for leveraging the powerful computers students have in their backpacks and pockets. Learners would benefit from using the tools they are comfortable and knowledgeable with.

Strengths: The ability to interact with a variety of platforms and devices would be powerful.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to see the ability of the device to share the screen with homebound students, see an improvement in the GUI (which currently looks old and is a bit confusing) and I would like to see the price a little lower.

Verdict: I would worry about how the device would intract with our existing infratructure.

Teacher / Tech Coach, School Type: Middle School, 1:1 Devices
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: There are a lot of options, but it feels like it provides an information overload. Linking things to standards isn't something that I want to spend more time than I already do on.

Strengths: I'm really glad that someone is thinking about project based learning management systems. I like that students have the option to capture their own evidence. I like the To Do task for teachers (look at what the students have submitted)>

Suggestions for Improvement: Project Based Learning is a messy process. I'd like to see the product provide information in an easier to digest way (Could you see all the information you needed on a phone screen?). With 120+ students that is about what is manageable for me.

Verdict: It looks better than Skyward for Project Based Learning, but it doesn't necessary look like the user experience is easier to interact with for the students.

Arun, Student. School Type: High School, Project Based School
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I use PF to track my progress through school.

Strengths: The "current work" is really nice. It keeps track of your progress. The tasks bar needs help, though.

Suggestions for Improvement: It isn't very customizable, as different schools are different.

Verdict: It is a good tool to help organize your work.

Instructional Coach, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I wouldn't use this product unless a school had the pedagogy to match having a portfolio assessment. One school in our school district could benefit from this product, but for me personally, no.

Strengths: It does an excellent job maintaining a student portfolio with student input. I like the detailed reports. Very impressive to match with rubrics.

Suggestions for Improvement: I wish it had an elementary component that would fit with that kind of system. I need to look more at the system to really look at improvements.

Verdict: I would only advise against it if the school had a traditional model. But if it is 21st century learning I would definitely recommend it for a school following that pedagogy.

Student, School Type: High School, Project Based School
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I use this product to submit project ideas and evidence to our advisors to move through our project learning. We operate on project based learning, so I'm using this product a lot.

Strengths: Project foundry does a really good job of helping you document your evidence, which saves you hours of work later on.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like it if it had an easier user interface. I'd also like tutorials, and finally I'd like less glitches.

Verdict: It has a lot of troubleshooting issuses and user interface is a little bit difficult to understand, although it is a good product.

Instructional Coach, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Higher Education
Dec 3, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: This product seems like a great way for teachers, parents, and students to track progress towards learning goals and to manage workflow.

Strengths: I like the product but it was hard to get a real feel for it in 20 minutes.

Suggestions for Improvement: The dashboard looked a little complicated to me.

Verdict: I would recommend this product. I'm not sure it is a good fit district wide right now but looks great for some of our signature academies.

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