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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.
Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, College Prep School
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This would be used to review the weekly grammar topics, such as irregular verbs and punctuation. For my GT the section on quotation marks would be a great insert lesson when they are working on their one mandatory writing piece, which must include dialogue. They have very little experience with it and there are many resources that present this information to them on a middle school level. Also, starting the school year with this would provide a baseline on writing skills and then monthly workshops would make it possible to track progress which would hopefully be reflected in their writing pieces as well.

Strengths: The amount of skills that are available is wonderful. The readings which the children get to interact with as not overwhelming and give them a set number of mistakes, so they can see their goal. Also, the color coding is a visual marker for the students. The way that each lesson geared to the specific weakness of each student makes the lessons more meaningful and engaging.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1 Continue to grow, keep adding skills and writings for the students to edit so the program doesn't become repetitive.

2 Increase the grade range. With a tool this amazing and the need for improved grammar across the board, this should keep expanding to meet the high demands for such a product.

Verdict: The best selling point to to my administrator is that it is FREE. Beyond that, Common Core is heavy on writing and grammar skills, which many of our students have drastic deficits in. Using this as a yearly tracking program to document progress would connect to CC standards and be used as a prewriting tool to prepare students for how to make improvements in their own writing.

Kate, Special Ed Teacher. School Type: Middle School, Blended Learning
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to teach grammar by writing sentences and proofreading passages. It would be a great warm-up activity to start the day and it provides students with immediate feedback. I would also use this as a way to practice weekly vocabulary words. In addition, I would use it to have students write stories with each other as a way to interactively engage in the lesson.

Strengths: I like that there are different categories (Quill Grammar, Quill Writer, Quill Proofreader, Sentence Shuffle) because it provides some diversity. In the past, I have had students edit passages on paper, but it gets a little bit messy and hard to understand. This clean interface provides a neat and organized way of making corrections with immediate feedback.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. I would like for it to be a little bit more user-friendly. 2. I would like there to be something for the partner who is not currently writing to do. (I hear you are working on that.) 3. I would like all of the categories to be on the same homepage.

Verdict: I think this is a great tool for students to practice their writing, proofreading, and vocabulary skills. It seems like a fun way to have students work together and collaborate on a story. It also gives students the opportunity to creatively write while still using assigned vocabulary words. I also love the fact that it is free.

Darrell, Computer Technology / Intervention Developer. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Feb 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would integrate it with my edmodo assignments for pre-writing for assignments.

Students need to be able to start a sentence. Most ELA assignment requires students to critically think and respond with their opinions and supporting details.

I would be able to give them an example to use and students could work on the basic skills as a warm up.

Strengths: It provides great visual evaluations highlighted for accommodation purposes.

The lessons are already matched for easy implementation with the lesson plans.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. There needs to be greater cross curricula reading assignments for math, science, information texts, arts, cultures, and music.

Students need to appreciate reading is done in a variety of settings and cultures.

2. Spanish versions needed.

ELL is a big issue now. Students are being included even though they are ESOL. The teacher may not be able to translate.

3. Teacher lesson plans so the teacher does not have to make them for compliance.

Lesson plans take up most of the time at night. It needs to be copy and paste or PDF for easy implementation.

Verdict: I would pose that teachers have little time to evaluate every students work. This program would allow immediate feedback correlated to CCSS. It would make for effective RTI lessons.

It would also help to develop greater vocabulary.

Lisa, Health Teacher. School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, College Prep School
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I loved that students can not only learn all about proper grammar but that it is done in a fun way. I thought that it could be used for the grades that they claim which was grades three through twelve. I liked the way that you can use it to peer edit and work with another student.

Strengths: One strength of this program is that it makes learning grammar fun. I also liked how you can work with another peer with the story board. Using the word list I thought was a great way to get students to show or learn the contect of the word that they are using. That this program is free is amazing to me! That you can use this program with 3-12 which coveres a wide range of educational levels. Everyone wins!

Suggestions for Improvement: I know that they are still working on this. I would like to be able to add my own words lists in for the story board use. I would also like to have various levels for even the lessons that need to be learned. For example the Their, there, they're lesson required typing the entire sentence. I'm not sure if I want students to have to write the entire sentence or if I just want them to type the correct answer. I can't think of anything at this time.

Verdict: I would like it to be capable to add my own word list in the program. However, it is free of charge so I would be willing to use it for what it is currently capable of.

Assistant Director Special Events And Stewardship, School Type: High School, College Prep School
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use the interactive features to help students work together to improve their basic writing skills. The grammar and proofreading elements would provide an alternative presentation of that material to many students.

Strengths: The strengths are the low cost, the easy-to-use nature for educators, and the skills it teaches and reinforces. It also has some personalized learning principles by immediately directing students to further lessons based on the errors they made.

Suggestions for Improvement: **Expand the scope outside English/Language Arts **Cater to more grade levels if interested in implementing school-wide **Implement video instruction to better engage students

Verdict: First, it is free, which is a huge difference maker in my community. I also think it's a simple software that would require little teacher training and professional development to implement in a classroom. I also feel students will respond to the engaging nature of this platform.

Teacher, School Type: High School, High ELL Population
Nov 22, 2014

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I would use it to guide students in learning sentence construction from grammar revisions to vocabulary acquisition.

Strengths: The product allows teachers to use the different assignments available but it also allows teachers to cater/ tailor their use. It is interactive, and it provides students with immediate feedback on what they did well on.

Suggestions for Improvement: The representative demonstrating the product could not show me the teacher screen but told me of its capabilities. I would prefer hands on for this portion. As for student view, it was an easy interface to use. Until I can see the teacher screen, I cannot fully comment here.

Verdict: First and foremost it is easy to advocate for a product that promises to be "free forever". It would be an easy sell. Teachers will be more incline to use it because it is quicker than making copies, and students will be receptive because the software is interactive; it also provides immediate feedback.

Principal, School Type: Middle School, High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School, 1:1 Devices
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would ask my teachers to use this product to improve writing in the classroom setting. Teachers to use the product to practice each of the four areas. Students could use the Quill Grammar app as well as each of the other apps during independent time.

Strengths: I like breathe of activities that cover Common Core standards. It will also give me activities for the students to do instead of the "worksheets" that focus on the skills that students need to be successful in writing.

Suggestions for Improvement: I think i would create a place for the teaching of the skills necessary, "the rules" so to say and explain what needs to change.

Verdict: I would recommend this product because I feel that we do not have enough resources for teachers in writing in relation to the common core. Many of the products focus on literacy, close reading.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Feb 28, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use Quill to help students with writing. Students would practice grammar skills for class lessons and for a quiz on the skill. I would use it with an LCD and then have students work on computers to complete a task. I would have to make adjustments because I work with third graders, but from what I was shown this could be done.

Strengths: This product is a self paced activity. It can be used for class, small group, and/or independently.

Suggestions for Improvement: It was designed for middle school students - so it has to be adjusted for lower grades. From what I saw making the adjustments does not seem to be difficult.

Verdict: Many of our students have poor writing skills because they have poor use of grammar. This product gives them the practice they need on any grammar skill. As a class and independently.

Kim, Special Education And Professional Development. School Type: Other, BYOD Devices
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I like the idea of writing to another student and proofing each other's sentences. I like to use this technique in teacher students to type and to show them that typing is a good way to communicate.

Strengths: I like that students' learn that other people will be reading their writing and that grammar is important. I know some students who say grammar "doesn't matter". By having a typing conversation it show them that it does matter!

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Have restricted "bad words" 2. Make the font bigger for visually impaired 3. When proofing make it so you can click on the error and fix it and not have to retype the whole sentence.

Verdict: I like that it is free and I like some of the features. I would like to see a "bad word" restriction.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: We would use it to support students

Strengths: It helps to solve the problem of students not keyboarding enough within the classroom. Specific grammar skills are being shown to the students. Helps to fill a need for grammar instruction and proofreading to strengthen instruction.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would put in specific instruction, i.e. videos to help support student instruction. I would like there to be less of a typing component within some parts of the grammar instruction. I would include a game based where students earn coins or rewards.

Verdict: I would like to use it to support students within the classroom to help support different areas within the language arts curriculum including writing.

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