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.
Teacher, School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would recommend this to ELA, Social Studies/History, and Science teachers to use for writing research papers. The teachers can then help their students learn how to read a page, annotate, and then use those annotations in a paper. Because of it being a Google Chrome Extension, it's easy to get everyone in my district (all students have google accounts) to add this as a feature and begin using it.

Strengths: It cuts out teachers having to print our resources and have students physically mark them up with annotations. You would then have to make copies to share those annotations in a group. Students can now easily mark up a web resource, share the resource in a group, the teacher can watch who's doing what research, and then import the resources into a bibliography. It's incredibly simple to use because it's a google extension. I think this is a great resource for ELA, Social Studies/History, and Science teachers trying to teach how to write a research paper.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) Allow some of the features to be disabled (share on Facebook/Twitter). This would cut down on students accessing or trying to go to those places during the school day. 2) Allowing teachers to create an Annotation key that students have to use when learning how to do annotate something. 3) Have a feature where students can put in a link to another website. This could create a sort-of hyperlink laying over some text to create many resources. 4) Create a feature that just puts a picture (like a lightbulb or a question mark) next to a paragraph so that a whole paragraph doesn't end up being highlighted.

Verdict: I recommend this because it's a simple product that adds-on to a Google Chrome web browser (and all our students already have google accounts). Not only that, but it allows them to mark up a webpage, share that page with classmates on a group project, share with the teacher, and then use in a paper. It also easily allows for a bibliography and promotes good writing and crediting resources.

Donna, Teacher Ela. School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population
Oct 24, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Researching and writing, particularly citing evidence from text and creating bibliographies, are among the most difficult skills to teach - we tend to internalize them during our own education, but it is hard to transmit those skills to others. Yet they are the most critical skills for success, not only in education but in "Real Life." Being able to present my students with a program that supports these skills would allow me to spend more time working with individual students and less time as the "sage on the stage".

Strengths: It's hard to say what aspect of this program is more valuable to me as a teacher. Being able to show my students how to highlight and select text in real-time, not just on paper will allow me to catch and remedy misunderstandings. The ability for the student to create a library of articles pertinent to their research will encourage them to do a more thorough job of supporting their thesis. And the information-gathering tools available to me will allow me to monitor progress much more efficiently and avoid those instances of "OMG the paper i due tomorrow and i haven't finished my research yet."

Suggestions for Improvement: I honestly can't think of any changes I would like to see made to this product. Given some time with it, I might come up with some refinements, but they would most likely only be minor ones.

Verdict: Given Common Core's emphasis on informational reading and writing, having a tool that makes the research and writing process transparent for students is a benefit that will have far-reaching effects.

Principal, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: As a school Administrator I would recommend this product to our intermediate teachers for use with the whole class. This would be useful for all students, but would be particularly useful for student who struggle with written output issues. This is a great skill for students to learn and will ensure they annotate correctly when using internet sources.

Strengths: Easy to access through Google Chrome, but also through other search engines by bookmarking the site. Minimal set up for teachers - passes the onus over to the students. Highlighting tools based on the different colours (Intro, Paragraph 1 etc) is excellent. Bibliography tools are great and the choice between different formats is convenient.

Suggestions for Improvement: The ability to organize the notes based on the different colours of highlighting - either all on one page or on different pages. Ability for a classroom teacher to access the notes pages of all of the students to see the sites they are on. Ability to track the history of sites viewed, even if no notes are taken, so the same sites are not viewed over and over (this may already be an option, but I didn't see it today)

Verdict: This is an excellent resource to help students with the information they are gathering from the internet for research projects. The highlighting and annotation tools are very useful for all students, but in particular for students with written output issues. The fact that this is a tool that can be accessed by students anywhere is key!

Special Education Teacher, School Type: Middle School, High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product in science and language arts classrooms for large projects to help 9th and 10th grade students learn how to research and write bibliographies.

Strengths: The annotation feature is very nice for instructing students how to do something for the first time, and the ability to use it with any webpage makes it incredibly flexible. Without flexibility, it's useless.

Suggestions for Improvement: The social media function needs to be able to be toggled on and off. There's plenty of times where it is not useful to give students access to facebook and twitter. I would create a simpler version specifically for middle schoolers. I can see that presenting that age group of students with as many options as the full version does is overwhelming. For all but the most advanced students, ed tech products need to be very simplified and streamlined for them to be useful.

Verdict: This product seems to do a pretty good job of streamlining the difficult task of teaching students about research. I haven't seen anything else that does something like that. I see that it could be used to walk students step wise through the process of searching, finding, and citing sources for a research project.

Vice Principal, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this with my intermediate students who are learning how to write papers. This is a great way to organize your thoughts for papers and to help take away the fear if writing citations. Since students are researching more and more online, this is an excellent product.

Strengths: As students are using more and more online research, this takes the headache away for teachers who are concerned about students using valid sources to do research for their projects. Being able to easily cite all the sources immediately relieves the pressure for students to record the extensive info needed for a proper citation.

Suggestions for Improvement: When you highlight in different colours and label each colour (ie: notes for intro and notes for conclusion) when you look at the notes they should be organized under each label. Make it easier for non chrome users to use. Provide an online tutorial video.

Verdict: I think this product is excellent for students and teachers. It is a teaching tool as well as a recording tool. I love how easy it is to use and that it is web based and can be used on a variety of devices if students need to. You can work on it at home or at school.

Rebecca, Ell Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School, 1:1 Devices
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would Scrible with my fifth-graders as they do research for their project-based learning. Each student is responsible for choosing, researching and presenting a community problem. Scrible would be a great tool to help them organize their research and improve learning about using evidence from multiple texts.

Strengths: I think Scrible looks great. It seems like an interface that students will be able to use, both on the toolbar end with highlighting and on the organizing end with the library.

Suggestions for Improvement: I'm wondering if there are any tutorials that might be built in, both in how to use Scrible itself but also how it connects to other tools. For example, it would be great for students to learn about how tags work on Scrible and how that connects to the way they work on blogs or other sites. I believe it's in development but it would be great to have a way for the teacher to provide feedback at each step, as students choose quotes as well as begin writing.

Verdict: I will be recommending Scrible to the fifth-grade team at my school. They will be able to use it as the students research community issues for their projects.

Todd, El Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Apr 15, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: It is an online, interactive notation and highlighting feature that allows user to annotate their online work.

Strengths: It is easy to use.
It has Google integration.
It allows me to annotate research with ease. No more looking for the right type of format - just choose from the menu.

Suggestions for Improvement: We need to be able to save to hard drive, Google docs, Box, or other cloud-based services.
We need to be able to export as PDF, Word, or other software services.
The student features need to be alined with the teacher features, but with fewer options for them to use.

Verdict: This is an amazing tool for students to be responsible online researchers!

Students, young and old, can investigate, highlight, save and appropriately annotate work they have done with research.

Students can also use this tool to take notes on required topics or learn about new topics of their own interest.

In today's tech world, students need to be able to use tools like this as they investigate. New state-wide assessments will require students to do online writing and research, so this tool will help them prepare.

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 for students in my ELA classes, but it would also apply to any classes where students need to research. I would have students use this program every time they have to critically read any articles, particularly online.

Strengths: The annotation tools are intuitive and easy to use. I love that the annotations and notes can be easily transferred to the students essay, and the citations and source list are really easy to create. The bar graph that shows where students are at in the essay process is helpful to see for lesson design purposes.

Suggestions for Improvement: The program should work on more than chrome, specifically safari since many school districts use mac products. I also wish there was more teacher control in the student edition, but the classroom edition is coming out this summer so hopefully that'll help that issue.

Verdict: Students need to be able to critically analyze and close read text. This program allows students to annotate and gather resources easily. There is also room for collaboration where students can create a shared library if they're working together.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, 1:1 Devices
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product during any research project to support students in keeping their resources organized and annotating for critical information. I would also recommend use across other courses for consistency.

Strengths: The features are valuable: coding different highlighting colors, leaving sticky notes, and having a chrome extension rather than needing to pull the site into some closed system.

Suggestions for Improvement: The interface is not intuitive... There are a LOT of buttons, and the personal library of resources looks very cluttered... Hard for kids to pull out what they're looking for, and parse the different tools/buttons. The interface seems very Web 1.0... Might benefit from looking at a program like Ponder.co for cleaner more appealing UI.

Verdict: Organization for research projects is so challenging for even kids with great executive functioning skills... This is a great support. The annotation and sharing features can also support better text analysis and collaboration. Using a tool like this consistently within a school can only be good for kids.

Reading Specialist, School Type: High School, College Prep School, BYOD Devices
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: i would use this tool as a school-wide writing and database program. Given my role as a reading specialist, I am constantly seeking ways to streamline student writing and research. GIven that I work with special education identified students that struggle with research and organizing their thoughts, this program would not only work well for them, but for the shcool as a whole.

Strengths: THis product aids in solving the problem of streamlining research and organizing thoughts for students who have a difficult time doing both. At my school, there are five different programs that students must access in order to cite, write, and research; this program streamlines all of those areas into one easy to use resource.

Suggestions for Improvement: it seems a little clunky in the interfaces, the icons are a bit difficult to follow for one who is not computer-literate, and there could be some confusion for students who are visually impaired.

Verdict: Price? I did not get a price range on this product, si I would encourage administration to look into that before they do anything.

Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up