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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.
Timmy, Student. School Type: High School, 1:1 Devices, BYOD Devices
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this web application in History class. As a student who is constantly trying to find new and engaging ways to create projects (to stimulate both myself and the class) Storyboard That is a great way to ensure the entire class is engaged while learning the required content. It creates this beautiful and intuitive storyboard layout in which you can add practically any image to it to make any timeline, and story, and any point. You add images, characters, props text, essentially anything you need to accurately create your story.

Strengths: This product is very very easy to use. Everything you could accomplish with it is outlined for you neatly, and the use of symbols helps users understand the actions available to them. The availability to change skin tones, hair color, eye color, and practically any body feature is incredible because of the diverse group using the application. Additionally, the vast possibilities to create practically anything with this application is rewarding in the fact that all teachers and all students have the potential to create great stories.

Suggestions for Improvement: In terms of weaknesses, I can only think of one immediate one: The lack of iOS availability. While this application can be used through a web browser on the iPad, it does not have its own application. Because of this, some of the functionality of the application could be limited or distorted. For 1:1 iPad schools, this would be an amazing tool, and having the ability to use it on iOS would be an incredible advancement.

Verdict: I would recommend Storyboard That because of the way it will engage students. It is fun to create and fun to view. Students could use this application to create interactive assignments, or teachers could use it to better appeal to students.

Computer Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, Low Income Population
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product with the classroom teachers and students as a way to enhance story telling skills. I would replace utilizing PowerPoint and google images with this product.

Strengths: As I previously stated, this product will eliminate the inappropriate image issue which happens too frequently on Google image search. This product is easy to use and can be used in different formats such as timelines, slide shows and even gretting cards.

Suggestions for Improvement: One thing I would change is limiting the character pose formatting capabilities so that less time is spent on this portion of the project. Until I actually use the product for a given time, I do not have any other recommendations.

Verdict: I would recommend this product because it is a safe way to use images with stories without the chance of seeing any inappropriate images. We use Edmodod and this product can be save on the Edmodo platform as well.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: Assign to students to create their own story. It could be free writing also.

Strengths: Many features students can use to create their own story. Like the photosforclass.com

Suggestions for Improvement: It may get too busy for kids to try out everything and forget to write a well developed story. Allow teachers to control what features to let students use in their story, so students won't fix on the picture details

Verdict: It will be fun for students to create their own story by using all the features provided.

Teacher, School Type: High School, College Prep School
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: This produce is very basic and more elementary school focused.

Strengths: I like to timeline feature and think that it would be very easy to use for young learners. It is a useful tool for these elementary learners.

Suggestions for Improvement: The templates look a bit canned and the photos that are assessed are random. I think the tool could be more varied so that older students can manipulate images in more creative ways.

Verdict: It is too basic and for elementary school students.

Response from Storyboard That: Storyboard That allows authors to create storyboards up to 100 cells in length, in Standard, Timeline, Frayer, Grid, and T-Chart layouts. We also have pre-made examples for hundreds of lessons. When creating a storyboard, the user is given a blank canvas (nothing pre-canned). Photos - Storyboard That has close to 1000 characters and scenes to choose from. Characters can be posed and configured for skin tone, hair color. Premium accounts also have access to photos for class which contains millions of Creative Commons images.

Linda, Technology Director. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, BYOD Devices
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: Students are always looking to create original content. This product gives them the ability to demonstrate knowledge while creating that original content. It also provides a nice opportunity for students to show knowldge in a visual way, rather that simply through text, which would help ELL and LA-challenged students.

Strengths: No setup for the teachers Group sharing of student products if desired, as well as embedding them easily for sharing Covers all curriculum areas Touches on Copyright for photos - HUGE issue that can never be stressed enough with students! Can apply to literally any curriculum area - big bang for the buck with this product I don't have to purchase/load/maintain software -- I'm so done with that

Suggestions for Improvement: If students are not 'presenting' their storyboards to the group/teacher for a grade, there is no way (that I saw) to provide online feedback. No online collaborative piece? If you could animate the characters, that would be awesome. That's a BIG effort though! Don't know if the personal images that you/your class might upload would go into the database that would be 'searchable' by other users. That might be handy. Can we upload to Photos for Class?

Verdict: This is a tool that is appropriate across many grade levels and all curriculum areas -- I love a tool that gives a lot of "bang for the buck" that way. Literally any curriculum area would work for this tool. And web-based that works on all devices? CRAZY!

Nikki, Steam Integration Specialist. School Type: Elementary School, Blended Learning
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use Storyboard That to help students practice vocabulary and creative writing. Great to use to brainstorm and mind map ideas. This is a very cool visual graphic organizer for students to show their work / findings.

Strengths: The highlighting tool that Storyboard has is the exciting presentation features that it has. I always use PowerPoint with my students, so this is refreshing. I also like that the images that students can use for presenting is creative commons. I can also use this to teach students about copy right laws.

Suggestions for Improvement: I could use this tool to teach a number of cross curricula classes. I did not find anything that I did not like or would like to explore.

Verdict: I would recommend this tool because our school definitely needs to invest in a digital storytelling tool like this. We recently purchased Chromebooks and iPads and this would be a great software to have.

Teacher, School Type: High School
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this in my world language classes and have students write stories in the target language. They could also practice new vocabulary and new verb tenses. I think that they could have a new digital way to access the langauge.

Strengths: I think that it would get students engaged. It would help to promote students reading and writing in a foreign language. I also think that having individual student logins is a benefit. Students would also enjoy the flexibility and personalization that happens as they make a product. I also like the safe image search that it part of it.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to see some sort of presentational component where student could record their voices aloud or produce it. I also think that they could benefit from seeing more examples. Maybe there could be a lesson/template sharing platform as well.

Verdict: I would recommend this because I think that it would be a good tool to promote student writing in the target language as part of the world language classroom. Also, I think that I would recommend it because it seems like it would increase student engagement in the course.

Response from Storyboard That: Storyboard That does offer the capability to record your voice and attach it to a specific storyboard. This feature is perfect for creating a presentation that includes both audio and visual components. When viewing a storyboard, click the "record" button and the recording will be attached to that storyboard! Also, Storyboard That has over 100 lesson plans and teacher guides that provide examples on how to utilize Storyboard That in the classroom, and all of them feature storyboard examples!

Emeline, Rti Tutor. School Type: Elementary School
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Before arriving today, I wasn't super familiar with the product. It's something that was being used before I got to the job I'm in. So coming today was very helpful because I got to spend some time with the ladies really exploring and understanding the use and benefits of the program.

Strengths: It's a great visual presentation tool. I love that you can share student work with other students or other classes.

Suggestions for Improvement: I don't know if there is any progress tracking. There may be and I just didn't explore that very much. Some way of grading student work right from the program would be great though, if it isn't there already.

Verdict: I think it's a great way to explore reading material. The idea of being able to create visual storyboards about a text being read in class or even to create your own text is awesome. For any students who struggle with reading/writing, this would provide them with a way to understand and interact with a text on a more visual level.

Ell Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I use the storyboard to have students create picture stories which then become their prompts for writing. I think I could use it more to have students respond to content.

Strengths: I think Storyboard That is very strong in the variety that it offers of different backgrounds and characters. I'm also excited to see it in combination with the safe photo search.

Suggestions for Improvement: Nothing comes to mind at the moment because I haven't used the paid version. I've played around with the free one and I wished for more variety and a way to save but both of those I could have with the paid version.

Verdict: I would recommend it because it could be used across grade levels and would be engaging to students.

Julie, Tech Integration Specialist. School Type: Middle School, High School, College Prep School, 1:1 Devices
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Graphic organizers, storyboards, timelines

Strengths: Strenghts: fun, good UI, interactive, easy for students to share their work with teacher.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Make it easier to access photos saved on mobile devices. 2. Have an image citation field within the storyboard so students can correctly cite their source. 3. ???

Verdict: I'd recommend it because it includes many features that I think teachers use regularly, especially around creating timelines, graphic organizers, and storyboards -- but it's easier and more intuitive than doing it on paper.

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