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.
Digital Learning Coach, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to keep parents informed of what is going on in class or at school. I would use it to communicate projects or assignments that are due. For general information pushing out to parents.

Strengths: I am thoroughly impressed with this product! The ability to text SMS with parents in their own language is fully impressive. As a district that has to translate information to Spanish this solves that piece with quick communication. Did I mention it is a non-profit!!? and it is free!

Suggestions for Improvement: the number of languages. Currently at 10, which meets my needs but I can imagine there is someone who needs one not on there. But they are adding more! They are also adding an app as it is currently web-based for the teacher.

Verdict: The product is FREE! It translates into the parent language and translates their language back to English for me to understand. What a powerful communication tool! Did I mention it is FREE!!!

Jesus, IT Help Desk. School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Low Income Population, College Prep School

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star Advocate

Usage: As a child, I would always get in trouble at school. When the school would call my mom would have me translate and since I did not want to get in trouble, I would lie to my mom and tell her anything but the truth. To communicate with parents using a language they understand

Strengths: Easily communicates students progress to their parents in their language.

Suggestions for Improvement: This is a very good product, with minor additions it would be a great tool for our entire organization. One issue with this is if the phone number has been disabled the system only shows an error. In my opinion it should have a fail safe and have an alternate number it can dial after the bounce back.

Verdict: I would strongly recommend it due to the fact that many parents in our region do not speak English and do no know how their children are doing in school until it is too late

Principal, School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to get messages out to parents and staff and to encourage teachers to communicate with parents in their own language.

Strengths: It uses things that most people are familiar with and already use in a different way which would make life easier for teachers and parents.

Suggestions for Improvement: I didn't see a way to preview a message before sending or the translation. An app for the phone or a mobile site would make it easy to use a phone to send messages.

Verdict: The simple way to translate a message and that fact that parents would see it pop up as a text on their phones.

Veronica, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star Advocate

Usage: I would use to communicate important information or updates. Also, to request needed information.

Strengths: I am very impressed with the fact that I can poll my parents regarding any given topic.

Suggestions for Improvement: I want to be able to share pictures. I need to be able to edit the translated messages that go out to parents. I would also be interested in an add on that would allow me to message students as well.

Verdict: I like the program's versatility, templates and multiple functions.

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

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star Advocate

Usage: Communicating with parents about everything that is going on in my classroom and in the school.

Strengths: Translation of language straight to parents.

Suggestions for Improvement: Making it so that teachers could message straight from their phones. Having it set up so that the school can send on behalf of teachers. Have specific generic messages already set up.

Verdict: The fact that we have a such a huge population of Spanish speaking parent and many teachers that do not speak Spanish

Cicely, K Teacher & Parent Ed. facilitator. School Type: Elementary School, Other, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

Full starFull starFull starFull starNo star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to get out news, information, and other classroom communications to parents of my students. I'd also use it to send and receive information about individual students such as behavior reports, illness, absences, concerns, and compliments!

I would also use to get mass announcements out for our site's parenting education classes which I facilitate.

Strengths: This product translates text messages into the language of the parent receiving the text and send back a translated message to the sender. Whoa, that's amazing!

This product also allow me to conduct surveys with an audience of parents and collates and organizes the feedback. Amazing!

This product is free for teachers. How lucky am I? Amazing!

Suggestions for Improvement: The rep. said the mobile platform will soon be rolled out, so that would be one improvement.

Secondly, expanding the languages offered to include languages like Hindi, Farsi, Bengali and more.

Verdict: It appears the product is free for teachers, so I wouldn't need to advocate purchase.

Office and Student Data Coordinator, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School

Full starFull starFull starFull starNo star Advocate

Usage: I would use it to communicate with parents -- absences, missing forms, student injury, and God forbid -- a school emergency.

Strengths: Translation!

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) To have an app so you an send text from your phone 2) to be able to print conversations (along with the date and time it was sent and received) 3) to be able to connect multiple cell phone numbers to one school "sender" account / to be sure that more than 1 person in admin can receive the message / text notification. In case of an emergency, this feature will be really important.

Verdict: It's so useful -- texting in multiple languages! Our school serves families from diverse backgrounds (meaning REALLY diverse). It will be to our advantage to ensure our communication won't get lost in translation.

Teacher, School Type: High School, High ELL Population

Full starFull starFull starNo starNo star Neutral

Usage: I would use this to assign work, teach lessons, and give assessments.

Strengths: It's a very compelling idea and a definite area of need, but I'm not entirely sure that this is something that can be solved using an app.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) There needs to definitely be more training involved and not just a technological solution.
2) Maybe some kind of social media integration instead of just inside this one app?
3) I didn't catch the pricing options, but I'm not sure I would pay all that much for something like this.

Verdict: I would reccommend it especially as a teacher at a school where I don't speak Spanish and always run into issues where I can't communicate with the parents.

Sara, Director of Innovation and Learning. School Type: Elementary School, Project Based School, 1:1 Devices, BYOD Devices

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star Advocate

Usage: 1. As a teacher, I would send updates and pics to parents.
2. As an admin, I would send text blasts communications to families
3. Another admin function would be to collect parent responses for volunteer opportunities, scheduling, etc.

Strengths: The ease of use is very attractive. The ability to group, to see conversation threads, and to send surveys is very helpful. It seems so much better than email for organization and data collection. The ability to use and customize templates saves time and makes it more personal.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. It would be great to sort by text, rather than by time.
2. Sending pics (coming in June?)
3. Mobile app (coming?)

Verdict: Parents respond so much more quickly to texts than emails.

Teacher, School Type: High School, Blended Learning

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star Advocate

Usage: I will communicate with parents to inform how the student are doing in class. They will be able to ask questions. it is great because I can also use it in Spanish. it translate everything. great.

Strengths: It can help to communicate with others people especially parents who need to communicate with teachers about anything rewarding their students education.

Suggestions for Improvement: it is a great product. That is the word, it is great. All parents can communicate easily and they can see what is the progress of the student.

Verdict: it is great to communicate with parents daily and easy. especialy to the parents of those students who are strugling.

Natalia, Preschool Teacher. School Type: Other, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star Advocate

Usage: To communicate with parents through texting. Especially those parents who I do not see on a daily basis or at all.

Strengths: The fact that it is free is amazing! Parents are used to texting and this is a great way to communicate with working parents. I am so excited to know that it translates messages as well in many different languages!

Suggestions for Improvement: I don't know of anything that I could suggest at this moment.

Verdict: I would recommend this tool because other apps that I have used to communicate with parents are difficult and parents sometimes do not set up what is required of them and they never receive my messages.

Prek Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Other, Low Income Population

Full starFull starFull starFull starNo star Advocate

Usage: I would use the product to communicate with the parents. I would send out conference dates, picture dates, modified days, and just reminders to parents about what is or will be coming up in class or school.

Strengths: I am impressed with the translation of any language to English. It makes it easy to communicate with all your parents. Also you don't need an app it is on a website. I have used apps before to communicate and parents don't want to download another app to their phone that will just take up space. I also really liked the templates all I would have to do is add to the template what I want to let the parents know.

Suggestions for Improvement: I currently have not seen anything I did not explore the product too much I was stuck on the translation

Verdict: I would recommend the product to my supervisor because this product can translate for you how awesome the teachers who dont speak spanish can communicate with their spanish parents

Information Systems, School Type: Other

Full starFull starNo starNo starNo star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: It would be adding another piece to our system

Strengths: i like that is an app and easy to navigate

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to see it integrate with our SIS and WebSite and communications platforms

Verdict: Although a great idea. A stand alone product is not for us.

Director, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School, College Prep School, Blended Learning

Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star Advocate

Usage: School to parent communication
teacher to parent communication

Strengths: no app needed
automatic translation
suggested prompts

Suggestions for Improvement: Nothing, I love it

Verdict: Easy to use
no app required
free to use

Noemi, Teacher. School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

Full starFull starFull starFull starNo star Advocate

Usage: I would use talking points to safely communicate with parents.

Strengths: Definite strength is the fact that it can translate text messages in any language to English. Parents can quickly access teachers another have to wait for a call back or have teachers provide their personal phone number. The communications are stored if needed for future reference.

Suggestions for Improvement: Maybe adding a voicemail option, with voice translation.

Verdict: I would highly recommend talking points as it does away with language barriers between parents and teachers. I no longer have to provide parents with my personal cell phone number.

Teacher, School Type: Other, Low Income Population

Full starFull starFull starFull starNo star Advocate

Usage: To assess and support student knowledge and progress in mathematics.

Strengths: This product can be very useful for teacher that have parents that their primary language is not English. By using this product teachers and parents can be in constant communication in the language that they feel more comfortable.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would need to use this product to find any improvements.

Verdict: I would recommend teachers to use talking points because it is a great communication tool that can be use with parents. It gives you accurate translation of messages from English to Spanish and other languages.