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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.
Dept Chair, School Type: High School
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to help struggling students with Algebra. Students really do struggle with algebraic concepts, and anything that can help them with this issue is great by me!!! The fact that it is so interactive will make it so much fun for the students, and it will be so great to see them enjoying Algebra!!!

Strengths: I like that suddenly, our students will see Algebra in a whole new light, which gives special needs students hope that they can get this instruction!!! Since we do not have a Special Diploma in Florida anymore, and special needs students are being mainstreamed more often, they are going to need a lot of tools to help them with difficult math concepts.

Suggestions for Improvement: I wish there were more front-loading of the concepts prior to diving into the software. Giving them questions that assess their prior knowledge will direct them into more difficult questions, which will help them learn what they need to know.

Verdict: I would recommend we use this tool because frankly, students do not like the Common Core instruction in math concepts, especially in Algebra and Geometry. They either love it or hate the subject. This tool will help our school keep the awesome grade we have by providing these resources to our students to help them with their test scores, which will help the schools and ultimately help build our students' self esteem in math!!!

Teacher, School Type: High School, College Prep School
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would incorporate this program into weekly classroom instruction for Algebra I.

Strengths: The program provides an engaging interactive platform for learning abstract concepts and reinforces those concepts for students through various lessons and quizzes. It provides teachers with student progress levels and diagnoses areas of weakness for easy targeting.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. More student data drilldown features for teachers to better monitor student progress and target problem areas.

2. More visual diagrams to illustrate abstract concepts for reinforcement and furthering of learning.

3. More relations to geometry and trigonometry for vertical curriculum integration.

Verdict: This program provides an alternative platform for learning Algebra that is both interactive and visually engaging for students.

Michelle, Teacher. School Type: High School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Blended Learning
Jan 23, 2016

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: With an intervention group

Strengths: The video links, I like the tutor portion. His equation editor is fantastic. But, I can see a struggling student just clicking through. To "be compliant" it is not set up as first this then this...not mastery based.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would need it to be mastery based. Common core aligned. Better graphics. Needs topics beyond just basic algebra (looks like it is not fully developed yet!)

Verdict: I would want to try it with a small group of students to see how it went. I like his idea. I think it needs to be developed more. It is not complete yet. Is not common core aligned. But the algebra topics are there.

Response from Tilton's Algebra: We are big fans of mastery-based learning! The ordering sought by the reviewer appears in the Missions module, which offers a pyramid of skill challenges that appear as the student completes prerequisite skills. And of course the individual pacing implicit in mastery-based learning is fully supported: students work through the practice and missions at their own pace. That said, one fundamental design principle is precisely that students must bring their own initiative to mastering Algebra, including deciding themselves which activities to pursue when.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School
Jan 23, 2016

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: It appeared to be a skills based program. I need programs that help with application and analysis. I also didn't like how you don't show your work that leads to each step of the problem; you only show your step after the work was done in your head. When the tutorial shows you how to do it, it shows you like a typical textbook that students have a hard time following as well. Also, there are multiple ways to solve a problem, but only one way appears to be shown when students need help. I also teach Math 8, not algebra anymore. So, I could only use part of the program. It would be nice if the problems were more integrated with other math subjects as well.

Strengths: It is nice that students can receive help from anyone that views their work and where they're stuck.

Suggestions for Improvement: Broader range of topics to include geometry, pre-algebra, and statistics to encompass everything that is taught. Make it so students can write their work on the screen with their finger or stylus instead of having them type it into the fixed location.

Verdict: I wouldn't recommend it at this time because our district does not teach algebra anymore.

Response from Tilton's Algebra: I believe the reviewer is commenting on how much work I personally chose to show during the demo. Others are free to show as much work as they like and take as many steps as they like to reach an answer. So I think the reviewer is giving me the same feedback ("show your work!") my teachers always gave me!

A larger pedagogic principle here is to allow students to work the way they like. If their teacher feels differently, we leave it to the teacher to enforce rules about how much work to show.

Or, when students get to the missions and start failing because they tried to do too much in their head, they just might self-correct (or a friend or teacher can point out that they should work in smaller steps). We like the idea of them learning that meta-skill for themselves.

Mari, Magnet Coordinator. School Type: High School, College Prep School
May 7, 2016

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: Not comprehensive for Algebra, currently has limited lessons available.

Strengths: Does not offer a comprehensive Math curriculum. Limited features to only Algebra 1 math practice but has nice pictures and practice problems. However to spend money for only one math feature is a waste of educational dollars.

Suggestions for Improvement: Provide for a fully encompassing Math 9-12 grade course. Limited resources for math teachers and not enough math problems available at this point in time. Creator needs to have more opportunities for math enrichment and practice in all of the Algebra 1 curriculum.

Verdict: Not fully encompassing Algebra 1 curriculum.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Jan 23, 2016

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: This product doesn't seem very user friendly.
Icons are hard to find.

Strengths: Great idea. Poor execution

Suggestions for Improvement: I would recommend this product if:
1) it was more visually appealing and more approachable by students/teachers
2) it was more friendly and was not so confusing with clear buttons to navigate through the page
3) the cartoon characters were cuter. 0_o

Verdict: I would advise against it because the product is not visually appealing and probably will not catch students' attention and interest.

Tech Trainer, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, High School
Jan 23, 2016

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: UI is not very intuitive and straight forward. There is a significant learning curve. Also, aesthetically it appears to be dated.

Strengths: Student feedback appears to be excellent

Suggestions for Improvement: User interface needs to be much simpler and straight forward. Graphics need to be updated. Entire look should be updated...looks like things on the internet a decade ago.

Verdict: Needs to be more user friendly. Must be simple to use or user will be frustrated beyond what they are already frustrated with...Math.

Response from Tilton's Algebra: We agree completely that already unhappy students struggling with Algebra need to have a painless experience with the interface. The smart math editor was more than a little work but work we considered indispensable for just this reason.

We were delighted that our recent pilot with forty-six students did not produce any usability complaints, so it would be great to learn from the reviewer what issues we missed so we could address them.

Lewis, Teacher. School Type: Middle School, Low Income Population, Project Based School
May 7, 2016

full starno starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: The platform seems incomplete and not user friendly.

Strengths: I like its promise to have students learn algebra at their own pace. It also shows and checks the students steps toward completion. It looks at more than just the answer.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would make the questions more descriptive of what you want the students to answer. Maybe have a sample problem similar to the one you want students to complete.

Verdict: This product is not ready for public use. It still needs a lot of fine tuning.

Alfonso, Teacher. School Type: High School, College Prep School
Jan 23, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: This product will be used to help reinforce learning Algebra

Strengths: This product will help students learn Algebra in a controlled environment. The teachers will be able to assist the students with mastering their Algebra skills.

Suggestions for Improvement: The product is very well designed and there aren't any improvements I would recommend at this time.

Verdict: Students will be required to know as much as possible about math in the future. This product works very well with helping students master the basics.

Ese Program Specialist, School Type: Other, Low Income Population
May 7, 2016

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to support parents, so they could help their child at home with algebra homework.

Strengths: This product has a learn and rehearse mode that is very helpful, for the teacher and student.

Suggestions for Improvement: Might be better to organize the website homepage in a more parent-friendly way, to encourage parents to also use it.

Verdict: Students could use independently or in pairs in class, or at home for homework support. Teachers could use for whole group direct instruction in class.

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