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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.
Kerry, Teacher/Tech Integration. School Type: Middle School, High School, BYOD Devices
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to put resources that I want my students to review in categories and in the order that makes the most sense. I would also use it to curate resources that would be worthwhile to share with colleagues as we co-plan a lesson or usnit together.

Strengths: It takes content curation and makes it more visually appealing for students. I also like that it tracks analytics for which students have completed which tasks so that I know who is on point.

Suggestions for Improvement: Add formative assessment element that can be added as a node on the trail. It will be very important for teachers to track not only progress, but understanding as students make their way through the trail. ability to archive trails so that they can be revisitied and changed in the future. Date stamp trails for when they were created and last used so that teachers can easily find them not just by tag but also by the time in the year used. Sometimes that's how I look for past lessons from past years.

Verdict: I would recommend against it only of the school has not yet made the shift to pulling together content from sources outside traditional textbooks. If teachers are not ready for the OER model, this tool might be overwhelming for them. I would recommend purchasing it because it has usability for PD , for teacher collaboration, for teach-student collaboration, for student-student collaboration, and even for sharing content from class with parents and the community.

Teacher, School Type: High School, College Prep School, BYOD Devices
Jul 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would organize all of my supplemental materials weekly through it so that the students would have a flow of information for the week, could add comments as needed and go back and forth to them while making the logical flow of information more visually apparent than it may appear at "ground level"

Strengths: I think it has a very slick interface, allowing for students to work within a single environment across many different sites. It allows for comments and communication in general and with specific articles.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to see the comment aspect of this to be more like it is on documents, as a sidebar that would allow for a flow of comments, comments in specific locations, and conversations about specific points to flow naturally. I would also like to see an ability to set up timelines within the trails, or check points. The ability to customize everything can be paralyzing for some teachers, maybe limiting some choices or having a setting that limits choices a bit would be beneficial in terms of adoption.

Verdict: I think it is a useful organizational tool for teachers to use. Anything that can make students see links between topics, information, and presented material is a valuable resource.

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: This would be a great product to use for student-driven research projects, where students would currate a list of useful resources, and add descriptions to explain why the resource is useful, what the main takeaway is, etc.

Would also be a great tool for teacher PD, where the instructor could give teachers resources ahead of time for them to investigate, or throughout the course. Teachers could also add additional resources by cloning and creating their own trail.

Strengths: Strengths: The ability to currate resources in a trail that you can reorder, clone trails and add to them, and share them out.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Add formative assessment into the trail without having to send students/teachers to an outside site (Google Forms, Padlet, etc.) 2. Allow Group Admins more priviledges for viewing the analytics of their group. 3. Ability to archive trails that you don't want people to have access to anymore (though "unpublish" pretty much does that).

Verdict: I'd recommend it because I've never come across another tool that allows a teacher or student to easily currate resources, order them, and share them. There's also a great sharing/interactive feature.

Library, School Type: High School, Low Income Population
Jul 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product for my library media program as I do research lessons with teachers I would add their lessons to the website to ensure that students stay on task with the lesson given by the teachers and the information is kept for their work sessions.

Strengths: One of the strengths I love is the ability to keep all of the information, lessons and products in one spot. The materials can also be loaded with legends that can be color coded. This help our students stay on track.

Suggestions for Improvement: One of the things I would change is the ability to use the product on smart phones. Another would be to make it more visually appealing and the ability to change it.

Verdict: This product would help us a a school track the lessons that are given and its support for the students to succeed. It will also allow them the use of the materials at home and/or school.

Esl Specialist, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Jul 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: It does not have as many obvious ways for me to access student responses as some other products.

Strengths: Strengths: This is very visually appealing. I love the way it allows students to reorder resources in a trail.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) I would add an easily accessible note-taking feature by which students could take notes while they were reading/watching without clicking to another tab or opening another window.
2) I would add a "quiz" feature (similar to what's available on Blendspace) so that teachers who want to help students hold themselves accountable for their research could create those quizzes.
3) I would brainstorm ways for students to see one another's comments more easily.

Verdict: I would mention it as one way to organize resources and to empower students in doing that.

Teacher, School Type: High School, Low Income Population
Jul 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: To customize lessons for absent students; also bring together sources for students to easily access

Strengths: Brings resources together in an efficient way, also allowing for collaboration. Encourages research.

Suggestions for Improvement: Have a less complicated version to allow teachers to set up trails faster, some teachers may get overwhelmed with choices.

For student responses have an easier way of allowing them to show their work without having to copy a trail and modify- that tech know-how may be difficult for all students to do

Verdict: The customizability of the program can adapt to all content areas. Would also help truant students get the information that they need.

Greg, Lms. School Type: High School, 1:1 Devices
Jul 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I think teacher PD would work well with trails. We are looking to build PLCs this year and as one who would lead one or more, I'm looking for good content sharing options.

Strengths: Great interface. User friendly look. Ease if navigation. We have some reluctant tech users on staff, and this is not intimidating

Suggestions for Improvement: synced with Google IDs since we already have them
Online learner workspace for storage
Mobile app version would be very helpful

Verdict: Ease of delivery of teacher PD and creation of PLCs.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School
Jul 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would collect resources and share them. If someone follows me ,there is notification.

Strengths: You can tag a particular topic and add a trail. I like the assignment nodes option. In addition, someone can add comments. Finally, you understand how the student is thinking.

Suggestions for Improvement: There needs to be a read aloud accommodation for students with disabilities.

Verdict: This is teacher friendly. I can view who is interacting with who. I like that you can add bookmarks and upload videos.

Douglas, Computer Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Blended Learning
Jun 13, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this as a collaborate tool for my teachers - instead of common planning time - a way for my teachers to share resources dynamically .

Strengths: Models social media great way to link resources, post questions in a format most are familiar with

Suggestions for Improvement: price - seems expensive for a district to use such a service - especially when products such as Google Education is free to districts. Need to be able to differentiate product from free organzational tools.

Verdict: Intresting way to get teachers engaged collaborating. And it has a way for administrators of groups to see how people are using - so a way to see how much people are using this tool. Might be a good thing to pilot to see if teachers like platform.

Vee, Ela. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population, Blended Learning
Jul 12, 2015

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I can use this for the following:
Differentiated assignments
Collaboration between students
Collaboration between parents
Parent refresher activities to help their children

Strengths: This programs can help make a group of activities easily accessible. I like the fact that this can be accessed by many or a few, as specified.

Suggestions for Improvement: i like being able to follow the analytics of a trail. I also that there are administrators, managers, and users.

Do no change anything.

Verdict: This is a great way to get teachers, students and parents collaborating and learning. I can use the program for individual sub groups with in a large group.

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