Product Index
Teacher Needs
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.
Chris, Physics Teacher. School Type: High School, 1:1 Devices
Oct 18, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This would be a great way to be visual for physic concepts.

Strengths: They have tutorials/lessons for the students to do in order to learn how to code. this would help me be able to not use my classtime teaching them how to code.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would implement more lessons that show how to code. I would make it to where I can put audio/video in the example so that I can explain what the students are seeing. I would make this easy to upload to google classroom and turn in assignments.

Verdict: I think this serves two purposes for our students. They get a basic coding class but also they get to visualize the concepts that we are learning.

Annette, English And Tech. School Type: High School, College Prep School
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I teach freshman computer tec and introduce coding to students via codehs.com or code.org and they love it. Because it is interactive with instant gratification students love it

Strengths: Easy to use. Students can email their teachers with their projects. No cheating. Kids love the challenge and treat it like a game.

Suggestions for Improvement: Pre assessment. But most kids haven't done this type of coding I'm really excited about the html course

Verdict: We do not have a computer program in course at our school and we need to incorporate one. We are also looking to get more girls into computer tech.

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

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Optimally, I would be able to use it for content I am covering in the science classroom (STEM projects related to robotics).

Strengths: When it comes to code education, Trinket looks to be a really great solution for students. I am excited to see the developer looking for new and innovative applications for his tool. The way the tool works, it really encourages students to work at their ability level, so the teacher won't have to do as much work to differentiate for many levels of understanding. Students that are very advanced can move ahead and access more tools and commands. Students that are not ready to do more than the basics can continue to work at their level without being left behind. The obvious thing to mention is the dual interface; but being able to share ideas and eventually collaborate on the same code opens some really exciting prospects. I am very interested in spending some time thinking about innovative ways to apply this in the science classroom - for example, having this interface for RobotC (VEX Robotics) would really be really, really beneficial!

Suggestions for Improvement: I can't think of much at this stage - it's very well designed. Perhaps a way to have the active window zoom (on hover or mouse over), so that when work is being done, the student has more space to see what they're doing. The current layout is great when running code, or maybe when highlighting segments of code so you can see what would be happening at that point. But while the student is churning away on their code, if the code window enlarged to take up more space, I think it would feel like a better use of space.

Verdict: Trinket's current model seems very flexible in some of the content it can address. While it's unreasonable to think that the developer could answer every need, he is very open at this stage to ideas and content that can fit into the model.

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

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to get students to put data on graphs that I set up. Using the code would give them a bit of fun and alleviate possible students fears of math. It would also give students a scaffold way to get use to data and graphs with the added benefit of learning code. Coding is valuable to students right away after high school and so this is another reason for student participation so necessary to learning.

Strengths: This product makes coding look easy and also fun. It is almost like a game and this is very appealing to students in high school

Suggestions for Improvement: 1) a graphing component would be amazingly useful - because of the time saving teacher xy inputs I am thinking about needing to figure out myself 2) a bit of a tutorial for students and teachers to explain more about what is happening when numbers are put in the templates would also be helpful, maybe in the form of short videos 3) Using color coding between the visual and the image that is being created would definately help students with special needs

Verdict: Because of STEM occupations I would definitely recommend this product. However, it does take some investment of teacher time and not all teachers are open or willing to think about branching out if it means doing more in an area that they may be less familiar with and possibly have a slower learning curve to get there.

Head Of School, School Type: Elementary School, Middle School, Project Based School, College Prep School, BYOD Devices
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: Love to see another platform for block based programming that can be used with elementary children. As the head of a STEAM school I'm keen to provide and have multiple resources for teachers and students at the ready to build on children's innovative skills and perpetuate their intellectual curiosity.

Strengths: Trinkets allows for nearly unlimited flexibility in exploring code and the concepts behind program design. I also like what was demonstrated for HTML code writing.

Suggestions for Improvement: Perhaps work towards options for children to create their own trinket styles. It would also be wonderful for two or more online users using separate devices to edit code in the same trinket at the same time.

Verdict: This product offers varied layers of looking into code, from big visually centered chunks to language based code descriptors typing/source code rich exploration. That offers high value to my students as the move from tinkering to conceptualizing code to synthesizing different elements to creating innovative designs.

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

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product as either an entry or exit task. In the beginning it would be used as a whole class discussion and work towards having the students being able to play in small groups or by themselves. I would also use this to let students present ideas.

Strengths: This allows students to see material in a different way. It can be used to get students into either the coding or the actual content material.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would love to have actual lesson ideas provided. It would also be great to have a place for students to get better insight into how the coding works. I hear a step by step process is coming and that seems like a really big step forward!

Verdict: Our students don't have a lot of opportunity to code or see how coding works. Being able to see both code and what it produces side by side and tie that into actual lessons in other subjects is a good way to demystify code.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, Project Based School, BYOD Devices, Blended Learning
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I am looking to use this tool to help middle school students develop their coding skills.

Strengths: This product enables students to move beyond "block" coding skills to learning and utilizing code, like Python.

Suggestions for Improvement: I look forward to trying out this tool to a greater extent. I will be teaching a coding class for the first time this coming year and am hopeful that I'll be able to integrate this tool successfully into my teaching and students' learning. During the #EdSurge Seattle Conference, the developer mentioned that the ability to see an object on one side of the screen and the underlying code on the other is coming. I believe that would be an added benefit for students as they progress in their skills.

Verdict: I would recommend this tool as it provides more of a real-world environment in which students can practice and demonstrate their coding skills.

Marsha, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population
Oct 18, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: In kindergarten, my uses would be limited. I would like to use it with my one student that is reading close to the 5th grade level. He would probably love a challenge like this!

Strengths: This makes coding doable for students by using the "matching puzzle pieces" technique. It helps solve the problem of making coding a reasonable expectation.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Make it more user-friendly for younger students. 2. Teach teachers how to d basic coding for free. 3. Be specific about the potential for learning with this product.

Verdict: Right now, the product's use in elementary school is limited. However, I see the potential/need for coding to be very strong in the future. I wish they would create a version that is more user-friendly for younger students. Just look at how 2-year olds use computers already!!

Educational Technology Coordinator, School Type: Middle School, High School, College Prep School, BYOD Devices
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this as a lightweight way to integrate coding lessons into various courses.

Strengths: I listed the strengths before, but the fact that it teaches actual programming, rather than just using graphics like Scratch, is awesome. Also, not having to sign in is helpful.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. More modules to get teachers started 2. A way to create "lessons" for individual courses - for instance if I'm teaching a history course and want students to use code, I'd like to see some ways I could tie it in. 3. Ways to track student progress or skill - how much time have they spent? what have they learned? etc.

Verdict: It doesn't require signing in, it teachers Python (a great starting place for coding), and it lets you embed code as well as save your work

Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use it for an after school elective or for students to do at home.

Strengths: I love the idea of switching views between code and blocks. It's free and web based making it more accessible. I like the simplicity of the tools and concepts. Trinket was very easy to use.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to develop items using more than a turtle sketch. It would be nice to be able to edit the code and type instead of using the blocks. Is there a place to see where others have created items like a bank of ideas.

Verdict: It is a step up from scratch and many students are falling in love with it. This seems to bridge some of the gap between scratch and coding.

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