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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.
David, Physical Educator. School Type: High School, Low Income Population, College Prep School, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would like to use this in an effort to flip my class.

If I can set up lessons so that the main content concepts and instruction that take place outside of the classroom, it would leave more time for students to actually practice those concepts in class under direction and supervision of me so that I could correct their performance. Valuable class time wouldn't need to be devoted to learning of the skill, but to the practice of the skill.

Strengths: Integration of other products in a definite plus. The "drag-drop-type" makes the need of coding knowledge obsolete.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to see more integration with more fitness/physical education/health apps/gadgets.

Verdict: Spending time teaching basic concepts during valuable class time with the teacher would be drastically minimized, while time practicing with content expert would be maximized. The creation of the material is simple and easy. With practice could be done in a matter of minutes.

Math Coach, School Type: High School, Low Income Population
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product everyday to create my lessons and have my students interact with them!

Strengths: This product is beautiful. It will engage my students and make learning interactive and fun. It allows me to integrate my current PowerPoints, Prezi, Youtube videos, Quizlets, and so much more! This is byfar the best one here!

Suggestions for Improvement: It's already perfect, my only suggestion would be to have the ability to share these lessons that I create with my colleagues or post online. Perhaps, some kids of paid portion for us to share with one another. This program is so good, it should be for a fee because I would definitely pay money for it!

Verdict: Recommend: I would recommend using this product because it is user friendly and can integrate anything from PowerPoint to Prezi to Youtube to Quizlet to pretty much anything! It's great and it's absolutely beautiful!

Lance, Tech Coordinator. School Type: Middle School, High School, 1:1 Devices
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to take great analog lessons and "SAMR"-ize them. I would also train teachers on how to monitor and implement PBL with this software. There are so many different directions one can go with this program, and it is very easy to drag, drop, and create.

Strengths: Very intuitive and easy to use. Access to public lessons help newbies see how to build courses. Gadgets are useful and constantly being developed.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Create an ability to take a course offline to use in a classroom. 2. Have an interactive forum for people to share new gadgets and ideas. 3..Have more specific video tutorials for content and gadget use.

Verdict: It has virtually limitless use. I can see this being used in any content area. The cost is minimal versus the benefits.

Sheryl, Teacher. School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, College Prep School, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I can see myself using this with staff members for PD, as sort of a digital agenda. I like that there is a way to populate content I need others to access, along with a Table of Contents on the right side.

I can definitely use it in my classroom on a daily basis though in place of my digital agenda. I work in a blended learning school where I am required to produce a digital agenda for my students. Versal works as both a way to provide a digital agenda (Table of Contents on the left), as well as the direct content on the right.

Strengths: I really like how the Table of Contents is shown on the pane on the left, next to the actual content on the right. It makes it easier for students to navigate between different resources, as well as makes it possible to direct their own learning.

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Embed the ability to write short answers and essays. 2. Give students the ability to access writing they've done in a previous lesson. For example, if I asked a student to quick write something in today's lesson, I want them to be able to access it in tomorrow's lesson, after the lesson on metaphors. I would have them revisit the quick write and tell them to edit/add to it, using a metaphor somewhere. Part of the Common Core standards is for students to be able to revisit and edit their writing, but currently, I can't find a platform that allows students to go back to something they've written before.

Verdict: I would recommend it because it makes it much easier for teachers to populate all the different materials they need for a lesson into one place, all while not needing to produce handouts. For me, this would take 2 extra steps out of the way I currently do my lesson planning.

Dawn, Coordinator. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School, 1:1 Devices
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I am exploring the possibility of introducing this to the schools I work with as a cross curricular tool to "sAMRize" their analog lessons. What this means is that at a professional development level, I can create courses that are specific to each school site with interactivity and evaluation. More than a presentation. At a teacher level, I can see teachers using this for any lessons to add interactivity and allowing them to flip learning.

Strengths: The many gadgets allow the courses to be differentiated and integrated deeply with technology. It can help digitize lessons quickly and easily. I can see teachers gravitating to its ease of use.

Suggestions for Improvement: It needs a collaborative component where students can communicate and share with each other, as well as a back channel for continuous conversation. It needs an offline component for times when the Internet goes down, which is bound to happen. It needs a way for one course to be taught to many classes of students.

Verdict: I recommend it for ease of use, easy to add interactivity, easy to create courses, beautifully designed and attractive to use. It is a growing program and I can see it developing quickly to meet more of teacher's needs, more gadgets to do more, nd I love how it can be integrated with other learning apps and websites.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, 1:1 Devices
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to compile all the interactive, Internet based activities we do. I also would like to see our department collaborating on lessons. I think the program would be great for flipped classrooms and for independent studies.

Strengths: This product looks like it will be a great place to house all your curriculum. Instead of uploading the items one by one to a class webite with multiple pages, all the curriculm can be housed together on one easy to use site. Additionally authors - teachers - can collaborate together on common lessons.

Suggestions for Improvement: I haven't d it yet, but I think it would be great to be able to color code the different topics on the interface. So I could tell some of my learners to go to the pink cells tab or the purple light tab.

Verdict: This program allows students to be in charge of thier own learning. Students are pacing themselves. It also looks like teachers can upload a variety of differnent types of media, and interactions. Teachers would be able to hit all types of learners In a single site.

Librairan / English Teacher, School Type: High School, Project Based School, College Prep School, BYOD Devices
Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would definitely use this to create flipped classroom lessons on various subjects. I would have used it as an English teacher but I defintiley would use it now as a librarian trying to frontload research skills BEFORE the students come in.

Strengths: Love that I can halt a student's progress based on scores. I love that thte interface is easy to use and looks great. THe drag and drop feature is great.

Suggestions for Improvement: I am not clear that if in the free version teachers can at all see the scores of their students... I know they can't track them over time for deep data, but can they still see them? It would be great the end of it if students could hae the option to email the results to their teacher.

Verdict: It allows the students to see how they do on an activity. I love the ability to not let the students move forward in the lesson before they get a certain score, and that they can try as many times as they need.

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: You're able to have articles lessons and quizzes available all on one site. Students are able to see the learning objectives, vocabulary and go back to all of this information when they need to.

Strengths: I like that it has a clean look to the site and seems user friendly.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to have tutorial videos available since it can be difficult learning a new site. More color working with younger children it needs to look appealing. Also I would like to see sample lessons for different grade levels.

Verdict: I think that our site needs to move forward with organizing and keeping all of our sources and information in one place, this product does that.

Molly, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population
Nov 22, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would create lessons to provide deeper knowledge for my students.

Strengths: Versatile and provides timelines. Students can complete lessons from home.

Suggestions for Improvement: Would like more lessons for 4th and 5th grades. Please consider making this for lower grades too. My school will be interested since we are a K - 8 school.

Verdict: Provide higher thinking lessons for our 4th - 8th grade. Provides students with interactive learning. You can add Google Docs and videos to the lessons. Provides data for the teachers and students.

Sep 13, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: ease and variety of creating lesson plans for students

Strengths: makes lesson planning seamless , saves on paper, and helps with keeping lesson organized and together for everyone including students who are not present

Suggestions for Improvement: - more content integration -easier learning curve -more tools avaiable and perhaps integration with apps like exit ticket or class dojo

Verdict: i would say that after learning how to use it, it seems to be a good tool for lesson creation and it is varied enough for most teachers

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