Product Index
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.
Angel, Bilingual Teacher. School Type: Elementary School

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I think it is a great tool to improve the writing on kids that usually don't like too much because it require an effort sometimes to hard for students.
I will use during small instruction on centers to practice writing and to promote technology skills. Then, they can share their creations with their families.

Strengths: It is a tool that aligns to Common Core.
It improves writing and reading skills. The process of book creation provides a way to develop students' creativity and cooperation. It is an excellent way to promote literacy acquisition and the format really motivates students. They are proud of their product and they want to read it to other people, so they are developing reading and writing skills. It also promotes entrepreneurship.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great to have some kind of guiding writing to start with for small children, specially the one that have problems to focus on one idea. Modeling by giving clues on what to write about, or how to express an idea will improve the first results encouraging them to better writing.

Verdict: It is a tool that helps students' writing and enable them to publish self-created digital books. It teaches children in primary grades to read by writing their own digital books. The process of book creation provides a way to develop their creativity, independence, cooperation and their interest in writing. Then, their books can be shared with friends and family. It is an excellent way to promote literacy acquisition and the format really motivates students. They are proud of their product and they want to read it to other people, so they are developing reading and writing skills. Another aspect that needs to be mentioned is that this app promotes the entrepreneur spirit and interpersonal skills.

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I do writer's workshop in my class and it is a perfect program to have. It looks a lot more exciting than asking my first graders or any students to write with pencil and paper. I think it will motivate my students to write more. I am not tech savvy but this program looks simple enough for me to use right the way as soon as I sign up and fees sound reasonable.

Strengths: I like the fact that everything is in the cloud and I don't have to deal with reading their handwriting or loose pages. I also line the fact that other viewers get to view each other' books and "like" the book.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to have a comment box so I can make suggestions to my students on every page.

It would be great if I can download a generic letter in Chinese & English explaining how this works and how this can come alive if each family contributes x amour if money.

Provide guidelines or sample books for different genres of writing. For example, have an example of a personal narratives, informational writing, research writing and "how to" so students have some guidelines.

Verdict: I would recommend this tool because it enhances what we are already doing and the great thing is parents get to see their kids' work whenever they want. Teachers don't have to deal with massive paper work.

Gennie, Transitional Kindergarten Teacher. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: This product seems like a great way to get my students excited about writing. With my particular population (4 and 5 year olds) I think I will have my students make stories on paper and use this product to save and share their work. I will have to use my own ipad because my classroom doesn't have 1:1 tech, but I don't think that would stop me from using it (It's THAT exciting!)

Strengths: There are so many features that I am excited about! The keyboard says the letter sounds as children press the letters! The option to add photos. The option to record the child's voice! The different fields for the children to type and for the teacher to "translate." :)

Suggestions for Improvement: This is really difficult for me because I am so excited about this product. He said that it is free for the rest of the year, but I would love it to be free forever (or at least two years...) :) Other than that, I honestly cannot think of other things I would change. It's THAT good!

Verdict: This product seems to really align with the goals of common core writing. It is user friendly and helps teach as the children use it (how great is the keyboard that says the letter-sound as the children press it?!?!?!) I think that this is how I will get my hesitant writers excited to write!

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this program to allow students to show what they are learning in the classroom. I would select a lesson that I taught during the week such as a science lesson and have students create a book about the science lesson.

Strengths: This product is a great way for students to publish a book that have difficulties with reading, writing and spelling. I especially, like that a teacher can easily edit student work and the student can have it read back to them. I also like that parents can have access to their child's work. Then its great that it can be publishes and shared so others can read their stories. This will motivate students to want to write more.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if the students can have their own work read back to them and not just the teachers editing. That way they can hear what their work sounds like before deciding to submit to the teacher for editing. This will help students catch more of their mistakes before deciding they are complete.

Verdict: I would advocate for it because this gives students an easy and helpful way to become authors. It has many helpful tools to help the low performing students to also become proud publishers of a book they created.

Lucy, Teacher. School Type: Elementary School

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product to enhance the writing skills of my Kindergarten students. Just recently they wrote a 3-sentence report on a favorite animal, which they then illustrated. Eventually the published their report in a Word document. This report would translate very well into one of these books!

Strengths: This product is no only visually appealing but it also puts publishing into the hands of young children almost effortlessly. I love that its keyboard has a phonics button so the kids can hear the sounds of the letters as they type them. I imagine the kids being highly engaged because they get to write about topics that they are interested in.

Suggestions for Improvement: First, I would provide some sort of filtering capability in the library so that people (students and adults) can filter books by the age of authors, language, etc. Second, in the future I would allow the students to edit the pictures they use in the books, e.g., dialog bubbles.

Verdict: I would recommend the product based on its ease-of-use and its level of engagement capability. This product enables children to be authors and puts them in touch with other authors their own age.

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

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this to review letters, sounds, writing, almost everything for language arts.

Strengths: I love that you as the teacher/parent have the ability to go in and type the correct spelling under the student's story. I really love the fact that the students can hear the sounds as they type and that these books can be printed up for the students to keep.

Suggestions for Improvement: I couldn't hear the sound, but hope that the letter sounds are correct. I also cannot wait for the ability to choose pictures from google for the students to use because right now they can just take pictures of things they want to write about. But, this isn't possible when they are at a desktop or don't have a picture of their topic.

Maybe give the students the ability to draw their picture as well? (Maybe this feature is already there and I missed this part of the presentation.)

Verdict: I love that this program allows students to create their own books. I also love that there's the ability to hear the sounds and have the letters read to the students as they are typing. This is just another way for review for all my students.

Lorayne, Tsa For Technology. School Type: Elementary School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use WriteReader with elementary students to develop writing skills and reading. I can see the potential for collaborative work between students to improve their skills.

Strengths: WriteReader puts students in the driver's seat while they create authentic books. Students can use their own pictures or import pictures from a Google search. Students can also add up to 60 seconds of audio on each page of their book. Teachers or parents can then give feedback to the student directly on the page the student created. The books can be emailed or printed out, as well as exist in an online bookshelf where students can get peer feedback.

Suggestions for Improvement: One way to improve WriteReader would be to add other languages such as Spanish. Many EL students could better access WriteReader benefits if they could use it in their home language.

Verdict: I would recommend teachers using WriteReader in classrooms to develop and support reading and writing skills. Using this platform will address Common Core standards for authentic writing.

Teacher, School Type: High School

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would choose a lesson per week, alternating the content ( Math, Science, History) and have the students write a simple book on what they learned. I would also have the students create fictional work. I would print the books so the students will begin to see themselves as writers.

Strengths: It will allow struggling or beginning writers to practice their writing in a fun and unique way. Students can also get a printed copy of the book they created to share with family and friends. It will instill pride in their work.

Suggestions for Improvement: I wish the text that they are writing would be able to be read back to them so that they may hear how their writing sounds. This will allow them to make self corrections before submitting it to get corrected.

Verdict: I would recommend this product so that our students will begin to see their work in a creative form that they can share with others.

Librarian, School Type: Elementary School, Low Income Population

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would use this product for students to create final writing projects.

Strengths: This product is great for students to create their own books. It resolves the problem of having to produce written work suitable for publishing because the teacher can edit the work before it's printed or showcased. Great for pre- emergent readers/writers.

Suggestions for Improvement: I'd like to see more options for coloring the book and adding original artwork, some more advanced tools for older students, and standard aligned lesson plan suggestions.

Verdict: I 'd recommend this as a low tech integration of technology into student assignments. There is an option to print and it allows for easy interaction for even the youngest student.

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

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would like my students to publish books on different research projects that they do in the classroom or at home for homework.

Strengths: It works nicely for teacher feedback before they print. We can communicate with positive feedback. It looks very teacher/student friendly.

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like it to be free for every year since we have to pay to print it out ourselves.

I'm not too sure how teachers monitor the kids progress.

Do they have access to this program at home?

Verdict: It is a great way to create a report that is fun and engaging for students. Teachers can print it out right away. Students have access to their classmates projects too to learn form each other.

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