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

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would utilize this as a specialized format to keep our students engaged in the learning format.

Strengths: It offers a very different alternative to the current curriculum. Despite adding new curriculum to the campus, it offers a fun factor that other subjects dont currently have.

Suggestions for Improvement: It would be great if there was a better guideline to what studnet base I can present this to. Also it will require a commitment to build this program. I also worry about overall what resources would be nescessary

Verdict: I think that the goals and skills in this product align to my current schools needs.

Educator, School Type: High School, Project Based School, College Prep School, 1:1 Devices, Blended Learning
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I would like to offer a place for students to learn aspects of game design.

Strengths: There are many applications of this product. I could see myself using this product for. Group of student. I would have to adjust it though for learning for individuals

Suggestions for Improvement: I would like to see adaptability for students to pick their paths. 3D game lab provides a lot of variety and students can choose quest and earn badges. Also, ultimately adoption only works when cost is low.

Verdict: Zulama offers variety in learning and aligns with goals I have for students.

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

full starfull starfull starfull starfull star Advocate

Usage: I could rewrite major portions of my curriculum based on game design.

Strengths: I think my students would love this product. They would be engaged, motivated and excited to work with it.

Suggestions for Improvement: The major issue is that I teach art at an elementary school. I currently incorporate Scratch, LEGO robotics and Project Lead the Way. I KNOW my students could do this but it is not currently offered on the elementary level.

Verdict: Games are highly engaging and offer a direct career connection.

Alt. Learning Prog. Coord., School Type: Middle School, High ELL Population, Low Income Population, Project Based School, Blended Learning
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: I would use this in my Project-Based Learning, especially for students who are definitely "gamers!"

Strengths: The number one problem this tool addresses is student engagement. I think the platform of gaming is one that is often overlooked and the students tend to have more "buy in" when they have a modality that is interesting to them. I also think it showcases career options for students who might have a passion for video games.

Suggestions for Improvement: Unfortunately, I'm not sure if the antiquated technology that our district has will support all of the digitalization...making sure that there is a good, easy to use teacher guide would be beneficial for teachers without a strong technology background, as they could easily be intimidated by the product.

Verdict: Although this might be a little tougher "sell" to my administration team, I believe that this more "non-traditional" approach, just might be the type of engagement some of my students need to stay in school.

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

full starfull starfull starfull starno star Advocate

Usage: supplement my VEX robotics course

Strengths: applications to video games! nice look. simple and non-threatening-looking

Suggestions for Improvement: audio for ELL kids,

Verdict: I have students who are not interested in VEX robotics and programing. I am hoping that they would be more interested in making games. My students used code.org but code.org's games are a little too childish

Teacher, School Type: Middle School, Blended Learning
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I am looking for engaging exploratory ideas for my middle school. Students want to play and they like video games. The courses are semester length. The rep stated that the first level one has been used in middle schools as an entry level course. We have introduced Project Lead the Way this year. I have students that are not really interested in engineering and they might find game design more to their liking.

Strengths: The differentiation of roles and that students can use preferred modes like programming, graphic design, storytelling, etc. is excellent. I can see where that would draw in a lot of different talents and ideas.

Suggestions for Improvement: I really don't know what is in the courses so I am not able to answer this well. The representative stated that it is a High School curriculum - I am looking for something to use at 7th and 8th grade. Can the first level - I was told it was analog - be adapted to that level? Would the same strengths as called on in high school be drawn out in middle school?

Verdict: I don't know enough about it, the level of reading needed for instance. How well is it doing at middle school? ELL? is it easy for them to get involved? On the other hand, my school is looking for exploratories that can engage the kids and create engagement for students that have already put themselves in the "I don't like school" box.

Tech, School Type: Elementary School
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: It is not yet available for elementary students- bummer!

Strengths: I love how this program is project-based and interactive. It is always great to get kids up and moving- not merely looking at a screen! In addition, I like the well-scaffolded, supportive approach by starting with the basics of games. This is such a great starting point for students!

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. Start earlier- I would love to see this product start with elementary students to get them excited about creation of programming, games, and modeling! 2. Getting the word out- this is a great idea that deserves more attention! 3. Strategies for doing more short-term units using this program- given the constraints of CCSS, it is always great to build in mini-units to give kids exposure, while staying within your scope of practice.

Verdict: This program appears to be engaging, interesting, and well-scaffolded to support students as they learn about creating through technology. I like how it brings students back to the evolution of games- giving them a foundation of where games were years ago, and how they have evolved, is a fantastic place to start. Too often today students jump into the "doing" of activities without seeing the whole process. Bravo!

Teacher, School Type: Elementary School
Oct 18, 2014

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would use this product for students who are struggling with the concepts and need to learn the information in a new and engaging way. This makes them learn is a way that's different from the standard classroom. Thus challenging students to learn more in a variety of ways.

Strengths: The different of the product is what makes it great to students. Video games is something that they love, this allows an avenue for them to learn important life concepts in a fun and engaging way. This uses something they love and makes it fun for them.

Suggestions for Improvement: This concept seems a little difficult for teachers to effectively implement into a classroom. Either better training or a simplier inner face would be idea for teachers. Some teachers struggle with technology so this concept might be too difficult for them.

Verdict: I think it's great that it provides a different way to reach out to more and more students. If it reaches out to students in a different way then why not try it. It's a great way to constantly reach out to more and more students.

Rts, School Type: Middle School, High School, 1:1 Devices
Oct 25, 2014

full starfull starfull starno starno star Neutral

Usage: I would use this for screenwriting as a club and in the AP computer science class

Strengths: 1. visually appealing 2. interactive curriculum 3. professional development

Suggestions for Improvement: 1. spanish or french version 2. Costly 3. Extensive professional development which means time out of the classroom

Verdict: I might suggest this program, but it costs money and extensive professional development

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

full starfull starno starno starno star Wouldn't Advocate

Usage: The only reason I wouldn't use it at this point in time is that it is designed and intended for a high school audience rather than a middle school population. Zulama uses a blended learning format where the content is delivered online but the coding/product development is facilitated in class. The courses offered by Zulama are also intended to last a semester and aren't intended for a self-paced audience.

Strengths: I like how the product is designed to walk students through the entire process of developing a game - everything from understanding the history of games, through different aspects of game development (i.e. programming, screenwriting, game design, 3D modeling), to production and marketing. I also appreciate the blended learning and PBL approaches to instruction/learning.

Suggestions for Improvement: I am wondering if this tool could be turned into something more asynchronous/modular/self-designed/self-paced. While I would like to try this with my 8th graders, the delivery model doesn't lend itself well to my setting.

Verdict: It doesn't fit my present teaching environment but it may work well in a high school setting.

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