Edsurge LA Summit

Tech 4 SchoolsThis post will encapsulate everything I saw and experienced at EdSurge’s LA Summit on Saturday, April 25, 2015. So glad I attended. Good food, good people, and some amazing products. The event was held at the Magic Box at The Reef just south of downtown LA. My first impression of goformative was is this a tool that could go with getkahoot? I saw another data visualization tool that looked pretty impressive called venngage. I wonder if I could use it to present all of the data from my summer MOOC Improving Historical Reading & Writing?

After a nice breakfast, a keynote was delivered by an USC education psychologist on student motivation. There were speed dating style presentations from a plethora of ed tech startups. Teachers were given in-person product demos for two hours before lunch. I have made the a link out of the product name. My notes attempt to explain the product, be sure to follow the links to learn more.

Edivate – the new PD 360 – one million+ community of educators featuring 4,000 PD videos approximately 10 min each, adding 10 per month.

MrElmer – School Culture System – Doug McKay

Otus – 1:1 made easy – Chris still a social studies teacher. Yay! LMS free for teachers.

Team(you) Cynthia Harrington – school culture management tool. Positive Behavior Support
Incentivize student engagement and change their world

TeachBoost – Jill – supercharge professional growth. Tightens feedback cycle in observation and Evaluation. Cultivate talent that is already in your district.

MangaHigh K-10 ends at Geometry. Game-based math curriculum. Adaptive quizzes aligned with games. Help students learn new concepts. Gradebook aligned with common core. Students compete with students from other schools. Web-based. $4.00 per student per year.

MotionMath – Brandon K-6. Founded from Stanford 3.5 million downloads. All games are included in one app. Free pilots of MotionMath free through June.

SokiKom – Katie Stevens – 3rd grade teacher. Funded by US Dept of Ed. Variety of detailed reports for providing feedback to students.

Solvy – High School Math Homework.

Todo Math – Helping all children succeed with math. 7 languages. Pilot program with 1,400 classrooms. Online teacher dashboard that allows T to set preferences for entire class.

123D Circuits – Free online tool used for designing three dimensional circuits.

TinkerCAD – Andy Taylor. Design made simple. Online browser-based free 3D modeling tool. Make 3D modeling fun. Simple CAD, coding, import TinkerCAD models into Minecraft.

Nepris – Christina – connecting industry professionals to your classroom in a virtual learning platform. Sounds like Educurious.

Nureva Troove – Digital portfolio software Tabitha Tatum. Used with 6 year olds. Student Centered. Students take ownership of their work. 1,000 Teachers. 3,000 parents.

Pearltrees – Organize all your interests. Visual library. Save, organize and share your knowledge. Social network. Follow and share other collections that interest you. Launching an ambassador program.

BrainRush – Adam. 6,000 NGSS and Common Core aligned games. Co-founded with founder of Atari. Mastery-based. Teacher tools to monitor students. Teachers can modified or create their own games and add to system.

Cashtivity – Rosa. Teaches business and entrepreneurship. Financial independence increases choice in life. Financial Literacy Tool.

GlassLabGames – Commercial quality games. 8 games on website. Adding 8 games per year. Adam taught at Franklin for 8 years. 60 day free trial. Middle to lower High School.

Gonoodle – Taylor. Focus, engage and motivate your classroom. Free website. 100 games and videos to get kids moving throughout the day. Make your classroom ready to learn.

GradeSlam – Your personal genius 24/7. Philip Cutler. Private online tutors around the clock for K12. Tutors are screened and undergo a background check. On Demand marketplace of tutors. Offering free hour of tutoring.

Redbird Advanced Learning – Joe Brownfield – Stanford digital education. K-7 highly adaptive algebra curriculum. STEM based project at the end of every unit. 100 games delivered at point of instruction.

Choosito – Scholarly search engine for education. Personalized resources at each student’s reading level in real time searches. 1 Trillion pages on the web. 100 million pages added every day.

Edulastic – Jordan Taylor. Formative assessment platform. Create share and customize effective math and ELA assessments. Debut July 2014.

Nextlesson – Bonnie – Connect Learning to the Real World. K-12 Performance tasks that emphasize problem solving. 5,000 resources, 50K teachers, 250K resources downloaded.

ThemeSpark – David Hunter, former middle school teacher. Curriculum design tools for teachers. Helps teachers improve instruction. Resource for Chris Hitchcock?

Zeal – Ashley McDonald 4th grade teacher in SF. Free web-based assessment app. Grades K-8. Hot te – xt, multiple part, fill in the blank questions.

Actively Learn – Reading app. Stop skimming, start learning. Let students find joy and purpose in reading. Ask students to collaborate inside text. Teachers can collaborate to curate instructional resources.

Books That Grow – Daniel. Meets students at their level. Helpful for ELL students. Like rewordify. Text that can be read at multiple levels of complexity. All students can read together and have a common discussion about the text. Meant to be used in day-to-day instruction.

Curriculet – Thomas – leveled readings with the capability for embedded questions.

Ponder – Alex. A scaffold for inquiry. Checks students’ critical thinking skills with microresponses. Comprehension, analytical, emotional heatmap.

Scrible – Victor – Supports critical reading, research & evidence-based writing. Annotate, cite, save, and share online articles. Close reading. Curate articles. Tools to support the research process. Analytics allow visibility into student workflow and progress.

ThinkCERCA – Spencer – Online literacy platform Grades 4-12. Making a claim, supporting claim with evidence. ELA, Social Studies and Science. Argument builder and peer collaboration. Writing platform works well in blended model. Teacher tool.

Feel free to listen to the podcast Edsurge made during the event. I look forward to attending again next year. Meanwhile, I look forward to testing these products over the summer.

Poor Results from Teacher PD

AIR Report

A new report from AIR informs that after 13 years of significant federal investment totalling more than $30 billion, teacher Professional Development (PD) has shown mostly disappointing effects on teacher practice and student achievement. Birman (2009) conducted an analysis of more than 7,000 teachers and found that U.S. teachers have been receiving professional development that is superficial, short-lived, and incoherent.

Only 13 percent of elementary teachers reported receiving more than 24 hours a year of in-depth training teaching reading. Only 6 percent of elementary teachers participated in more than 24 hours of in-depth study of teaching mathematics.„ Only one in five elementary teachers reported participating in professional development in which they practiced what they learned and received feedback.„ Only 17 percent of elementary teachers reported participating in professional development that was explicitly based on what they had learned in earlier professional development sessions.


According to a 2014 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation report fewer than three in 10 teachers (29 percent) are highly satisfied with their professional development, and only 34 percent say that PD is getting better. Research suggests educators perform better when they acquire the right knowledge and the right skills and have a chance to practice these new learnings, study the effects, and adjust accordingly.

In 2013–14, for example, the average U.S. teacher received just about $251 worth of Title II–funded professional development and each principal received roughly $856. How should Congress revise this law so that a smarter allocation of the funds occurs? How should educational leaders match the right improvement activities to the right resources to the right educators? Please describe your best teacher professional development experience in the comments section.

The graphic below illustrates the benefits of collaboration. Unfortunately, only 7 percent of teachers report working in schools with effective collaboration models.