Tool Evaluation #8

Tool Evaluations

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Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.31.30 AM.pngTechnology tools that help anybody read!

Downloadable extension to Google Chrome, 

Can be used by any type or age reader

30-day free trial followed by $3.99/month for educators and a 7-day free trial followed by $2.99/month for students


Text-to-speech: program will read text aloud to the reader which promotes comprehension

Screenshot reader: incase text cannot be copy and pasted or highlighted, a software will read it directly off of the screenshot

Simplify: modifies difficult text into easier to read phrases and sentences (e.g baffled > surprised)

Translate: software will translate into different languages

Capture: allows user to create an outline by capturing parts of the text and allows them to expand on and select what information they wish to include directly from the text

All features can be applied to PDF files and text found online!


Ease of use:

The tool offers a useful tutorial on how to use its features. The fact that the tool offers only five features also makes it incredibly easy to use. With few, but useful, features it allows users to do exactly what they need. The toolbar appears on the right side of the page and allows users to do what they need right on the screen.Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.58.56 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.32.02 AM.png

Ability to maintain interest:

This tool increases student interest in the content that they are working on. Students will become frustrated if the content they are present with is too difficult. Therefore, having it read to them, modified to their reading level, or assisted in making an outline, will motivate them more. This tool is also easy to use so it is unlikely that students would get frustrated enough to not use it.

Age appropriateness:

The variety of features of this software can benefit all ages. For example, books found online can be read aloud to students as young as preschool age. It can also be used for older students who read at a lower reading level than the rest of their class, the tool can modify the text for them. The tool can work with any text online as well!

Alternative software:

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Text-to-speech software built into computers. While these softwares will convert text to speech, Snap&Read offers more useful features for students especially to use. It is just as easy to download and use as the built-in tools as well.


In the classroom…

Students may be asked to create an outline for a reading

Some students may require modifications for this task due to their disability. These students can copy and paste information from the text if they are physically unable to produce a written outline of the text. Students can also have the text read aloud to them if they are slow readers or even have the text modified for them in order to promote comprehension of the text.

Example of modified text:Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.58.43 AM.png the changed phrases are italicized






Teacher wishes to include a listening station during centers time but cannot purchase the costly tools for it

Teacher can either find books online or type the book for students to listen to. This station can be set up for a few students at a computer with headphones. This saves the teacher time and allows them to focus on all students instead of just one small group of students.



Tool Evaluation #7

Tool Evaluations

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Free online software for teachers to create digital calendars!

Access the site!

  • Option to create multiple calendars, all you have to do is name it and you have begun!
  • Ability to edit the calendar at any time (change the content, fonts, colors)
  • Order your calendars chronologically, or however you’d like on the homepage
  • All calendars will be displayed when logged in, simply click ‘view calendar’ to access the complete version
  • Create Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 10.52.10 AM.png, or Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 10.52.16 AM.png. Calendar can be shared simply through email.
  • Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 10.55.20 AM.png Days will appear as the image shows, hovering over will allow you to view the details about the day.

Ease of use: 

The site is incredibly simple to use. Upon accessing it for the first time Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 10.57.05 AM.png will appear, clicking on this will explain what buttons do, and how to create, view, edit, and share a calendar. I had no difficulties or confusions when using the site.

An alternative:

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 10.58.57 AM.png Microsoft word will also allow teachers to create a calendar. However, Assign-A-Day allows more features like sharing your calendar with others via e-mail. It also condenses the information for the day and allows you to hover over the day to view the rest of the information. Assign-A-Day also stores the calendars all on one page in any order you’d like, unlike Microsoft where you have to scroll and search for the one you want.

Relative advantage:

This tool greatly increases the teacher’s productivity in the classroom. Keeping this information online is a more organized method, and cannot be lost because everything is accessed through a log-in. Typing the information is much quicker than handwriting the calendar and it is a quick reminder as to what the topic of the lesson is, what the activity is and the objective.

Other feedback:

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 11.07.59 AM.pngview review

In the classroom…

Teacher can display the view of the day on the projector. This way, students will know what they will be doing, questions they will be answering and what they will be learning. It is quicker than writing it out, and gives the students a nice preview of the lesson.

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It is useful for substitutes, aides, student teachers, or other teachers in the building. Teachers can share their calendar with these people in case they are absent. This is a quick and productive way for them to communicate with each other. Simply type in their email and they have access to the calendar!Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 11.14.10 AM.png


Tool Evaluation: active learning & engagement

Tool Evaluations

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Make learning fun on math playground!

Software: Gaming, online

Audience: 1-7

Price: free!



Features include:

-Various types of math games available for first grade, all the way up to seventh grade.

-Categorized home page with some categories including: kids favorite games, challenging games, brain teasers, games for each grade, etc…

-Easy to navigate homepage, visually attractive.

-Games for majority of math topics including: addition/subtraction,
ultiplication/division, fractions/decimals, geometry, ratio/percent & 

-Ability to play games on mobile device as well

-Icon for each game available to provide previews to what the game entails

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example: ‘Ducky Race Subtraction’



Age Appropriateness: 

All of the content on the site is appropriate for the said age. First and second grade games have characters like animals and creatures, while games for older students are less character based and more mission based or have people as characters. For example, a 6th grade game math millionaire mimics a real-life game with a real person. A 1st grade game jumping chicks has animals as characters for a counting game.

Ability to maintain interest:

Site has a good potential to maintain student interest. Although many games are available, if students get bored playing one game in a category, they can still work on the same content playing a different game.

For example: the multiplication and division page has 15 games available to work on that one topicScreen Shot 2017-03-18 at 12.01.50 PM.png

Accuracy of Content: 

The few games that I was able to explore all had accurate content.

Relative Advantage: 

Playing games is undoubtedly more engaging for students. With playing games and applying their knowledge, they are more likely to remember what they learned. Students eventually reach the point where they want to explain the game to somebody else. This more engaging activity promotes mastery of content quicker and more effectively than paper and pencil activities would.

Classroom Applications:

Students are bored with activities during centers

After teaching a lesson on addition, the teacher can make a station that involves a game that enforces this topic. A few students can sit on the computer and play the game jet ski addition, which is a jet ski race where students have to select the sum.

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Teacher needs something fun to meet a common core standard

The site has a Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 12.12.19 PM.png tab. This tab brings you to a page that provides games for specific common core standards for each grade. Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 12.13.14 PM.png

The games pictured meet to common core standards listed above them.

Floater Tool Evaluation 1 (done)

Tool Evaluations

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Create lessons that your students will love on!

Software: Presentation, used on the web

Primary Users: Presentations created by teachers to present, students interact with them during the presentation

Appropriate Audience: K-12

Price: Free to sign up! Ready-to-teach lessons are available for purchase, prices range depending on how many lessons are provided in the bundle


  1. Incredible amount of lessons available for free and for purchase, provides option to filter and search for specific lessons (see image below).Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 7.16.31 PM.png
  2. Sorts lessons for you (New, Featured, Top Free, etc..)
  3. Ability to create own slides and add to library. Allows teachers to add:
    • Slides
    • Content
    • Activities
    • Audio
    • Video
    • Image
  4. Can create colorful and engaging slides on a different app and upload them to the slide as an image
  5. Allows you to create quizzes within the presentation in order to gauge student understanding of the material. These short quizzes can also be used as pre and post-assessments.
  6. Give presentation in real-time, teacher can see which students are interacting and access results immediately.

Ability to maintain interest:

Near pod’s ability to maintain student interest is high. This is because it involves the implementation of short quizzes and activities in the presentation. This encourages active engagement from the students because they know they will be assessed on what they are learning.

Ease of use:

Nearpod is generally easy to use. It requires some experimentation with creating your own presentations. Many options are available and I definitely experimented with them before I decided on which I wanted to include in the presentation.

Presentation process is fairly easy, students will simply have to enter an access code on their devices and then be entered into the ‘live session’.Screen Shot 2017-03-01 at 8.05.15 PM.png

Alternative software:

Pear deck also allows the incorporation of assessments in presentations. Nearpod is a bit easier to use, access to other lessons is also easier and more convenient on Nearpod. These are not available on the free version of Peardeck.

Relative advantaScreen Shot 2017-03-01 at 8.15.43 PM.pngge:

Nearpod has a relative advantage. It is much easier to engage students and encourage them to pay attention to lessons during presentation of them. Lessons are available to teachers who may need assistance or ideas for their lessons. For example: 1st grade essentials is available for purchase on this site, it includes 56 lessons!


Classroom Applications:

Teacher has difficulty assessing students during lessons

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A lesson on the Dime may look like this. There are three different forms of assessment incorporated. The first two are simply and ask: “What is this coin?” “How much is a dime worth”, and are followed by the lesson. The last two questions ask: “How much is a dime worth”, and then asks students to apply their knowledge with, “If Joe has 5 dimes, how many cents does he have?”. Students responses are seen by the teacher immediately and lesson can be altered based on them.

Something goes wrong! The teacher is sick and the substitute needs a lesson.

No problem! The teacher or substitute can simply search for a lesson. The teacher can have a lesson already provided and pre-written for the substitute to use. Although they cost money, they can be utilized effectively in the classroom. Teacher can also access the assessment results later.


Tool Evaluation #5

Tool Evaluations
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Create interactive lessons online using educreations!

White-boarding software, used online

Lessons created by teachers to create interactive lessons for students

Appropriate for use in all classrooms and all ages 

Free, with the option to upgrade to the pro version. Price depends on how many students the version is for (ex: 60 students -> $17.99/month)


Ability to create and save lessons under Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 2.09.27 PM.png and then add these lessons to specific classes (helpful for secondary teachers who teach different classes)

Ability to add students to each class, which enables them to access all of the lessons

Allows teacher and students to interact with the pre-made lesson on an interactive whiteboard using the pen tool 

Allows teacher to ‘record’ and ‘save’ lessons in real-time so students can access them later once added to their class

Includes a pen with several colors and the allows pictures to be added to lessons Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 2.23.05 PM.png       Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 2.23.31 PM.png

Age Appropriateness

Can be used by any age student (K-12), very easy to use and interact with. Students are always more engaged when able to interact and experience a hands-on lesson.

Ease of Use

Tool is easy to use, because it is so similar to writing on a whiteboard. Only issue may be that a lag may occur or if students put their arms on the whiteboard while writing. May require a little practice before all students can effectively use. 

Alternative Software

SmartNotebook: allows you to create a presentation before hand, which is convenient. However educreations allows teacher to save the presentation in real-time so students can review it as it was taught in class.

Feedback Provided

“Each student can use it as much as they need. That’s the great thing about it.”

“Our test scores were already really high, so we weren’t trying to fix something that was broken. We just saw this as a better way to teach.” -Matt Macfarlane (History, CA)

“Parents want to be involved, but they don’t always know how… This brings them right into the classroom, without embarrassing their kids.”

“And it’s wonderful if a kid’s sick. I had a couple kids who missed a week, and they could watch my lessons on the airplane, or wherever.” -Bonnie Odd (Math, UT)

Classroom Applications

If students are unengaged during certain lessons, they can be made much more interactive and engaging for the classroom.

Ex: Students can be asked to come up and show their work on the board in a middle school math class

Ex: Students in Kindergarten and First Grade can practice writing and spelling words on the board, or identifying vowels, consonants, digraphs, etc…Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 12.16.17 PM.png

Students who are absent for any period of time can go online to access the lessons that they have missed while unable to attend class. Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 2.44.44 PM.png





Tool Evaluation #4

Tool Evaluations

Storybird Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 7.47.59 PM.png

A virtual and interactive story-telling tool for educators and students, used on Web 2.0.

 This tool is appropriate for use by all (educators, students and parents) the parents involvement would consist of assisting their children when creating a story.

FREE to use! 

Allows users to purchase and download their stories (hardcover, softcover, PDF files, cards, art prints, journals etc.)


  • Ability to author and publish storybooks, poems or long-books using supplied Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 6.51.58 PM.pngartwork and word banks (created by the teacher)
  • Teacher can create account for students and monitor their work on their own account
  • Site generates invitations to send out to parents and students on how to use the site
  • Ability to search for and read stories published by others, stories are filtered for younger users and not even presented to them if not appropriate (example below)Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 8.05.45 PM.png
  • Parents can subscribe to “Storybird for Parents” for $11.99/month which offers writing challenges, and prints and downloads to use for practice at home.
  • Teachers can create assignments for students and grade them right on the site.

Site is most definitely age-appropriate for any user. While using the site, pop-ups appear that explain what to do and what certain tabs mean. The ability to filter results guarentees parents that their children are reading content that is appropriate for them, because it can be used by all ages.Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 8.16.03 PM.png

Feedback provided: 

Review by Jason Tomaszewski

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Great ability to maintain interest. The site is extremely engaging, the artwork is fun and creative. Reading a book online or creating your own is absolutely more fun and engaging for students, the are more likely to maintain interest in the activity if they are more engaged.

Some limitations:

  • Does not allow students to practice the physical act of writing, which is very important to learn and do
  • A lot of content is presented, young children may have difficulties navigating their way through the site and selecting stories or poems to read
  • Some students may learn best with the actual book in their hands, this tool does not accommodate that

In the classroom, a teacher may need to address a difficult topic like bullying. 

Teacher can go on the site and filter the stories to find a short story written about bullying Jennifer and the Bullies (category: life, format: picture book, age: 5-8). Teacher can show this story to their class to initiate a lesson or discussion on bullying.

In the classroom, the teacher has difficulty meeting the grade 2 Common Core standard:Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 8.36.00 PM.png

This website assists in fulfilling this standard. It allows students to produce and publish their own story online with the help of their parents (with typing and spelling most likely).

Example student story: Elsa Wants to Play






Tool Evaluation #3

Tool Evaluations

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“Providing new and revolutionary ways of working together in our increasingly global and connected environment” -Mindmeister About Page

Type of Software: Collaborative, Web 2.0

Primary Users: Teachers and students, parents could access but mostly used to collaborate on assignments

Appropriate Audience: Upper elementary and on students. Students will need to have access to and the ability to use a webpage.

Price: free for basic (3 mindful maps), with option to upgrade to either business, pro, or personal

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Ability to allow students to edit maps by providing a public link: ( can allow students to edit the map by simply providing them the link

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Ability to customize map by adding images and emoticons that are relevant to the information being added. Can change text block color and size in order to correspond certain information. 

Class can access the map at anytime

Option to print out map at any time (complete or uncomplete)

Can share map directly to class by adding each of their email addresses to the share tab

Maps can be created based on any topic




Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 4.10.18 PM.png 

 Teacher can decide if students are to edit the map (assignment) or just simply view the map and use it as a study tool


No limitations to what information can be mapped

Simple to navigate

Can be accessed at anytime with the provided link or if shared with, can also be printed to use if no access to computer

Fun to customize, this will be more engaging for students

Teacher can go on and correct any wrong information added or delete anything unnecessary

Information is more structured and organized than written notes or assignments


Teacher cannot see who adds what text, so cannot be used as an assessment tool

Can become a distraction, students may get carried away with editing the map and adding pictures

No way to filter the information being added, students can just google answers

Only able to create a few maps if using the basic version

Prerequisites: Students must have basic knowledge of online websites and how to navigate them. They must be able to efficiently type and read text online. Therefore, this would be most efficient for students grade 5 and up. Teacher should provide a tutorial in class before  assigning and projects on using the tool. Students must also have access to a computer and the internet.

Maintaining Interest: Online maps are more engaging than paper and pencil. However, they present the issue of students searching the web instead of completing the assignment. Despite this, there are no pop-ups on the website and with the provided emoticons students should not have to search the internet. In order to avoid browsing the internet, students should be asked to input information that they have in their books or notes from class.

Classroom Applications:

Creating a concept map with paper and pencil is boring for students

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 4.04.55 PM.pngThe class can go to the computer lab and start a concept map on the computer on the site. Teacher can then ask the students to go on and edit it more at home (ex: teacher assigns 5 states and capitals to each student to add to the class concept map). Students can all access the map and see all of the information their peers added.

Wanting a new way for students to present information on a project or complete an assignment

Students can create their own concept map (alone or together), and share it with the teacher. Teacher can access map through link or email and then assess the assignment. Instead of giving written or verbal feedback, teacher can type in their feedback on the concept map. Students can also present their concept maps to the class.