Website review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated May 2017


Get beyond binders with digital, remixable lesson-planning tool

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Pros: Endlessly customizable features make it easy for teachers to remix content and share it efficiently with their students.

Cons: Some teachers and administrators might balk at having to start from scratch.

Bottom Line: If you invest some serious time in preloading your content, this is an exceptional tool for building and using your lesson plans.

If your district invests in Ogment, talk with your administrators and fellow teachers about the best ways to use the tool. Take some time to import digital versions of articles you use in class. You can also download videos from YouTube and elsewhere online and embed questions and activities within them. Use the My Stream page to browse all your district's content, then use the clipper to save items to your My Stuff page. Drag and drop resources to build your lesson plans, and swap out assessments or instructions to differentiate your lessons for different groups of students, such as students grouped by reading ability or class section. Consider how you might use these differentiation features to better support ELLs or students with learning differences. 

Keep in mind that Ogment isn't a learning management system or a gradebook of record, but it can dovetail well with whatever systems you have in place for sharing and recording student grades. You can use Ogment to share assignments with your students and have them complete assessments, and you can download and record the results of those assessments and completed assignments. 

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Ogment is a lesson-planning and curriculum-mapping web platform. It's intended to be used at the school or district level: When a district buys a subscription, they can work with the developer to load resources from their existing curriculum maps and lessons plans onto a shared content library -- called My Stream -- that teachers and administrators can view. Teachers can clip content from the Stream and share it to their own My Stuff content library, where they can use tags to organize and develop their own collection of content.

Teachers can also use Ogment to collect all the materials they might need for lesson-planning purposes, from articles to images to videos. Teachers can embed assessments (such as multiple-choice and free-response questions) and activities (such as KWL charts and other graphic organizers) directly into their lesson plans. Teachers can then share their lessons with their students as individual assignments, and they can manually or automatically assess their students’ performance. 

The only real drawback with Ogment is that there isn’t built-in content: Some other lesson-planning apps include content aligned to Common Core State Standards that teachers can reuse and remix. Using Ogment means uploading resources and materials for whole courses, grade levels, or even an entire curriculum map, and you mostly have to tag standards alignment on your own. While that initial time investment may seem daunting, there are some terrific supports built in to help facilitate that process, from hands-on help from the developer to impressively flexible tools that let teachers clip, add, and remix content. Plus, you can work with Ogment to import content from other subscription services your district uses, so the tool can truly become a one-stop shop for housing, organizing, and using curriculum content. The how-to information is a real standout: There are tons of videos and FAQs that teachers can use to understand Ogment's features and how to make them shine in the classroom. 

The assessment tools are especially good: You can embed quizzes and other assessment opportunities right into videos or into a lesson plan. You can also duplicate lessons and subtly change your assessments or instructions to differentiate learning and seamlessly send different assignments to different groups of students. Overall, setting up Ogment will take some time and serious strategic thought, but it’s the same thinking that teachers and curriculum developers put into any planning process. This tool sets out to help teachers get organized and more effectively support student learning, and its excellent features make it a worthy fit for one of the great challenges of effective teaching.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Ogment will only be as engaging as the content teachers build into it -- but the design is easy to navigate, and there are tons of features to support engaging interactions with media-rich lesson plans. 

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Flexible features help teachers differentiate instruction and embed interactive assessments within their lesson plans, making this a great way to support lots of learners' needs.

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

With an extensive resource library, lots of how-to content, and personalized training, it's super easy to get started using Ogment like a pro.

Common Sense reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

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