Website and app reviews

By Nigel Paull

Website and apps reviewed for school library staff

15 Best School Website Designs
Schools wishing to develop a new website or enhance their current website would benefit from analysing the examples portrayed here. Each sample outlines the outstanding design and technology features used to create an informative and appealing website.
SCIS no. 1934946

Alien Assignment">
Students assist a family in space to repair their stranded spacecraft by taking photos of everyday Earth-bound objects. Although this app has been around for a while, it offers a different interaction from
many apps by requiring students to use higher-level critical thinking to consider options.
SCIS no. 1737197

Andy Griffiths
The website of the phenomenally successful children’s author Andy Griffiths features current and forthcoming events, a bibliography, tweets, links to videos, FAQs, and biographical data. It also includes material relating to Terry Denton and Jill Griffiths.
SCIS no. 1934964

AR Makr
AR Makr is a great place for teachers and students to delve into augmented reality. The app’s toolbox allows students to sketch, scan and snap objects and then change them from a 2D object to a 3D object on the screen. The object or character can then be placed in a realworld environment screen to create a photo or video story.
SCIS no. 1934989

Chess Kid: Learn & Play Chess With Other Kids
For students about to embark on learning to play chess, or for those who have already progressed, this website offers players different levels to play against the computer or online players worldwide. Content covers lessons, videos, puzzles, organising tournaments and chess-club management hints.
SCIS no. 1928428

Drops: Language Learning
Offering strategic vocabulary selections, this language app encourages users to spend just five minutes a day memorising the illustrated, practical words in the language of their choice from the 23 on offer.
Relevant audio and advanced statistics are also a feature.
SCIS no. 1935004

Green Screen By Do Ink
As the title implies, Green Screen provides a ‘green screen’ for backgrounds when combining several images or live footage into one video or photo. These images can be resized, rotated, removed or sequenced during the editing process. Links are available to a blog and tutorials.
SCIS no. 1935007

Khan Academy Kids id1378467217
The highly regarded Khan Academy has teamed up with experts at the Stanford Graduate School of Education and created a free, fun app for young primary students. Content features reading, mathematics, language and problem-solving, and it offers a personalised learning experience.
SCIS no. 1935049

Libraries Ready To Code
An initiative of the American Library Association, The Ready to Code Collection provides librarians with resources and strategies to build a library’s capacity to develop ‘coding and computational thinking
activities that are grounded in research, aligned with library core values, and support broadening participation’.
SCIS no. 1935103

Public Silo Trail
Recognised internationally, this website profiles the stunning public artwork on silos in WA. Students and teachers of visual art can explore the concept of inclusive mural art in country towns and the impact this artwork has on the township – such as the cultural tourism that flows from it.
SCIS no. 1935121

Tinkercad: From Mind To Design In Minutes
This site has built on its reputation for easily grasped software tools and instructions to design and make 3D objects. Additionally, students can now undertake to design printed 3D circuits and a variety of elementary code blocks. Features also include a blog, gallery, teacher webinars and online help.
SCIS no. 1916454

What Happens To The Plastic We Throw Out?
An informative and authoritative offering from the National Geographic provides pertinent material relating to the global problem of the effects plastic bags have on the marine environment. Mismanaged municipal plastic waste is transported by rivers and oceans and has created devastating issues for marine life and the marine environment. You will need to sign up, but the content is free.
SCIS no. 1935133

The websites and apps selected for review are often of a professional nature and should be initially viewed by teachers and library staff to
determine suitability for students. The links, content and address of these sites are subject to change.

Nigel Paull

Nigel Paull

Teacher Librarian

North Coast, NSW