Website and app reviews

By Nigel Paull

Website and apps reviewed for school library staff

Australian poetry
‘Australian Poetry intends to do all that it can do to connect with, and genuinely support, contemporary and aspiring Australian poets.’ With this in mind, Australian Poetry’s website offers information on forthcoming competitions, readings and launches; their publications; mentoring assistance; and details of events for primary and secondary schools.
SCIS no. 1947372

Bloomin’ apps
Prominent educational technologist Kathy Schrock has managed to gather relevant apps to support Bloom’s revised taxonomy. Schrock has assembled ‘hotspot’ apps separately for iPads, Android, Google and online users. Links to related information are also present.
SCIS no. 1574575

Brain it on!
Students will enjoy the tasks presented in this engrossing, physics-based app. Students can progress through various levels, with tasks that become increasingly complex — yet they can be solved in multiple and unique ways. The app is available for several operating systems.
SCIS no. 1947601

Cawthron: The power of science
This website highlights the history, research and services of New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation. Areas of research include aquaculture, food safety, algal technologies, biosecurity and analytical testing. Details of open days, expos and workshops for secondary students are available.
SCIS no. 1947383

Classroom screen
This site offers teachers 12 widgets to project onto screens to enhance management and engagement in classrooms. The widgets include software for sound levels; work symbols; a timer; a random name generator; a calendar; a QR code reader; a drawing tool; an image uploader and, interestingly, an exit poll for students to give feedback on the lesson.
SCIS no. 1947669

Enlight Pixaloop
This free app allows students to add another dimension to photos by animating them and creating moving pictures. There are many features available, allowing users to control movement, speed, direction and to add overlays. The finished product can be exported in various formats.
SCIS no. 1947616

The Australian Geography Teachers Association, supported by Education Services Australia, has developed this website to provide resources for primary and secondary teachers implementing the Australian Curriculum: Geography. Classroom-ready resources are found in the core units, while the support units cater for teachers’ professional learning.
SCIS no. 1665153

Long-range weather and climate
The Bureau of Meteorology uses a variety of data, allied with maps, to predict Australia’s long-range weather and future climate patterns. The content includes data from Australian islands and Antarctic sites, agricultural guides, climate change trends and extremes, water outlooks, and statements on current conditions.
SCIS no. 1947547

Quick, draw!
Designed to show the capabilities of AI and machine learning this doodling activity invites players to draw an idea or object quickly. The program then uses a neural network to try and recognise the doodle in real time. As more people use the activity, the AI adds to its memory storehouse to increase its ability to quickly identify more drawings in the future.
SCIS no. 1947425

Teachers and students can utilise this organisational tool to collaborate on group projects on any topic, anywhere. Students can share ideas, create checklists, assign tasks to peers, upload links and images, and see who is working on what. This free app (additional content may be purchased) is also available for other operating systems.
SCIS no. 1853369

Leigh Hobbs
Popular Australian author and illustrator Leigh Hobbs has an informative and attractive website that offers students a biography; highlights of the books featuring Old Tom, Mr Chicken, Fiona the pig, and Horrible Harriet; Leigh’s artwork; and his latest news.
SCIS no. 1947412

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