Website and app reviews

By Nigel Paull

Website and apps reviewed for school library staff.

Amazing world atlas
Intended for primary students, this interactive mapping app from Lonely Planet features quizzes and games relating to continents, countries, capitals, and flags. The app can be used on its own, or as a companion to Lonely Planet’s Amazing World Atlas book series. The app is also available for Android devices via the Google Play store.
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Crayola: for educators
This website offers an abundance of resources for teachers wishing to incorporate creativity and the arts into everyday learning. Content includes articles, lesson plans, and other inspirational activities.
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From 3D artworks to building a wooden clock, this fascinating website offers a multitude of imaginative projects with the necessary instructions to complete them. Subject matter includes food recipes, crafts and costume designs, as well as biology, technology, engineering and woodwork projects.
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NASA app
Created by NASA, this app contains details of current and forthcoming missions, on demand TV and radio, images, videos, tweets, and news. It also features links to other NASA apps and websites. This app is free and is also available from the Google Play store.
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Preparing for BYOT
As schools proceed further into the field of ‘bring your own technology’ (BYOT), there are a number of considerations that should be addressed. Warren McCullough has gathered pertinent information that teachers and administrators need to be familiar with, including how to establish a culture of trust, meaningful online units of work, parental involvement, and policies.
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Roads to refuge
This comprehensive website offers teachers, students and the community ‘access to relevant, factual and current information about refugees’. Content includes relevant definitions of refugees and similar concepts, the journeys that they take, and how resettlement occurs. It also provides news, initiatives, and steps on how to get involved.
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Robots for iPad
Robots for iPad is a great place to start for teachers, students and parents hoping to delve into the world of robots. You will encounter over 150 robots from around the world, featuring videos, photos and details on their specifications. The app offers tips on getting started with robotics, as well as daily articles and news.
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Safe Schools Hub
An initiative of the Australian Government, Safe Schools Hub provides information for parents, school staff and students to work together to build ‘safe and supportive schools’. This website explores the National Safe Schools Framework, and offers professional learning modules for educators, as well as information for students and parents to learn how they can help to make their school safe.
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Scope: science television for kids
Created by CSIRO and produced by Network Ten, this television show is aimed at primary students interested in science. Hosted by an engaging CSIRO scientist, each episode covers a facet of science that is found in everyday life. The website also includes learning activities to support each episode.
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Schools or teachers considering a move to paperless classrooms should investigate what Showbie has to offer. This app can be used on all devices, and allows for the quick and easy distribution of documents, collection of assignments, and provision of feedback. The basic plan is free, with paid versions offering additional features.
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UEB online: braille training for sighted learners
Unified English Braille (UEB) was developed to ‘harmonise braille across codes and between English-speaking countries’. This online training program was created by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children’s Renwick Centre to teach sighted people UEB in order to support vision impaired learners.
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WWF together
This multi-award winning app created by the World Wildlife Fund allows students to learn about many of the world’s fascinating animal species in an interactive and intriguing way. Using their iPads, students can explore a variety of absorbing scenarios, and can also enjoy making origami animals using a selection of different patterns. WWF Together is also available on Android and Kindle Fire.
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Nigel Paull

Nigel Paull

Teacher librarian

South Grafton Public School, New South Wales