Sometimes, no matter what you think of an app or website, the only opinion that really counts is from those in the classroom. Here students from Katikati Primary School give us their views on a selection of tools.
Geography Hub (youtube.com/geographyhub)
“The geography hub is a collection of videos that tells you about the world and events. Some videos are cartoons and others are real. The website starts off a little boring when you first see it, then it gets more interesting. GeographyHub tells us about the world, countries, flags and space. It also tells you about the past. It is an interesting website and easy to use on a tablet or on a computer. I would encourage people to try it out.”
“It’s easy to get on the site. All you can do is watch some videos. I found it interesting and wondering. I learnt about a plan so the Germans could win World War II. It is called the Griffin Plan. I also learnt about flags and symbols, and why they have the same relatives. You can learn many things things from watching GeographyHub.”
“I liked the videos on ‘The Great Lakes’, ‘Why are Flags Similar’ and ‘Did Geography Doom Native Americans?’ Exploring the site is easy. All you need to do is find the video you want, then tap or click it. There are tabs at the top of the screen that say home, videos, playlist and channels. I really hope that you do like it if you try it.”
“GeographyHub will search up the things that you want to learn about geography and will let you learn about the world. There aren’t any help videos because you don’t need them. Each and every part is about the world and also includes space, which means aliens.”
“There is a learning video to help you understand. It wasn’t that clear where to click at first. It is fun learning about geography. It teaches other kids. It might even teach an adult new things. You might go on it more than once or you might share the video with other people as well, so you can show other people what you found.”
“This is a website where you can fiddle and play with many different photos. You can upload a photo from the computer or web. Decorate it and print it out for a card or picture. Another fun thing to do is use filters. You can mix up your old bad photos into the best photos ever! It was much better on a computer than an iPad or tablet. It was the best photo editor I have used in a long time.
“Polarr lets you edit your photos and make whatever you’re using as a photo into something beautiful. When I first saw the site it was dark and colourful, and I wasn’t really sure where to go to next. Finding places to go was very hard because there were so many buttons to click. I don’t think I would recommend it to my friends.”
“When I first went on it looked interesting. There were instructions but it was confusing! You can do lots to your photos like changing colours to black and white. I took a photo of myself then tried to upload it onto the website but it wouldn’t pop up. Once you play on it you get the hang of it but maybe they could create a video to show us what to do. I still enjoyed it.”
“When I got on it was pretty confusing. I didn’t know how to get started as there were lots of buttons and I wasn’t sure which one to click. You can turn your boring photos into fabulous ones. The website can crop your photos and it also shows the before and after. You can change the colour to black and white. It allows you to upload photos from the web or computer then you can print them out or save them. It would also be good if they included a tutorial of someone editing a photo. I don’t think I would go on Polarr again.”
Please note: Polarr is currently upgrading to Photo Editor 3, which will be available for browsers, Chrome, Windows 10, iOS, and Android. Version 2.0 (v2.polarr.co) remains operational.
Star Wars in the Classroom (starwarsintheclassroom.com)
“This is a website where you can explore and find out about Star Wars. You can research droids, music, communication, and other information. When I first saw the website I thought it would be boring facts but it isn’t! They’ve got a search box and you can find lots of links. There’s also a blog that tells you a bit of information about Star Wars.”
“When I first saw the website I thought, what is it going to be about? Exploring it was very interesting because there are thousands of facts. I would recommend you to have a look and I rate it four out of five stars. It has videos, art and music. It also shows who it’s by and it has links and a search engine. It’s got good images for sentences. I also like how descriptive the facts are.”
Pear Deck (peardeck.com)
“Pear Deck is an easy way to make a slideshow. When I first saw the website it looked easy but it really was hard. It wasn’t clear where to click first. One of the bad things is that you need a gmail address. Without one it doesn’t work. If you want to put photos, texts or even YouTube videos on your slide, you can. When I explored the site a bit, it became easier to use. There are some help videos but they were hard to find. If you watch them you will get it. I’ll definitely use it again.”
“The first time I got onto the website I found it tricky. It wasn’t what I was expecting but when I finally got into it, it was simple from there. You have to grab images and videos and you can choose a subject to create a slideshow on. I did a soccer quiz. There is an unlimited amount of slides and you can make a title. People can join you on the slide show. Overall I enjoyed exploring Pear Deck. Maybe you should have a go.”
“At first it looked like a very complicated maze. Most of all, there was lots of reading for instructions. It can be a bit difficult sometimes because of its many buttons but you can do so much, like drawing pictures and even overlap pictures to make many more awesome slideshows. Did you know that Pear Deck does not just slideshows but also quizzes, so you can test your knowledge. How cool, right?”
“Pear Deck is kind of easy to make a slideshow out of the stuff you like. You can make 15 slides but might need to delete storage. You can include images to your slideshows and type your title to tell people what you like and many other things, like soccer quizzes. I didn’t really like Pear Deck as it’s a bit too confusing.
“Exploring Pear Deck was confusing but once I got started it is kind of easy to use. You can make a quiz for your classroom to access and you can trace your answers on the projector board. Your teacher can make questions for your quiz.”
“When I first went on the website it felt challenging to work with. It was hard to find where to get started. It did have a help video, so you know where to go and what to do. Then you could create a slideshow and put your name on it. I would definitely use it again. Now I am going to explore the slides and play the slideshow.”
“You can create your own slideshows on it. You can watch videos to help you and type your own title. You can also draw pictures, answer questions and do reading. You can even connect with people. I think it will be interesting once you get to know it. This is a website everyone will enjoy and have fun.”
“When I first came onto this website I thought it was boring and did not have clear instructions. The help video is very simple to find when you come to the home page. The site has lots of pages to explore. You can create other things such as quizzes, drawings and you can involve other people. I think this is a great website and I would recommend it.”
Thanks to Sarah Tretheway and students from Katikati Primary School for reviewing these tools for INTERFACE. Some comments are edited.
Would your student like to test out some apps and websites for us? If you think they’d like to give it a go, contact Editor Greg Adams, firstname.lastname@example.org