File Share: Student Reviews

(Last Updated On: June 9, 2016)

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 at Heaton Normal Intermediate School give us their views on a selection of tools.

thematic 2Thematic (

“Thematic is a great site for any age group because of its simplicity. There are not many downsides. It’s good how you can have followers and see what your friends are posting and sharing. Also, you can see what’s happening in the world through Thematic on the front page.” ROCCO O

“Thematic is a brilliant site for when you need something different to make a slideshow on. It is easy and great. However, it doesn’t work very well on an iPad, it is sometimes tricky to use when you want to upload new slides, and when you hit the done button and it doesn’t look like it did before.” BELLA F

“I think this is a good site as you can use any picture you want in your slide, even pictures off the internet and it comes out nice and bright. You can also add text to tell people about the photo or the photo can be a background and the typing could be the main thing. Even though there’s no tutorial, they make it easy to use by having buttons telling you exactly what they do. I would recommend this website for Year 5 and above as it might be confusing for younger students.” CHARLIE R

“Thematic makes it very easy to make slides, follow your friends and make cool comments. Uploading photos is easy but sometimes they end up being too big and you have to use another photo. On the first slide there are a range of colours that you can use for your text, on all the other photos there is only one dull colour to use, and there’s not much use in using dull boring ones because you would rather use bright and exciting colours.” ELLA M

“Thematic is very interesting and fun. You can see how many likes you have and can find people to follow. You can choose to be private or not. I think it would be really helpful if they had a tutorial on how to use it. It’s inspiring how you can see others but also tell your own story. I will definitely keep using Thematic for presentations.” HOLLY S

“When I was testing out the tool I had a climbing photo uploaded and I added a caption over top of the photo about how I climb. It is super easy to use. One of the weaknesses is that you cannot easily see the whole photo at the same time. I would recommend this as it’s clear format is pretty different to a lot of other sites out there!” HENRY B


synapSynap (

“Synap is a great website to use if you are trying to remember something for an important test. We liked that you can take the test more than once and it mixes up the questions. You can either choose to create your own or do one that someone else has already made. But Synap needs to put in a spell check feature as some tests we took had really bad spelling mistakes.” LIAM M AND SOPHIA W

“This is really easy to use and has a quick video at the start which explains how the site works. I love how you can put your own questions in and in a week you improve your learning just by going online and doing some quizzes!” BROOKE S-C

“Synap is great for students in high school but not so great in primary school because it includes features such as entering your subject, like English, Science, Arts, etc. It will find other quizzes relating to what you choose and you can even create a quiz of your own. I think it needs minor changes to its layout to be better for all ages but, overall, Synap is an awesome website for teens in need of a new way to learn.” GEORGIE F

“Synap is good because you can create your own questions about a subject and practice through quizzes, so you will be prepared for the final test. You can learn more in less time doing the quizzes and even practice other people’s tests. This is an interesting tool but more for high school students.” JORDAN S

“This site allows you to create multiple choice quizzes or do quizzes that others have already made. It’s a good way to show what you have learnt by trying their quizzes out. It’s not a very inviting website due to not having much colour and it doesn’t tell you much about it before you have made an account.” EVIE M


pablo logoPablo (

“Pablo is a free online site where you can customise photos by adding words, sentences, quotes and colour. There are many ways you can edit the photo such as by making it blurry and changing colour. It’s a pretty amazing site. However, there are no instructions on how to use it, so some people could get a little confused.” ZACH R

“Pablo is great for making quotes and sayings. You can put a picture in the background and then you write a message or quote over it. It is easy to then save it, export it or share it with friends. At many opportunities Pablo does try to get you to link it to a social media site but you can just log in with email.” JACK M

“Pablo is a fun website. I find it really cool how it allows you to take any photo and add stuff to it, although it proved frustrating by not being entirely iPad-friendly.” FINN M

“You can either choose or use your own images to edit. It first provides an image and a quote to get you started, then you can customise it. You can use different fonts and colours but there is a limited selection. There is no tutorial on how to use the site, though, and it gives you limited options for customising your image. Overall, it is a quick site that you can create images for social media and printing tasks that stand out.” JOSEPH A


renderforest_logoRender Forest (

“From first looking at the homepage, I could tell Render Forest would be easy to use for presenting. To begin with, there is a clear instructional clip about how to use the site. After choosing to create my own, it took me to a template where I made slides with different words, music and photos. I think it would be a good way to advertise and present for both school and homework.” TOBY L

“This is a fun and productive way to make videos and animations. Our only query is that the videos don’t go for too long and you can only go with the set times available. We found it easy to use and it was really straight forward for making short fantastic videos.” LUC B AND JACK M

“This is a fun and simple website to use and it is compatible with all devices. Render Forest shows the basic template layout of the animation before you insert your own photos and add writing.” LEWIS F

“Render Forest is an easy way to create slides. If you’re stuck, you can just click the video on the homepage. You can jazz up your slides and it is good for presentations and letters. You can also add in your own music. However, it’s frustrating how it doesn’t have a range of fonts and you can’t change the size of your text.” ASHLEIGH B

“Render Forest could be improved by allowing you to choose the background for each slide. It is cool that you can add music. I also think that you should be able to choose the size and font of text for a bit of a variety. I recommend it for Year 6 and upwards for when they want to do a presentation or invitation.” MIKAELA K

“Render Forest is a cool website for presenting and making videos. It can be quite difficult to understand at first but it gets easier as you go on using the site. It has amazing quality videos and they are clear and easy to make. Overall, I would highly recommend this as a different tool to use for presenting.” JACKSON W


Thanks to Lucy Watson and students from Heaton Normal Intermediate School in Christchurch for reviewing these tools for INTERFACE. Some comments were edited.


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