Common Sense Review
Updated February 2013

Periodic Table

Get familiar with the elements using this effective app
Common Sense Rating 3
Teacher Rating (1 Teacher Review) 4
  • Opening menu for Periodic Table.
  • Each element in the complete periodic table links to the information page for that element.
  • A sample question from the Quiz section of Periodic Table.
  • Students can press the speaker to hear an element’s pronunciation.
  • The Lookup section lets students search by name or browse the alphabetical listing.
Pros
Nicely covers the essential data about the periodic table.
Cons
Lack of feedback and scorekeeping is frustrating and could impede learning.
Bottom Line
It's a handy tool for making the rote (some might say boring) parts of science easier to learn.
Graphite Staff
Common Sense Reviewer
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

A simple-to-use, practical tool, it'll give users extra help in memorizing the foundational data for a beginning chemistry course. Videos add interest to what could otherwise be dry definitions of basic terminology.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Periodic Table helps users memorize the foundational facts of basic chemistry, but it's not very responsive (no scores saved, limited feedback, etc.).

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

This intuitive and user-friendly app needs no special menus for navigation. Each quiz is scored, but there's no tracking of the data for later review. The videos are available in five languages in addition to English.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

The clever videos entice users to keep coming back to review the definitions; their usefulness would be further enhanced if they connected to the other content. You could start class with one of these videos each day during a chemistry section; since they're fun and grab students' attention, they could be a nice segue into the other content.

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What's It Like?

Periodic Table is an app featuring a database of the periodic table for chemistry students to study. It's designed to help students learn the name, symbol, and atomic weight of each element. No one claims that memorizing the elements is their favorite part of chemistry. But, as part of the lexicon, it's critical info for a basic course, and students need to memorize it like the vocabulary of a second language.

The app is divided into five basic sections: Learn, Table, Lookup, Quiz, and Videos. The Learn section consists of a page for each element, linked to its position on the periodic table. The Quiz tests students on their recall of the information, but it doesn't save scores or provide feedback. The app also includes videos that provide a spoken presentation of basic and useful definitions, from acid to valence. Each element of the periodic table, neatly laid out in the Table section, is linked to a page of data in the Learn section. Each page is filled with the basic data about the element, an option to hear the name pronounced (which can be useful with elements such as dysprosium), and a Wikipedia link. The Lookup section is an internal search engine, also leading to the Learn pages.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Periodic Table is neither a self-study course nor a supplement for a complete course in chemistry, but what it does, it does well: assisting students in getting a good start and serving as a useful point of reference. During the video sections, the presenter manages to set a tone that is sassy, light, and informative –- a combination that’s likely to encourage students to listen up and explore. It's too bad that these definitions aren't connected to any of the other content. The Quiz section is also limited; it allows for options to pose questions on the names of the elements, the abbreviations, the atomic number, or a random mixture of these categories, but since the app doesn't save scores or narrow the focus to adjust once the user has answered correctly, it can be frustrating.

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Lesson Plans