App review by Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2014
The Elements In Action
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The Elements In Action

Video clips, fun facts, solid science lure kids to the periodic table

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Learning rating
Editorial review by Common Sense Education
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
Not yet rated Expert evaluation by Common Sense
9–12 This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Subjects & Skills
Science, Character & SEL, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Exciting, well-produced video clips reveal fascinating properties of elements.

Cons: Provides only a limited amount of basic information about the elements.

Bottom Line: Not a comprehensive instructional tool, but an engaging and informative way to interest kids in science.

This could be a great resource for kids' research. Arrange kids into small groups and assign them three or four elements to explore. Have them use the app for initial research, and provide additional resources so they can learn more about the assigned elements. Have each group present its research to the class.

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The home screen is an attention-grabber that may actually seem a bit overwhelming to some users, but it's simply a periodic table with tappable video clips for each element. Students tap an element and a video pops up, along with the element's name, symbol, atomic number, and a brief description of the video. Kids can tap a speaker icon to hear the name of the element pronounced. It's important to note that several direct links to social media and the app store are included, so be sure to monitor kids' use of these features as needed.

Not a conventional teaching tool, but an innovative way to get kids interested in science. Kids learn the names and locations of elements on the periodic table, their chemical symbols and atomic numbers, and fun, interesting facts about each element. Before using this reference tool, kids should have some prior experience with the periodic table and should understand the terms element and atomic number.

Overall Rating

Engagement Would it motivate students and hold their interest? Is it visually appealing? Would it inspire teachers to try something new or change their instruction?

Watching videos that demonstrate unique properties of elements is fascinating. 

Pedagogy Does the tool help teachers promote a more student-centered experience? Will students gain conceptual understanding or think critically? Does it deepen teachers’ pedagogical thinking?

Primary appeal of this app is that it gets kids interested in science. Videos are both educational and fun, but additional facts about the elements could boost learning. 

Support Can students and teachers get assistance when they need it? Is it created with people of different abilities and backgrounds in mind? Is learning reinforced and extended beyond the digital experience?

Navigation is easy -- just tap an element and watch the video clip. Text below each video is small and may be hard for some kids to read. 

Common Sense reviewer
Debbie Gorrell Educator

Community Rating

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Featured review by
Dana O. , Other
North Allegheny School District
Pittsburgh, United States
An app that brings the periodic table to life.
I like that the app offers video of the element in real life, text, and audio. It's a great reference tool for students, but it doesn't have full features like The Elements app. Overall, I'd recommend this app if you're looking for something to help support lessons about elements and/or the Periodic Table. This isn't an app I would recommend if you want in-depth information and interaction - you'd want to buy The Elements instead.
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