CONCEPT: A free digital food web builder with a choice of two habitats and the ability to introduce a dangerous element.
DELIVERY: Produced by the University of Western Australia, this is one of those great little apps that can enhance a topic through interaction and real world framing of the content.
Two Australian habitats are available: Herdsman Lake and Kimberley. The aim of the activity is to complete a food web by correctly connecting organisms. Producers, herbivores and carnivores are all present and are connected by via the touchscreen interface. Each organisms icon can be flipped to view photos and key information. You can select to check your connections and make any changes needed to complete the challenge.
In a clever twist, when the food web is complete you can the infamous cane toad. One of Australia's most destructive speciesand see the chaos it can cause to food webs (I remember this being parodied in an old Simpsons episode!) This is a clever way to highlight the concept of interdependence.
The app has two difficulty levels, with a larger web to be built on the harder difficulty, making differentiation a viable option. Screenshots can be snapped of completed chains for sharing, printing or embedding in other digital media projects.
LIMITATIONS:Greater variety of species and habitat would naturally have been welcome and some might consider the content too focused on Australian biomes.
CONCLUSION: A simple but effective app that does its job perfectly and as a free learning tool is a nice addition to the Science curriculum. 3/5