SpellBoard

App review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
SpellBoard App Poster Image
Great study tool offers options for various learning styles.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn spelling with SpellBoard, but how much they learn depends greatly on how accurately they (or their parents) enter the spelling words they're studying. Kids can create their own list and record words and related clue phrases they'll hear during a spelling test. They can also upload a photo related to each word and look up definitions, as well as share the spelling list with other SpellBoard users. Lists of Dolch (or common) sight words are there, too. If you set up word lists carefully, Spellboard can be a fantastic study aid.

Ease of Play

If a student enters a spelling word incorrectly or defines a clue phrase incorrectly (such as in the case of homophones like "herd" and "heard") the app will not prompt the student to correct the mistake. Once the words and phrases are entered, then it is really easy to create spelling lists and to take the tests. The app prompts users at every step of creating a quiz, and you can skip portions that you don't want to include (such as a photo or speaking a phrase). The tests, essentially conducted by the app without any human help once they begin, run smoothly. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language

There is no profanity in the app itself, but there is no word filter so any word can be included on a list.

Consumerism

There's a link on the main screen to a page with all of Palasoftware's apps.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SpellBoard is a tremendously useful self-study aid, as long as students enter the words and phrases correctly. Kids can enjoy creating their own list on the app and recording the word and a clue phrase to be spoken back in their own voice during the app's spelling test. Kids can also upload a photo and look up the definition on the app, as well as share the spelling list with other SpellBoard users. There's a study mode to practice before taking the test and a white board with colored markers to finger write the words before typing them into the quiz. Parents will find many ways to track their kids' studying, too: Time studied, number of questions answered correctly, and a complete list of all quizzes saved. 

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What's it about?

First a student selects whether to enter a spelling list or practice a list already included. In addition to entering their own spelling list words, kids can also speak the word or a phrase containing the word, add a photo, and look up the definition. Kids choose to study or take a quiz and the app records scores. The tests can also be shared via email or iTunes, and kids can connect with other SpellBoard users via Bluetooth. For more fun ways to practice than lists, there are also three activities: Word Scramble, Word Search, and Missing Letters.

Is it any good?

SPELLBOARD is easy to use and helpful in assessing a student's progress. Depending on how your kid learns, there are myriad ways that he or she can choose to study on this app: Voice recording, definitions, finger tracing, typing, even uploading pictures. Kids new to spelling tests may need their parents to enter the words as a safeguard -- if the spelling and proper meaning of the word in the clue phrase aren't entered correctly, the student could be studying an error. For older kids, this app is essentially do-it-yourself studying. It would be nice if the correct spelling of a word would pop up immediately after a kid misspells it during the actual quiz; currently, all of the correct spellings are given at the end of each quiz. This app could be a great supplemental spelling tool for struggling spellers, since it already has numerous Dolch lists of common words to learn and more to download. Kids can share lists if they all have this app, so only one student, parent, or teacher would have to enter the list.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • If your kids are younger or have difficulty typing accurately, help them type in the spelling words before they use the app.

  • Encourage your kid to use all the different spelling practice aids here, including photos and dictionary definitions.

App details

For kids who love to learn

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