SpellBoard

Common Sense Media says

Great study tool offers options for various learning styles.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
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
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

You can share quizzes with other students who have the SpellBoard app via email or Bluetooth. Quizzes can also be saved to iTunes. 

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. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • spelling

Skills

Creativity

  • combining knowledge

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • effort
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

SpellBoard encourages kids to be involved in the making and taking of spelling tests. There are also three fun games -- "Word Scramble," "Word Search," and "Missing Letters" -- to play.

Learning Approach

Offers detailed assessment of individual kids' progress. There are myriad ways kids can choose to study -- voice recording, definitions, finger tracing, even uploading pictures -- great for different learning styles.

Support

Pre-made lists of sight words and common words are available. Lots of data provided with the ability to track multiple kids. Quizzes can be shared via email, iTunes, and Bluetooth. New quizzes available from SpellBoard's developer.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • spelling

Skills

Creativity

  • combining knowledge

Self-Direction

  • academic development
  • effort
  • identifying strengths and weaknesses

Tech Skills

  • using and applying technology

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Device:iPad
Price:$4.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:January 29, 2013
Category:Education
Size:6.80 MB
Publisher:PalaSoftware, Inc.
Version:1.7.8
Minimum software requirements:iOS 5.0 or later

This review of SpellBoard was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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