SpellBoard App Review

Posted on March 27, 2011

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As we all know, one of those laborious and frustrating subjects for both students and their parents is (drum roll please) s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g. Any family with elementary or high school aged children will find SpellBoard helpful. I remember hating going through those lists and having my mom or sisters quiz me orally – it’s laborious. But especially laborious for parents. Staying on your kids about whether they’re studying their words and doing oral quizzes (which are the only kinds of quizzes you can do for spelling words) can be very stressful.

This is where SpellBoard comes in and can save you and your kids time and frustration.

Here’s how it works. Download SpellBoard for iPad and you can create, edit and add spelling lists. Type the words out in the list, record yourself saying the word, then, if you wish, also record yourself saying the word in a sentence. After a few quick minutes of entry (I was surprised at the quickness and ease of entry), you are done! You have a spelling quiz ready for your child to take as often as is necessary. You son or daughter opens the application, selects that week’s quiz, then listens to the words and can write and type them out. The app immediately grades the quiz and lets the child know how he/she did.

SpellBoard has a companion app for iPhone and iPod Touch called “SpellBoard Buddy.” This buddy app collaborates with the created spelling quizzes on the iPad (you cannot create quizzes on the iPhone/iPod touch edition). This is great for drive time or any other situation you prefer not to lug your iPad into.

Here are a few screen shots of SpellBoard:

Add words to spelling lists.
The option to both write and type the word (or skip straight to typing).
See the definition of any given word.
Assessment at the end of the quiz.
Manage words.
Spell Buddy for iPhone and iPod Touch.

What I like:

  • You have the option to randomize the word order – keeps kids on their toes
  • The option to write the words out on a virtual white board before typing if your child thinks better that way
  • I like the cork board feel and the lined paper look
  • Listen to the word several times if needed
  • Very quick, easy voice recording for the words and phrases
  • Temporarily skip a word when “stuck”
  • Love the companion software
  • Definitions of spelling words
  • For very predominantly visual learners, the option to write out the words before typing can be a great help as they work through the spelling
  • ¬†I love that there’s a buddy app for iPhone and iPod Touch
  • Adding a quiz is so streamlined and easy – in just about ten minutes a week a parent can get that week’s spelling list set to go

What could improve:

  • Interface is a little busy at times, but never to the point of mass confusion. I would like to see it simplified just a bit more.
  • I think it would be great if when a child writes out the word with their finger those written letters could be understood as their typed equivalent – this would be great for younger children who don’t yet know how to type as finding those letters on the keyboard can get frustrating for younger ones.

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Somehow studying on an iOS device is more fun than getting quizzed orally or pouring over a book for hours. SpellBoard makes spelling more tolerable for children (and their parents). The ease of operation and accuracy of assessment is superb. I give SpellBoard 4.5 out of 5 stars. Looking forward to seeing more great apps from Palasoftware. Pick up SpellBoard in the iTunes app store for iPad here: SpellBoard – palaware and for iPhone here: SpellBoard Buddy – palaware

Posted in: Children, Education