Monday, June 2, 2014

Custom Boards App Review: Activities & Games

I was completely shocked to get an email from Smarty Ears offering a couple of apps for me to review.  I already had several of their apps, so they were kind enough to send one that I didn't already have.
One of the apps they provided me is "Custom Boards".  As soon as I opened the app, I was excited!  I saw so many possibilities.  Since there are so many aspects to this app, I'm going to concentrate on "Activities & Games" in this post.  I'll follow up with other features in different posts.
The choices under "Activities & Games":

Since I received the app right at the end of the school year, I didn't have a chance to use it with any of my students, but I did play around with it some.  In addition to getting the boards ready ahead of time, it's easy enough to complete one at the end of the session, putting in the pictures of the words the student missed to be taken home for homework:
As I said, it was quite easy and user friendly.  I watched the tutorial video (included in the app) first.  That's not something I always do, but I watched this time.  The video did an excellent job of explaining the features, and how to use the app.  
To pick the pictures, you have a choice of seeing all of the pictures, you can pick objects within a category, OR you can choose pictures not only according to a certain sound, but also in the targeted position. Plus, you can add your own pictures if you'd like.   How great is that?
To add a picture, all you have to do it touch the empty space, touch "Add Image", and your choices pop up:
In addition, you can change the background color and add text to the picture, as well as position the text above or below the picture.  Don't like the picture after you have it in a space?  Just touch the picture and choose "Remove Image".  You can also change, rotate, copy, or cut the image.
After you have all of the images in that you want, you have different options:
If you choose "Share PDF", you can email, print, or open it in different apps that you have on your iPad.
I saved mine in "Dropbox".  
Then, I can access it through "Cloudon".  (If you don't have this app, it's one you definitely should check out!)

You can also save it within the app, then access it from the home page by tapping "Archives".
If you decide you don't want to save it within the app, deleting it is a snap:  just hold the image for 3 seconds, then hit "x" (or move to the trash).
You can also move the saved template back to the home screen to modify it.
As I said at the beginning of this post, there are so many different things you could do with this app, I know I failed to mention some of them!  The sky is the limit with this app; this is definitely an app I would recommend.  At $44.99, this is one of the more expensive apps I own, but it would be well worth it (especially if your school system will purchase it for you).  You can find it at the app store by clicking here.
If you have Custom Boards, how do you use the "Activities & Games" Section?


I would like to profusely thank Smarty Ears for allowing me the chance to use this app in return for a review!


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