- Peer Review: Boardmaker Online
- Nov 27, 2021 by Teacher Education
Boardmaker Online provides a multi-level approach to creating engaging print and interactive materials for your special education needs. Start with convenient, ready-made print activities or just imagine, make, print and use! Ready for more? Extend learning by adapting curriculum to the unique needs of your learner with easy-to-use enhanced features. Then, increase student engagement by making your favorite print activities interactive on smart boards, computers, tablets and communication devices.
- Type of Material:
- Recommended Uses:
Since, Boardmaker uses symbol-based visual supports which have been proven to help people with communication, behavior and learning challenges succeed in school and life, the best use of this tool would be to create, use or download activities for specified use. Some examples of free lesson activities to dowload include:
- All Activities-to-Go
- Activities to Go
- Best Selling
- Alphabetically: A-Z
- Alphabetically: Z-A
- Price: Low to High
- Price: High to Low
- Date: New to Old
- Date: Old to New
CollectionsBrowse our free, downloadable activities. Download, print, and go!Activities-to-Go: Life Skills (Food Choices)$0.00Activities-to-Go: Living Things (Plants)$0.00Activities-to-Go: Community (People)$0.00Activities-to-Go: Land, Sea, & Air (Seasons)$0.00Some examples of Symbols that can be used to create activities include, for example, these PCS high contrast symbols.
The Boardmaker 7 is a excellent tool for in-class learning, homework, individual learning communication, and is self-paced.
- Technical Requirements:
From the Boardmaker Online website FAQs:
BrowserBrowser PluginsMinimum Operating System Minimum Recommended Adobe Flash v11 or later Windows XP SP3 or later Mac OS 10.6 or later Firefoxv38.0 Chromev49.0 Internet Explorerv10.0 v11 or later Safariv9.0
No activity editing can be done through the iPad.
iPad ModelMinimum Operating SystemInternet Access iPad 2 or later iPad Mini or later iOS 6.0 or later Connection needed for login and activity download only. Activities can play offline.
Beginning 2020, the Boardmaker Online , which used Flash, was replaced with Boardmaker 7, which is an app that can be installed on Windows, Macs or Chromebooks.
- Identify Major Learning Goals:
Example of goals for using the Boardmaker 7 include:(1) Teachers will be able to teach more effecitively with symbol based to special education population to support learning and communication in multiple learning environments, and (2) Teachers will be able to link activities with IEP goals,Standardds and monitor progress on students goals.
- Target Student Population:
Boardmaker provides tools and resources that empower parents, educators and therapists to achieve extraordinary results. Armed with special education, communication, access and social/emotional tools for pre-K through 12, the transition years and into adulthood, Boardmaker makes it easy for you to meet each student’s unique learning needs and drive their success.
- Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Limited computer skills for activity creators and game players.
This is an excellent product to support teaching and learning in multiple environment, increaes monitoring for progress, which increases accountability in meeting IEP goals. . The descriptions of support and resources reflect high quality of products and services.
The Boardmaker site fouces on educationally significant models for picture communication symbols for learners in the classroom, in therapy, and at home which can be customized to fit any curriculum. Registrants can choose from aligning with various standards including the Core Curriculum.
There were no deficiencies noted in its content quality during this review.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The activities at this site can not only be customized to content use in variety of ways, but also are available so they can easily be targeted toward levels of learning, as shown in the list below. The ability to choose the level makes the tool very effective for students to learn and teachers to fit the activities into their current curriculum.
Level A - Use these activities with your youngest students or most beginning learners.
Level B - Use these activities with your middle grade students or students ready to engage more deeply.
Level C - Use these activities with your high school students or students with some independent skills.
A major feature that relates to its effectiveness is flexibility of the the content, which can be used in various learning environments. Also, the content is clear and concise, and is current and relevant.
There were no deficiencies noted in its effectiveness as a teaching tool during this review.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The website is very easy to use with clear navigation and step-by-step tutorials for usage such as finding activities, joining a group, and sharing activities including how to upload and how to align with standards.
Training and support is available. Clicking on the Help menu provides easy access to the User's Guide, how-to videos and tutorials. Users can also join a community and ask questions there.
There were no deficiencies noted in its utility during this review.
- Other Issues and Comments:
Boardmaker is moving away from Adobe Flash. Read this blog to find out what's new, how you can participate in user testing and what will happen between now and December 2020.Monitor the Flash Roadmap – Each browser is handling the support for Flash in a slightly different way. We have compiled the following resources to keep you informed:
- Google Chrome – https://www.chromium.org/flash-roadmap
- Microsoft Edge – Microsoft announced that Edge will be based on the “Chromium” technology behind Google Chrome. Microsoft Edge should follow the Google Chrome roadmap.
- Microsoft Internet Explorer – https://blogs.windows.com/msedgedev/2017/07/25/flash-on-windows-timeline
- Mozilla Firefox – https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Plugins/Roadmap
- Safari – As of September 16, 2020, Safari 14 has discontinued Flash for MacOS Catalina/High Sierra. If this impacts you, please download an alternate browser or downgrade to Safari 13 until Boardmaker 7 launches.
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