Review by Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Education | Updated August 2014
Get it now

Bitsboard

Get it now

Variety of entertaining flashcard games -- with pricey in-app purchases

Common Sense says
Teachers say (1 Review)
$avg_user_learning_rating
Write a review
Grades
6-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
Great for:
See subjects & skills

Take a look inside

5 images

Pros: Easy navigation, fun design, and simple games offer an engaging approach to speedy review.

Cons: Some games seem more flashy than effective. Many available collections turn out to be pricey in-app purchases.

Bottom Line: A great tool for kids who love to learn by repetition, but not a great fit for all content or all learners.

Upload your own set of images or words to the Bitsboard website and share your board with students. Encourage students to make their own boards and share them with one another as they prepare for quizzes or tests. Ask kids which games and activities seem to help best with different kinds of quizzes. Are some games better for studying than others?

Continue reading Show less

Bitsboard is a flashcard app with lots of built-in mini-games. Flashcard sets are organized into individual boards, which are organized by subject. Users can search public collections and use pre-created boards, or they can use the developer’s website to create and upload their own content. Each board is a flashcard set, and cards can feature text, images, and audio. Once users pick a board, they can select one of 16 games to use to study the content, including flashcard reviews, memory games, matching games, and multiple-choice questions. Teachers can use the app to upload their own boards, either entering flashcards one by one or uploading them from Dropbox. Teachers can choose to share their boards publicly or directly with students. Users can access and share their progress through the app’s opening login screen and the settings menu.

Many boards are available in the app’s catalog; unfortunately, most of them require an in-app purchase. Users can either purchase boards one by one (at an average cost of $2.99 per board), unlock all games ($8.99), add unlimited users to boards ($3.99), or get full monthly or annual access to boards ($9.99).

Continue reading Show less

Bitsboard is an attractive, flexible way to approach simple content in different ways, to vary studying approaches, and to have available a tool that automates certain processes that can be tedious for a teacher, such as creating multiple-choice or true/false questions. It’s also impressive that each game can be fine-tuned to match a user’s preference or needs, like the number of rounds and the sequence of cards. This could be a great resource for reviewing vocabulary for standardized tests, ELA classes, and world-language classes, and it might be a nice way to use images to study art history, social studies, or geography. Users could also use images of cell structures to study for biology class or to study a list of polyatomic ions for chemistry.

These examples illustrate a larger point about the limitations of studying with any flashcards, digital or otherwise: They’re a great approach for memorization, but have limited efficacy for inspiring deep learning. Bitsboard could certainly help kids find varied ways to approach more tedious study tasks, but they won’t necessarily be helpful preparation for tests or subjects that require deeper analysis and reflection. Furthermore, the in-app purchases make the cost of Bitsboard add up quickly. This might be the best value for teachers who upload their own content, but look elsewhere for good flashcards you can get for free.

Continue reading Show less
Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Games are entertaining, and it’s fun to study the same content instantly in many different games.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Not all content is conducive to flashcard study, and some games offer richer learning experiences than others.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

It’s easy to tweak user access and settings within each game, and the developer's website offers an extensive guide for doing both.


Common Sense Reviewer
Patricia Monticello Kievlan Foundation/nonprofit member

Teacher Reviews

4
(See all 1 reviews) (1 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jess T. , Other
Other
4
Vocabulary practice doesn't have to be boring for ELL students!

Overall, I believe that Bitsboard is a useful tool for certain students. My ELL students are able to use visual and auditory prompts to help them work independently on vocabulary, while still being engaged and challenged. I struggle to find independent technology for non-English speaking students, but the voice recording option within the program is just what I have been looking for. I was able to add my voice, saying the vocabulary word for the students. There are over twenty-five games for students to choose from. The set up for Bitsboard was a bit challenging. Creating accounts for individual students requires an email. Younger students may not have access to an email account, but using a local student account is possible. The drawback of using a local student account is that you will not be able to track individual student progress. Building boards was simple, but time consuming.

Read full review