I discovered this app a few weeks ago when I was looking for something to use with Foundation Stage for an Early Years Switched On ICT lesson. The lesson “We have Confidence” outlined creating and playing a game using a Power-point slideshow. This would feature images of the class and associated sound files. Essentially – click on a picture of a child – listen and identify who is speaking. I knew there must be an app that would help us to do this in a more efficient and enjoyable way. The Powerpoint creation would essentially involve photographing, sound recording and formatting it all good but a bit of a pain.
At this point I discovered by Custom Soundboard – an app for combining pictures and short audio recordings to create a soundboard. The app works as follows:
- Tap an empty square
- Take a photograph or choose from the library
- Record a short audio clip
- Play back your audio
- Redo or move to the next box
I tried this with our Foundation pupils a couple of weeks ago and by play time we had worked together and created a class sound board which we then plugged into the AV system. The pupils loved tapping on their picture and hearing the playback of their little speeches, mostly “My name is and I want to be ….”. Unlike the same task using Powerpoint we could very easily edit or retry the parts of the board that needed rerecording or sharper photographs. I am hoping the children will now begin creating some of their own boards.
The other win in using this app is that you are actually hitting a greater number of ICT skills. We can sometimes forget about skills teaching or assume they are there innately, when we use iPads with young children. However just because Foundation Stage pupils can easily play games and progress through Learning apps, it does not always mean that they have some of the necessary ICT skills needed to create and/ edit their own media effectively. Consider the skills the children learned in this unit and with this app, versus the digital baby sitting / just playing that can sometimes be the diet of Foundation Stage pupils.
- Gain familiarity with the function and buttons of a new and unfamiliar app
- Taking a Photograph
- Reviewing the photograph to ensure the full head was present and having the confidence to reject and retake the picture if necessary
- Recording sound and editing/rerecording if necessary
Other uses for Custom Soundboard:
Create a pictorial wordbank to aid spelling use images of words ( perhaps created in Keynote first)and speak/record the accompanying words. This would be very useful for children with English as an additional langauge or children with communication difficulties.
- PSHE – ask children to collect positive and supportive comments about themselves from their classmates
- Develop a personal set of alphabet Flash Cards
- Collect views about an issue and present these to the class
- Make notes about a science investigation or other problem solving exercise and use this digital record to aid in writing up
- Use the app to create a mystery with each photo revealing a clue or part of a story – this could lead into story writing or perhaps Maths with clues being related to properties of shapes or even coordinates.
Though this is a great app it would be even better if there were some way to export the boards or add more than one.
- National Curriculum Consultation: Part 2 (3diassociates.wordpress.com)
- The James Hetfield Soundboard You Never Knew You Needed (metalsucks.net)
- Training Day at South Woodford/ Redbridge (antsict.wordpress.com)
- Tablets and Apps: How to ensure impact on teaching and learning (1 of 5) – The Big Picture (olliebray.typepad.com)