Annelies of Teens Online
I don't mean to be presumptuous, but I cringe every time Quizlet is recommended by a teacher or another student. Of course, Quizlet is an amazing website that seems perfect for a lot of situations. Most students use it, so it's probable that the flashcards you are looking for have already been created, and if they haven't been, it's easy enough to create a set of your own.
But although Quizlet works fine for pumping and dumping, the lesser known SRS software is much better for long-term retention. Based off of memory research done in 1885 by Hermann Ebbinghaus, spaced repetition software contends that there is an optimal time to review something, and drowning yourself in flashcards, like with Quizlet, both wastes time and may actually hinder your recall. This software judges how well you know a fact and then decides when to show you the flashcard again, be it in 5 seconds, 1 day, 2.5 months, or 1.3 years. Even if SRS doesn't help you learn any better than studying regular flashcards, it certainly saves time as you don't review things you already know well.
To work properly, SRS usually demands sustained studying, an option not appealing to students who just want to pass their tests, no more. As it is less popular than Quizlet, spaced repetition programs also tend have fewer pre-made decks. However there are some added advantages to using software made for nerds, including support for picture and sound, cloze deletion, type comparisons, and foreign languages (most notably support for Korean, Chinese, and Japanese characters and furigana).
Anki, in possession of one of the largest SRS user-bases, has at least 1,000 decks available online for download and has a free desktop application and cloud storage, which makes it a capable contender to the Quizlet monopoly.
Everyone is a victim of the pump-and-dump mentality (no one could separate me from the flash games I use the night before to pass geography tests), but if you ever find something you have a burning desire to learn and know forever, SRS is for you. In my case, I can't stand to forget my Spanish vocabulary, and I'd really like to avoid relearning vocabulary every time I go back for seconds on the SAT, so SRS is my secret passion.
posted by Meg at 11:35 0 comments