Another application/website that I have grown fond of over my educational years is Quizlet. I was introduced to Quizlet my freshman year of high school by my World History teacher. She used the “Class” feature so that she could see us upload our flashcards to this page. At the time, many of my peers detested this website (I think largely because of how we had to all upload the same flashcards but couldn’t use one another’s and there were 150+ terms each unit) but this website has been a vital part of my educational experience from then on. It has been my main study source for studying and memorizing key-terms I have needed to know both in high school and in college.
Although this tool reinforces the idea of memorization and not so much a skill, I still think it is important tool to introduce to students and incorporate in the classroom. This website offers a lot of options for studying. I think I would definitely use a site like this in a fourth or fifth grade classroom, who is starting to learn study skills. I think this way of studying is a much better alternative to simply making flashcards because it has multiple ways of studying under the categories of: flashcards, learn, spell, test, match, & gravity. In order to effectively use this site and teach students how to actually learn these terms, I would tell students to look through the flashcards 3-5 times to study. Then I would tell students to test themselves through the learn option and see if they can type the term that goes with the definition. This is where I have found myself to get optimal learning, because the definitions I get incorrectly come back at the end so that I can be retested. I would advise students to do this at least twice and then move onto the test feature. This feature is great because it sets students up for how a test on these terms may be presented. Once students score at least 90% or above on three or more of these tests then I would allow them to move onto the fun features. This is how I would probably have the students try it the first couple of times, but then allow the students to study how they want by a month or so after using the app. Some students may find that flipping through flashcards isn’t enough of a challenge so they may skip that and go to the learn section. I would allow the student to have freedom on how they want to study with the app once they have become familiar with it.
In a classroom with computers or iPads in the back, this would be a great website to refer students to when they have completed their work. They can get a jump start on studying for upcoming tests, which will give them an advantage. Even with students in first through third grade who are still working on spelling may see this website as an advantage because of how it has a feature of saying the vocabulary word out loud and having you spell it. All in all, I think this is a great study tool and can be used to students’ advantage when it comes to studying for big unit tests.