People have been using flashcards as a revision aid for decades, but now it is time for learners to step away from their papers and pens, and move towards using internet-based flashcards instead. But why step away from a tried and tested method, and put your faith in something new? The reason that you should give it a go is that there are a number of important reasons why online flashcard systems, such as that which is provided by Cardkiwi, are better than the old-fashioned pen and paper method.
One of the reasons why Cardkiwi is so effective is because it utilizes a memory building technique known as spaced repetition. Numerous studies (Spitzer: 1939, Cepeda et al: 2008,) into human memory have shown that memory retention can be improved by spacing out your exposure to information, so that you review the information again at the optimal moment. Whilst pen and paper flashcards allow you to space out your exposure to new material, working out when would be the best time to look at the material again could be a waste of your time. Clever algorithms used by online flashcard systems mean that the flashcard app will know when to show you each flashcard for maximum effect. By allowing you to rate your understanding/memory of each specific card, the Cardkiwi app will start to show you the cards that you have a better understanding of less frequently, and the cards that you don’t understand yet, more frequently! For more information on spaced repetition, take a look HERE.
Cardkiwi also allows you the opportunity to share your flashcards with others so that you can build your knowledge with collaborative learning strategies. You can share your cards with anyone else in the world, without having to hand copy them out and send them over, and your friends can also share their flashcards with you. This can help you to develop a whole new perspective on the material that you are trying to learn. "I need flashcards for 10 chapters in my biology book. If I invite 9 friends to collaborate with me, I only have to do 10 % of the work. Amazing!"
Cardkiwi will also keep your flashcards safe, in the right category and out of the way, so that they are not cluttering up your desk or bag. You can create hundreds of different sets of flashcards on Cardkiwi without having to worry about getting them mixed up or running out of drawer space to keep them all in. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about wasting paper, because all of your flashcards are displayed on a computer screen.
With so many great reasons to try using flashcards online, it would be foolish not to take the opportunity to try out this new method of learning. When you consider that Cardkiwi is free to use and always will be free to use, there is nothing standing in your way.
cross-posted on A Principal's Reflections
Eric Sheninger is a NASSP Digital Principal Award winner (2012), PDK Emerging Leader Award recipient (2012), winner of Learning Forward's Excellence in Professional Practice Award (2012) and co-author of Communicating and Connecting With Social Media: Essentials for Principals and What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Science. He presents and speaks nationally to assist other school leaders in effectively using technology. His blog, A Principal's Reflections, was selected as Best School Administrator Blog in 2011 by Edublogs.