Friday, August 2, 2019

"Smart" flashcards to learn students names and to teach vocabulary

This month, I began using anki “smart” flashcards to memorize student names  and it has been really helpful.  I also put up the glossary of my textbook on anki cards to help students learn the vocabulary of each chapter.  The anki software is free for computer (they charge if you want to put it on your phone or tablet.)

Here is how the cards work.  On the “front” is a photo of the student, and on the back where they work, job title, and name.  You look at the photo, then “turn it over” and push one of three buttons telling the program whether you got it wrong, whether you got it right, or whether you know it for sure.  Depending on your answers, and how frequently and recently you have seen the card, the built-in Artificial Intelligence of the smart cards will show the card again until you know it.  You see cards you don't know more frequently than those you do.  The program stops after it determines that I have reached my limit; apparently that is the best way to learn.   

I have never been able to learn students names, but this program changed that.  I have taught myself to invent mnemonic’s to help me learn faster.  This came naturally to me when I found myself missing the same names over and over. 

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