Do you ever discover something new and think “where has that been all my life?”. Well, that’s how I feel about Quizlet. Quizlet is a website where you can make flashcards and then “flip” through them like you would in real life, practice spelling the words, or take quizzes over the terms/words. You can also search Quizlet to look for flashcard sets that have already been made and use those as well.
This coming Saturday I will be taking the PRAXIS (a standardized test that educators have to take) to get my library media certification. While trying to find materials to study I stumbled across Quizlet – there were some flashcards already made that cover some of the material for this specific PRAXIS test so I’ve been using those flashcards to study. I also created my own set over the Dewey Decimal System so you could see what they look like (go here to see them on the website rather than just the screenshots below):
It’s really easy to create the flashcards – put the term on the left and the answer on the right. I’m not sure if or what the limit is on the number of terms you can use, but one of the sets I’ve been using to study has 130 cards so you can do a lot.
Once your flashcards are made (and you do have to sign up for Quizlet, by the way, but it’s free), this is what you will see. If the cards have been used by lots of people, there will be some statistics on the right hand side that tell you the most missed words, high scores, etc.
Right now (on this screen), you see the term and the definition on the same side of the card and you can just click through each card.
Then just click the arrow to go to the next card.
There are several practice activities and game you can use.
The first one is called Speller. The computer reads you the word and has the definition out to the side; you have to type the term into the box. This is helpful if you are practicing getting the spelling correct, but can be a bit frustrating if spelling isn’t your goal for learning this material (for me, the test will be multiple choice so it’s more important that I know the concepts than how to spell the words….like the Mildred A. Batchelder Award, for example)
So it’s a pretty cool website, right? I thought so, and when I was telling my supervising librarian at my practicum about it she informed me that you can also get Quizlet apps! How cool! I investigated that a little bit and found out that Quizlet doesn’t actually make an app, but there are tons of apps out there that are flashcard apps where you can download and use flashcards that have already been made in Quizlet. To see a full list of apps that can do this, go here.
The app that I chose was A+ Pro. It’s usually $4.99 but it’s free right now (so go download it if you want it asap!). It wasn’t 100% intuitive to use – I had to mess around with it a little, but once I got it I thought it was pretty easy to use.
I forgot to take a screenshot, but when you first open the app, it will say default at the top and automatically show some of the built in flashcards that are already downloaded (SAT prep words, I think) – it will look just like the following picture, just with “default” instead of “PRAXIS”. You can add categories, so I created one called PRAXIS for all my study cards.
To add flashcards (either to “default” or to a category you have created) you tap the “+” in the top left corner. You should see this box. You can either create a set, import from iTunes (I’m not sure what you would import…) or import from Quizlet.
I tried searching by subject but a ton of options came up for Dewey Decimal and I couldn’t tell which ones were my cards (I could have just clicked on each one to see, but I didn’t want to hassle with that).
I personally only put them into two categories: Know or Don’t Know (I only put that one card into “Not Sure” so that you could see what it looked like). Once you have gone through the flashcards completely and start over, they only show you the ones that you put in the “Don’t Know” bin and leave out the ones you put in the “Know” pile. I like that because you don’t have to keep going over the ones you know over and over and can concentrate on the ones you’re missing.
Let me tell you, finding out about Quizlet was cool, but finding out about being able to use Quizlet via an app (A+ Pro like I’ve shown here, or the many other choices that can also use Quizlet) was awesome! Before finding this out I made a set of flashcards to use to study for the PRAXIS. Yesterday I tried to review them while walking on the treadmill and it was doable, but difficult. I was so afraid that I would drop them and they would hit the moving treadmill belt and go flying. After finding out about A+ Pro and downloading some of the study sets I had found on Quizlet, I tried using it tonight while on the elliptical (which would be even harder to use the physical flashcards on because of all the bouncing!) and it worked great! I only had to use one hand (so the other was free to steady myself so I didn’t fall off – I’m not the most coordinated person ever) and there was no worry about dropping the cards everywhere. Also, with the touch of my finger I could categorize them as ones I had mastered and ones I still needed to work on. That info is stored for when I want to go back and work on them later – no worry about getting my piles mixed up!
Still not sold? Think it’s cool but not sure how it applies to you? Here are just a few ideas of how to use these:
(note: when I mention teachers or students, please realize that this can also be applied to homeschooling parents/kids or parents wanting to give their kids extra practice – I just don’t want to write “teacher/student or parent/child” a million times)
- Have students create their own flashcards in Quizlet, then use any of the review tools/games (except the spelling one, unless they are working on spelling and vocabulary) to study their terms
- Create a set of flashcards in Quizlet over a topic you are teaching, direct students to the link, and let them choose which of the methods of study they want to use
- Create a set of flashcards over a topic you are teaching and post on your website or send an email to parents with the link which they can then use for extra practice for their children at home (either on the computer or on their iPhone/iPad/iPod with one of the compatible apps)
- How handy for parents would it be to either have your child create their own flashcards, or create a set for them (depending on age) over whatever they are studying at the time (vocab words, states and capitols, etc.) and then just hand them your iPhone/IPod/IPad and let them practice.
- Use the many flashcards already created in Quizlet (or make your own) to differentiate instruction for your students (this is especially easy if you have a set of iPods in your school or classroom that you have access to) – each student can be working on flashcards but they could be working on different topics based on their weaknesses. This is a great RTI tool.
- Use it to create flashcards over Bible people, places, things, and facts for kids to study. I grew up going to Bible Bowl each year where we studied a book or books from the Bible and then participated in a competition – this would be awesome to use to study the facts!
- High school and college students could use it to independently make flashcards. I made a million flashcards for my British Lit class in college – this would have been much easier, more convenient, less bulky, and less wasteful if I’d had this app back then.
- Study groups could divide up topics/chapters with each student responsible for making a set of flashcards on Quizlet for a certain section, then each member of the group could access and download all of them to study – that way you don’t have to make all of your flashcards yourself.
- As an adult, use them to help you memorize something. Mandy at Biblical Homemaking is working to memorize different scriptures each month this year (which is an awesome goal – our kids memorize tons of verses but I feel like we don’t do that as adults very much) – create a set of flashcards with the memory verses on them and practice while you’re waiting in line at the grocery.
Whew, this was a long post! If you’re still with me, thanks for sticking around! I hope you’ve found this information useful – I really think these are great tools for teachers, parents, students, anyone who works with kids, and even just adults who want to learn new things. If you think of some other great ways to use Quizlet or A+ Pro, please leave a comment and share with the rest of us.
Linking up to Works for Me Wednesday.