Wednesday, 29 May 2013

There's An App For That: Brainscape

I have an iPhone and about once a week I spend a bit of time going through the App Store looking out for interesting or useful apps.

A couple of years ago, on my old iPhone, I had a nifty flash card app which I used for learning lines for the plays I was in as well as to help me revise for my OU exam. Naturally I tried to find it again to help me with my revision for my latest exam.

Unfortunately I couldn't remember what it was called, but I was able to find something better. Brainscape.

It's basically a flash card app, but it's got a little bit extra which means that it's a little bit more interactive which I think helps me learn.

It came pre-loaded with several sets of flash cards and I tested it out before I started filling in my own cards. The one I tested myself on was twenty Latin words and quickly realised that it was going to work for me.

So I've been making a set of cards for some of the topics I might write about in the exam. It's got a great system for checking how you are getting on.

Each flash card shows you the question that you've set, you then answer it and then reveal the answer. You then rate your answer on a scale of one to five. Each number has a colour so you can see your progress through the topic.

The aim is for the bar or pie chart to go completely blue, which indicates 'mastery'. It repeats any you're less confident of more frequently to help reinforce them.

Obviously it's not the only method I'm using for revision, but it's certainly helping me to remember the names for particular terms as well as to remember key points about characters and events in the texts I've been studying.

It also means that Mr Click can help me revise by asking me questions from the cards. In some ways I prefer it when he joins in because then he rates my answers for me, it seems a little more objective some how.

I'm still going to be using my old fall back revision strategy of mind maps and lists of key points but the flash card method works for me too, and Brainscape means that it's easily portable.

Do you have any revision strategies that you rely on? Has technology changed the way you revise?

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