When considering a technological trend for studying, pay attention to these important criteria:
- Multiple Review Modes
- Centralized location
App Spotlight: StudyBlue
StudyBlue can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store or Android Google Play. You can upgrade to StudyBlue Pro with no ads and advanced study features for $4.00 per month. Both the free and pro versions can make a huge difference in your child’s study habits, and we would recommend sticking with the free version since it’s got all of the useful features for no cost.
For the disorganized student, the StudyBlue app can help initiate and focus the studying process toward mastery of the content while keeping materials organized and available.
Why it’s important: When it comes to studying, you never know when you might have a few free minutes to review the material. Students might have time during study hall or in between the end of the school day and sports practice to brush up on the vocabulary for tomorrow’s test. If notecards get scattered throughout a backpack or study sheets are left at home, valuable time can be wasted.
How the app can help: StudyBlue is readily accessible online, on the iPad, or on a student’s Apple or Android smartphone.
StudyBlue uses technology that most students have at their fingertips. Using flashcards is a tried-and-true study tool, but it can get jumbled. Cards can easily get lost, pile up and lose any sense of organization, or become crumbled and cumbersome to carry around. Having the appropriate materials available anywhere and everywhere allows students to make the most of their study time.
Why it’s important: The more ways you interact with a concept, the easier it will be for you to remember it. While studying, if you write out a concept and can both hear and see it as well, the chances of you remembering it later are much greater.
How the app can help: The app allows students to create original decks of flashcards or study from thousands of decks already created by other students at their school or university. When creating a card, you can customize the text using color and style. Color can be used to distinguish the definition from examples, for instance. There is even an option that brings up a variety of symbols so that entering math formulas is a cinch.
One of the most unique features of the app is that it is possible to add an image that represents the definition in addition to a sound recording to each card. This way, they are simple to customize for any subject. If you are studying composers and the music they created or a foreign language, adding sound to a card can really help. If you have to know artists and the paintings they made or want to have a visual image in your mind to help cue your memory as to the meaning of a word, adding a picture is a great option.
Multiple Review Modes
Why it’s important: Studying can get tedious and inefficient. Students may waste time going over information that they already know or lose interest and quickly flip through flashcards without regard to learning the material. Having options to encourage active studying and track progress can maximize the benefits of using flashcards as a study tool.
How the app can help: StudyBlue will track your study habits so that you can review a concept on various settings, either in order, random, least studied, or hardest to easiest. You can quiz yourself by flipping the cards and indicating whether you answered correctly or incorrectly, taking a multiple choice, true and false, or fill-in-the-blank test, or creating a review sheet. After, the app gives you a score and estimates your mastery of the concept as it shows how many you studied and breaks down the number of right and wrong.
To go along with all of these useful review features, you can even set a study reminder via text, Facebook, or e-mail anywhere from 15 minutes to 48 hours into the future so that you don’t forget about your review time.
Why it’s important: Assessments involve a compilation of learned material, which can make for a disorganized mess. Students might have class notes, readings, and vocabulary cards that contain all of the information needed for studying scattered throughout a bedroom, locker, binders, or backpack. A lot of time can be wasted looking for what to study instead of learning the material!
How the app can help: StudyBlue allows students to create their own “digital backpack” that contains a neat listing of all of their classes and materials. Not only can sets of flashcards be stored and sorted into appropriate categories, but also notes and other class materials can be uploaded and stored a long with them. The best part is that they will never go missing or get ruined since they are always securely backed up online.
If you enter the app store armed with the knowledge of what standards are important for a worthwhile download when it comes to studying, the learning outcomes can increase significantly.
For more information about the StudyBlue app, visit www.studyblue.com.