Studying with flash cards is decidedly old school. Sure, it’s inexpensive. Yes, it’s highly effective. Of course, it’s boring. How about taking something old but tried and true, and giving it a digital twist for the 21st century.
There’s nothing like cramming facts into your head but now you can do it using flash cards for your Mac or iPhone or iPad. That’s what a number of teachers and students in my school are into. Digital flash cards.
Flash Cards Of Yesteryear
Our school is as modern as it gets. We have hundreds and hundreds of Macs and PCs, dozens of iPads, and nearly every learning aid or teaching aid (there’s a difference) known to higher education.
Still, there’s an old fashioned way to cram facts and figures into a child’s brain.
Flash cards. You know how it works. A question or problem on one side of the card, with the answer or solution on the back side of the card.
Then, one by one, you study the questions, give the answers, check the back of the card for confirmation or correction. It’s an analog way to learn but it works. Is there an easier way to create and use flash cards in education? Yes.
Digital Flash Cards, Digital Tools
Macs are everywhere in education. iPhones and iPod touch and iPads are showing up in education, too, and that sets the groundwork for digital flash cards that are easy to create, quick to modify, easy to use. Perfect for teachers and students.
Mental Case is our current flash card diva app. Create flash cards on your Mac’s screen. Drag and drop graphic elements into a card. Enter text for each card. Or, download cards from The Flashcard Exchange and import directly into Mental Case.
Analog (made of trees) flash cards are handy and mobile, but tedious to make, and virtually impossible to tweak, adjust, correct. Digital flash cards are easier to make in Mental Case, simple to tweak, adjust, correct, and very inexpensive to distribute.
Assuming that users have a Mac, iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. Cards can be rearranged with ease. Lessons can be created to run as themed slide shows in Mental Case—it’s like a marriage of Keynote and flash cards.
Mental Case syncs from the Mac to mobile devices via WiFi, not USB, so there’s no cable connection to worry about (you’ll need to be on the same network).
Mental Case flash cards can be exported as images and a PDF and shared via DropBox or MobileMe.
Though somewhat limited, you can create new flash cards and sets using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The Mental Case user interface on remote devices utilizes drag and drop to rearrange cards in a specific order.
There’s not much to not like about Mental Case other than it’s very much an Apple device solution—create on the Mac, sync to iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, export PDFs.