Did you know that flash cards have been a proven learning tool in the United States for more than 200 years?
Their longevity is due to the fact that they work, and well. A flash card contains a cue, word, question or problem on one side, and the answer on the other. Flashed in front of the learner, one at a time, the cards prompt the student to answer quickly.This process makes the information more readily committed to memory. In fact, today there are even flashcard apps available for smartphones.
So, how do flash cards specifically help a student learn? Here are five ways:
1. According to education platform Brainscape, flashcards engage, “active recall,” or trying to remember the answer to the question or problem on the card. This method has proven to be better than reading information in a book because it engages your brain in remembering the answer, rather than simply looking at it.
2. Flashcards utilize your metacognitive faculties. Metacognition is understanding your own thought processes. When you look at the answer side of your flashcard, you brain is checking to see if you had it correct. It’s a self-reflection that helps you remember better, says Brainscape.
3. Flashcards allow for confidence-based repetition. This means that you can separate the cards you know from those you don’t to make your learning process more productive. You can’t do that with a book. You can then more easily spend more time studying the cards whose answers you don’t know, improving your learning, adds Brainscape.
4. Flashcards allow for drilling. Flashcards make it easier for the student to see the same information over and over again. Repetition has long been known to boost memorization, says Parent24.
5. Flashcards are efficient. Used by all ages, from preschoolers to college students, and even adults, flashcards are portable and can be employed for basically any subject, from math to science, English, foreign languages and much more, notes classroom.synonym.com.
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