Virtual Flashcards in a Flash

You know I love sharing groundbreaking, game-changing, high-tech resources, but technology is not always like that. Sometimes online resources are really just tech versions of a traditional learning tool (like flashcards), and that’s what I want to share with you today.

With final exams coming up, I was looking for a way to help my beginners in the intensive English program study their vocabulary. I realize that memorization has fallen out of favor in educational circles, but I have always found flashcards to be really helpful, so I set out to find a way to make flashcards online. What I found was the Flashcard Machine.

Once you register for a free account on the Flashcard Machine website, you can easily create sets of flashcards. For my cards, I put the word on one side and the definition and a picture on the back. It really didn’t take much time at all. Then you can choose to make each set of flashcards public or private. I made my first set private and simply shared the link with my students so that they could access the flashcards at home. At home, students can view the cards in two formats, either as a study session or as a multiple choice quiz.

If students create their own accounts, they have the ability to select other options when studying, such as the 4D option. I love this feature because while students are studying the cards, they rate how well they know the definition and based on that, the program determines when the card will be shown again. For example, if I feel solid on the definition of a word and rate it as “Knew it,” the program will not show it to me for a long time, whereas a definition that I rate as “Don’t know” will come up again soon. This is really how vocabulary should be practiced and something that’s hard to do without computer assistance.

Flashcard Machine is free and easy to use, so I highly recommend that you try it out with your students. Instead of reinventing the wheel, the site simply streamlines the flashcard making process. You can make one set of virtual flashcards and share them with all your students instead of having only one classroom set to go around. Additionally, they never wear out or get lost, and students could even make their own sets. Start making cards today and you could be using them in class tomorrow!

About Tara Arntsen

Tara Arntsen
Tara Arntsen recently completed her Master's degree in Teaching-TESOL at the University of Southern California. She currently teaches in the Intensive English Program at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She has taught ESOL in China, Japan, and Cambodia as well as online. Her primary interests are communicative teaching methods and the use of technology in education.
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2 Responses to Virtual Flashcards in a Flash

  1. Sadam Hussain chopar says:

    Here we are to get updates about English Language.. Here in Afghanistan it is so hard to find something useful for the classes and some meaningful students centered ideas are needed…

    • Tara Arntsen Tara Arntsen says:

      Thank you for the comment, Sadam! I think finding materials is something that many teachers struggle with but I hope that these posts are helpful for you.

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