29 October 2010

Using Flashcards

I've been exploring a few of the online flashcard applications. (Braineos, BrainFlips, CoboCards, Cramberry, FunnelBrain, HeadMagnet, Memorize.com, Quizlet, and StudyStacks)

I found two sites that met my criteria: BrainFlips and Quizlet, though not completely.
  1. I wanted to find a site that would help with the practice of typing an author's name and title, with the correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.
  2. The flashcard set had to be accessible simply with a url, without the need to login.

BrainFlips has three ways to use a cardset to learn. Introductory, where the author and title are displayed side by side. Traditional, where the title is shown and the user thinks the
correct author, then flips for the author. The user selects whether their answer was correct or wrong. A scoreboard shows how the user is doing. With the Response mode the user types the answer (author) and is automatically scored. The scoreboard shows the results and amount of time used. The cards can be randomly shuffled and/or display cards incorrectly answered more frequently. The only problem was that the cards could not be reversed from title, then author or shuffled between t/a and a/t. So I ended up creating two cardsets, one for authors and another for titles.

Quizlet has flashcards similar to the Introductory and Traditional modes of BrainFlip without the scoring.

With the Study: Learn selection the user types the answer and can set how to score (punc
tuation, capitalization, spelling count). With Study: Test the user can select how many types of questions
(short answer, multiple choice, matching, or T/F), how to score answers, and whether to test for A, T, or both. There are also two games. The study: test optionv can be set up per my criteria, however, the problem is that the user has to do it. Here's the cardset I created.

I ended up using BrainFlips.

19 October 2010

Digital Books for Digital Students

I just attended a webinar, eBooks and Audiobooks for K-12 Schools, sponsored by OverDrive. Their School Download Library service was explained and demonstrated. The service includes eBooks, audiobooks, video, and music, though, you can select the type of content you want. Two models were explained: One student at a time (content purchased) or Unlimited, simultaneous use (content by subscription). Or a combination.

OverDrive customizes a remote website for your needs with selections from 300,000 titles with use options like burn-to-cd, print, read-out-loud, transfer to portable devices, and access from mobile devices. You can also upload your own content, anything that is available in a word document. Training is included as well as MARC records.

As for cost... the unlimited model is based upon student enrollment. The figure that was mentioned was up to 2,000 students, about $4,000/year. Sounds costly for a small school or district, however, about 50% of the subscription cost includes content credit to purchase titles and begin developing a digital collection. Other costs mentioned were about $10 for an ebook and $35 for audiobooks. I'm sure that cost for one time use would be much less and you can probably set up cost parameters.

I would recommend this webinar if you're interested in adding digital content to your collection. The webinar isn't archived, however, additional webinars will be offered in November. Check out the OverDrive website or schedule a private demo.

07 October 2010

K12 Online Conference

October 11th - pre-conference keynote -Dean Shareski
October 18th - 22nd - Week 1's strands - Leading the Change and Student Voices
October 25th - 29th - Week 2's strands - Week in the Classroom and Kicking it Up a Notch
October 29th - Closing keynote - David Warlick

This is a free online conference with over 40 presentations. During the conference dates you participate by downloading the presenter's content or viewing it online, reviewing it, and then posting feedback or comments. K12Online's Ning is the conference conversation hub. If you are new, please refer to the GETTING STARTED page. The wiki provides information for participants as well as presenters. The blog provides news and announcements.

Check out the schedule, presentors, and teaser videos to help you select the presentations for your own professional development. If you can't participate during the conference, have no fear. Everything is archived!