What is a flashcard? To put simply, a flashcard is a card that has a cue or hint on one side and a corresponding answer on the other. The cue can be a question, an image, or just one word that prompts or triggers an anticipated response. Anything that can be studied in a “question and answer” format can be turned into a flashcard.
By the 1930s, the Oxford English Dictionary had made the word “flashcard” official. The learning tool started gaining so much educational and cultural traction that during the post-World War II years, companies like Milton Bradley started selling flashcards.
Soon flashcards became a key part of everyone’s education. The ability to flip back and forth between the card with self-quizzing made learning more fun than the times when students struggled to memorize long, printed text.
But then came the dot com boom in late 90’s and early 2000’s. And suddenly everything offline started migrating to online. Digital evolution hasn’t eliminated the resourcefulness of flashcards, it has upgraded new functionalities to the age-old method.
Today, digital flashcards are a great learning tool, especially for mobile learning. Employees can use their mobile phones or tablets to upskill themselves in a more enchanting style using flashcard apps. You can now make your own presentations and decks in a way that is both appealing as well as informative.
The high-tech algorithms embedded in these flashcard apps optimize your learning like never before. A digital flashcard is an impactful micro-learning tool that especially helps frontline workers learn at any hour of the day. Through digital flashcards, you can keep them updated about new processes and changes happening in their industry.
This is the digital version of the conventional flashcard we have always known since ages — what you see is a question which flips into answer soon as you tap it. Such classic flashcards have been known to aid in memory recollection.
If I show you the image of Eiffel Tower, what’s the first thing that will come to your mind after seeing the photo? Of course, the name Eiffel Tower, right? And well, you could also go on to extrapolate and say how the monument is the pride of France, and that it was named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. This kind of image and text flashcard works great for visual learners.
It’s not just the image that can be paired with the text (as shown above), digital flashcards could also come blended as text and video. So if you are reading text content on how Rutherford tried to find out the structure of an atom, and then you see a supportive video depicting his famous gold foil experiment, your mind is consuming the text and video format digital flashcard. And it works great!
Probably the favorite pick among the four to many, such type of digital flashcards are a fad. Most of the websites have such click and reveal flashcard feature ingrained even on their product pages (for the simple reason that they look visually interactive, gamified and engaging). Here’s how such an interactive digital flashcard typically looks like:
Do you remember every single fact you’ve read in a text book? Most probably not! That is because when we read through something passively, our brains are not forced to think. Whereas, when we have to answer questions, our brains have no choice but to take one or other action. In using digital flashcards, our brains are kept constantly stimulated to actively recall information. This way the information is stored in our memories for a longer time.
Learning experts say active recall is one of the most powerful study strategies ever discovered. Because you are attempting to remember the concept from scratch, active recall has been proven to create stronger neuron connections for a particular memory topic. And our brain can more easily retain that topic.
Scholars agree unanimously that when it comes to long-term memory retention, the process of repeated testing or active recall works far better than repeated studying or passive review. So keep quizzing yourself if you want to achieve your academic goals! This is also the reason why popular gamified learning platforms frequently use quizzes and polls during and after the learning sessions.
Just like active recall, metacognitive processes have been proven to enhance long-term learning in human beings. Digital flashcards facilitate metacognitive faculties in our brain. But what does it mean?
When you try to unveil the answer side of a flashcard, you are mainly telling yourself “let me see how did my answer compare with this correct answer.” On that particular spur of the moment, you are curiously thinking “How well did I know (or not know) this answer?” This apparent act of self-reflection is known as metacognition. Studies all around the world have shown that metacognition helps ingrain memories deeper into the human brain.
When you use digital flashcards, you are testing your own learning. The question is, are people going to stop using traditional flashcards any time soon? Well, technological advancements in the digital world could only make flashcards much more optimized and resourceful coming days. The relevance of flashcards is far from over. Keep your workforce engaged with Disprz as they learn new concepts using colourful, captivating, and interactive flashcards.
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