Forward Thinking for the Over Fifties Like Me

By Stephen Taylor
Science Department
Delaware Technical Community College
George Campus

Do you think that teaching is all about standing at the front of a class telling them how it is?

Do your technical skills stop with working an Elmo projector or a Betamax video?

Do you have gray hairs – come on really do you (salt and pepper counts too)?

I’m not saying that you’re old or behind the times, but, come on – a Betamax!

This little article is your path to eternal youth, well almost. I’m going to tell you all about something called Quizlet.  It’s on the inter-web, where the email comes from, you know – the AARP website, everything starts with “www”?  I know – AOL – yes that’s it!  Well these days there are lots of exciting sites on the web and some educational ones too!  Quizlet is both educational and a little exciting too.

So, make a nice cup of hot chocolate and put your favorite blanket on your lap and let’s talk Quizlet.

What the heck is this button supposed to do?

Students love flashcards, you love quizzes–and Quizlet is all about both.  Quizlet is a neat educational tool that will help you and your students generate:

  • Flashcards
  • Learn mode quizzes, in which students are given an image to identify using correctly spelled words
  • Speller: where students write what they hear
  • Tests: these have written, matching, multiple choice, and true/false questions.

The great thing about Quizlet is that it has a massive amount of questions, answers, images, and sounds already available for you to select and use. Did I mention that the basic version is free?

I have just given Quizlet a test drive and created what they call a Study Set to quiz students about the bones of the axial skeleton – the head, chest, and back. Quizlet is very simple to use.  I just added the name of the bone to one textbox and a description of the bone to another. I clicked on the image button and was offered several high-quality images of my named bone to choose from.

Within a couple of minutes, not only did I have ten flashcards but I had all the variations I mentioned above.  Additionally, I got to play a game based on the old asteroids arcade game and my bones. Interweb heaven!

We’ve only touched a couple of Quizlet’s features. By paying around $20 (that’s two large packs of antacids or a month’s payment to Life Alert) they let you upload your own photos, check on class progress, record your own voice messages, and get rid of all those pesky ads for antacids, Life Alert, and comfortable shoes.

The great thing about Quizlet is that it makes things easy in the way they said that computers would do all those years ago when we were told that personal robots would be in every home by 1980.  It’s easy to setup and to deploy to classes, all the hard work is done unseen by the tiny hands of the Quizlet employees.

Try it, you’ll love it.

All you need is a computer with an interweb connection. Go to www.quizlet.com (ask your grandchildren for help).

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