Quizlet has more than just flashcards, but they already have sets like this food/drink group made for your use. For what it’s worth, there are aps out there for Spanish flashcards for your phone etc.
Open Study is a platform that allows students to seek and give help from/to each other. It doesn’t look like we have a spot for Spanish yet, but there’s an open part. Find a friend somewhere, anywhere in the world to work with! Technology at its best.
I sometimes hear the Radiolab program on NPR in the evening. Tonight I was listening to one about sleep and what happens in the brain when we are sleeping. Check it out!
They have one on memory which seems neat too.
These topics have to do with some insights into retaining information that we feel we work hard to get into our brains. Maybe a little more understanding of the areas will help us sleep more and remember more?
Check out this free site to work with mind maps (like the ones we’ve built in class):
These articles are aimed at parents in terms of helping kids get organized and do better in school, but at high school students’ ages, there’s still plenty to glean from these sites and their ideas. Check out:
Do you ever wonder if you spend too much time online or find that multitasking makes homework feel like it takes forever? Do you end up getting less sleep because you’re texting, chatting or surfing or because you find that your brain can’t seem to shut itself down for the night?
The NY Times has an entire series devoted to such topics called “Your Brain on Computers.” In An Ugly Toll of Technology: Impatience and Forgetfulness, a Dr. Kimberly Young is referenced for comparing net addiction to eating disorders. Even adults are at risk for various problems involving our ability to parent and nurture as is highlighted by The Risks of Parenting while Plugged in –there was a comparison between said addiction and alcoholism the way a parent might say to an objecting son/daughter “just one more text” while driving.
In Attached to Computers and Paying a Price, we read of families missing big business deals, family problems and lower grades. According to the article, “At home, people consume 12 hours of media a day on average, when an hour spent with, say, the Internet and TV simultaneously counts as two hours. That compares with five hours in 1960, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego.“
For what it’s worth, I think technology can be helpful for practicing Spanish and staying up to date on your progress at school. It’s even useful for contact between teachers, students and parents (at times). What I take away from the NY Times series is how essential boundaries are in terms of when/where my family and I are plugged in–there have to be concrete limits for us not to get lost and fragmented.
NB: Richtel also did the 2010 Pulitzer Prize Winning Driven to Distraction series about driving and devices. Check out the online game/simulation to test your driving/distractedness.
|Did you know that 50% of your memory ability is determined by your genetics?
Before you start feeling like you are doomed, remember that you have the power to affect the other 50% of your ability by practicing some smart memory techniques. Here are a few methods you can employ to remember names, lists, and more.
- Visceralize – You’ve probably heard of visualizing, right? Visceralizing means taking all of your senses and connecting it to information. Studies have shown that people remember more vividly information that comes to us in an emotionally aroused state. Linking feelings, senses and imagery to bland ideas makes them more real. You probably counted on your fingers when learning numbers, why can’t you do the same when you are learning now?
- Metaphor – The heart of holistic learning is relating things together. Metaphors are literary devices that link two things that normally don’t go together. Come up with metaphors to describe more complicated ideas in simpler terms.
- Ten Year Old Rule – Explain ideas to yourself as you would to a ten year old. Sure, this isn’t always possible in your last years of a medical degree or learning how to apply neural networks to computer AI. But the idea is that you should be able to “dumb down” an idea enough so it seems obvious to yourself.
- Trace Back – Put away your books and start with a random fact or concept. Then relate that idea to another concept in your subject. Keep doing this tracing pattern until you’ve linked many ideas together. The Gupta Dynasty reminds you of ancient Greece which reminds you of Socrates, reminding you of Confucius…
- Refresher Scan – Scan through information in your text book. Notice whenever you encounter information that you either don’t remember or weren’t 100% sure about. Quickly link that information back to existing ideas through viscerlization and metaphor. If your refresher scan is turning up more than a few points per chapter, you haven’t learned it thoroughly enough.
- Compress Information – Not all information works well for holistic learning. A common point cited to me is learning anatomy for first year medical students. Anatomy involves learning arbitrary Latin names for hundreds of different elements of your body. There often aren’t clear patterns and constructs, just a dry list of facts. When encountering information such as this, your goal should be to compress it. Find ways to group information into smaller chunks of memory through pictures or mnemonics.
- Write – Take a piece of paper and write out the connections in the information. Reorganize the information into different patterns. The key here is the writing, not the final product. So don’t waste your time making a pretty picture. Scribble and use abbreviations to link the ideas together.
Scott Young is a blogger on learning, productivity and habits. You can check out his website here. If you want to learn more about Holistic Learning, download his free e-book: Holistic Learning: How to Study Better, Learn More and Actually “Get” What You Want to Learn.