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Digital study resources saving student grades

Natalie+Rhodes+%289%29+and+Abigail+Wagner+%289%29+study+for+a+government+test.+Natalie+is+using+Quizlet+to+review+court+cases+on+her+phone%2C+while+Abigail+reads+her+notes+from+class.+
Natalie Rhodes (9) and Abigail Wagner (9) study for a government test. Natalie is using Quizlet to review court cases on her phone, while Abigail reads her notes from class.

Natalie Rhodes (9) and Abigail Wagner (9) study for a government test. Natalie is using Quizlet to review court cases on her phone, while Abigail reads her notes from class.

Rena Modi

Rena Modi

Natalie Rhodes (9) and Abigail Wagner (9) study for a government test. Natalie is using Quizlet to review court cases on her phone, while Abigail reads her notes from class.

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It can be hard to retain information and get the most out of your study session. With these digital, easy to acquire resources, studying will be more efficient and lead to better grades on assessments. Studying is an important part of getting good grades and understanding information taught in the classroom. However, reviewing can be boring and, what many students consider studying, such as rereading textbooks and highlighting notes, is not as helpful as other options. There are many unique and interesting study tools available right at students’ fingertips. All of these tools can be quickly reached online, with many available on phones. 

Mind-mapping

Instead of mindlessly re-reading notes, it would be more beneficial to visually organize them. GoConqr, a studying website that also has a mobile version, knows the power of visual learning. The famed mind-mapping program’s information page states, “The human brain processes visual information quicker than it does text, which makes mind maps a fantastic study tool for learners at any level. By organizing information visually, it’s easier to understand tricky concepts and engage more with your learning.” This is especially useful when studying for unit assessments. The unit topic can be broken down visually into different categories with different sections. With so many notes and handouts given to students over the course of a unit, organizing them visually can help students see how material is connected, giving them a better chance of remembering information when testing time comes.  

Videos

Students who may not completely understand all aspects of material might want it explained to them, but don’t have time to talk to a teacher. Videos are another great resource that can be found in seconds. Khan Academy videos, which can be found on YouTube, consist of an off-screen narrator writing on a digital blackboard. This setup is very helpful for students wishing to study for math, as the work to solve sample problems is clearly shown and explained. The narrator also explains applicable formulas and other information. Khan Academy also has videos relating to science, coding, history, and college test preparation.  

While the lecture inspired videos are well liked by auditory learners, visual learners may find it hard to focus. The YouTube channel Crash Course is a well-received alternative. Started by Hank and John Green, of YouTube and young adult literature fame, the channel has series involving biology, physics, chemistry, psychology, world and US history/government, famous works of literature, theatre, computer science, and much more. The videos have a host who usually sits at a desk on a colorful set, explaining concepts relating to their area of expertise. Jokes, animated visuals, and charming hosts make this another great resource for students confused about, or just interested in, what they are learning in class. Like Khan Academy, a quick YouTube search, such as “Crash Course How a Bill Becomes a Law” will bring up results. Additionally, both video companies have websites where the videos are organized by course.  

Flash Cards

Many teenagers and adults alike struggle with memorization. Flash cards are a popular, time-tested tool, but making many is time-consuming and can waste paper. Luckily, there are several digital flashcard websites and applications that allow users to review anywhere they have internet access. Quizlet one of the most well-known, is very popular with Patterson Mill students and teachers. Frau Consola occasionally assigns Quizlet reviews for her students. She says “[the students enjoy it] because it combines learning with fun and provides immediate feedback.” Users of Quizlet can create study sets of flashcards and go over the terms and information to help with memorization. Additionally, the site has testing, spelling, and matching features that can be used with study sets. Recently, a new feature titled “learn” was added. With “learn,” the student starts out matching a definition to one of four terms. As the student becomes better, they are expected to type the term in with no hints or options. If they make a mistake, the site encourages them to type the word several times until it is remembered.  

While Quizlet is very beneficial for standard assessments, Exam Vocabulary Builder, available on the App Store, is a great tool for preparing for the SAT. The app comes with many challenging words commonly found on the SAT. A statistics page allows one to track their progress and any types of words they miss. Hands-Free mode allows the user to study while driving or jogging. The vocabulary, grouped into verbs, adjectives, and nouns, includes two context sentences each. With a few minutes of flashcards every day before the assessment, students will surprise themselves with how well they recall information.  

Website Blockers

Even students who take advantage of the many tools available to them may struggle with what some argue is the hardest part of studying, actually doing it. Lilian Lee (9) admits, “Actually committing to going over information and not being distracted is hard.” With so many distractions and other things one could be doing, it can be hard to stay focused and not take a studying break that lasts for hours. The Cold

Turkey Blocker browser extension is a valuable resource for students who find themselves being tempted by the internet during study time. During time periods the user sets, the application will block certain websites, lock the user out of the computer, or even block the whole internet. When the user attempts to access a block website, a famous quote is displayed, hopefully motivating them to keep working. The makers have also released Cold Turkey Writer. A writer sets a goal, and the page is almost impossible to leave before meeting the established word goal. While not being a complete editing program, such as the highly rated Hemingway Editor, which reworks sentence structure, active/passive voice, and readability, Cold Turkey Writer is great for students who have trouble getting words down on the page for a first draft.  

While few are excited to study, it is an important aspect of a prepared, scholarly life. The resources mentioned are all options to make studying more productive and interactive. There are an abundance of tools available with a quick Google search that make the necessary task much easier.  

 

 

 

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Digital study resources saving student grades