More variations on flashcards are possible thanks to both online and offline tools. The very process of creating flashcards helps students remember words, definitions, and spellings. If a model sentence is included for each key word, then usage is also better understood and remembered. What I like seeing today is the use of multimedia, and in particular the use of images. Here are just three possibilities:
- PowerPoint presentations allow the coupling of text and images as well as text and music. File sharing would allow students to view one another’s slideshows. Instead of traditional 2-sided flashcards, consider having students create sets of 4 slides per word: (1) an image that evokes the key word, (2) key word, (3) definition, (4) model sentence. The sequence is logical for a self-check: What word do you associate with the picture? > How do you spell that word? > What’s the definition of that word? > Can you use the word in a sentence?
- Blog posts allow for a one-page collection of media for a set of words. Take for example this student’s post on collocations. I like the emphasis being on the use of phrases rather than single words. Blog posts allow viewers to comment and correct, and the study of vocabulary becomes a collective effort.
- Voicethread is a tool I’d like to experiment more with. If you’re in need of a quick tutorial, click here for one offered by Radford University. I see possibilities for vocabulary study using Voicethread. Do you? Perhaps you already have used Voicethread for this purpose. If so, what was your approach? I can see a collection of images selected and published by the teacher. One option is to have students post audio, video, or text comments using one of the assigned key words from a lesson. A second option is for the teacher to post a question or set of questions that use target vocabulary. Students would be asked to post their answers.