October 1, 2017 (Vol. 37, No. 17)
Strong Points: Good help tutorials, multiple “facets” per note
Weak Points: None
Free (in-app purchases)
The Studies app provides a high-tech (and admittedly very nifty) alternative to flashcards that’s sure to thrill learners at all levels. (Students these days are so spoiled—when I was their age, I had to make my flashcards by hand…) Users enter information into individual “notes” that, unlike physical flashcards, can consist or more than two sides (or “facets,” as they’re referred to in the app). For example, a note for a particular chemical may consist of the chemical’s name, a picture of its 2D chemical structure, and a description of its function in a chemical reaction. Each of these facets may then be used as the prompt when the card pops up during study mode. Notes can be organized into stacks and into even larger groups. In terms of actually studying the information, the app schedules particular notes for study based on the principle of spaced repetition, an evidence-based best practice for long-term learning. So, students can rest assured that they’re studying optimally.