Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flash Cards (follow up)

So, it's been about a month now that I've been integrating flash cards into my CCNA studies in a big way. I wanted to give a bit of an update about my thoughts and usage of the the 2 tools I wrote about previously, and Mental Case for Iphone/Ipad. I'll start with Quizlet then a brief note on Mental Case.

I have found this to be my main go to app for recording notes. Mental Case has the functionality, but Quizlet is just to accessible to use anything else. Bare in mind Mental Case is much fancier than Quizlet's simple tems and definition approach. Of course, you can add audio and video to Quizlet flash cards, but its a much more cumbersome process than just terms and definitions. Usually, I can read through a chapter or watch a video and then once I'm labbing, take notes and write up the cards. Here is an example set I made on general switch commands:

I think their main target audience is more the language student as the format isn't completely natural for technical writing or shell type commands. With that said, the embedded text to speech engine (a small speaker icon appears next to ever term and definition) does a pretty good job of speaking the tech definitions I've accumulated.

There is also an interesting game (the most applicable of 3) I play from time to time, when I find I need a swtich from standard flash cards and still want to progress with learning the subject matter. It's called Scatter:

This game works much better with larger dimentions

All in all I think Quizlet is an extremely worthwhile service if your looking to create your own flash cards (or search from their database). So far I've created some 600 flash cards and am about 2/3rds through my studies.

As for Mental Case, I enjoy the app and its polished look, but find it sometimes difficult to navigate. Utilizing it solely as a front/back flash card app works fine, but the app;s study feature benifits have so far eluded me. I suppose I would like a little less polish and a little more customization / functionality in the app, both on the Ipad and Iphone. With that said, I still think its the top flash card study app at this point.

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