Monday, November 25, 2013

If you haven't played with Quizlet 如果您还没试Quizlet

I knew Quizlet long time ago, seven years ago, when I was still in graduate school, in my language teaching method class.  Compared what we have now, it was like stone-age seven years ago.  There was no smart phone, no tablet, and no cloud.  Laptops were not quite common yet.  Computer-based learning tools, at least in my eyes at that time, were really just entertaining novelty, used to attract some brief attention from students.  Quizlet was no exception.  It sounded like an interesting idea to generate a test using web-based template (that might save you some time), have students take a test online, and learn the result immediately.  However, I couldn't see what the fuss was about.  It didn't look too different from writing a test on a piece of paper and having someone take it.

But the landscape of learning has changed dramatically.  So has Quizlet.  What brought Quizlet back to my attention is not that it had been mentioned many times at various workshops.  The reason why I started to look into Quizlet more is that one student of mine, who had a few challenges this year including organization issues, uses this website to create his vocabulary flashcards.  Making flashcard is rated, among my 51 students this school year, one of the most helpful homework assignments.  My jaw slightly dropped when I learned that because it is such a tedious task.  However, storage of flashcards is not easy for high school students, considering all the learning materials they have, binders, notes, notecards, and etc.  Quizlet apparently stands out as a solution to this problem.  It is also possible that at least for one student Quizlet makes this assignment less tedious.

Moreover, Quizlet itself has evolved.  It is no longer a website tool to generate multiple-choice quizzes.  It actually becomes an application that enables us to create full-scale comprehensive learning kits and provides us with web space for storage.  You can put flashcards, images (visual), pronunciation (audio), games, tests, and so on in this kit.  There are so many easy-to-use-with-easy-to-follow-instruction functions and/or resouces.  Just name a few here I found helpful, copying and printing the set you create (could be a test, a set of vocabulary list, or both), importing list (word or excel) you already made, choosing input from pinyin or characters, and exporting the link.  Most importantly, you have options between a free account, which you can do a lot with, and a $25-per-year teacher account, which is a small fee considering buying a resource book.  And yes, your guess is right; Quizlet has tons of resources created by other users, more than 5000 Chinese lessons, not just lessons on basics but lessons with specific tests (HSK, AP) or textbooks (Chinese Link, Integrated Chinese) in mind.  You don't even have to create a new account (one more thing likely we forget).  You can sign up simply with your Goolge or Facebook account.  I haven't played with this new toy yet, but I am pretty sure i will.

早在七年前, 读硕士生语言教法时, 我就知道了Quizlet这个网站。当时的教学环境和现在比起来完全是石器时代。那时没有智能手机,平板电脑,手提电脑都还是很不寻常的电子产品。 所以当时我并不觉得网络工具有多大用途,不过是些娱乐性的新玩艺用来吸引一下学生的注意力。


Quizlet本身已经从专做小考试题的网络模版变成了制作储存全套学习资料的全方位网络工具。用Quizlet可以做生词卡,考试, 练习小游戏,可以放图片,录音。Quizlet本身简单易用,每个功能还有简明的操作指导。本人觉得极有用的一个功能是将现成的表格直接转入变成可分享的网上资源链接。你不用建立新户名,可以用谷歌还是脸书账户注册Quizlet的免费账户或者付一年25美金升级为教师账户。25美金比起买其他教具是个小数目。Quizlet上还有其他用户制作的5000多个课件,这些课件并不只是简单词汇表,而是根据汉语水平考试,ap考试,中文天地等标准化考试和常用教科书编写的。当然我自己还没有仔细揣摩每一个功能,不过我相信一定会找到自己觉得最有用最顺手的一个。

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