Thursday, September 27, 2012

SAS Flash Card App: A New Favorite!

One of the things I wanted to use my iPad for was developing a way to learn my students names better.  In the past I have made flash cards on 3x5 index cards.  On one side I pasted (literally – think “glue stick”) a student’s picture and on the other I wrote the student’s name.  I then would quiz myself at the beginning of the term until I knew everyone’s name.  When you have 80 or so new names to learn you have to find a way to do that!
The SAS Flash Card App lets me take that system digital.  And, I love it!  I am able to take images from my iPad and create digital flash cards.  The SAS Flash Card App was super easy to use (be sure to start by reviewing the tutorial “deck” of cards that comes installed with the App).  The App lets you create four different types of cards: Multiple Choice, Fill-in The Blank, True / False, and Plain.  You can “practice” with any deck or take a “quiz” with any deck – and either of those can be done in a randomized order or a set order.  In the “quiz” mode you can set the number of cards you want to be quizzed on.  For example in a deck of 80, maybe you only want to do 10 at a time.  The “plain” cards can only be used in the “practice” mode (I learned that limitation the hard way).

While I used SAS Flash Card App to create picture flash cards, it could be used to create all different types of flash cards and study aids.  The decks can be shared or kept private.  I haven’t investigated the sharing options, but I could see creating a deck one a particular unit of a course and then “sharing” that deck with my students.  If anybody tries that, I would love to read about it.

More nitty gritty details on how I created these image-based cards: 

First, you have to have the set of images you are going to use on your iPad.  Getting images of each student in my class, thankfully, was pretty easy.  Every student has an ID picture taken.  At the law school those images are stored, each as a separate file and each with the name of the student as the file name.  The master folder that has all of those pictures in it is accessible to our “TIPS” (Text and Image Production) staff.  I asked them to create separate folders on a shared network drive that had all of my students for each of my classes in that class’ folder.  I then moved that folder to dropbox and pulled those images onto my iPad.  Of course you could just take each student’s picture with your iPad.  Or if you were making flash cards of other images (birds to identify, constellations, art history images, etc.) you just need to copy those images onto you iPad.

I made one set of cards with the “plain” deck option and one set with a “fill in the blank” option.  I did the second class with the “fill in the blank” when I realized I couldn’t use the quiz function with the “plain” decks.

Some downsides:  I would like to temporarily remove cards from a deck once I’ve master those cards (in my case, the name of that student).  But, that doesn’t seem to be an option.  Also, you can randomly “shuffle” the cards and use this App to call on students, but that works well only one class session at a time.  So, if you want to call on each student once before a repeat call, and it is going to take you more than one class session to call on each student once, this App is not good for that.  If you could temporarily remove cards, you could use this App that way (i.e. temporarily remove the card for each student as you call on them until you have no more cards left in the deck), but, again, that’s not an option.

But, even with these downsides, overall, the SAS Flash Card App is my new favorite “iPads in Education” App!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great review of SAS Flash Cards. We really like the suggestions at the end of your post and will look to incorporate them in a future release of Flash Cards. Please feel free to contact us at with any suggestions, recommendations, or questions that would improve your experience with SAS Flash Cards.


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