Remember flashcards? The evergreen learning tool just got an update! With extra dimensions those messy cards became an actual, concrete object – perfect for Show&Tell. This simple paper DIY activity is an excellent base for learning abstract content through manipulative objects. Print a simple layout and make your content interactive with the tutorial inside
Using geometric shapes to overlay extra information on top of symbols is not a new idea, flashcards have been around forever. However, what is changing is the importance these retrieval methods are gaining in classroom teaching practice.
Retrieval practice is the act of trying to recall information without having it in front of you. Suppose you’re studying the systems of the human body—skeletal, muscular, circulatory, and so on. You could do retrieval practice by attempting to name those systems without looking at the list. Once you’ve listed all you can remember, you’d open up your book or notes and check to see if you got them right. In recent years, cognitive psychologists have been comparing retrieval practice with other methods of studying—strategies like review lectures, study guides, and re-reading texts. And what they’re finding is that nothing cements long-term learning as powerfully as retrieval practice. Read more about it, download resources or strategies HERE
Using AR can make your flashcards interactive and fun, but also, it adds another action between recall and checking the answer. In other words, we need to put more effort into discovering the answer, and we might try harder to remember the answer ourselves before we scan the marker.
Now, turning our flashcards into FlashOBJECTS makes the whole learning process more interesting. Starting with the process of organizing content and creating own FlashObjects, students are engaging with the newly acquired knowledge and summarize it creatively while developing their digital skills. The element of fun and discovery in using AR with smartphones and tablets motivates students to use these FlashObjects frequently, as well as to share them or show them to their colleagues. After a while, like with regular flashcards, students store that information in their long-term memory and no longer need cards or objects to aid the information recall. That’s when the learning object becomes an artifact representing certain content, and can be used to lead the initial discovery for other students.
To make your FlashObjects you will need:
– a paper template for the object you choose (many object can be found HERE)
– markers to write/draw on your objects
Simple way of making your FlashObjects is to use markers instead of printed labels/stickers to write or draw representation of content in symbols or illustrations. All you have to do is print out paper templates, cut and glue them into 3D geometric objects. Any symbol, word or illustration you add to them can be augmented with additional content using one of the AR creation apps and platforms. Tutorials on how to do that can be found HERE