How To Make Digital Flashcards With Google Docs Spreadsheets

i   How To Make Digital Flashcards With Google Docs SpreadsheetsGot some free time? Why not immerse yourself in a new subject or perfect your knowledge of, say, the Spanish language? MakeUseOf has rounded up several educational sites, like MIT and Yale‘s OpenCourseWare sites, as well as Youtube channels for you to get started with a subject to learn.

To learn most subjects, flashcards make great companions to refresh your memory every so often. You might be used to making flashcards by hand, but considering how most people probably type faster, here’s one way to digitize your flashcards and review them on your laptop and smartphone with Google Docs and gFlash+. The latter is available for iPhone or iPod Touch [iTunes link] and Android.

Making The Flashcards

For thi,s we will be using Google Docs Spreadsheets to input our terms and definitions on two columns. To start, head to Google Docs’s site and create a new spreadsheet.

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Click on Unsaved Spreadsheet right next to the Google Docs logo (or press Ctrl + S) to give this spreadsheet a descriptive name.

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Now type all of your terms on one column (column A), and your definitions on the next column (column B).

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If you have a bunch of vocabulary words, you can divide them in groups and dedicate one spreadsheet document (not sheet) for each group because the gFlash+ app works with individual documents.

Reviewing On Your Laptop

To review with your freshly inputted terms, we still need some mechanism that can help hide and show the terms on demand. Not many users know this, but there are special gadgets you can insert in Google Docs documents to make use of the data you entered, and since Google Docs is geared towards general users as well as students, there are some educational gadgets, a few of which are flashcard gadgets.

The most useful one for this tutorial is one made by Google. To see this, click on Insert > Gadget.

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On the Featured tab, scroll down to the 6th to last gadget, Flash Cards Gadget by Seth Glickman, and click on Add to spreadsheet.

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If you can’t find this gadget, you can always right-click here and copy the link or add

http://hosting.gmodules.com/ig/gadgets/file/107586420984574887835/flashcards.xml

to the box in the Custom tab.

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You’ll get a dialog box to indicate which columns have the words with the terms and definitions. Since your terms are in column A and the definitions are in B, we need to edit the default text (“Sheet1!A1″) and type “Sheet1!A:B”.

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Now you will get a somewhat primitive but still very intuitive and useful gadget with terms.

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You can move the gadget to cover the terms for practice or resize it to see more terms. Other useful features that you can use down the road include the Shuffle and Flip Cards features.

Reviewing On The Go

The free gFlash apps for iPhone (iPad and iPod Touch as well) and Android (click here from device) come in handy for this tutorial as they happen to make use of the Google Docs spreadsheet two-column flashcard format. Blackberry users who don’t mind paying $6.99 can use the gFlashPro app, which supports images in flashcard entries and has no ads, among other things.

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Once you download the app, head to Menu > Get My Google Data to login to your Google account and retrieve your Google Docs spreadsheets.

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Once you’re done retrieving your lists of terms, you can start reviewing and tapping on the card below to reveal the answer. What makes gFlash incredibly useful is that it can keep score and on subsequent rounds, it gives you the terms you got wrong (plus a few you got right) so you can work on the terms you need more review for. You do need to tap on the arrow or X (after you get revealed the answer) to aid gFlash keep score.

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Another cool feature is the ability to switch to multiple choice mode, tap on More at the bottom.

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I did notice that gFlash crashed when I tried accessing the gWhiz Catalog to search for other term groups. Also, if you need to update your vocab list, you’ll need to delete the old spreadsheet and re-download the updated one to gFlash+.

This is probably among the simplest solutions to create flashcards I have found that don’t require a steep learning curve. There are a few more sophisticated tools such as:

Which way do you prefer your flashcards, traditional or digital? Feel free to share your favorite program in the comments!

Image credit: pierocksmysocks

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17 Comments -

0 votes

tzvi

nice, thanks.

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

Glad it helped!

0 votes

gav

Wow Jess – awesome stuff :-)

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

Thanks for checking the post out!

0 votes

Jojon

just found out about the gadget and found this post … best stuff around !

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

Thank you!

0 votes

John Weidner

A custom google search engine just of flashcard sites is available at:

http://flashcardflash.com

It allows you to search for flashcards from the online sites mentioned in this article plus popular flashcard sites like studystack.com, quizlet.com, and flashcardexchange.com

0 votes

Angela Alcorn

Cool – I didn’t know about the flashcard gadget or the app. Awesome. :)

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

I’ve been using gFlash for a while so I’m glad to hear it’s helpful to more
people!

0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

I’ve been using gFlash for a while so I’m glad to hear it’s helpful to more
people!

0 votes

Nansen

Can you add this gadget to a google site?

0 votes
0 votes

Jessica Cam W.

Hmm, I haven’t tried it. Can you add a gadget to a Google Site by URL at all? If so, the URL of the gadget is http://hosting.gmodules.com/ig

Sorry I can’t help you further.

0 votes

jenny4jones

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0 votes

jeffthewhitegoose

Nice application. I use Flash Card Maker Pro to help me learn. It is the only application that is optimized for Android pads, tablets, and mobile phones. Flash Card Maker Pro uses advanced gesturing and text-to-speech capability providing a fully interactive experience for users of all ages. This multi-sensory teaching tool uses all pathways of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic or seeing, hearing, touching) simultaneously, in order to enhance memory and learning. Use Flash Card Maker Pro on your Android phone or tablet to teach children how to read and do math, to help students study for exams, or to prepare for an upcoming presentation.

Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand. (Chinese Proverb)

Recycle your old paper flash cards and download the latest digital version today! Flash Card Maker Pro has the following highlighted features:

1. Create Your Own Flash Cards
2. Share Flash Cards with Other Users
3. Download Decks of Cards from Developer Website
4. Text-to-speech Audio Playback
5. Built-in Study Timer
6. Randomize or Change Order of Playback
7. Swap Question and Answer
8. Change Card Colors and Text Size
9. Navigate Between Cards using Touch Gestures
10. Backup Database to SD Card

http://www.flashcardmakerpro.c

0 votes

Anonymous

Nice application. I use Flash Card Maker Pro to help me learn. It is the only application that is optimized for Android pads, tablets, and mobile phones. Flash Card Maker Pro uses advanced gesturing and text-to-speech capability providing a fully interactive experience for users of all ages. This multi-sensory teaching tool uses all pathways of learning (visual, auditory, kinesthetic or seeing, hearing, touching) simultaneously, in order to enhance memory and learning. Use Flash Card Maker Pro on your Android phone or tablet to teach children how to read and do math, to help students study for exams, or to prepare for an upcoming presentation.

Tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand. (Chinese Proverb)

Recycle your old paper flash cards and download the latest digital version today! Flash Card Maker Pro has the following highlighted features:

1. Create Your Own Flash Cards
2. Share Flash Cards with Other Users
3. Download Decks of Cards from Developer Website
4. Text-to-speech Audio Playback
5. Built-in Study Timer
6. Randomize or Change Order of Playback
7. Swap Question and Answer
8. Change Card Colors and Text Size
9. Navigate Between Cards using Touch Gestures
10. Backup Database to SD Card

http://www.flashcardmakerpro.com

0 votes

Kulmansam

It would have been great if there was a place that said what the price was.. when there is no price it indicates that it is tooooo expensive. Now that stands to each persons interpretation. For some $3 is expensive and for some $50 is expensive for software and for some $150… either case I closed the site because the information was not enough..