Following up on my previous post about Genius, an electronic flashcard program I was thinking about using as a resource for my students in this semester’s mammalogy lab. (There’s a double benefit here — I’m no mammalogist, so I’m really creating study materials for myself, but it’s nice if I can pass them on to the students.) Anyway, I think I’ve found something better than Genius: Anki.
Anki is basically the same thing as Genius, but with cross-platform compatibility where Genius is Mac-only, and with a utility to find and upload decks of virtual flashcards from a server full of shared user-created material. So I can put the cards online, and any student who installs Anki just has to type “Mammalian” into the search function to use them.
Anki also makes use of “spaced repetition” to schedule individual cards during study sessions; it’s less clear to me how useful that will be. To plan spaced repetitions, Anki doesn’t ask you to type in answers as Genius does, but to recall an answer, reveal the correct one, and rate how easy the recall was. That seems less helpful, but we’ll see how it goes.