Thoughts on different technologies to use in the classroom...

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Google Docs Flash Cards

 I started browsing in Google Docs one day (I can’t even remember now what I was looking for) when I stumbled on to a flash card gadget.  I read the directions at How to Make Google Flash Cards  and Google Flash Cards with Pictures and decided to give it a try.  In just a few minutes I had created electronic flash cards for my students, in my words.  It was almost too easy.  All you do is type the word into a spreadsheet, and the definition in the adjoining cell.   I set it up so that anyone with the link could access it (a mistake- see below **).   I wanted my students to be able to label their diagram with the name of the digestive organ, and then give it a simple definition they could relate to.  I was very excited about the possibilities for future uses- they can make their own for other systems and they can use these for review for quizzes now and the assessment later.  Here is the link for my digestive system flashcards.  Digestive System Flashcards

If you click on the "sheet" at the bottom, you get the word list, if you click on "gadget" you get the actual flash cards.  You can use mine as a template or use the official one at Google Flash Card gadget

**Important Note:  My students had some difficulty accessing my flash cards!  I was sure I had set them up with easy access.  I learned, after the first class couldn’t access them, that they need to be set up so that anyone can access them.  Giving the link only seems to work if the recipient is logged in to their google account; otherwise they must ask for permission to access.  I should have read the details more closely the first time, but in my enthusiasm I must have missed that.  My students were then able to access the cards from both school and at home.  I emailed the link home so that parents would know what we were studying and that a tool for review was available.  

I especially like the options that are available for the flashcard user.  Reverse allows the reader to see the definition and guess the vocabulary word and shuffle mixes up the order of the flashcards.  Giving anyone access to the cards only allows them to use the cards, but I kept the editing privilege for myself.  I have already created more for the next unit that my students are working on, and by the time we get to the assessment review the students will be able to use all of the sets to review.  I think that this is such a great tool and incredibly easy to set up and use.  I can’t wait to see what else I find!

 If you want to start one from scratch, it is really easy to do.  You can open a new Google Docs spreadsheet, and then go to Insert, Gadget, and then choose from any gadget listed.  There are many to choose from!


  1. Janet,
    What a fantastic find. I love being able to customize these tools for your own unique use. Wonder how many other wonderful finds are out there just waiting to be stumbled upon.

  2. It is always great to find something you didn't know was there, especially a $20 bill in a winter coat!!! Anyway, it sounds like Google just keeps adding new features, no wonder some sneak by us. The flashcards remind me of StudyStack, which Keith mentioned to us earlier. Both sound like great resources.

  3. This is a great resource! Thanks for the note about setting up the access for all students to be able to see. I could find this really helpful for students and parents to use at home.

  4. I can't wait to try this! I know some of our parents are sick of buying index cards for their kids to make flash cards, but this would be perfect! I am definitely going to try this out. I can't believe that after all my searching and researching within Google Docs that I did not stumble upon this. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing!

  5. This looks great. Now, I need you to post skeletal vocabulary, circulatory vocabulary, muscular vocabulary, integumentary vocabulary, respiratory vocabulary, and excretory vocabulary!

  6. I am working on more lists...see the next post!

  7. Yes know us science teachers could use the help. This looks very easy to use and I want to start fooling with it soon!

  8. Janet,
    I think you may have won a prize! Great find! Like Joe said, this reminds me of study stack, but no offense to it (or Keith who has recommended it), this seems easier. I mean, anything google outs out seems to be relatively easy to navigate and this is no exception. I think the kids would really enjoy this site. I will share it with my kids this week!