Do you ever find yourself using your smart phone or iPad while waiting in a line? In bed after waking up? On the subway? As a student, imagine how much more productive you could be if you could get some quality studying in during these times.  StudyBlue is a free, online study tool that helps you master course material while on the go as well as during traditional study sessions.

StudyBlue is a platform for creating digital flashcards and has mobile applications for the iPad, iPhone, and android devices.  You can create your own flashcards or find flashcards on topics that other StudyBlue users have already created.   I did a quick search for some of the classes I have taken at Tufts, such as Immunology, Music as Culture, and Spanish, and found many sets of publically available flashcards for each of these courses.  A drawback to the system is that you cannot edit flashcards others have posted.

Digital flashcards on StudyBlue function like paper flashcards.  On one side of the flashcard you type a term or question, and on the other side you type the definition or answer.  In addition to having text on the front side of the flashcard, you can also insert images and voice recordings.  Finally, you can choose whether you want your cards to be public or private.

When it comes time to study with the cards you have created or selected, you have the option of viewing the cards in the order they were created or in random order.  The app will first display the term side of the flashcard, and once you are ready, you tap the screen to see the other side. You will then be able to mark on the screen whether you got the answer right or wrong.  It is easy to adjust the settings if you prefer to see the definition side of the card first.  StudyBlue tracks your progress, indicates your percentage mastery, and allows you to go back and review the cards you got wrong.

StudyBlue has really transformed my studying.  If you have even the slightest inclination to use flashcards in your studies, I recommend giving StudyBlue a shot!

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