A simple and free alternative to creating paper and pen vocabulary logs are electronic flashcards on Dictionary.com. However, to meet the needs of all learners, I suggest that you continue to provide the more traditional handwritten or type written logs for the visual students sine the flashcard decks are more suited for the auditory and/or kinetic learners. In fact, students could upload their typed vocabulary logs documents to review them online on Scribed.com.
For my online college reading class this semester, I provided this alternative and asked students to send me the link upon completion, as the flashcard decks on Dictionary.com are viewable by the public. After students create a quick profile and login to create a deck, the program helps students find the definitions to the words to form their decks. Then it provides repeated opportunities for study and testing. Moreover, the program will send the students an email reminder to complete their study. For example, to complete mastery of the vocabulary list, you must test your knowledge at least 10 times over an extended period.
View my screen cast on how to create electronic flashcard decks on Dictionary.com: http://camtasia.usouthal.edu/Camtasia/J00052636/Vocabulary_Project_on_Dictionary.com_-_Flash_%28Original_Size%29_-_20110527_05.57.20PM.html
Here are the links to the four decks that I created from the Twilight Saga:
Another use of this resource is to download the Dictionary.com application (app) to your smartphone (BlackBerry, iPhone, Android, etc.). Like most everybody, I’m too lazy to look up unknown words, so I use the app. Now I keep the phone at my bedside when I’m reading to conduct easy word searches and to hear the pronunciations. Additionally, I shared the app idea with my college students, and they really liked not having to lug their paperback dictionaries around.
Lastly, Dictionary.com provides a widget that you can add to your Web site by embedding HTML code. The widget provides the word-of-the-day. I posted it on the course announcement page of my eCollege shell, so that students will see it when they first login. Yesterday’s word-of-the-day was “inkhorn”. I relish this word because it reminds me of someone who loves to use high level academic words even in his emails! Today’s word is “bailiwick,” which I thought was apropos for my eportfolio that I’m building on this blog!
P.S. Dictionary.com now creates computer-generated crossword puzzles from you e-flashcard decks!
P.S.S. Are Flashcards an Effective Learning Tool? http://voxy.com/blog/2011/05/are-flashcards-an-effective-learning-tool-infographic/
Sandra Annette Rogers