May 04, 2008

Ideal Learning

Want to remember everything you learned? Surrender to this algorithm.
I stumbled across this Wired article a few days ago and I was stunned by the concept of the program SuperMemo. SuperMemo = Super Memory (not memorandum)

The concept is simple: make a series of flash cards either with questions or "cloze" statements. The program will randomize them and as you rank them based on a 6 point scale, it will reorganize them to determine (with some magical precision) WHEN you will forget this fact and it will prompt you with the flash card again at the EXACT time when you are about to forget it. Apparently this is the perfect time to relearn a fact and solidify it in your long term memory. In a lot of ways, I have been attempting to mimic this method(poorly) in my board review/study period and I wish that I learned about it earlier. It sounds like an excellent idea, even though the website is totally awful (and I assume the program is equally dense.)

I think that SuperMemo's website is very "90s" and hasn't been updated to a slick Web 2.0 edition because its Polish creator Piotr Wozniak is so focused on using SuperMemo that he puts everything at a lower priority. (The cost of dedicated brillance, I suppose.) I'd be inclined to use SuperMemo right now! if it had a better "how-to" manual, wiki-style.

Although it is too late for me to begin implementing this program for the purposes of board studying, I think I will buy it in June and play around with it to get it working for me for my third year clerkships. I agree with a lot of the fundamental .concepts that Wozniak shares on his website... hopefully I remember to blog about it in the future!

via Lifehacker

A side-liner to this is another program I found recently.

is is an outline note-taking program with a built in wiki-linking system. It can be exported to html for viewing on PDAs or online. However, I don't think it has the ability to allow you to edit the files on the Palm itself.
Dunno if I'm going to implement this system... SuperMemo sounds much more engaging (and more time-consuming.) I'll keep you updated.

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