Virtual ways to make the facts memorable
As they are revising for their ICT exam, do encourage students to use ICT for making notes. Also ensure that they use different packages that they need to be familiar with.
They should use a variety of software - word processing, desktop publishing, presentation or multimedia software, spreadsheets, but try to persuade them that copying and pasting information is not a good idea.
Every time they write it, type it, say it, think it, a little bit more stays in their brains. Students need to keep repeating the information to themselves in different ways and copying and pasting won't help.
If you haven't already introduced them to it, use Mind-Mapping software (see page 10) and get them to string the information together in connected groups -isolated facts are much harder to remember than ones that are linked to others.
Get students to think about different ways of gathering the information they need. The use of presentation, multimedia-authoring or web authoring software can be used to create a comic strip or flip book to remind them of important points that string together - "first this happens, then that happens" and so on.
Get them working with a friend or a group of friends so they help and support each other. Every time they learn something new, one of the group teaches it to the others as soon after your lesson as possible. Teaching someone else is one of the best ways of learning and remembering.
Point out that email is for more than just gossip and chit-chat: they can use it out of school hours to continue the peer-to-peer teaching.
They can use email to reduce their notes for each topic to bullet points and the bullet points to a diagram.
These diagrams can be printed on to cards or scribbled on to Post-it notes.
Students can also design virtual cards with two or three points on each and send them to their friends.
Make them think creatively and take an active part in their revision.
Rather than using someone else's work, they can create revision materials by making the notes or the comic strip or the Mind Map themselves. That way they effortlessly re-inforce the facts. They could learn far more from making their own digital documentary film about something than by watching one made by someone else.
Jill Clare is an ICT and e-learning consultant with the QCA curriculum division