Sunday, September 26, 2010

Spaced Repetition

3) Schools should employ an SRS, or spaced repetition system

This isn't anything groundbreaking, but for those of you are unfamiliar with how an SRS works, let me explain.

When we first learn something, the memory is weak in our minds. While you may be able to recall it for a short time, that memory quickly decays. However, if you review that same item in a day or two, the memory strengthens. By spacing out our learning over longer and longer periods of time, we can remember more efficiently.

The purpose of an SRS is too organize all of this information. Managing such information by hand would be daunting. By employing an SRS to manage this information for us, we can learn far more efficiently by focusing on the stuff we need to learn. Using this, we can learn vast amounts of information quickly and in much less time.

I personally believe we should employ an SRS for most classes we take. While it wouldn't make sense in areas such as music or art, it would be incredibly useful for long term learning in the fields of math, languages, science, and any other area of study where memorization of words, definitions, and concepts is important.

I also believe an SRS can be used to explain ideas, step by step, by focusing and small details and slowly becoming more complex, which can then be utilized to explain difficult subjects. Everything is built up of simple ideas. By rapidly throwing simple concepts at a student, a basic framework can quickly be built to approach complex problems.

This may seem outlandish, but I personally believe the U.S. government and should employ this learning tool in our schools. A website should be set up to store sets of information which students can use to assist in their learning. Smart FM is heading in this direction, but it only supports memorization of vocab, and can not be used for complex ideas. A difficult concept in math or science would need to be carefully explained, but I believe if a good system can be found, the process would be much smoother and more enjoyable, and almost any student would be able to learn such difficult material.


  1. Cool. That make sense bro. I always review what I've learned when working on learning Russian.