September 4th, 2008


Spaced-out learning again

I shall just remind y'all of the glory of Mnemosyne (and presumably SuperMemo, which costs money but also have a hundred bells and whistles). Yes, the Spaced Repetition learning programs I wrote about. I installed Mnemosyne a couple weeks ago (August 16), so it is still early, but it seems to have me pegged already. Mnemosyne is set up to remind me of data points when I have forgotten 10% of them, and this seems to work surprisingly well. I spend a couple minutes each day reviewing hiragana and 1st-grade kanji, and while I still forget, it is getting pretty close to the 10% now. It supposedly needs a full month to work optimally, so a bit of variation is to be expected.

The point with this software is to learn things as easily as possible. You can of course learn any random thing by repeating often enough, but the point here is to only repeat just when you are about to forget, as this makes for longer lasting memories with fewer repetitions. It is indeed surprisingly comfortable, as long as I make sure to spend a few minutes each day. Time to ramp up the load a little, I guess.

I totally can't imagine what this could do to an actual student who had a strong motivation and set aside an hour a day for it. Scary.