When there’s a will there’s a way, when there’s a Quizlet there’s an A

Elizabeth Hsieh, Staff Writer

Transforming the education system, technology has begun to take on an increasingly important role in schools. The frequent use of websites such as Quizlet or SparkNotes is a major example of how the Internet has become a consistent part of the learning process for many students. As these online applications continue to grow more and more popular, a variety of different opinions and views have been developed about the use of websites such as Quizlet and SparkNotes.

Featuring 6 different study methods, Quizlet is a website designed to help students easily memorize and learn information. Accessible from any computer, phone, or tablet, Quizlet allows people to create their own study sets or copy ones already made. Geared specifically towards English, SparkNotes is an open website that essentially translates literature into a text that is simpler to understand. It also provides a plot analysis and study guide for several different books. According to the SparkNotes website, “When your books and teachers don’t make sense, we do.”

There has been much controversy over whether it’s fair or unfair for some students to use Quizlet and SparkNotes when others don’t. A major point highlighted in support of these applications is that they are accessible to everyone.

“Everyone has an option to use Quizlet or SparkNotes. Whether or not they choose to do so is their choice,” Ashley Tanamal, junior, said.

Many others might argue that the Internet has been used as an easy way out of doing the work yourself.

“No, because you should be based on your own abilities and should not rely on the Internet to spoon-feed you information,” Nashwaan Ahmad, sophomore, said.

When juggling several different classes, it can be especially challenging for students to manage all of their assignments and tests. One of the most important traits to develop in high school is the ability to keep up with the individual curriculum and workload that accompanies each class. For many students, Quizlet and SparkNotes have provided an ideal method of learning quickly and managing time.

“It was very helpful because both Quizlet and SparkNotes successfully make studying easier and more user friendly,” Mason Magemeneas, sophomore, said. “You can use your phone and study anywhere, and it saves time by not needing to make flashcards.”


Quizlet and SparkNotes has also attracted the support, and even encouragement, of multiple teachers.

“With the world we live in today, we have so much more than the past,” Jonathon Pereiro, AP Psychology teacher, said. “It gives students much more of an ability to master content.”

While teachers were enthusiastic about students using Quizlet or SparkNotes as just a side tool, many of them recognized a great different between independent studying and studying with the aid of a website.

“If it becomes a substitute, then they are learning how to read SparkNotes, but they’re not learning how to read the piece of literature I would like them to read.” Karin Walker, English teacher, said.

Although students are constantly searching for easier and faster ways to memorize and absorb information, a major concern is how well they can understand and remember content.

“The students who don’t use Quizlet learn to be more independent and think for themselves,” Alejandro Guzman, sophomore, said.

“If you have a quiz, chances are you’ll be quizzed on small details, something SparkNotes doesn’t cover,” Danny Doucet, freshman, said.

When using Quizlet or SparkNotes, there is also the possibility that students may become dependent on the resource and unable to understand information without it.

“The negative effect of Quizlet and SparkNotes is that a person will not develop their own skill of comprehending a text from reading,” Ahmad said.

While the Internet and technology have provided easy, accessible ways for students to learn quickly, there are still many reasons to take the time to study instead of only using online resources.

“I want them done in the right order,” Walker said. “It depends on how it’s used. If it’s used as a support, it can be helpful, but if it’s used as a substitute, it does nothing for the student.”