3-Minute Interview: Mike Hogan

The Belmont resident and self-described “serial entrepreneur” enlisted the help of his two children, 12-year-old Ryan and 15-year-old Kendall, in the development of www.flashcardfriends.com. The site combines social networking with learning, allowing students to create, share and test themselves using virtual flashcards.

Where did the idea for Flashcard Friends come from? I found when my kids used flashcards, they got straight As, but getting them to make them was much more challenging because they were much more interested in MySpace and Facebook. I started asking them questionsand we ended up formulating the idea for Flashcard Friends, a social network totally focused on sharing, learning and self-testing based on flashcards.

Why flashcards? I found they were just so effective with my kids. There have been some tests about how effective flashcards are, and it’s essentially the best way to learn information because you can do it at your own pace.

What can you do with the cards online? First, you can put pictures on them, but you can also put sounds on them. So, for example, with spelling you can type in your words and put those on the back sides of the cards, and the front side of the cards is the spoken version of that word, in a real human voice.

How are you getting word out about the site? I started building this with the kids about a year ago, and we started showing people quietly around November. I went in and showed the teachers at my son’s school, and now much of his school is using it. Teachers have kind of picked it up and spread it.

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