Posts published in March, 2017
BY NANCY CHRISTINOVICH
Want to improve your storytelling craft? Where there’s a will there’s a way! The educational software provides you with a large number of insights.
Creative writing requires both ideation and estimation skills. Need a brainstorm? The smart use of kickstarter apps will give rise to your inspiration flow and assist in organizing ideas.
The other tools are developed to improve the quality of writing. They help to develop your penmanship, wind up grammar, level up text readability and uniqueness.
Let’s consider top 12 writer’s’ helper-outers!
- Let the inspiration flow! 99 Words approach is based on the collaboration between e-learners. Each of them should create a chapter which has no less than 99 words. The story is passed from one author to another until it’s finished. An app sparks creativity, encourages users to improvise and work in a team. Write on!
- If you are mulling over a notion even when not actually writing, use this free app. Note Everything helps you to organize sketches, voice notes and even drawings. There’s no limit to your imagination! All you have to do is catch an idea – and note it down.
- Keeping a diary can be a major asset to develop your penmanship. If you are the documenting type and enjoy describing the events from your life, use RedNotebook.
- This tool provides you with open-source journaling option for Windows and Linux. You will be pleasantly surprised with RedNotebook usability. It lets you quickly search through old entries and find specific dates. You can export entries in PDF, Latex HTML or plain text format. Add images, links and templates – as you wish. Be imaginative and enjoy writing for yourself!
- The concept of the online editor is based on the American preeminent author’s approach. Hemingway is irreplaceable when you get down to the heart of writing process. The tool helps to edit text making it skimmable. The editor marks the passive voice and adverbs green and blue. When a word or phrase has a simpler alternative, it’s shown purple. Hemingway helps you to improve text readability. Make every single phrase clear!
- Free or Premium from $11.66 / month
- The free online tool is writer’s magic wand. After registration, you can download a document or copy paste text and check it for grammatical errors. Mistakes related to articles, spelling, punctuation and the sequence of tenses are indicated as critical issues. The service also offers advanced options of correcting stylistic errors or inappropriate words order. Grammarly can be installed as web extension at your browser to make emails and social media posts orthographic. Create airtight stories only!
- Free or Premium from $3/ month
- Text scoring tool helps creative writers to optimize their phrases and make the text easy to read. The grade level depends on the length of the sentences, words’ length, the number of adverbs, passive voice and cliche count. The concerned criteria of text quality are indicated with different colors so that a writer could alter phrases and make amendments. Readability-score suggests free checking three pages of unlimited length for each day. Develop your penmanship and have the guts to cut!
- Free or Premium for $4,91
- This free website assists you in organizing the thought-starter. Are you beginning a novel or narrative essay, us helps you to create the map of your ideas. Customize the bubble color, text size and formatting including hyperlinks. Even the registration is not required unless you want to save data. Brainstorm quickly with the online easy-to-navigate platform!
An app is responsible for the writers’ moment of inspiration. The wheel randomly combines plot, subject and style so that authors can make their conscious choices. Brainstormer has the thought-out and user-friendly interface which makes the process fun. Say goodbye to the writers’ block!
The tool for iPhone and iPad helps to structure the storytelling process. The electronic index cards jot down the ideas to construct the narration of plot elements and abstracts from the text. Story Skeleton is effective for creating outlines and structuring the narration. Download a text file or use index cards within the app — as you wish. Remember, even a ridiculous idea can be of use!
Here’s another effective source of lead for e-learners. Words, images, sketches, colors and current events combine billions of prompts to develop your imagination. You can store your favorite prompts as you wish. The tool is multitasking-friendly. When switching to another app, Writing Prompts works away right where you left off. Writing process is fun!
A text editor hides away extra options and favors inspiration. The unique concept of Clean Writer is focusing on the plot instead of extra formatting and design options. An App is implemented on MacWorld, PCWorld and TheNextWeb.com. It handles only plain text files.
Clean Writer is perfect on the brainstorming stage and working on drafts. Focus on the score!
- Packages from $5.99
Forget about the risk of composing nonunique text. The plagiarism detection tool is based on the advanced algorithm solutions. PlagiarismCheck analyzes the text of an unlimited length. It indicates even the altered words order or machine translation of another piece of writing.
The service offers to check three first pages for free. Find the calm of mind! Be sure that your piece of writing is original!
You may also find the following list of apps and tools helpful:
Author’s Bio: Nancy Christinovich is the independent writer specializing in freelance, social media, and marketing. Nancy’s personal interests apply across psychology, education and art. Сonnect her on facebook, twitter or Linkedin.
BY JANE HURST
As a college student, it isn’t enough to just sit back and wait for your grades to come in. It is important to know how to calculate your grades ahead of time. That way, if there are any problem areas, you can figure out how to correct the problems, and work harder to get the grades you really want. There are various types of grading systems, and various ways to figure them out. If your professors use a weighted grade, you should understand what that means, how to calculate it yourself, and how to make changes in your study habits to make your grades even better. Let’s take a look at how to calculate weighted grade in college.
- Determine if Assignments are Weighted – If your teachers are using a weighted grading system, your work will have points that are based on each category, and these categories all play together to give you a final grade. Categories can include homework, tests, class participation, lab work, quizzes, and of course, your final exam. Each category is worth a specific percentage of your final grade, and in order to get great grades, you need to score high in all categories. But, it isn’t going to affect your grade too much if you were to make few less points in one category, especially if you are scoring really high in others. To simplify things for the sake of this article, let’s say that each category is worth a number that is equal to its percentage weight (ie 20% equals 20 points). The categories will add up to a total of 100, or 100%.
- Calculate Category Percentages – Once you have figured out each category and what they are worth, it is time to calculate the category percentages. You have the points for the categories figured out, so now you have to convert those percentages into real numbers. For example, if you received a 95% in a category that is weighted at 20%, you would multiply .95 by 20, for a total of 19. So, you have 19 points for that particular category.
- Convert Percentages to Decimals – It is important that when calculating a weighted grade that you always change percentages into decimals, making it easier to multiply. You may even want to check out a grade calculator to make sure that you are getting the right numbers.
- Multiply by Weight – You will now need to multiply each number by its weight. You have the option to do this at the end of your chart, or to do it on one line in a formula. For instance, you might enter 0.9(0.25) to show a 90% grade, multiplied by 25% of the total grade. This is how you weigh out each score to get to your overall grade. There is just one more step in the process.
- Add Weighted Scores Together – Now that you have the weighted scores figured out, you will need to add them together. For example, 0.9(0.25) + 0.75(0.50) + 0.87(0.25). The total weighted class score would be 0.8175. Multiply this number by 100 to figure out the percentage, which in this case would be 81.75%.
Are Your Grades Where they Should Be?
If you have done these calculations, and have figured out that your grades are not where they should be, you can fix them before it is too late. The first thing to do is to talk to your teachers about getting help with weighted grades. Find out what you need to do to raise your weighted grade, and then work on it. It may be that there is just one area that is bringing the grade down, and that grade will go up once you fix the problem.
Jane Hurst has been working in education for over 5 years as a teacher. She loves sharing her knowledge with students, is fascinated about edtech and loves reading, a lot. Follow Jane on Twitter.
BY EUGENE RUDENKO
As a concept, virtual reality and its derivatives have been around for decades –the term itself was first introduced as long ago as the 80’s. However, It was only in recent years that they started becoming truly mainstream thanks to the advancements in a number of key areas and emergence of multiple software and hardware platforms that finally made the technology less of a sci-fi term and more of something that you can buy on Amazon with a couple of clicks. Originally intended almost exclusively for entertainment, VR is now viewed as a flexible and versatile technology that can be adapted to many spheres of life where visual content presentation is essential, and education seems to be a very natural candidate for quick and truly purposeful adoption of VR.
Benefits of using VR in education
The key question here is: “How can education, in all of its diverse forms, benefit from these technologies?” The answer is surprisingly simple: in nearly every way you can think of.
Starting from the most basic and almost static “virtual tours” based on 360-degree panoramic photos or videos and all the way to fully 3-dimensional interactive worlds revealing the full potential of VR, these technologies efficiently solve the following problems:
- Allow students from any part of the world to interact on a much deeper level by partaking in immersive virtual activities;
- Make for better and more efficient teamwork;
- Let students enjoy the benefits of detailed and often fully interactive visualization of complex processes, which is especially important in such sciences as medicine, physics, engineering and many others;
- Help obtain profound knowledge about a particular piece of equipment, process or location even before they are actually completed or made available for;
- Add a fresh incentive for students to attend courses offering a lot more than just descriptions of the object of study and some multimedia materials.
The most important trend observed in this area is the gamification of the learning process and emergence of the game-based learning (GBL), which capitalizes on our intrinsic motivation to win and achieve success. This is clearly seen in computer games as we know them, and now the same basic principles are being superimposed onto the learning domain to provide students with an impetus to face challenges and overcome them – yet in a visual and highly engaging environment with a great degree of interactivity.
Integration with existing e-learning solutions and LMS products
Modern LMS’s come bundled with a wealth of tools for creating online courses of any complexity, offering rich content with audio and video elements, live A/V interaction between students and teachers, screen sharing and other possibilities that bring the course-takers’ experience as close to a real classroom as possible. However, VR is capable of adding an extra dimension to the learning process by allowing students to take virtual tours, collaborate in simulated environments and learn complex processes through interactive visualizations.
The simplest form of VR integration is the embedding of 360-degree videos and photos into course pages. This type of content can be viewed with the help of affordable phone accessories, such as Google Cardboard, or more expensive devices like Samsung Gear VR. At the very minimum, these VR elements allow course-takers to travel to places they have never been to and get a better understanding of the object of study. There are dozens or even hundreds of embeddable video players with VR functionality on the market, from the most generic ones to flexible and versatile products with extended functionality, which can be implemented and even customized to your needs by a competent company with corresponding domain expertise.
The next step is the creation of mobile apps with AR functionality that can be downloaded to students’ mobile devices along with optional printable trackers. These apps are a perfect means of demonstrating the work of complex mechanisms, objects and processes that can be observed from any angle – and they don’t cost a fortune to create. A good example of this approach would be Compedia’s AR platform that aims to dramatically enrich the learning and collaboration experience at schools, universities, medical institutions and companies of different types taking steps towards improving the quality of their internal trainings.
Finally, the most impressive, and yet the most expensive VR option is the development of specialized VR applications that will require either a top-of-the-line mobile phone or an expensive VR headset. These apps, like the ones developed by Immersive VR Education, to name just one company, offer the highest degree of interactivity, but the cost of development currently makes them a viable option almost exclusively for narrowly-specialized professional courses.
Widespread proliferation of VR/AR technologies in education and e-learning is just a matter of time. The industry is currently preparing for a quantum leap in VR by testing various technologies in labs and on the consumer market, but it won’t be long before the cost of high-quality VR equipment drops to an acceptable level and its sales go up exponentially. When it happens and a VR headset becomes as commonplace as a set-top-box or game console, content will start pouring in – and education will be on the forefront of this process.
Byline: Eugene Rudenko is a senior online marketing manager for Oxagile, a software development company providing custom eLearning solutions with V0R/AR integration.
By Malia Keirsey
$1.3 trillion. No, this is not the amount that the federal deficit has grown over the past year. It is the amount of student loan debt that Americans shoulder right now. And it continues to grow.
$37,172. This is the average amount of student loan debt for students who graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in 2016. And for those who go on to grad school, it only gets worse.
It’s a crisis, and many economists say it will be the next major financial crisis America faces. With this amount of debt, homes and new cars are not purchased; there is no money to invest in their futures. The impact on the general economy is potentially devastating.
As you consider financing your education, you have to look at types of aid with an eye toward your future. The goal, of course, is to minimize the debt you accumulate and must pay off. Here are the options you have.
Sources of Financial Aid – Public and Private
- The Federal Government
You already know that the feds are the biggest source – loans, grants and even through funding of some work-study programs, particularly those involving important research.
- Your State
There is also money available in many states – grants, scholarships, tuition assistance for those who qualify, and loans. This pre-supposes that you attend a public university in your state, however. Still, it is worth checking out. Lots of students don’t and they lose out.
- Aid from the Institution
This is common among private colleges and universities, as they are able to use endowments meant for this purpose. This is in the form of grants, scholarships, and work-study programs, and do not have to be paid back. If you can get as much as possible in this form, you can really reduce your final debt amount.
- Private Aid
If you can qualify for this type of aid, you are in luck. These are grants and scholarships that come from private, usually non-profit organizations, although corporations are getting in on this act too. The best source for these is now a google search. You would be surprised to learn how much funding is available, often related to your ethnic background, your religious affiliation, other heritage factors (e.g., children of Iraq and Afghanistan military killed in service), your financial situation, etc. Exploring these opportunities takes times but can be well worth it.
In many instances, you will be required to write essays as a part of the application process. Do not blow these off. If you are not a skilled and creative writer, you will want to find some help. Find a writing service that specializes in helping students with application and gives a college essay help. Your piece must be amazing and must stand out among some stiff competition.
Types of financial Aid
Now that we have talked about sources of financial aid, let’s look a little closer at the types. Your goal is to come out of college with as little loan debt as possible. So, before you dive headlong into huge loan obligations, consider all of the possibilities that are open to you.
The lovely thing about grants is that they don’t have to be paid back. Grants can come from public sources (federal and state governments) or from private sources. Grants can be based upon need, upon merit, or upon specific student type (e.g., minority, women, disabilities). Competition for grants can be fierce but that should not deter anyone from going after them. Here are some examples of grants that students can get:
- Pell Grants are awarded by the federal government, usually at the undergraduate level, and amounts are based upon the student’s financial situation, the tuition costs of the chosen school.
- FSEOG are federal grants for students with high financial need. The letters stand for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants. These are usually awarded by the school that has a specific amount of money to grant.
- TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education): If you are pursuing a degree in education, and if you are in a high-demand field or willing to work in low-income urban areas, you should pursue this grant. You must commit to a specific number of years in teaching to prevent having to pay it back.
- Iraq and Afghanistan Service: Students who parents/guardians died while in service in these two wars are eligible for amounts of grant money.
Scholarships are actually like grants, and most are provided by institutions themselves or by private organizations or enterprises. These are usually based upon academic performance, ethnic background, athletic or another talent, religious affiliation, or other criteria. The larger the scholarship amount, the greater is the competition. If you go for many of these types of awards, you may be required to write an essay as a part of the application process.
Now, this is the area in which students must proceed with caution. Loans must be paid back, and the amount a student borrows will impact his/her life upon graduation. While loans provide you with quick access to the money you need for your education, they do come with interest. There are several types of loans:
- Federal Loans: these are the most common type and are divided into categories of subsidized and unsubsidized. Subsidized loans are given to students who can show financial need, and the repayment terms are a bit better. Interest on these loans is paid by the government while you are in school. Unsubsidized loans do not come with such a benefit. Interest accumulates while you are in school and is added to the loan amount, even though you don’t have to begin paying back until after you graduate.
- PLUS: These loans go primarily to students in graduate and professional programs. They come with interest, so be sure to check out the details.
- Perkins Loans: these are loans given to students in both undergraduate and graduate programs, and are based solely on financial need.
- Private Loans: These should be a last resort. They are loans provided by banks and other lending institutions. Generally, they come with a higher interest rate, and there are no provisions for lowering the rates or any forgiveness for certain conditions, as government loans may provide.
Speaking of loan forgiveness, you should do the research. There are some career paths which will give government loan forgiveness or reduction. Some positions in education and health care, for example, are eligible, under conditions of specific employment.
There are some on-campus positions which are funded by the federal government, specifically so that students may earn a portion of their college costs through work. Jobs at off-campus locations are also sometimes available. The larger the student body, the more positions, but also the more competition. Pay can also vary widely.
Particularly at the graduate level, there are assistantships available which will help pay for tuition costs. These involve providing help to professors, teaching lower level classes and a variety of other tasks. These are valuable positions, and the competition is high.
These are also opportunities for graduate and professional students and do not have to be paid back. Usually, these are provided by private enterprises and are used for students engaged in education or research. They are given in the form of stipends which students can then use as they choose. There are some fellowships awarded directly by schools, but these are not as common. And some come with strings attached regarding post-graduate employment.
Some General Advice
Here are some tips as you think about student aid, especially accumulating that loan debt.
- Borrow only what you need, not what you can. It’s tempting to have that extra cash on hand, but you will pay dearly for it later on.
- Graduate on time. If you are working on a Bachelor’s, make sure that you get out in four years, even if you have to take some overload semesters. Every semester adds cost and debt.
- Be realistic. Take a look at the employment prospects in your chosen field, especially the salary forecasts. A good “rule of thumb” is this: Do not borrow more than the forecasted annual salary of an entry-level position in your field.
Malia Keirsey is an enthusiastic writer and guest contributor. She has finished the University of Chicago with master’s degree in Sociology. Now she’s working as freelance web designer and blogger. Her main topics of interest are writing, digital marketing and education. Follow @MaliaKeirsey on Twitter.
BY Lorraine McKinney
We are all guilty of buying the latest gadgets just because they are cool. But, there are actually some gadgets that are more than just cool, because they can be incredibly useful, especially for college students. There are several gadgets that could make your life a whole lot easier, and we have listed our seven favorites here.
- Graphing Calculator – If you are a science or math major, this calculator is for you. While it is not cheap, it is a valuable tool that has many preloaded applications, business functions, and more. You can save as many as 10 graphing functions to analyze a variety of equations at once. This is an essential tool for anyone who is into math and science, and wants to ace every course.
- Digital Note-Taking – Taking notes can be a real pain, and it is very easy to miss something important. Never have this problem again when you use an Evernote subscription with an Echo livescribe pen. When used with a tablet or an Echo notepad, you can use the app and pen together to record both written and audio notes. You can also sync notes to many devices so you will always have your notes when you need them, no matter where you are or what device you are using.
- Laptop Lock – It is all too easy to set your laptop down and then forget to pick it up again, and then you have lost it. Make sure that no one can take off with it by getting a laptop lock, which costs less than $10. The cable is as long as 6.2 feet, and it will keep your laptop in place until you go back to retrieve it. If you plan to sell laptop and get a new one, be sure to have this security feature.
- Fitbit Flex – It is important that along with getting good grades that you also keep up with your physical health. You need to be able to manage sleep, diet, and fitness, and this gadget is the best way to do it. It is basically a tracking device that has a silent alarm option so if you are alerted about something to do with your health, the alarm won’t disturb roommates who are on different schedules than you.
- Phone Charging Case – As a student, you are always busy and on the go, and you probably don’t always have time to waste on charging your phone. Get yourself an OtterBox phone charging case, which will double your battery life and stop charging automatically to save power. You will never have to worry about your phone battery dying at an inopportune moment again. It will also protect your phone from a variety of other obstacles.
- Charging Backpack – Your backpack can be useful for other things besides carrying books around. You need a charging backpack. These come with three USB ports so you can charge multiple devices. It also has six separate areas for storage that you can customize for your own personal needs so you can fit in all of the things you need to lug around all day long.
- C-Pen – If you are going to buy any gadget this year, make it this one. The C-pen is a book scanner that lets you study course notes without a lot of effort. If you need to get quotes just before an exam, you can search the computer and scan it instead of writing it out manually. Just copy and paste the quote, and you will have digital copies you can refer to at any time.
Lorraine McKinney is an academic tutor and elearning specialist.
BY ROBERT PARMER
As a college student, workflow can oftentimes feel like a series of ebbs and flows.Sometimes you’re on top of your game, cranking out schoolwork at the rate of a tsunami. Other days can feel like ‘low tide’ as burnout and procrastination increase levels of stress and decrease productivity.
Writing papers for college is something that essentially every student will face. This requires an immense amount of self-delegation as students at university level are regularly faced with heavy research requirements and harsh writing deadlines.
As someone who’s struggled with procrastination and burnout at school, I can confidently say that there are ways of getting past these roadblocks. The following tips will help you regain lost traction within your writing endeavors at school.
Set Your Goals and Priorities
You may already be buried in procrastination and experiencing levels of burnout right now, and that’s completely alright. While you may feel hopelessly stuck now, there are always ways to break the cycles of procrastination at school. Fortunately, you can start breaking out of it, at this very moment!
An excellent starting point is to get a pen and notebook (or your text document of choice) and jot down the following:
- Write exactly what needs done in detail.
- What writing projects are you currently working on? Include what’s holding you back from completing each task or each phase or your writing.
- Prioritize this list from most important to least, make sure deadlines and due dates at the front of your mind.
- If you haven’t, try breaking writing projects into smaller, more attainable tasks–with that, you should now have an easy-to-follow plan of action.
If you are very behind on writing assignments you may have some long weekends of work ahead of you. Be willing to put forth a tremendous amount of effort to get caught up. Oftentimes this is the only way out.
But in the long run this effort always pays off. Focus on consistency within your writing workflow once you are at a good point again. Don’t let the procrastination bug bite you again!
Furthermore, this simple piece of advice from University of Alabama Birmingham is absolutely relevant in terms of becoming a more successful writer and student:
“Students must be mature, self-disciplined, organized, and have excellent time management skills to succeed.”
Related: 5 Ways to Deal with Fatigue for Busy Students
Give Yourself More Time Than You Think You Need
As students, we tend to overestimate our abilities. Keep in mind, just because you think you can complete a project in three days doesn’t mean you always will. You could get sick, the project might require more research than you estimated, or family could surprise you with a visit at an inconvenient time.
These are all important when creating a threshold for your writing; give yourself some wiggle room to finish your projects! Do your best to overestimate timeframes. This will help guarantee that you have plenty of time to meet writing deadlines and can even spark extra motivation if you finish early.
Related: 7 Time Management Tips for College Success
Don’t Become a Workaholic
When feeling extra burnt out, take a step back and ask yourself: ‘Am I simply working too hard, or too much?”
Writing papers can result in hours upon hours of working without proper breaks or time to wind down, and detract from work. Be sure to have ample time for self-driven work and everything else in your life outside of work!
Take breaks throughout the day. Make time for your other hobbies and for self-care. Say no when you really don’t have time; don’t compromise if you don’t want to! Set boundaries like these for yourself, and paint your own masterpiece of a writing schedule.
Remember: scheduling out schoolwork requires balance and harmony.
If you’re someone who simply despises writing, keep your chin up and your attitude positive. Love it or hate it, writing at university level isn’t going away. So embrace the fact that you’ll have to write rather than loathing it.
Since college students call the shots when it comes to scheduling and completing schoolwork, it’s important to be mindful and urgent without becoming completely burned out. What other tips do you fellow freelancers have to alleviate procrastination and burn out?Finally, this can all look different from student to student so any and all suggestions are absolutely welcomed in the comment section. I encourage you to describe what’s worked for you to personally avoid getting behind or feeling burned out from writing college papers.
Robert Parmer is a freelance web writer and student of Boise State University. Outside of writing whenever he has spare time, Robert enjoys creating and recording music, caring for his pet cat, and commuting by bicycle whenever possible. Follow him on Twitter @robparmer
By David Gutierrez
Roughly, every second person has experienced bullying at some point in their life, and over 83% of young people admit that these events affected their self-esteem. College time is not an exception. Like any violence, bullying leaves scars, be they physical, emotional, or both. This problem is very difficult to deal with, especially when you are a victim.
However, ‘difficult’ doesn’t mean ‘impossible’, so you can break out of this situation if you take appropriate action.
Understand Bullying and What Drives It
One can say that humans are violent creatures by nature or that they learn to be this way from the examples they see in early childhood. There is a violent cycle in our society where bullies are practically ‘made’ by either adopting this behavior from witnessing it at home or reversing to it as a coping mechanism. It’s quite surprising, but many of the current bullies have been victimized and started act this way as a way of coping.
As a victim in a bullying situation, you need to understand the reasons that push your abusers because this is necessary for you to see the most important truth.
The truth is that you are NOT the problem. It is NOT your fault.
The majority of victims remain this way simply because they don’t have the courage to speak up and do something about their situation. It usually occurs because one of the basic bullying tactics is to hit one’s self-esteem and make them believe that they are at fault and deserve to be abused.
It isn’t the truth, and the first thing you must do to deal with bullies is to understand that they have no power over you. The second best thing to do is to seek legal advice. Having a legal counsel to protect your rights would be imperative in this case, especially if the bullying has resulted in physical injuries.
Deal with Bullying in College: Tactics for Any Situation
Although all bullies follow a similar pattern (which is intimidation and humiliation of someone weaker to get an ego boost out of the deal), no two cases are the same. Therefore, you might need to implement different methods depending on the situation.
Ignore the bully
Bullies get the enjoyment from the reaction they incur from their victims, and in most cases, they aren’t prepared to elevate the level of violence in their approach. It means that NOT giving a reaction makes you ‘unappealing’ and might be enough to make the abuser go away on their own.
You can augment this tactic by responding in a firm and calm manner. Simply saying ‘Stop’ or ‘Leave me alone’ should suffice. Just don’t get agitated as getting the rise out of you is exactly what the bully wants.
Get help from an adult
Even when you are an independent and self-sufficient college student, getting help from an adult in a bullying situation is the right thing to do. First of all, this is a very serious matter and your reporting the abuse might help other people who are forced into a similar situation.
Second, adult authority figures (professors, counselors, supervisors, etc.) may have the means to deal with the bully more efficiently. Depending on the circumstances, they may offer advice or take some practical steps, such as expelling the bully or meting out appropriate punishment.
Stand up for yourself
Note that this doesn’t mean answering violence with violence. What you need to do is to show the bully that you aren’t a victim. You can do this by standing tall and proud, showing the abuser that their words don’t matter.
You are an amazing person, and you mustn’t put yourself down. So, just tell the bully that they are wrong about you and walk away back to your friends. If you don’t have any, now would be a great time to join some group that shares your interests and would provide you with support (and watch your back) in case you encounter a bully.
David Gutierrez has worked in the field of web design since 2005. Right now he started learning Java in order to get second occupation. His professional interests defined major topics of his articles. David writes about new web design software, recently discovered professional tricks and also monitors the latest updates of the web development.
By Sylvia Kohl
Common advice given to youngsters, especially college students, is to travel when you’re young and explore new places. But of course, that’s easier said than done. College students are trying to stay afloat in their classes, spending dozens of hours a week studying and reading, and attending mandatory classes several times a day. On top of that, they’re loaded with debt—an average of $30,000 per borrower, according to TICAS—and oftentimes, don’t have a steady source of income to provide them with the means to travel.
So is traveling while you’re still in college as important as it sounds?
The Benefits of Traveling in College
These are some of the reasons why “travel while you’re young” has become such popular advice:
- Learning new things. Traveling to new countries is also a good way to learn about other cultures, locations, and people. College is nothing if not a learning opportunity, so stacking a level of multicultural exposure with your class-bound academics is a way to enter adulthood as an even better-rounded individual.
- Going with roommates and friends. When you’re in college, you’re going to build lots of strong connections with the people you live with, study with, and randomly encounter. You’ll never get a chance to build bonds with that number of peers again, so take advantage of it. When your friends and roommates start looking for a hotel room in Florida for spring break, join them—you may never get this chance again.
- Taking advantage of college programs. Of course, college is also an opportune time to travel overseas with a study abroad program. Most universities and hundreds of organizations offer opportunities for young college students to travel to another country and study, often with most of the expenses compensated. It’s an inexpensive way to travel while still maintaining your focus on academics—and also having a strong experience that can open opportunities for your future career.
- Enjoying your freedom. You’ll have lots of responsibilities in college, but not as many as you’ll have once you graduate. Though exceptions exist, most college students don’t have a full-time job and don’t have families to take care of. In a few years, you’ll find it almost impossible to carve time in your schedule for a week-long adventure, so take advantage of this opportunity while you have it.
- Using hostels. Youth hostels exist to provide inexpensive, reasonable housing for young travelers. You won’t be able to use them forever, so consider taking a trip while you can still rely on them for inexpensive accommodations.
The Challenges (and Tips to Beat Them)
Unfortunately, there are also some challenges and drawbacks to traveling as a student:
- Paying for the trip. If you’re struggling with your budget, it may seem impossible to travel the world, but there are strategies you can use to overcome the cost burden. For example, rely on inexpensive accommodations, rather than hotels, and buy your food at local markets rather than going out to eat. You can also travel as part of a group to split most expenses and possibly get discounted rates—and don’t forget to do your research in advance to see if there are any sponsored travel opportunities through your school.
- Maintaining your academic standards. Keeping up your studies can be hard while you’re traveling. However, you can always reserve your travel for off periods, such as between semesters, or plan ahead so you can do your coursework while traveling.
- Staying safe. Being young in an unfamiliar area may make you a vulnerable target. Most youth hostels are reasonably safe, but since you’ll typically be staying with a group of strangers, it can be a bit unpredictable. Keep your wits about you, travel with a companion when you can, and do lots of research on an area before you start exploring on your own.
Is It Worth It?
If you go through your entire college experience without traveling, your life isn’t going to be ruined. However, there are some advantages to traveling before, during, and shortly after college that you can’t get again. The challenges are noteworthy but conquerable, so try to travel at least once during your tenure as a university student. You’ll have more opportunities to travel in the future, but there’s no time like the present.
Sylvia Kohl is an IT teacher with more than 7 years of professional experience. Her main spheres of interest are e-education and beta-testing. This writer chose news about the increasing role of IT usage in colleges and schools as the most common topic for her articles.
Your college roommate is your new best friend. It doesn’t matter where you came from. This is the person who you’re going to be living with for at least the next semester. You owe it to them and yourself to create a harmonious relationship. There’s nothing worse than living in the same room as someone you hate
So how do you be the best college roommate in the history of ever?
Respect their Space
Want to have a smart home even in your dorm room? You can, and it all starts with deliberate organization. Don’t throw your clothes on their bed, lounge on it, or throw any of your nonsense over their space. It’s just basic manners. You don’t need to create solid boundaries in the room. Just show a little commonsense. If you do need to invade their space, you should ask them first.
This is the foundation of creating a harmonious relationship in college.
How Much Noise are You Making?
Noise levels are a frequent source of disagreement. This is where the importance of collaboration comes in. Compare your timetables and base ‘quiet time’ on that.
For example, if your classmate has an 8am class on a Friday morning you know that you shouldn’t stay up partying until 3am the night before. Arrange your schedules based on your class timetables and you won’t get in each other’s way. Try to agree a quiet time in advance so everyone knows where they stand.
Clean the Place
A cluttered room is a sign of a cluttered mind. Regardless of whether you agree with this, nobody likes to live in a room that smells of sweaty socks and plates encrusted with dried pasta sauce.
Keep the place clean. You could organize a schedule for who cleans up or simply pledge to keep your own areas clean. It really depends on the sort of people you and your roommate are.
Do Stuff Together
Life doesn’t just have to be about rules. Forge a better relationship with your roommate by doing some stuff like cooking together. Not only will this help you save money and time but you’ll make a better relationship at the same time.
Compare your schedules and your habits and figure out when you’re both available. Even if you only cook together once a week it’s a great opportunity to bond. You could even cook together with some of the other rooms in your dorm and make a communal atmosphere. This solid relationship will pay off immediately but can also pay off in the future. Say your roommate find a great opportunity provided by some continuing education providers years after you’ve left college, you’d be top on their mind and they’d let you know.
Ask Permission When You Bring Someone Home
The both of you are always going to want to bring people back. But ask permission first. It might feel like you’re back home again asking your parents whether you can bring your friends over after school, but its common decency. Unless your roommate is a terrible person, or their finals are just around the corner, they’re always going to welcome you bringing guests into the room.
And when you bring someone over introduce them to your roommate. Get them involved and let them make a new friend too.
Basic consideration and manners are the foundations of being a great roommate. If you get that down and you reach out to your roommate you’re going to have a great time in college.
Do you have any roommate stories?
Dorothy Mitchell is a freelance business writer and social media marketing consultant. She has worked as a writer, researcher, social media manager and business consultant with several companies, including Fortune 500 companies like LinkedIn, Microsoft, Cisco and PepsiCo.
BY VERONICA HUNT
Any educator or student needs a set of tools to grow and succeed. We have prepared a compilation of six popular Education Technology (EdTech) resources. Although we divide them into two categories for teachers and students, these resources can serve for both audiences with the same efficiency.
LessonCast is a three-minute slideshow video created by teachers for teachers. The main purpose of this web-based tool is to present a short plan of a lesson or any instructional materials for workshops.
- The short length of a 3-minute clip allows teachers to grasp the main points of their peers’ techniques.
- This form of interaction allows making changes to a separate piece of content in the course of a discussion. You can record each slide independently from others.
- You can also add audio, transcripts, questions, comments, feedback, and even assessment tests in case you share a lessoncast with students.
- It serves as an additional resource and cannot substitute traditional preparation practices.
- To develop multimedia presentations novice teachers will require the participation of seasoned teachers who obtain more experience in certain issues.
- The tool offers few options to transform such videos for lessons and training students as well.
Edmodo is a learning management system (LMS) that allows teachers, students, and their parents collaborate beyond the classroom. It forms a digital portfolio of students’ achievements, enables distant learning, and provides non-tech teachers with easy-to-use features.
- The system collects various learning data, assignments, textbooks, and instructional guides. With its help, teachers can create tasks, follow due dates, attach files, add links, and even assess the submitted work leaving comments to it.
- An educator can also use Edmodo’s calendar setting dates for upcoming tests and other classroom events.
- For separate projects, you can divide classes to “small groups”. All assigned tasks as well as resources will be visible to a chosen group solely.
- Teachers and students can safely communicate and share resources within one platform that has a similar feed to Facebook.
- An iOS application requires improvements since it lacks some web version functions.
- The absence of a customized assessment feature which could allow teachers evaluate students based on the particular criteria.
- The calendar is difficult to navigate even with the latest advancements.
Khan Academy is an online video library gathering thousands of helpful videos on various subjects.
- The resource helps educators engage students with interactive video tutorials and encourage independent learning.
- Math teachers can use a huge database of Math problems as templates for their classroom tasks.
- The tool helps to monitor the students’ progress. Eight out of ten educators confirmed it in a SRI survey.
- Using Khan Academy as a flipped classroom tool increases teachers’ workload and time for preparation to their lessons.
- Video tutorials can help acquire some basic skills only for high school programs.
- The catalog of subjects is incomplete since some grades lack resources.
Glogster is a desktop and iOS tool for creating multimedia posters. It combines all types of media to enrich and deliver your content message.
- Students can create interactive presentations, reviews, reports, and class projects producing multimedia glogs with pictures, text, and video.
- It synchronizes on any devices and gives an access to 40,000 learning resources.
- Simple editing and posting tools simplify the process of crafting a glog.
- The resource covers only 9 disciplines and 80 classroom topics whereas the design of templates is unpretentious.
- The tool requires the best internet connection. Besides, the website is rather slow to use it with other web-based programs.
- The students’ profiles are set to public and anyone having a Glogster account can get private information of other users.
Quizlet is a memory-boosting tool that serves as an interactive database of user-generated content. It can become your digital vocabulary and help you tackle any exam preparation without stress and confusion.
- A student can memorize terms and their definitions better through self-created sets of flashcards or already uploaded sets.
- It allows to add images to each term and definition. Audio is uploaded automatically.
- The tool has a set of interactive tests to train and check skills in a particular set.
- It is based on a term-definition algorithm so you can’t apply it to all aspects of learning process.
- Tests need further development because soon you get bored with the same training activities.
- Self-created sets of other students can have some mistakes since no one checks them.
StudentShare is an online database of academic examples. The resource gathers various types of already written and uploaded works by real students. Students can use such samples to follow the proper structure of an essay or other papers, their style requirements, and cope with referencing easier.
- The resource displays only those papers which are double-checked by a team of trained editors. It covers the whole range of academic subjects.
- There is an advanced search feature which allows to find a sample close to your topic.
- A variety of topics and subjects can become a good source of inspiration for students.
- The database lacks examples in several subjects like Archeology, Sports & Recreation, Performing Arts.
- Samples do not display the grade received for the particular paper due to private data issues.
- To use the resource you have to subscribe and choose a subscription plan.
We have analyzed only six EdTech resources for both students and educators. However, there are much more of them since every year new mobile apps appear trying to compete with other well-known services.
Veronica Hunt is an EdTech expert and an experienced blogger from Philadelphia, PA. She sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info in the spheres of marketing and psychology.