Posts published in January, 2019
BY JORI HAMILTON
The power of a college degree in today’s workforce cannot be understated. Having a degree is an important indicator to hiring professionals that a student has learned the necessary basics required to qualify for a position within a company. Furthermore, it puts students on a professional track that will allow them to move up and increase their salary potential far more quickly than someone without a degree.
The real debate begins when determining whether the more advantageous route to a degree is through a specialized professional education or a liberal arts education. Both offer substantial positives and negatives, especially depending on which type of career is ultimately chosen. Given the impressive rates of globalization and collaboration of companies, there is a growing benefit of obtaining a liberal arts style of education.
Every year, more and more companies are expanding opportunities in career paths linked to a rapidly evolving global market. Unfortunately, in many of these global workplaces, there is a growing gap between employees and skills necessary to navigate the marketplace. Employers are looking for new employees that are able to utilize critical thinking and communication skills, which are exactly the skills gained in a liberal arts college.
Specialized vs. Liberal: What’s the Difference?
The obvious major difference between specialized professional education and a liberal arts one is the scope of the educational focus. Within a specialized professional education experience, students are largely focused on a specific topic and trained to leave school ready to become a professional. It is a particularly useful educational style for students that are interested in STEM topics or who know exactly what they want to do upon graduating.
A liberal arts education, on the other hand, focuses students on a variety of topics and ultimately prepares them for a range of possible careers after graduation. A liberal arts education builds critical thinking skills by giving students the opportunity to engage and connect skills learned in different departments — for instance, economics and psychology. Liberal art educational styles are more common in the humanities and useful for students seeking options or diverse career experiences.
That is not to say that there is not some level of crossover between educational styles. There is plenty of room for creativity and discovery in STEM education, and there is plenty of room to specialize in humanities. Which route is best ultimately depends upon the career goals of each particular student.
Chameleon Skill Sets
Perhaps the single most significant benefit of taking the liberal arts educational path is the development of an incredibly broad and diverse skill set. Professors work across disciplines to give students an understanding of all subjects ranging from history to biology. This well-rounded education and exposure to multiple fields of study can help graduates make creative connections and communicate fluently about a wide range of topics.
Liberal arts graduates are the chameleons of the workforce in that they are able to change and adapt to whatever situation they are thrown into. Students are taught to develop core skills such as writing, analysis, and research, which can be adapted in some form or another to any career. The development of critical thinking skills, which is a major focus in liberal education styles, enables students to look at problems from multiple angles and look past major biases and can block progress.
Likewise, graduates are encouraged to express the connections between topics that they have made, building ever important communication and interpersonal skills. As workforce chameleons, liberal arts graduates can use these skills to navigate important presentations and collaborate more effectively with co-workers and clients wherever they are employed.
This liberal arts education and the ability to blend in well in any office space, especially one that is rapidly globalizing, grants many advantages in the workplace. While one may think that employers value STEM skill sets, many large companies actually look for skills that are learned in the liberal arts.
“Think of a quintessential tech company and Google might spring to mind,” write the child education experts at Kindercare. “Looking to hire the best talent, Google studied its own workforce to understand what skills made its top managers so successful. The Silicon Valley heavyweight naturally expected mastery of STEM skills would be key—but no. Instead, qualities like empathy, creativity, communication, and critical thinking were the superpowers that their top performers shared.”
It’s an idea that’s backed by research. The Association of American Colleges and Universities completed an online survey and found that 93 percent believe critical thinking, clear communication, and complex problem-solving skills are more valuable than a specific undergraduate major when looking at prospective employees. Additionally, four out of five indicated that they preferred an employee with a broad knowledge of many topics.
On average, data indicates that people are changing jobs more and more frequently. Gone are the days when a person would work with the same company for their entire career. A liberal arts degree can be a significant benefit here as well. Because liberal arts degree holders are more chameleon-like, they are more likely to successfully move between companies and continue building upon skills gained in each work experience.
Some experts have noted that immediately after graduation it can be more difficult for liberal arts students to find a steady job than those graduating with a specialized professional degree. However, this can be buffered with greater amounts of experiential learning, internships during and immediately after a degree program, and further education. Many measures indicate that by mid-career those with liberal arts bachelor degrees make as much or more than those with professional degrees.
Overall, there are numerous benefits to having a liberal arts degree, particularly when it comes to filling a critical workplace gap in critical thinking and communication skills. In a globalized economy and rapidly changing ways of doing business, these skills are more important than ever. Employers are eager to hire employees with a broad understanding of multiple subjects and an ability to fit in in a wide array of situations.
Bio: Jori Hamilton is a writer from the Northwest who is passionate about education and social justice issues. You can follow her on Twitter @HamiltonJori
BY SOPHIA SANCHEZ
If we google ‘college habits’, we get a list of good habits that college students should focus on for success. Then there are articles with lists of habits that successful students typically have. At the bottom are other suggested searches related to college habits which include study habits, healthy habits and the proverbial black sheep of habits – the bad ones.
Habits – the good, the bad and the ugly
After going through the stress of preparing, shortlisting, applying, and getting into college, the years at college are when students revel in the middle of an explosion of information. It’s when they learn from their faculty, peers and the ecosystem they are in. Through these years they form habits which range from the trivial, like using flash cards for making notes, to life sustaining ones like practicing meditation for reducing stress. If they admire a peer or a faculty member, students might actually imbibe one of their habits knowingly or unknowingly, however good or bad it is.
H is for Habits and for Happiness
Many of the habits formed in college aim for a life of success – good job, great money, and greater prestige via keeping up with the Joneses. The well internalized ones are carried through into life after college, sometimes without the person being aware of it. Unfortunately many of these habits do not bring happiness in their wake, turning people into statistics for studies on happiness or a lack thereof.
One of the most popular classes in Yale’s 300 year history was Psychology and the Good Life conducted by psychology professor Laurie Santos in 2018. One of the reasons she put together that class was because there was a study which showed that a large number of people were not happy and one sub-group which stood out and worried her was fresh graduates.
It’s perhaps time to unlearn goals like success in careers and society; and put happiness and cooperative living in their place. Success, money, and prestige will follow; instead of writing off happiness and well-being as collateral damage. So how does one find these habits to develop? Studies analyzed happy people and tried to find out what made them happy. It was simple – happy people were generally optimistic, enjoyed spending time with family and friends, were grateful for their lives, and enjoyed being physically active.
Create a new list
A college education must not become the goal of life, instead a college education must prepare a student for life, and a state of happiness must be the goal of our life. Therefore it must be interwoven into the very fabric of our everyday lives. As the Buddhist monk Matthieu Ricard states – we can train our minds in habits of well-being, to generate a true sense of serenity and fulfillment.
Frequently, with pressures of money, more and more students try to build a repertoire of skills which will help them find the finest job with the best salary. What is frequently forgotten is that college is a safe place where interests must be explored and friendships made. This is a place where intellectually stimulating discussions that open the mind to possibilities must happen, eventually leading to the laying of a strong foundation of beliefs.
We carry our internalized habits into our fully adult lives, therefore it makes sense to develop habits in college which will help one stay happy and fulfilled through college and in later life. Here’s a working list for you to add to –
- Be optimistic
- Enjoy the real world company of friends and family
- Attend your lectures and use every opportunity to interact with your faculty/mentors
- Be physically active as far as possible
- Look around at Nature’s awesomeness
- Be grateful for what you have
- Offer your help where you can
Bio: Sophia is a newbie online ESL/EFL instructor. She is a passionate educator and blogs about education on her personal blog. She found her true calling — teaching — while she was juggling writing and a 9-5 desk job. When Sophia is not busy earning a living, she volunteers as a social worker. Her active online presence demonstrates her strong belief in the power of networking.
BY ANTON LUCANUS
When going to university, there are a million and one things to juggle at any given time. Aside from the standard lectures and tutorial classes, there is the study at home for upcoming examinations, the research for ongoing assessments, and having to balance four or more courses at once – not to mention all the other aspects of life like work, personal time, and spending time with loved ones. It is difficult to truly understand the weight of being a university student unless one has been through the process themselves. Because of the ongoing juggling act, it is not at all uncommon for students to struggle at some point with aspects of their mental health. It is a constant reminder to take care of ourselves both physically and mentally, but when it comes down to it, physical health is the facet of whole health that tends to get the most attention, the most mileage. The single most important piece of advice that a university student will ever get is to find their balance. Nothing else can really work long-term without that.
When students struggle, it can be difficult to know what the steps are that can help them get back on track. Sometimes the answer can come as easily as taking Astaxanthin or other health vitamins, and sometimes the issue runs a lot deeper and requires ongoing therapeutic work to find a solution. Either way, the most important thing is understanding that, even when it feels hopeless, there is always help. Even with one of the most consistent ailments among university students being mental health struggle, it is a shock to realise just how many students have these issues, verses how many actually get assistance for their struggle. In the US, for example, 66% of students surveyed said that they had experienced or were experiencing mental health struggles. In the same study, just 29% said that they actively reached out or were offered support for their struggles. This is an astonishingly significant gap between those that need help, and those that actually get help.
Because of the chaotic nature of university – particularly around the time that assessment tends to pile up – it is easy for students to fall into counterproductive patterns. Over time, because of the anxiety that counterproductive measures can end up causing a lapse in mental health. Having a system in place that helps the student balance their chaotic schedule works wonders and is more valuable than many students can comprehend. It is easy to go into the semester thinking that one has everything under control, but once the ball starts rolling it can be immensely difficult to take back control if there is a slip. Righting the ship can be next to impossible, and it is so important that students are aware that if their balancing system does not work, if there are cracks, then they have options available to them to help. Academic success is important, but nothing is more important than maintaining positive whole health – and that includes mental health.
On campus, there are multiple portals of assistance that students can use. No matter where a student is going to university, there should always be mental health assistance platforms available. Obvious reasons aside, these platforms literally have hundreds of lives annually. When a student feels overwhelmed and there does not seem to be a place to go to find help for those feelings, they can fall further into their mental health lapse. There is nothing more important than being healthy – that cannot be stressed enough – but amid the chaos of a full university semester, it can be easy to shove one’s own needs to the back of their minds in order to ensure that they are getting their workload complete by the set deadlines. While university is an incredible experience for many students, it can be stressful. Being aware of the ways to lessen that stress and anxiety is crucial.
Life as a university student can be tremendously difficult at times. With so many moving pieces constantly shifting at the same time, it is little wonder that many students deal with mental health struggles at some point throughout their time at university. Of all the pieces of advice that university students are ever likely to get, the single most important one is to ensure that they strike a comfortable balance. In short, what this means is that every student has a different pace, a different way of finding their way through the chaos of university semester. The key to getting through that chaos is to have a system that works for them, and that they can alter and shift where need be. Mental health is complicated, and sometimes even a balancing system cannot solve the entire issue, but it sure helps. There are always platforms that are there to help students where they experience struggle, and these platforms should be taken seriously and utilized often.
Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to guide current students to achieve personal and academic goals
BY SAMANTHA BROWN
Right from when you are in college you need to understand the fact that from here on wards, communication is very crucial for your success at every stage. Mastering the art of efficient communications with prospective professors you want to research or intern under, can get you your dream project seamlessly. While email campaigns for college projects are very under-rated these days, it is an extremely powerful tool.
Are you all set to create an impression with your e-mails? Here is a list of some tried and tested tips to help you grab the attention of the mail recipient.
- Be specific and interesting in the subject line
As stands true for email marketing in any industry, the subject line is the most important part of your email. It’s the subject line that would ensure whether your recipient considers the mail to be important enough to open and read, or to think of it as useless trash and ignore. Keep the subject line crisp, specific and intriguing, and keep it as short as possible.
- Steer clear of unnecessary addressing in the beginning
While it is a common norm we follow while e-mailing, but in this case, until and unless you are veteran emailer, you should avoid coming on too strong and personal with an address like “Dear”. A mail that begins with something like this at times turns off certain professors, giving them an impression that you are getting too clingy or too informal too soon. So, it’s advised not to take a chance, and start your mail with simply your professor’s name, preceded by their title.
- Spell out the name correctly and use clear fonts
A spelling mistake or typing error for your professor’s name can finish the game for you in the very beginning. A sharp and clear font with the correct name, indented correctly in the mail, sends forth a textual respect to the professors, and gives them the feeling that your are genuinely fond of them and have made a conscious effort to write them the mail.
- Maintain a balance between relationship and bottom-line
Although you are not advised to write stories or get all dramatic in your mail, but it is also important to try and build a relationship with the professor through the mail, strike an emotional chord in them and express your fondness towards them and their work. Maintaining a fine balance between the two is very important. You can’t just rudely get straight to the point saying “I wish to intern”, as it would paint no picture in the head of the reader and he wouldn’t think twice before deleting the mail. Also, nobody would have the patience to read an entire essay about you or your feelings towards him. So begin with a little interpersonal line like asking them about their day, share a little background about yourself, tell them a little about your fondness towards their work and then move on with your prime agenda.
- Be grammatically correct
Grammatical errors across your mail can puncture your impression severely and would portray a callous approach towards the mail. So make sure you proofread your mail well before hitting the send button. If required, get it proofread by a friend or family member for their feedback.
- Sign off your mail in an appropriate way
Just like the first impression is very important, so is the last. You should leave your professor with an intriguing thought or impression that lingers in their mind for a while, so as to make them consider your proposal. A mail with a killer start but a very lifeless and bland ending is of no use, as by the time they finish reading, they might lose interest in you. Think of an interesting and non-desperate way to finish off your mail, before you sign off with your full name.
- Attach your documents carefully
This is a very important part of creating the mail. First of all, mention all your attachments clearly in the mail. It is advised to mention the enclosed documents separately in a list format. It will help them to get what they seek easily. Also, do not forget to attach any of the documents mentioned in the mail. It again shows carelessness, and it’s not an impression you want your professor to have about you.
While these are the tips related to your email content, some other factors to keep in mind for such campaigns are:
- Learn to be resilient
Patience and resilience are the two keywords here. If a mail goes unanswered, you can’t afford to get distressed or lose hope. Remember, the professors are extremely busy professionals, and they get such mails from prospective students in bulk. So you have to give them time and keep trying your best.
- The time of the email plays a role
The time at which the email is sent out plays a more crucial role than you can imagine. For example, if you think that on weekends you’ll get enough time to curate the perfect mail and send out, it might not be a very good idea, as your professor might be a person who does not attend to work mails over weekends, and your mail might just get lost amid the many others. So, analyze the person you are reaching out to bit before sending the mail out, to have an idea about the best time.
Samantha Brown is a freelance writer who specializes on carrier guidance, she is also motivational speaker and author
BY JANE HURST
While you are in college you should be planning for your career. You are taking classes that will help you get the career you want, however you should also listen to these six career podcasts to help you prepare for your life after college.
- Squiggly Careers
This podcast offers tips and advice on how to take control of your own career development. It discusses knowing your values and what you want out of your career. It is a good starting point for people who are on the path to their first career or for people who are looking to start a whole new career. It talks about making better choices for your future and offers practical tips for getting started in your new career field. Some of the tips and techniques will be useful to you immediately in your everyday life and college career.
- Career Tools
This podcast will give you practical advice for finding the career you crave. From job interview tips to networking to resumes, this podcast will offer you strong practical advice for making your dream career come true. This podcast is aimed at new job seekers so is perfect for you as a college student. You will hear practical advice that will help shape you into a worker that will be hired.
- The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes
This podcast is hosted by former athlete Lewis Howes. Lewis interviews influential celebrities, world class athletes, and extraordinary business minds to bring you a podcast full of career advice. They discuss the ins and outs of business, working with your boss, and much more. This podcast is full of information that will help with your future career. They discuss topics like the secret to happiness, over thinking, and being purpose driven. You will learn about career ups and downs from people who have experienced their own highs and lows in their fields.
- Ctrl Alt Delete with Emma Gannon
Gannon’s podcast interviews people who have made it in their careers. They discuss issues pertaining to career advancement and beyond. This podcast will inspire you in your career choices and opportunities. This is a podcast that goes beyond the typical celebrity interview. Gannon’s guests focus on the internet, personal growth, career trajectories, feminism, and social media. You will receive timely tips and advice from people who have established careers. This podcast will make you think and broaden your horizons.
- Switch, Pivot, or Quit with Ahyiana Angel
This podcast is aimed at people looking to switch their careers. As a college student you will be switching your career from student to professional. This podcast offers practical advice and tips. You can learn about a resume builder and interview skills and more. This podcast will help you transition from college student to career professional and help you with your personal growth. This is a podcast that will help you with your life and adulting. You will get where you want to go and need to be with the help of this podcast.
- The Charged Life with Brendon Burchard
This podcast is hosted by Brendon Burchard a successful personal development coach. He will guide you through work and school difficulties in order to make you into your most extraordinary self. With a subscription you will receive two episodes per week. One will be filled with practical tips and suggestions to help guide you through your personal growth and the other will feature snippets from Burchrd’s everyday life and how he overcomes his own personal obstacles. This is a great podcast for people seeking out new beginnings and careers.
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 KIMBERLY EVANS
Hacks and security breaches have sadly become an integral part of our lives. Whether it is shopping, banking or anything in between, we tend to use the Internet and this has greatly opened many risks for us. A lot of these risks come from hackers who want to steal our personal information to make some extra money by selling it in the dark web world.
But they aren’t the only ones who are snooping into your online activities. Many national governments also tend to monitor the activities of its citizens and residents as a part of their national security policies. A case in point is a program called Tempora where the GCHQ and NSA work together to gather information on emails, Facebook activities, browsing history and more by tapping directly into the transatlantic cables that end in the shores of the UK.
Such threats to security and privacy means you can’t simply use the Internet, especially when you want to do some research privately. You should take certain precautions to ensure that your work and research is private, away from the prying eyes of both hackers and intelligence agencies. Here are four tips to stay safe while doing online research.
- Use your web browser’s private mode
All modern web browsers offer have a private mode, in which browsing history is not saved on your computer. In other words, no browsing history can be viewed by anyone who accesses the same browser or computer later.
But remember, it is not a complete foolproof system because your service provider and online services will still know what you’re browsing. Still, it is a good first step especially when you don’t want your colleague or family member from running through your activity.
So, if you’re wondering how to set this private mode, here are the steps in different popular browsers.
- Internet Explorer: Navigate to Safety > Tools > InPrivate Browsing
- Firefox : Menu >New Private Window
- Chrome: Menu > New Incognito Window
- Safari: File > New Private Window
- Opera: Menu > InPrivate Browsing
- Use a reliable VPN service
The best reliable option available out there is a VPN. If you’ve never heard of it, VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and as the name suggests, it sends all your browsing activity through a tunnel, so that no one else knows what your browsing. Even your IP address and location is not visible to others, and this gives you the highest possible privacy while doing online research.
With such an option, search engines can no longer log your search activity and you can even bypass contest restrictions laid down by your country. Above everything, even the best security agencies in the world can’t exactly know what you’ve browsed and the IP address from which you have accessed a particular content.
Due to these advantages, there are a ton of VPN services out there, but not all are built the same. So, make sure you do your research to zero-in on the best VPN service.
- Sign out of online accounts
Another option that can help you stay safe while doing your online research is to sign out of all your online accounts. For example, let’s say you have signed into your Google account to check emails and Facebook account to check for messages. Once you’re done, make sure you sign out of those accounts to ensure that these online services do not monitor your web activity.
You might wonder what’s wrong if Google monitors your online activity, especially when you’re searching for safe content. Well, it is mostly harmless because Google is not going to do much harm except maybe provide contextual ads for you.
The problem with staying signed on is not Google or Facebook, rather the NSA, as all browsing information reaches them. This means, you may get flagged, especially if you search for any sensitive information.
- Web browser extensions
Web browser extensions prevent third-party websites seeing your browsing activity. This ensures that you continue to stay private while doing your online research. These browser extensions block ads and cookies third-party services use for tracking your activity. This will ensure that your privacy is protected while you browse.
In short, private browsing is not so difficult to implement and hopefully, you’ll be able to pick one of the above four options to do your online research.
Kimberly Evans is a writer, traveler and Internet chatter. She covers stories about businesses and lives that inspire her. Email: KimberlyEvansPen@gmail.com
BY LINDA ANDERSON
Being attentive in college isn’t as easy as it used to be before the evolution of social media. Today, we spend more time uploading videos on social networking sites when compared to spending time in college. With this being noted, a college student has to work really hard to be attentive in college.
Apart from being attentive, there are a few other things to be kept in mind, if you’re a college student. Check it out below.
1. Focus on good notes instead of good grades In college, students often think about getting good grades in order to find success. However, the fact is that if you do not have good study habits and good notes with you, it will be difficult for you to find success and get good grades. Everything is related, and you need to get into the habit of taking good notes at all times. For this, you need to be attentive in college.
2. Understand the requirement of the course If you are studying for regular examination in college, you might satisfy yourself with studying for the examination for a couple of hours on a daily basis. However, if you are preparing for GMAT examination, you need to know that the procedure is detailed and you will have to spend at least 7 hours on a daily basis to get the result you want. GMAT online prep will only make it easy for you to complete the GMAT program as soon as possible and get the benefits out of it. Similarly, if you are studying for the Chartered Accountancy course, you need to look for an online mode that will help you in studying for the course as and when possible.
3. Stay organized Organizing your class materials is important, and many college students are using sticky notes to Remember textbook pages and to keep them on track with the assignments. Keeping your notes in order is a must for college students.With all your commitments in college, you need to be sure that your extracurricular activities and social events are not affected. For this, you need to keep a detailed calendar in your phone or diary so that you do not end up compromising unnecessarily.
4. Avoid over studying It is your examination, and we know that you’re stressed. There is nothing wrong with the routine, but remember that if you’re over studying, it will affect your study pattern and it will also add to your stress. This is because you’ll start forgetting things and we’re sure that you do not want it to happen. So, avoid over studying, and you’ll be happy with your study pattern and get enough time to relax. When over studying, we do not give ourselves enough time to relax, and we’ve seen this to be a cause of concern with many students, working hard to score good marks.
5. Know when you should take a break
Taking breaks every ten minutes is not good. Taking no breaks for hours is equally bad.
With this, we’re trying to say that when you plan your schedule, make sure that you’re making necessary provisions for breaks even. If not, you’ll end up cramming too many things in your daily routine and find it difficult to manage them. After all, you’re still college students, and there are many responsibilities on your shoulders. So, give your mind and body the necessary rest, and you’ll be at ease when trying to study.
6. Don’t wait for the last minute There are too many things on your mind, and you’re trying too hard to manage them all. In this scenario, you’ll be tempted to wait for the last minute for a number of things. Don’t make this mistake because you’ll soon have too many things for the last minute. This is not the right approach to be taken, and so you should make it a point to avoid keeping things specifically for the last minute.
By line for Linda Anderson
I’m a writer and musician residing in Boise, ID in the United States, although I spent a small amount of time (about three years) living in the UK growing up, due to my father’s occupation. I graduated from the College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Business and a focus in marketing in 2014.
When it comes to improving study time, finding roommates, communicating with professors and registering for classes, students have solidly integrated technology into their educational experience.
Now, smart technology is quickly becoming another strong tool in helping students with their educational experience, whether it’s using smart boards in the classroom or saving money on energy costs that could better be put toward tuition. Here are some ways smart technology is changing the way students live and learn.
- Smart tech in your home
Have you considered smart technology in your apartment or home? Many new apartment complexes and even dorms are incorporating the ability to add smart tech gadgets like programmable thermostats and smart lighting. This technology is just one way to improve energy savings by keeping heating, lighting and other functions automatically regulated to your school schedule. Why keep your apartment toasty or the lights burning while you’re in class? The money you save on utilities could go towards student loans, rent, and anything else you need.
High-efficiency light bulbs in your desktop lamps can help illuminate your study time properly while also avoiding the higher costs of incandescents while you’re burning the midnight oil. Some smart lights can adjust to block out blue light at night or even emit aromatherapy scents so you can get the quality sleep you need before that big exam. And these smart lights can change colors to create the right atmosphere for when it’s time to invite your friends over to celebrate your success.
Additionally, you can turn any appliance into a smart appliance with a smart plug or power strip that can be controlled via app—it’s a great way to get your coffee maker going for those quick pre-class review sessions, set the timer on the TV to make sure you limit break time and get plenty of studying in.
- Smart tech in school buildings.
Smart technology that conserves energy is being incorporated into classrooms as well, cutting the costs of building maintenance and operations and letting universities focus the savings elsewhere. Sensors can help maintenance staff predict repairs before they’re needed by keeping up with preventive replacements and upgrades. Smart HVAC systems can keep temperatures regulated for a comfortable learning environment. Smart security systems can help protect school grounds by only allowing access to registered students, faculty and staff, creating a safer space for students.
Smart lighting technology can keep unused classrooms dark and adjust depending on natural light sources, and considering that lighting classrooms is typically one of the biggest costs for universities, it can result in thousands of dollars better diverted elsewhere. Not only can LED lighting improve costs, it also has been shown to help students improve their test scores, cognitive skills and productivity, particularly when the lighting can be adjusted between cool and warm lighting that better emulates natural daylight.
Smart tech also includes smart classroom design, such as capturing more of that natural daylight to enhance both energy efficiency and student alertness, and in functional furniture that can be easily moved and reconfigured for small-group learning. Flexibility is the key—the ability to adjust lighting for better screen viewing, to move around desks and chairs to create small-group conferences, and to offer ways to integrate technology are all ways smart design will enhance learning.
- Smart tech in the classroom.
Learning has never been more accessible to students. More classrooms are incorporating smart boards and video projectors. Interactive whiteboards replace plain whiteboards or even chalkboards, functioning as large touch-screen computers or connected to a computer via projector, enhancing classroom experience and engaging students more actively in learning. Tablets, laptops, and phones are letting universities network the classroom experience and create more opportunities for small-group study and project collaboration.
Internet access at individual seats allows students and professors to share websites or screens with the class. Some universities are recording and uploading lectures for students to view at other campuses or streaming them in real time. That ability has allowed universities to expand class capacity, creating greater access to popular classes. Those larger classes require better audio connections within the classroom, eliminating the days of straining to hear from the back row. These video connections and recordings also have allowed universities like Stanford to offer free public access to courses for personal enrichment.
Undoubtedly, smart technology use is here to stay and is always expanding. As it grows, so will the ways it can help you enhance your work in the classroom and at home to maximize your educational experience.
Hilary is a freelance writer, small business owner, and a perpetual student of life. She loves to write about everything from tech to travel and health. You can follow her on Twitter @TypewriterHil
BY KRISTIAN KRISYK
Programming is a complicated subject, and it is all too easy to get behind the rest of your peers if you are not paying sufficient attention or missed a couple of classes. After that, it is often exceedingly hard to catch up with them just by following the instructions of your teacher or professor; so what can one do to improve? How can one get better at programming on one’s own? Let’s find out.
1. Use free and low-cost learning resources
To improve one’s knowledge of programming, there is no need to sign up for yet another expensive course. The Internet today is rife with free and affordable learning resources such as Coursera and Codecademy where you can get all the additional learning you are ever going to need without overpaying for it. There are plenty of narrow-focused courses that will improve your understanding of particular topics, so check them out.
2. Learn by example
It is often said that the best way to learn something is to take a look at the way this something is done by somebody who has already mastered it. Now, it may be not so obvious where you are supposed to get examples when studying programming, but there are plenty of sources online, such as ABC Assignment Help and numerous other websites where you can get high-quality code samples.
3. Learn from others
We live in the age of the Internet, which means that other people skilled at what you study right now are usually just a couple of clicks away. There are plenty of communities that bring together people specializing in programming, and you can often address them with your questions to receive highly personalized answers. Take Stack Overflow, for example – a leading website for anybody having any issues related to programming and coding. You can ask virtually any question here and expect it to be answered by skilled and experienced coders, often in a matter of minutes. A good decision is to stick to the 15-minute rule – if you haven’t made any progress with a task for 15 minutes or more, go to Stack Overflow and describe your problem. You may still solve it yourself, but at least there will be a backup for you to go to.
4. Get better every day
If you are serious about getting better and catching up with your class (and outperforming them in future), you should make it your primary rule to get at least a little bit better every day. Don’t just do tasks mechanically – take time to stop and make meaningful improvement every single day. For example, read a page out of the manual, learn a new language feature and practice using it, clean up a piece of redundant code – in other words, make qualitative instead of quantitative progress.
5. Contribute to GitHub
GitHub is a resource that hosts an ever-increasing number of open source programming projects. Taking part in one of them is advantageous in a number of ways: you get acquainted with new people from the coding community, many of whom have something to teach you, you get practical experience that will boost your expertise and confidence in your skills, you receive valuable feedback from other programmers. You can be sure that this is the experience most of your class will lack.
Even if you are seriously lagging behind your class in programming, there is no need to panic. With a little bit of ingenuity and readiness to apply yourself, you will be able to close the gap and get ahead.
BY LINE–Kristian Krisyk had been working in the field of web design for 7 years before becoming an entrepreneur in 2014 in design and marketing. His professional interests and hobbies defined major topics of his articles. These days Kristian runs his business and looks for new development opportunities. Follow him @KristianKrisyk or contact at firstname.lastname@example.org
BY SIMON REED
Something every college student understands, and something new college students learn really quick, is that money is always going to be tight during college – and there isn’t a ton of opportunity to make a mountain of cash while you are busy studying for your future and career, either.
This is why learning how to manage your finances when you are in college is mission critical. The better you are at working with your current cash flow, the better off you are going to be, and the more relaxed you are going to end up while your fellow college students are cashing in discarded beer cans for a little bit of extra dough.
To help you get a firm handle on your finances throughout college we’ve put together this quick list of tips and tricks. It will definitely help you hit the ground running!
Build Your Budget
The very first thing you have to do as a college student serious about your finances is understand exactly what your cash flow situation is right now and what your budget needs to look like.
The only things in life that get improved are the things that are constantly tracked and measured. If you don’t know how much money you have coming in, how much money you have going out, and where your money is coming from and where it is headed you’ll never be able to get a handle on your finances.
Building a budget isn’t one of the most exciting thrills you’ll have in college, but it’s going to make all those fun times possible. The budget helps you eliminate one of the biggest stress factors in college, and you’ll always be able to adjust on the fly as your incoming cash increases or your expenses decrease.
Take Advantage of Online Financial Services
Money management applications like Mint and budget building solutions like You Need a Budget are just some of the top-tier online financial services you can use to help manage your finances as a college student.
Again, balancing a checkbook, reconciling your accounts, and digging into the nitty-gritty of your financial situation isn’t going to be all that attractive a way to spend a Friday night at school – especially when stacked up against all your other options.
By using these online financial services, applications, and software solutions you can automate the majority of your financial heavy lifting without missing out on any of the benefits that closely tracking your money has to offer.
Cut Down on Student Debt ASAP
Student debt is a major problem these days, not because the value education has dropped off a cliff (an education is more valuable today than ever before) but because students are so ill-prepared to move forward with their lives after school with these massive debts hanging around their shoulders.
Managing and mitigating student debt is a big piece of the puzzle.
Make sure that your spending your financial aid correctly, investing it in your college courses as opposed to springing for pizza or buying a brand-new smart phone like the iPhone Xs Max and an expensive iPhone Xs Max case to go along with it. Borrow only as much money as you actually need to meet your financial obligations, too.
Do your level best to increase your income as much as possible as a college student without compromising your education. Jobs around school, profitable hobbies, and other positions give you a chance to make a little bit of extra cash that can be used to pay down your loan before interest rates kick in.
Lastly, you’ll want to push as much money to pay down the principle of your loan as possible ahead of those interest rates as we highlighted just a moment ago. Use any extra cash you’re able to put together towards these principles in you’ll end up saving thousands and thousands of dollars over the life of these loans that you would have had to cough up otherwise.
With this kind of laser focus on your finances you’ll have no trouble whatsoever navigating college life without the stress and pressure that those in financial disarray have to deal with on a day-to-day basis. These tips and tricks are going to help you knock your money management during college right out of the park!
Byline: Simon Reed is Director of Public Relations at Excelcapmanagement.com. We’re a US based firm following the different trends of finance and business and constantly look for new things on the market.