Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Study tips to start your school year off on the right foot

Whether you're eagerly jumping into the school year with both feet, or just wondering where your summer went, good study habits can make all the difference. From writing an English paper to reviewing algebra problems, there are a few key elements every successful student needs to include in a study plan.

Make-a-difference study tips:

1. Develop a time management plan. It is not the amount of time you spend studying that matters. It's what you accomplish during that time. Spending 40 hours to prepare for and exam and only earning a C clearly was a waste of your time. Develop a study plan and learn how to manage your time effectively to maximize results.

2. Be self-motivated. If your are not motivated or have a poor attitude, our study session will not be as productive. Pick a time of day where you can get motivated to prepare for tests, write essays, or solve problems.

3. Focus, focus,focus. The ability to concentrate is one of the more important study skills you need to develop. Learn how to overcome distractions so you can focus all your attention on your studies.

4.When in doubt, ask. If you aren't sure about a particular topic, don't be shy. Ask your instructor, family, or friend for help. It is important to address the problem area as soon as possible. Otherwise, you will end up having to spend even more time studying to catch up.

What study tip works best for you?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tweet, tweet! 5 ways Twitter has changed education

Hard to believe that Twitter turned 5 earlier this year. Billions of tweets later, the microblogging platform has changed the way many of us communicate and get information online. The real-time communication provided by Twitter has had profound implications for education, and while it may not be fully integrated into everyone’s academic toolbox yet, it is finding a place there more and more.

Here’s a list of the 5 ways in which Twitter has changed (and probably still can change) education:

1. BRINGS THE WORLD INTO THE CLASSROOM: Internet resources like Twitter give students access to information — more importantly, perhaps — to people beyond the classroom walls. Students can post inquiries online and receive responses in real- or near real-time.

2. HELPS COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SCHOOL AND HOME: A Twitter account for a school or a teacher can be another means (and a paperless one at that) to communicate information to parents on things like events, school closures, and deadlines.

3. GIVES EDUCATORS REAL-TIME PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Rather than waiting for school-sanctioned events and rather than having to locate experts on their own, Twitter gives educators access to a vast social network of other like-minded professionals

4. CREATES CUSTOMIZED PROFESSIONAL NETWORK: It isn’t just educators that are using Twitter to expand their access to experts. Twitter has become a key tool for creating personal learning networks, enabling anyone to build their own connections with other Twitter users, sharing learning resources and support.

5. CAPTURES CONVERSATIONS: The twitters in the back of the classroom used to be seen as distractions and disruptions. By using Twitter, many educators are finding ways to capture these “backchannel” conversations, harnessing rather than silencing conversations that occur during lectures and presentations by taking instant polls and asking for feedback through Twitter.

Has Twitter changed anything about your life at school?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back to school: Top iPhone apps for students

The new school year is just around the corner and that means the smell of erasers and chalk dust will soon be filling classrooms everywhere. But that’s so old school. A rapidly growing number of web and mobile applications are helping students tackle the tasks of obtaining an education. Check out some of these useful apps for students.

5 must-have iPhone applications for students headed back to school

iStudiez Pro. This application keeps track of your entire class schedule and assignments. From detailed, color-coded class schedules (the color coding makes the whole thing very easy to scan) to the ability to attach assignments to each course that shows up on the calendar and when they’re due, iStudiez Pro is a must-have companion to busy students.

Evernote. If you plan at all on using your iPhone for taking notes in class, you’ll want to utilize Evernote. The free application supports text, photo, and voice notes, and syncs to an online account, as well as Mac and PC versions of the app so you can have access to your notes anywhere. Evernote has some really nifty features, such as Twitter integration, geo-location, and the ability to search text within photos.

Cram. Got a big test coming up? You’ll want to check out Cram. Cram is a study tool on which users can create flash cards and multiple choice tests (with automatically randomized answers). These study aids can be shared with friends and synced to the offline Mac OS version.

Wikipedia. This application provides on-the-go, mobile optimized access to Wikipedia articles. Though Wikipedia should probably not be used as a primary source in any academic paper, it is a great starting point for deeper research, and the Wikipedia iPhone app lets you search the encyclopedia whenever an idea strikes you.

myHomework. The free myHomework app is a visually stunning iPhone application that helps students stay organized by creating a calendar of assignments and when they’re due. Assignments are color coded, so you’ll know when due dates are coming and when they’re late. The app doesn’t do much more than that, but it is helpful for keeping overloaded students on top of their work.

What other iPhone applications are helpful to you at school?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Strange items in America’s ‘attic’

It's been 165 years since Congress passed an act to establish the Smithsonian Institution. Dubbed the 'Nation's Attic' (or 'America's Attic'), it has since become a prolific entity. We decided to go looking for some of the more eccentric items collected by the Smithsonian, many of which are currently on view. You may get to see some of these when you visit Washington, D.C., with Discovery Student Adventures.

5 cool, albeit odd things you can see at the Smithsonian.

  • Crash-test dummies. Vince and Larry endured countless crashes and made some funny commercials to get people to wear their seatbelts. The gear from the famous duo was donated to this museum.
  • Dorothy’s ruby slippers. There's no place like home, at the Smithsonian. The iconic shoes from 'The Wizard of Oz', are one of this museum's main attractions. The glittering red slippers are worn around the edges, a reminder of all the clicking and dancing they endured.
  • Teddy Roosevelt’s teddy bear. This prized possession is the original teddy bear, given to this president after a particular bear-hunting story made its way around. The incident also inspired a popular political cartoon.
    Harry Truman’s bowling pin. President Harry Truman had a two-lane bowling alley installed in the White House and helped create a White House bowling league.
  • ‘Star Trek’ phaser. Trekkies will delight in seeing weaponry from the classic '60s TV show at this museum.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

5 ways the London 2012 Olympics is going green

It’s being celebrated as the “greenest” Olympics ever, and organizers are beaming about innovations that will cut the carbon footprint of the entire project by 50 percent. Everything is being designed for low carbon emissions, low waste and green transportation. Discovery Student Adventures will be in London next year and our travelers will help make history by assisting in a conservation project for the Olympics.

In a nutshell, here are the environmentally friendly schemes organizers have planned:

• At the Olympic village, carbon emissions will be cut down by 50% and the entire project will be 25% more energy-efficient, compared to current building regulations
• 20% of the required energy for the Olympic Village and Park will be provided by renewable energy
• 20% of the construction materials, and around 90% of the demolished buildings will be recycled or reused
• Water used at the Olympic village will be 20% less than average
• 10 miles of new routes for walking and 30 miles of new cycling tracks will be built

What conservation methods to you practice to help keep our world green?

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