5 Computer Habits Every Teacher Needs to Form Today

The following is a guest post written by Mitch Pazanski, art department head at MightySkins. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

As a higher education instructor in the information era, awareness of security and productivity is more valuable today than ever before. If you have a slew of poor computer habits, you could be wasting more time and energy than you think. To save yourself stress and improve your teaching experience, start nurturing these five essential computer habits.

Why is a Mindful Technology Routine Crucial for Teachers?

When it comes to your computer routine, you could be wasting hours and even days if you either don’t have a routine or are slacking. There are many technology tools and modern methods that can help you combat lost work, avoid excessive emails, communicate better with students, and stay on-task. Here’s what you, a teacher working in the digital age, can do to enhance your online working methods.

1 – Work in a Cloud

The days of computer crashes and lost documents can be considered a thing of the past if all computer users decide to board the cloud ship. Technology provides us with amazing web-hosted tools negating the need to weigh down your computer with excessive software and, in most cases, the need to save your work every few minutes. Working in the cloud can save a ton of time and stress.

2 – Use a Password Vault

How many different password-protected accounts do you have? According to Joseph Bernstein, a BuzzFeed news reporter, the average English-speaking adult has 27 separate online login accounts to remember. As a teacher you may have even more, considering the nature of your work. So, stop writing all of your login info in your day planner and start using a password vault. Leveraging a free browser add-on like LastPass can help create a secure, fast, simple, and more productive login experience across the web.

3 – Acquaint Yourself With Student-Preferred Communication Technologies

Depending on who your students are, there are a myriad of communication tools they are probably already using. Some prefer WhatsApp while others lean toward Google Hangouts. But regardless of which chat platform they are using, you can either meet students where they are, or use an app like Slack to combine all of your communication in a single dashboard. You can always request that students contact you by email, but you are likely to stay better connected if you get to know the platforms they are using.

4 – Limit Your Time on Social Media

Today, nobody is safe from the distraction of social media – not even educators. 30% of all time spent online is on social media. But, you don’t want this cutting into your classroom time. So, set limits for yourself. If you need help, there is software available to help with this particular issue. Try StayFocusd as a Chrome add-on to control your time spent on any specific website.

5 – Leverage Editing Tools

With changes in digital technology comes a shift in the way our brains process information. We, the 21st Century population, prefer bite-sized lessons and data presentations. At the same time, we are always in a rush. Avoid typos and grammar mistakes with software that can streamline the editing process. Grammarly and Hemingway are amazing, free tools intended to make sure you don’t accidentally present students with sloppy learning materials.

Final Thoughts

We used to think that it takes 21 days to form a habit, but this is a myth. It can actually take 66 days before something starts to feel normal to you. So, start making these changes today and watch higher productivity become part of your lifelong computer routine.

 

Author’s Bio:

Mitch Pazanski is the art department head at MightySkins, a vinyl skin company located in Florida. He helps design Asus Laptop skins, Lenovo Flex skins, gaming, and phone skins that are offered at MightySkins.

 

 

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Online Ed as a Stepping Stone for the Real World

One of the great advantages of attending a traditional college are the many benefits the school may offer on campus in terms of job opportunities and career services. Some online programs try to match the high standards set by schools such as Princeton, MIT, and Purdue (according to research published by College Magazine) by making resources and advisors available by phone, chat, or via LinkedIn. However, these methods don’t always live up to the desired goals. So, what do online courses offer in the way of preparing students for the Real World? What life skills could students gain by taking online courses?

 

1- Online Networking and Communication Skills

Thanks to the internet and other technological advancements of the 20th and 21st Centuries, many companies and work environments no longer rely on an office or central location to maintain operations. Instead, graduates who are new to the working world may find themselves subject to a network of contacts and coworkers with whom they must communicate via email and not in person. The online learning environment, with its virtual classrooms and lack of face-to-face interaction, helps to prepare students for a situation in which they will have to rely entirely on online and long-distance communication.

2- Manners

Although some people may argue that a virtual or distance learning environment robs today’s students of their exposure to society and weakens social aptitudes, there are other ways in which online learning can help strengthen a student’s ability to gain and practice using proper manners. While shorthand and abbreviated texts are acceptable when texting a family member or instant messaging a friend, they are not suitable for participation in a discussion board or when emailing a professor. This need to learn and develop proper writing etiquette is a skill that will benefit students as they venture out into the world, whether to pursue a higher degree or start a new job. And, by participating in online learning activities and communicating virtually with other students and faculty, students should be able to cultivate these skills and, simply put, manners.

3- Self-Discipline

Students are forced to develop self-discipline in order to excel in their online studies. Unlike in a traditional classroom, where a majority of the learning is done in class with only homework assignments or papers completed at home, an online course does not provide a work schedule or outline for when students should log onto the course management system and do their work. There is no teacher providing live encouragement or watching over their every move in the classroom, so students must develop their own self-discipline in order to get things done. This unique characteristic of an online class can help students to find and foster the internal motivation necessary when setting out into the real world.

4- Time Management

Unlike students in a traditional classroom, who are required to attend lectures and labs at specific times, online learners are encouraged to take advantage of every minute and schedule their time appropriately. Many students choose distance learning because they are juggling more than just school on a daily basis. Jobs, families, and travel all factor into their daily schedules, so they need to learn great time management skills in order to fit schoolwork into the picture, as well. Additionally, because many course management systems are now accessible on the go, students can take advantage of every spare minute, reading assignments or contributing to discussion boards from their smartphones or tablets while between appointments or during a lunch break. It is this early exposure to time management that teaches online students how to make and meet personal deadlines and goals.

5- Technology

Although on-campus students are often required to interact with the same LMS as distance learning students, there is one aspect of technology to which they do not often gain access while in school- professional video conferencing software. While many students are familiar with Skype and FaceTime, basic video chats are missing the features and feel of a professional online meeting. Many businesses are now choosing to ‘meet’ with clients, partners, and other employees virtually instead of spending airfare on overseas (or even domestic) travel. And, online instructors will often use these methods to communicate with students or set up group projects for learners. This can help students better communicate with fellow classmates and instructors for a variety of academic reasons, all of which are better translated into the corporate world.

6- Job/Career Prep

There is one colossal advantage to taking courses online instead of in person- everything is saved and recorded electronically. This means that online students may be better prepared to put together an e-portfolio, one of the greatest assets an individual can have when voyaging into the world of job searches, applications, and interviews. Being able to seamlessly build an online repository of work, projects, and learning can help place online learners a step above those who learn on-campus. One of the many arguments against online education is that students have less of an opportunity to acquire hands-on experience in their field of study. While this may not be true for web developers, graphic designers, and writers, this is definitely a huge disadvantage for biology or education majors. However, by allowing students to access and display their work and studies in an organized, easily accessible manner, online education can help students boost their resumes and market themselves as effectively as possible.

 

Sources:

20 Life Skills Not Taught in School, by Jake Akins

How Online Learning Develops Essential Skills for Lifelong Success, by Jason Evans

College Magazine’s The 10 Colleges with the Best Career Services, by Lyla Lawless

US News’ 4 Ways Online Education Programs Teach Real-World Skills, by Darwin Green

US News’ Evaluate Career Services in an Online Education Program, by Jordan Friedman

14 Online Resources & Apps for Dyslexic Students

The following is a guest post written by Sharon Conwell, content manager, part-time educator, and editor. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

Dyslexia, a learning disability characterized by a difficulty with language such as reading, writing, and spelling, can have a negative impact on a person’s ability to study effectively.  Reading and writing is often more difficult for those with Dyslexia.  However, with new technology, online resources and mobile and desktop apps are being created that make it easier for students with dyslexia to get ahead in their studies. Take a look at some great examples of apps that can help those with Dyslexia really excel in their studies.

1- ClaroPDF and ClaroSpeak

Claro’s software helps translate text to speech to make reading easier. Available for iOS, this software also includes useful features such as highlighting, note taking tools, and audio and video annotation.  There is even a tool which enables you to convert PDF text to audio.  Both ClaroPDF and ClaroSpeak also sync with Dropbox so users can access their recordings on the go.

2- NaturalReader

Another text to speech app, NaturalReader, is a back to basics piece of software which includes automatic scrolling for longer documents so users can follow along with the text.  NaturalReader is also able to automatically recognize text on Web pages to make browsing the web easier for individuals with visual impairments or learning disabilities.

3- Co:Writer

Writing can be especially challenging for individuals with dyslexia, who often have problems with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Co:Writer is a keyboard app which predicts the word that the user is going to input based on context and previous word choices.  It is also able to recognize verbal commands, so if a user can’t spell a word, he/she can dictate it to the software which will recognize the word and type it in.

4- Ginger Page

Ginger Page is a spell checking app which goes beyond the basic feature in Word.  Instead of marking individual words, the software can see the context of what you are writing to make its suggestions more accurate.  It will also suggest ways in which a user can rephrase text in order to make it clearer.

5- Google Keyboard

Going back to basics, the Google Keyboard feature on Google devices offers dictation and word prediction, and also features a spell checker which can easily be enabled.  These features are built into many Android devices.

6- Keeble Keyboard

If you want to go beyond Google Keyboard’s basic features, Keeble Keyboard is a smarter piece of software which will keep track of the words you type and use that information to provide audio feedback, automatic word completion and next and multi-word prediction.

7- Spell Better

Spell Better is a word processer which is intended to make typing easier by predicting words as you type. This means users do not have to worry about spelling, and is Useful for those who are busy and don’t want to worry about learning and improving.  Spell Better helps get writing done, fast.

8- Easy Word Count

Easy Word Count enables users to keep track of their writing by automatically providing the word and character count in a document. This is useful for students who need to keep within certain parameters when planning their writing.  It can also help users structure their academic work.

9- Citeitin

Citeitin is a great website that provides full citations in multiple writing styles. Users can simply input their sources or information, and they will be provided with the correct references and citations in the designated writing style. This allows users to skip the difficult task of correctly identifying and formatting a bibliography.

10- Type To Learn

Type To Learn is a software which not only makes writing easier, but also can be used to actively improve writing skills and vocabulary knowledge.  It is especially useful for school students, since the tool can be set to gage and change the level of difficulty level.  With ten minutes per day, users of Type To Learn see a significant improvement in their typing.

11- Flashcards Deluxe

Using flashcards online instead of making them on paper is especially useful for dyslexic students. This can allow users to provide text-to-audio capabilities within a flashcard format to make learning easier.  Flashcards Deluxe is a multi-featured app which allows users to create flashcards with more than two sides if necessary, and add pictures and audio to the flashcards, as well.  It also integrates with the popular learning app, Quizlet.

12- Notablility

Notablility allows users to take notes in a multisensory way, in order to encourage superior recall and understanding.  Its notes boast rich-text formatting, audio, sketch, highlighting, and attachment capabilities.

13- Quizlet

Quizlet is an online resource which can be used by students and teachers to either create or acces sets of flashcards on a range of topics. Users can create their own study flashcards or can use others that have been made available by other users.  Quizlet ‘gamifies’ learning, and makes it fun and motivating for students who have difficulty in a more conventional learning environment.

14- Inspiration Maps

Inspiration Maps appeals to visual learners who find it helpful to map out their writing. This app contains extensive audio and visual features, making it the perfect software for users with dyslexia.  It also includes pre-made templates for those users who may need a bit of help to start.

Author’s bio: Sharon Conwell has worked as a content manager and ghost writer on over 20 online projects. Now, she is a part-time educator and an editor, specializing in content creation and optimization. She loves coffee, tulips and her Shih Tzu named Bobby. Feel free to contact her via LinkedIn.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Technology in the ESL Classroom

The following is a guest post written by Michael Gorman, highly skilled editor and proofreader. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

What do you think about when you hear the word “technology”? Do you think about enormous databases, drones, or online banking? Or maybe smart TVs? Apps? Tablets? Although seemingly very different, these diverse methods and devices all fall under the category of technology.

Let’s picture a classroom full of students who need to learn English in the fastest and the most effective way. Does technology have a place in this classroom? If so, how can it be utilized to facilitate learning in an ESL classroom, where there might be only one native English speaker, the teacher?

If you have some doubts how technology can be used there you have found the right article, because right now we are going to describe how technology can be a great tool to facilitate English learning and improve student performance.

In the modern educational world, the term “technology integration” is becoming one of the most popular pedagogical phrases, because that’s how educators describe the efforts to implement high-tech devices in the classroom. However, many teachers still have not fully grasped the meaning of the expression because of lack of personal use of these technologies, school funding limits, and even age.

Technology integration explained

This term is defined as the practice of integrating and interweaving technological means into educating and learning, which is supported by the school. There, that was not so difficult, right?

However, while the definition may sound simple, actual implementation is not. In fact, technology experts argue that there is a big difference between implementing the technology in the classroom and actually intertwining it with the education process. Bringing technology into a classroom might be easy for educators, but getting the most out of it isn’t a piece of cake. However, when used correctly, technology can transform the classroom into an advanced workstation that provides a wide range of benefits for both students and educators.

Benefits of using technology in an ESL classroom

1. Improves future opportunities for students

The age of technology is here to stay and it commands everything that employers might need in the workplace. In the future, even the most basic tasks will require some expertise in technology, so preparing students to use it before they graduate can greatly increase their chances for success on the job.

To ensure sufficient technological progress of learners in a classroom, an educator needs to provide materials that will keep students updated on the latest developments in the world of technology. For example, Marta Dowson, a senior educator from Proessaywriting.com, says that lessons could involve the use of the latest software and applications for professional use that might be used in the workplace.

Given that English is a global language which is featured in most, if not all, software products, students may also benefit from being exposed to and using apps and products in English-language to develop sufficient understanding of technical terminology.

2. Stimulates Motivation and Engagement

Many educational studies have shown that technology plays a critically important role in increasing engagement and motivation in the classroom. It provides an experience that is completely different from traditional learning and, in the form of apps and devices, allows learners to use exciting tools to paint, type, observe, and perform many other functions. It can turn a mundane biology lesson into a really fascinating one, with interactive experiences and powerful demonstration of the material.

In an ESL classroom, like any other one, motivation and engagement are really important for achieving the best outcomes. Educators need to understand the importance of incorporating technology in these classrooms because motivation and excitement are the main drivers behind language acquisition.

3. Fosters student independence

This is another great benefit of using technology that can have a powerful implication for those that continue to improve language skills at home or on the go. Computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices can be used regardless of location to engage in meaningful learning, such as reading, listening, and performing material-relevant activities or exercises.

As the result of having learning materials at hand or available for download, students can become more independent, because by controlling when, where and how they access course information, they can partially assume the role of a teacher. For example, they can find text, read it, highlight the unknown words, locate them in an online dictionary and create their own home tasks. Or, they may use various online tools for language learning, such as Omniglot.com, EnglishGrammar.orgEnglishClub.com, Vocabulary.co and many others.

4. Allows learners to experience different cultures

By having access to the Internet in the classroom, students have the opportunity to tap into the target cultures by visiting sites from different English speaking countries. As a result, they can have a native experience of the language and see things that only English speakers typically access, such as news sites, sport-related sites, etc. They can literally visit all sites in the English language and learn the culture from native English speakers, which is a great advantage that would not be possible without the use of the internet or technology.

Now that we have listed the benefits of using technology in ESL classrooms, let’s review some great tools that can be used in the process.

Tools for the ESL classroom

EverythingESL

This is a remarkable resource for an ESL teacher, basically serving as a storage of learning materials including grammar lessons, exercises, essay topics, tutorials, tools, and other useful things. It also provides key strategies for teachers to generate an effective learning environment, which is great for both experienced and new educators.

UsingEnglish

This site provides a great database of resources for teaching English as a second language online. It includes tools, articles, handouts, lesson plans, worksheets, training, language tests, polls, quizzes, and even glossaries and vocabulary materials. In other words, it is a go-to resource for ESL teachers who need materials for the class.

What Works Clearinghouse

This site provides reviews of current research of different products and practices in education. According to the creators of WWC, their goal was to provide teachers with the information to make evidence-based decisions and improve the quality of learning. The website include sections such as literacy, math, science, behavior, teacher excellence, early children, post-secondary education, and more.

BBC Learning English

BBC Learning English is an English program that is most widely used by students from all over the world. It includes grammar and vocabulary lessons designed by some of the best British teachers, with great references to modern events from around the globe. It provides a unique learning experience that should be tried in all ESL classrooms. It even contains a section dedicated to ESL learning, which is not currently updated but can still serve as a valuable resource.

Concluding Thoughts

Whether you are a student or a teacher in an ESL classroom, you can find some interesting insights and tools in this article. Remember, learning English should be fun, and technology is a way to ensure excitement and motivation in the classroom. The era of technology is here to stay, and the same could be said about education because there are more and more benefits discovered by those who learn with the help of advanced technologies.

If used properly, technology can be the best friend of an educator in any classroom. Remember this during your next lesson!

Author’s Bio: Michael Gorman is highly skilled editor and proofreader. He is proficient in blog writing and online freelance networking. Feel free to contact him via Facebook.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

Virtual Reality- The New e-Learning Reality

virtual-reality-sepiaWith the introduction and growth of social media in the past decade or so, technology has often been blamed for a decrease in social skills and interactions. Although apps such as Facebook and twitter allow for a broader sense of connection and communication across the globe, many educators argue that technology is not just changing but eroding the way people interact with one another.  However, a form of technology first introduced in the 1930’s has since made a comeback and is slowly working its way into both personal and professional environments to change this view of computers and other artificial intelligence.

Virtual Reality (VR), which refers to the emulation of real world phenomenon through hardware and software, allows users to physically engage in a 3-D generated virtual environment in order to experience events, places, and people using more than just the five basic senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. By placing a user into a high tech, fabricated environment, VR can be used to truly enhance the way subject matters are given over to students, both in and out of the classroom.

Virtual reality can be implemented in one of two ways- either using a traditional desktop and virtual reality software, or using a fully immersive virtual environment (one that requires the student to use a head mounted display- HMD) and data glove for physical interaction and engagement. And, for those truly dedicated to the enrichment of a classroom using technology, lessons can be brought to life using a differentiable form of VR called Augmented Reality (AR).

Augmented reality, an enhanced form of virtual reality, is a means of making learning, which is usually 2-Dimensional, 3-Dimensional. Described simply as the digital display of information on the things that surround us, AR blends technology with real life by allowing developers and users to create an overlay of digital information onto a material thing. By superimposing a digital image onto a physical surface, this form of technology can enrich the way students view subjects such as biology and physiology, and can allow for a more realistic understanding of subjects through visual representation.

So what is so great about virtual reality, and what can it bring to a distance learning environment that traditional learning software cannot? The following are 6 ways in which virtual reality could be indispensable in the online classroom:

  1. Expand the roles of the classroom– Whereas a traditional classroom is stationary and doesn’t allow for the hands-on exploration of many topics taught, a virtual environment allows students to physically engage in their learning. Using virtual reality software, the typical classroom could be converted from a lecture hall into a vehicle for travel, allowing students to walk through a historic city or building in history class, or grab and manipulating objects, graphs, or data for a math lesson. With virtual reality, a classroom is no longer simply the place where a teacher talks and attempts to show students how things look outside the walls of the school (or in this case, wherever students may be sitting at their computers), but a medium through which students can interact with and learn from the material of a lesson.
  2. Enhance methods of collaboration– Although there are numerous apps and other software that can be used to allow students to interact and collaborate on assignments, none of them live up to the high standards that virtual reality has set for social integration of learners in an online learning environment. VR technology supports the learning styles of all students, incorporating the auditory, visual, tactile learning preferences of different students into a combined learning environment.
  3. Add a social-emotional element to learning – Before the times when every adult and child walked around with a smartphone or tablet, and before the internet made video conferencing a possibility, in order to truly communicate, people were required to meet and speak face to face. Now, however, we live in a digital age in which it is almost inconceivable that a person should not have access constant access to social media or email. And, more often than not, meetings and interactions, both in schools and the workplace, are taking place via the internet in 2-Dimensional form, lacking the more concrete feel of a 3-Dimensional environment. However, the use of virtual reality could revive the methods of old, allowing users in a shared virtual environment to communicate and interact more thoroughly. This technology could allow people to make true human connections, regardless of where they are in the world. And, by being able to share virtual realities, students can include others in their experiences, allowing individuals to connect and relate to others in a way never done before. It can change how people perceive one another, working as the ultimate tool for emotional connectivity across the globe.
  4. Inspire creativity– The greatest teachers are always looking for new ways to touch and inspire their students. Most are hesitant to tap into the endless world of technology, because the countless gadgets can be overwhelming or distracting. But, when used correctly, Virtual Reality can be an avenue for inspiration, pushing students to explore the limits of their imaginations and see how far their creativity can take them.
  5. Add relatable rewards and incentives for students– Because of the myriad of apps that allow players to work towards incentives and prizes, the younger generation has adapted a unique attitude towards virtual reality and technological interaction. So, instead of simply having students explore concepts and places using VR, add an element of reward to the interactive teaching method. By building teams or achieving specific goals or tasks, students could earn collective bonuses based on academic goals achieved, pushing them to achieve more and reach higher in their learning.
  6. Virtual Reality can make possible the realistically impossible– This last one speaks for itself. Although technology as a whole has changed the way both students and teachers view education and the classroom, there is no other means by which learners could truly become a part of their lessons and interact with the world on such a physical and realistic level. And, as 20th Century science fiction writer Douglas Adams stated in an interview with The Guardian, “What the computer in virtual reality enables us to do is to recalibrate ourselves so that we can start seeing those pieces of information that are invisible to us but have become important for us to understand.”

For more information about Virtual Reality and its potential in the online classroom, take a look at some of these great links:

 

Sources:

Virtual Reality in the Classroom Infographic

Immerse Yourself in Virtual and Augmented Reality Infographic

Virtual Reality in the Classroom, by The Virtual Reality Society

5 Ways Virtual Reality will Change Education, by Kate Abrosimova

5 Tools to Leverage Augmented Reality, by Laura Devaney

The Augmented Future of eLearning: Augmented Reality in eLearning, by Nicholas Filler

Great Voices of Science Fiction, The Guardian Newspaper

10 Apps Essential for Students

The following is a guest post written by Kevin McNamara, private tutor and blogger. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.

We all love it when we can find ways to make studying easier, don’t we? It’s a good thing that students now have access to technological tools that are designed to make school life simpler and less stressful. The number of apps available nowadays is truly overwhelming. Below you’ll find 10 must-have apps aimed to help students conveniently store study materials, manage time, and control their finances.

 

1) Scribd

Students often have to self-teach outside of the classroom. Scribd, one of the largest online libraries in the world, makes this much easier to do. With millions of scientific books and articles shared by users from all over the world, students can conveniently search for necessary materials using keywords, author names, and titles. Users can create their own library of books for later access, and even share them with others. Furthermore, Scribd will use your previous searches and reads to suggest additional reading titles.

2) DropBox

Hundreds of course papers and lecture notes are forfeited on a daily basis because of lost flash drives or damaged PCs. Fortunately, DropBox can help with that. Why clog devices with homework when all that and more can be saved easily and conveniently on the cloud? Users can use DropBox to upload documents, presentations, photos, and other files that can then be easily accessed from any computer or device. DropBox also allows users to share files with other students or professors for easy collaboration. Overall, students using DropBox can be confident that all of their data is safe.

3) Dictionary.com

Whether you are studying foreign languages or just need to understand the meaning of certain words better, this resource will help you find the definition for any word in the English, or other, language. Instead of carrying enormous paperback dictionaries in your bag, you will find it extremely useful to have your dictionary.com app always on hand. In addition to word definitions, the app also offers a list of synonyms for each word, a helpful tool when writing long papers or assignments.

4) Evernote

With so many things to do and remember throughout the day, many students’ organizational skills leave much to be desired.  Evernote is one of the most widely-used note-taking apps. With its help, it is possible to take notes, set reminders, create to-do lists, add files, and enable notifications – everything that students need to keep up with school. Its minimalistic interface makes it perfect for use on your smartphone. It even has a camera feature that enables users to capture documents and schedules that can be attached to notes.

5) EasyBib

For a majority of students, the most difficult part of research paper writing is not finding information and putting pen to paper, but preparing the list of citations in the appropriate format and style. EasyBib makes things easier, allowing users to simply input the source title and then providing citation options to choose from. There are over 7,000 citation styles available, including MLA and APA, which are considered to be the most popular. The app also enables users to scan a book’s barcode and get a citation for it. With its help, one of the most annoying parts of writing is done easily.

6) SelfControl

It is not uncommon for students to get easily distracted while studying. They constantly want to share, tweet, post something on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, or simply see what is going on via social media. To reduce distractions, the SelfControl app allows users to choose to block certain websites for a determined period of time, until an exam period is over or until finished with homework assignments. This app is a great help to those who are always online.

7) Chegg

With Chegg app, students no longer need to spend a fortune on books for each new semester. The app allows users to search for textbooks, and then rent or buy them at a reduced price. When the semester or year ends, students can simply return the books or resell them via Chegg. This eliminates the need to unnecessarily store piles of books at home, and simultaneously helps other students find the books they need.

8) Mint.com

Saving money is something all students struggle with. There are so many things to take care of now that they are away from home. Mint.com’s money-managing app can help students manage their budgets more effectively and show where their money has gone. Better control over finances tends to make students more responsible when it comes to money spending. Hopefully, reasonable budgeting will work for you, too.

9) Indeed Job Search

There always comes a time when students and graduates are willing to make some extra money by working a few hours a day throughout the semester, or full time after college. The Indeed Job Search app enables users to create resumes, look for, and apply for suitable jobs directly from a mobile device. Users can also save job posts and vacancies and subscribe to job updates that will be delivered directly to their email inboxes. The app has a variety of options for students and graduates.

 10) myHomework

I don’t know about you, but I used to have a hard time keeping track of my schedule and when my papers were due. myHomework allows users to keep track of all homework assignments, prioritize tasks, create labels and get notifications for deadlines and due dates. The app also enables users to add the names of professors to each class on their schedules, which gives students a leg up over others who don’t bother remembering teachers’ names.

 

kevin-mcnamara-headshotAuthor’s Bio:  Kevin McNamara is a private tutor, content writer, and blogger. He likes sharing his thoughts and experiences with people through words. Check out Kevin on Facebook and Twitter.

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.

 

The Ultimate Guide to Snapchatting in the Classroom

snapchat in the classroom
https://www.snapchat.com/
https://www.snapchat.com/

You’ve heard of Snapchat as a social-media app for personal use, but what about using Snapchat for education?

Snapchat, the free mobile messaging app that emerged in September of 2011, is one of the foremost social media apps used, not only by millennials but also those born before the digital age, to share pictures, videos, texts, and more.  However, to date Snapchat has been used primarily for social media and friendly interaction. So, how exactly could teachers and students make use of Snapchat in their daily lessons or homework assignments?

 

Snapchat can be used for:

  1. COMMUNICATING– Dr. Jon Ernstberger of LaGrange College in LaGrange, GA, explains how most, if not all, students are already carrying smartphones, and as of April 2016, more than 77% of college students were using Snapchat on a daily basis. Using Snapchat, teachers can reach and communicate with their students using the technology and tools that are already a daily part of their lives.
  2. DISTANCE TEACHING– Teachers can use Snapchat as a means of coaching students through an assignment or task, sharing pictures or videos of each step in a process instead of having to write or verbalize what may be more complicated instructions.
  3. STORYTELLING– As part of the age of technology, educators are trying to encourage their students to get physically involved in their education. Using Snapchat, students can create and share videos that depict the stages of an assignment, such as a science experiment or the acting out of a book or play being read in class.
  4. LANGUAGE LEARNING– Snapchat can be used like a set of flashcards, with a teacher sending a word to his students and requesting a response in the form of a video or picture that best defines that word (or vice versa). This can be used for advanced vocabulary or foreign language lessons.
  5. COUNTING DOWN THE MINUTES– Another use for Snapchat in the classroom can be for teachers to publicize the amount of time until an exam or due date, visually depicting to students how much time they have to prepare for the upcoming event.

For more information on Snapchatting in the Classroom, see Can Snapchat Bridge the Communication Chasm in Online Courses?, by Jon Ernstberger & Melissa A. Venable. 

 

Sources:

80 Amazing Snapchat Statistics, by Craig Smith

Can Snapchat Bridge the Communication Chasm in Online Courses?, by Jon Ernstberger & Melissa A. Venable.

Why Millennials Use Snapchat, by Maya Kosoff