Tag Archives: college

How to get Homework Done

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Recently, I did a video with tips on note taking during class. Here are some tips for getting your homework done, as well as some for getting good grades.

Tips for Getting Homework Done!

  • Make sure all of all of your materials are at home or with you, for example bring all of your books home to ensure that your work is done correctly. I also recommend that you keep a drawer, shoe box , or any organized space full of things that may be necessary to do your work. You may want to include pencils, rulers, calculators, colored pencils, paper, scissors, and even a stapler.
  • Don’t sit or lay on your bed for homework, as you may get “to comfortable” to work or fall asleep. Your computer desk is another bad place to do homework because you could get distracted.
  • Do your homework right after school. I know as a student myself that some people have extra activities to get to before you even get home.
  • Take all the time you have to do your work in class. For instance, if you have a test that you might get done with early… take your stuff from the class you have homework in with you.(I absolutely don’t recommend doing your homework in the middle of class when your teacher is giving a lesson.) Also, use all of your study hall time to get it done. I have often found that I can get my homework done during study hall. This way, I don’t have to deal with it at home.
  • If you get home and realize you don’t understand something, go in to that class next morning before the start of school and ask for help. (I am not sure if this would work in high school or college but if not call a friend, and if you don’t have friends, sorry you are out of luck.)
  • Take occasional breaks! This will help to concentrate more as you do it.

Tips for Getting Good Grades!

  • Turn in all homework when it’s due. As you advance in your schooling, teachers will become more picky about this. It’s imperative to your grade that you turn in all your homework on time.
  • Ask if you don’t understand something. If you get home and realize you don’t understand the assignment try to get ahold of that teacher before the assignment is due and talk to them.
  • On open-ended or response questions don’t just say nothing if you know a lot about that topic already or don’t know anything about it. Put the answer to the question and then expand on it.
  • Save all papers. At the end of the semester there will be semester exams… these exams are usually cumulative meaning everything from the beginning of the year till present. Unless you are a genius, you probably won’t remember everything from that far back so save everything to review from. If you’re like me, you may have switched organization methods and such throughout the year and may not have all your notes in the same notebook. Always keep all your notebooks in your locker or wherever you keep your school things. This way, when exam time comes type up all of your notes this also may help refresh your memories of those topics.
  • Be nice to your teacher, He/She has a lot of stuff to deal with during the day. During class, don’t talk when he/she is talking and don’t be doing other things during class. When it comes to grading time, if you’re on the edge between someone who is between one grade or another if you’re nice, do your hw all the time, and are always on time and prepared for class the teacher will usually give you the higher grade.

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Take Notes at School

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High school and college aren’t easy for most people to fly through. Here are some tips sent in by regular community member Snakeyes. He is a college student, and wants to share his tips for study and information retention.

  • Go to class and be prepared, don’t show up with nothing to write with. What I see a lot, is students go to class with no paper or pen/pencil. It may also help to bring more than one writing utensil. You may want to bring a highlighter and some extra pens. If you use a laptop to take notes make sure the battery is fully charged, or find the closet outlet. Be sure to save previous notes and study them every day. You never know when there be a pop quiz or a test. Don’t save your homework till the last minute. Read your assignment and do your work before it’s due.
  • Have a conscious effort to listen and be attentive. Sometimes students will ask off topic questions and you get bored and you fall off topic. So always be prepared and stay attentive. Be prepared to be Adapt to whatever direction a lecture takes. When a lecture takes an unexpected detour, say a student asks a question you aren’t particularly interested in, students have a tendency to “zone out.” Before you know it, the lecture got back on track five minutes ago, and you missed crucial information that should have been noted. It’s very easy to get off topic, If YOU do miss anything that day in class ask a friend or someone else for notes. If you were sick one day are you come back to class to then realize your having a test, don’t blame the instructor for planning the test on that day, always ask someone for notes when you were sick so you can write them down.
  • Use a method that works for you. If you are a big fan of two column notes than use that method. Be sure to also start each lecture on a different page and make sure you date and label all your notes. Don’t use the same notebook for each class. Use a different notebook for each one. You don’t want to be writing notes for your history class in your math binder. Make sure you always keep your notes dated and put them in order, this will help you study for tests and final exams. It’s always important to Develop a system of abbreviations and symbols you can use wherever possible.
  • Pay close attention to content. if something is written down on the overhead or the chalkboard write down, even if you think it’s not important. Write down definitions to words that are listed. Make sure you write down anything that is repeated or spelled out, Usually when my teacher writes something down multiple times I know it’s going to be on a test later on.
  • Last step, Review your notes. Re-read/study at least 24 hours later to make sure it’s still fresh in your mind. Be sure to Edit for words and phrases that are illegible or don’t make sense. Write out abbreviated words that might be unclear, so that you have a better meaning of the word. If you need to make corrections or would like to edit your notes, choose another color to determine what u actually wrote in class and what you just edited. If key words and questions are still unclear to you look go back and re-read the chapter and fill in the definition in the left column. If you are still unclear circle it or underline it and ask the professor or teacher. Fill in anything you may have left from the textbook as well make sure the textbook and your notes match.

Kat was on the Ventrilo server with me during this video, and wanted to add a tip she used in college.

When taking notes, I wrote absolutely everything down. I began college at the age of 29, as a single mom who worked full time. Since I had been out of school so long, I was concerned about information retention and studying. After class, I would then go through all of my notes, and highlight the important areas. Then, I would get fresh paper, and make myself an outline for that day’s class. Once I found how easy this made it for me to remember things, I made it a practice for every course through my entire college career. It certainly helped me to graduate Summa Cum Laude, with dual degrees.

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Technology Career Advice

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Brian emailed me to ask my advice on getting into a Technology career. He states that he doesn’t have the capacity to learn physics and math in order to get a degree in Computer Science. He is wondering about possibly programming, networking, or even system building.

I’ve talked with several friends who are in the Technology field before about this same thing. All of us say the same thing to each other: College helped us get to where we are, but not in a classroom capacity. It’s the things we learned outside of the classroom that helped us the most. My degree is actually in English Education. I had planned to become an English teacher. One day when I was student teaching, it just suddenly hit me. I said out loud “what am I doing? I should be working with computers”. My seventh-grade class sitting in front of me were all like “DUH!”. I was the last to know.

You are your own person. Follow your heart. Take small or temporary jobs, and see what just clicks for you. If your dream job doesn’t exist, then create it. Will that be easy? Of course not. But in the long run, it’ll be the most rewarding path, trust me on this. I cannot tell you what to study, or even where and how to study it. That has to come from within yourself.

If you’re interested in programming, though, I’d like to recommend Squeak. Squeak is a modern, open source full-featured implementation of the powerful Smalltalk programming language and environment. Squeak is highly-portable – even its virtual machine is written entirely in Smalltalk making it easy to debug, analyze, and change. Squeak is the vehicle for a wide range of projects from multimedia applications, educational platforms to commercial web application development. It’s an excellent beginning point for learning programming, aimed at kids and teens. Don’t want to learn something for “kids”, eh? Remember… start slowly. Baby steps are key.

If you have OS X, another good program to try out is Automator. Start creating workflows more easily than ever. Starting Points automatically displays a sheet in new workflow windows, from which you choose categories representing the things you want to do. Then select options from contextual pop-up menus.

I’m not the person you should be asking for career advice. The person you should be asking is the one you look at in the mirror. Take control of your future, and your destiny.

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File Sharing at College and the Repercussions

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Kat came across an article regarding file sharing on college campuses and the possibility of the schools losing all funding from the Government as a result. As you will see, she got pretty heated in her argument against this. SC_Thor and Wirlesspacket chimed in with us on this, as well. You’ll have to excuse the times they appeared to “talk over” me. I sort of kept forgetting they can’t hear me unless I push the keyboard shortcut I set up for Ventrilo.

According to BroadbandReports.com:

Democrats are pushing a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would force colleges to not only deter p2p use on campus, but also offer students alternative options. The proposal, obviously supported by the entertainment industry, threatens to pull federal funding from schools if they fail to implement “technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity.” As you might expect, schools aren’t so keen on risking billions in funding just because they aren’t running their networks the way Hollywood would like.

I know that piracy is rampant, and colleges are breeding grounds for this. Heck, Napster was started in a college dorm room. But is this going too far? More information from CNet:

The U.S. House of Representatives bill (PDF), which was introduced late Friday by top Democratic politicians, could give the movie and music industries a new revenue stream by pressuring schools into signing up for monthly subscription services such as Ruckus and Napster. Ruckus is advertising-supported, and Napster charges a monthly fee per student.

According to the bill, if universities did not agree to test “technology-based deterrents to prevent such illegal activity,” all of their students… even ones who don’t own a computer… would lose federal financial aid.

The prospect of losing a combined total of nearly $100 billion a year in federal financial aid, coupled with the possibility of overzealous copyright-bots limiting the sharing of legitimate content, has alarmed university officials.

Kat feels this is way over the top, and looking at it more, I have to agree. Most likely, this will never pass. If it does, it could very well cause a lot of students to end up not being in college if schools refuse to implement this, and lose their funding. On the other hand… I can foresee quite an uproar if this passes and schools DO comply. Students who don’t own their own computer, or who actually follow the law already… will NOT be happy to be “punished” and charged fees for things they don’t use.

Edit to add excellent comment from Chris Clemons:

Hey Chris. I almost lost my mind reading this post. I was completely unaware of this problem until now and I’m floored by the ridiculousness of it all. If an educational institution wants to get overly political and jump on the bandwagon by further bridging the gap between real life and Hollywood BS where lots of money is still not lots and lots of money and force students who are already hitting up their parents for upwards of $20k a year for more, I don’t think I can watch it happen. Now, I know it is a Democratic issue being passed down to our schools, but something as ludicrous as this should never have even made it past the head of our nation’s most overpaid political celebrities. I truly believe the educational systems should stand up for this debate.

Another edit to add a story and recommendation from MArk:

Hey Chris,
Spring quarter, I was downloading a torrent at school and had some other software apparently still sitting in my queue seeding. One of these was a Norton Ghost bootable image that i didnt even realize was sitting there. Anyways, I get a nasty email from the school saying that I was sharing illegal files that they would turn off my internet access… and that I had to meet with a Dean or some academic affairs committee.

I met with the Dean and he explained to me that there’s an outside agency sitting right on the other end of the school’s internet connection monitoring all the bits and pieces of data, searching for their client’s packets being illegally shared. Yhey saw me sharing Norton and told the university. Basically it resulted in a written acknowledgment that I wont do it again and will remove the offending material.

It was a first offense… of course subsequent offenses would be more severe. The file pretty much just exists for their reference but will never go outside that office if I dont ‘offend’ again.

Also, our school offers a free (to students) music/video subscription service. Ruckus is a site that you just register with your school email and you have access to most hits and almost anything you can think of. It’s a very quick download. It uses wma copy protection and allows you to keep the license for each song for a month after which you (right click) renew it for another month. There’s no limit on the amount of songs you download, and since this option is legal, I was doing downloading at school.

I don’t know. What do you think? What other alternatives are out there? Do you feel this is the answer? Leave me a follow-up comment to this video, or email me at [email protected]

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