Students in today’s world don’t know what life was like before the internet. For many adults, our go-to information resource used to be the library or our home bookcase stocked with Encyclopedia Britannica editions. Now, no extensive card catalog is needed to look up information. Today’s students have more information than they know what to do with, which isn’t always a good thing.
Help Students Excel
With Google at our fingertips, the Internet provides us with so much information that our real job is to limit resources rather than accumulate them.
As schools are expecting more of students and as jobs are requiring more extensive skills, self-learning is essential. With a bit of organization and motivation, you can self-direct, and encourage your kids to be self-sufficient learners too.
There are many ways to stay motivated, keep learning, or earn a certification to make you better qualified for a job. Finding passion and purpose isn’t just for student’s, parents and adults can benefit from finding motivation online too! Here are a few resources to bookmark:
There are times when students want to take classes that aren’t offered at the school they attend. Many times, these courses are available online. Home school students often take advantage of those resources, but brick and mortar school kids can too.
At Coursera.org, for instance, one can study an incredible range of topics: public speaking, opera, business, programming, leadership, mathematics … and more. And, since the primary aim is to gain students for the sponsoring universities and educational institutions, non-credit access is free. Parents and children can even take a course together. Wouldn’t that provide some excellent opportunities for dialogue?
Up for a challenge? MIT provides materials through its OpenCourseWare platform. Does your computer savvy kiddo want to become a world-class coder? Do you want to make websites?Take a look at Codecademy. Is math a hassle? WolframAlpha can provide formulas for just about every equation.
If you want to take up an activity, like ballet, basic guitar or soccer, sign on to your local parks and recs website and see what is offered by your city. The courses themselves likely won’t be offered online, but seasonal catalogs on their website will give you a preview of what activities will be available in the coming months.
VolunteerMatch.org offers anyone and everyone options for local charitable opportunities. Whether your kiddos need community service hours for school or just want to help out in the community, check it out. You might just learn something new.
Maybe a student wants to get certified for food handling or first aid to land a summer job. Check with the state of residence and/or appropriate associations to determine the online options available.
The American Red Cross, for instance, offers babysitting certification courses online. This includes what to do in case of an emergency. Learning can’t get much more convenient than that.
If you have teens, they’re probably chomping at the bit to get their license. But they can’t take the driving test until they’ve passed the written test. At the driving-tests.org, interactive tests help prospective drivers gain confidence and ability. It’s all based on the chosen state’s DMV manual… and it’s free.
Study after study shows the relationship between the ability to learn and the ability to earn. Those who know how to keep up with changes and take charge of their own education will reap the benefits. Those who don’t … won’t. In a 2013 report by the Economic Policy Institute, a key finding was that “There is a clear and strong correlation between the educational attainment of a state’s workforce and median wages in the state.”
Our society depends upon keeping up with the times. Whether your a parent, adult, or teen, you can use the technology of today gain insight into new field, perhaps find purpose and reignite your passion on a dream or skill you’ve put off. Today’s students aren’t the only ones who benefit, expand your knowledge by using the technology that is in front of you now.
By: Guest Contributor Cherie