Posts with «education» label

How TikTok can help you get better at studying

When you think of study aids, TikTok is likely not what comes to mind. And, there’s probably a good reason for that. Scrolling your For You page may be entertaining, but it’s rarely productive.

But, a growing group of study influencers might be changing that. From #booktok, #studytok and #edutok, there are dozens of accounts that can help with study tips, math tutoring and even college admissions advice.

To be clear, it’s still a good idea to limit how much time you spend scrolling. And watching study-themed TikToks is not a substitute for… actually studying. But, videos from academically-minded TikTokers can offer advice on learning tough subjects and serve as inspiration for building new and productive study habits.

What to look for (and avoid)

If you’re looking for study help, well-established hashtags like #studytok or #edutok are a great place to start. Many tutors also post to TikTok, and you can find subject-specific content by adding “tutor” or “help” to the topic, like #mathtuor, #physicshelp etc.

But, as with everything on TikTok, not all study content is equal. And for every helpful account, there are also those who are sharing unhelpful shortcuts and too-good-to-be-true “study hacks.” So avoid accounts that post shady “advice” that’s actually cheating, like how to get an AI to solve your math homework or write an essay for you. And be wary of anyone who is more focused on selling products than usable advice.

Here are a few accounts that actually do a good job in the studying space.

Gohar Khan Goharsguide

Gohar Khan is most well-known for his college admissions advice, which he shares on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. The 22-year-old recently graduated from MIT, but before that he was also accepted to Yale and Stanford. Now, he makes videos advising teens on how they can boost their chances of getting into Ivy League and other top-tier schools.

He shares videos with advice on all aspects of preparing for college, from application and essay-writing help, to how to choose a major once you get there. Even if an Ivy isn’t your ultimate goal, he also posts more general tips that will be helpful for students of all levels, In fact, some of his most popular content is geared around how to do homework more quickly, how to find the motivation to study and how to improve your test scores.

Kyle Johnson

Book lovers will appreciate Kyle Johnson’s TikToks for his concise but thoughtful book reviews and reading recommendations, but Johnson, who posts under the account panic_kyle, shares more than just reading lists. He also shares analysis of literary classics and other popular books you may often find as assigned reading in English class..

If you’re looking for a shortcut to avoid reading altogether, Johnson’s account won’t help much. He typically only gives a very brief summary of the books he covers. But if you want to think more deeply about literary themes, or get inspiration for an essay, his videos break down complex literary themes in an easy to digest way. He also shares more general advice, like how to take notes while reading fiction or how to analyze literature.

Your Bummy Math Tutor

I was awful at math when I was in school. Like, truly, awful; I had to repeat algebra three separate times. To the surprise of absolutely no one, I did not score well on the math portion of my SAT… or any other standardized test. And while I don’t know if any amount of TikTok-length videos would have helped back then, Your Bummy Math Tutor’s content makes me think it might have.

YBMT takes math questions from the SAT and practice tests and explains how to solve them, along with strategies for approaching different types of problems. It’s all fairly straightforward and yet, as a lifetime hater of math, the content is also way more engaging than any math class I can remember. Luckily for everyone, I haven’t had to do any algebra for more than a decade. But after watching enough of YBMT’s videos, I kind of feel like maybe I could solve a few problems that would have completely stumped my teenage self. At least, I might have had a few extra tools to try.

Study with soybean

You’ve probably heard of bullet journaling, the note-taking fad that’s part habit tracker, part diary and part to-do list organizer. While it can seem intimidating to start mapping out your entire life in a bullet journal, the system can be a useful study aid.

Study with soybean is a bullet journal pro whose content combines journaling inspo with study tips practical advice on how to take better notes. Her videos break down different styles of note-taking, and how to transform your notes into flashcards and other study aids. She also posts more creative content, like how to make your own greeting cards and improve your handwriting.

Google adds auto-transcription and simplified grading to its education tools

Many students have returned to in-person classes, but that isn't stopping Google from making online education more viable. The company has updated Classroom and Workspace for Education with a host of features that improve life for teachers and students alike. In Workspace, for instance, you can now auto-transcribe Meet calls directly into Google Docs — helpful if you want to quickly produce lesson material or help students catch up when they miss lectures. You can also host polls and Q&A sessions in Meet sessions, livestream public events (think school assemblies) to YouTube and use picture-in-picture to manage class presentations without losing sight of your pupils.

Teachers using Classroom, meanwhile, now have access to previously beta-only add-on support that extends functionality beyond what Google can offer. You can get an EdPuzzle add-on to automatically integrate and grade assignments, while a Pear Deck extension can create assignments using lessons from the Pear Deck library. The Classroom updates also make it easier to add YouTube videos to lessons, export grades and get updates through email notifications. An update later in 2022 will let teachers reply directly to students from Gmail notifications.

Google is expanding access to its Read Along app, too. It's rolling out a beta for a new web version over the next month, so students might not need to lean on their phones as they improve their literacy skills.

The announcements come alongside Chrome OS updates that include improved casting and optimizing educational apps like Figma. Although these updates might not matter much as the pandemic (hopefully) winds down, they could still be useful as schools increasingly rely on internet-based lessons and coursework.

Masterclass offers US college students three months of access for $1

US college students who want to keep learning over the summer break might be interested in checking out the latest promotion from Masterclass. They can get a three-month individual membership for just $1.

Masterclass hosts video-centric classes from notable, successful figures including Lewis Hamilton, Gordon Ramsay, Anna Wintour, Spike Lee and Serena Williams. The company says it now has more than 2,500 lessons on topics including gardening, writing, filmmaking, business leadership, wilderness survival and interior design.

You'll need a .edu email address and to meet a few other criteria, such as being a current student enrolled in a college or university program in the US. Masterclass says your promotional plan won't auto-renew. Once it expires, you'll have the option of continuing your membership at the regular price. The plans start at $15 per month.

It's not quite as great a deal as the one year of access for $1 Masterclass offered students in 2020. Still, it's a low-cost way to try the service and learn a thing or two.

You'll need to act swiftly if you're interested. Masterclass says there's a limited supply of promotional memberships available and the offer expires at 11:59PM PT tonight. You can sign up for the so-called Summer of Learning via a dedicated page on the Masterclass website.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

A US college is shutting down for good following a ransomware attack

Lincoln College says it will close this week in the wake of a ransomware attack that took months to resolve. While the impact of COVID-19 severely impacted activities such as recruitment and fundraising, the cyberattack seems to have been the tipping point for the Illinois institution.

The college has informed the Illinois Department of Higher Education and Higher Learning Commission that it will permanently close as of May 13th. As NBC News notes, it's the first US college or university to shut down in part because of a ransomware attack.

Lincoln says it had "record-breaking student enrollment" in fall 2019. However, the pandemic caused a sizable fall in enrollment with some students opting to defer college or take a leave of absence. The college — one of only a few rural schools to qualify as a predominantly Black institution under the Department of Education — said those affected its financial standing.

Last December, Lincoln was hit by a cyberattack, which "thwarted admissions activities and hindered access to all institutional data, creating an unclear picture of fall 2022 enrollment. All systems required for recruitment, retention and fundraising efforts were inoperable," the college said in a statement posted on its homepage. "Fortunately, no personal identifying information was exposed. Once fully restored in March 2022, the projections displayed significant enrollment shortfalls, requiring a transformational donation or partnership to sustain Lincoln College beyond the current semester."

Barring a last-minute respite, the one-two punch of the pandemic and a cyberattack have brought an end to a 157-year-old institution. Lincoln says it will help students who aren't graduating this semester transfer to another college.

Over the last few years, ransomware hackers have attacked other educational facilities, as well as hospitals, game studios, Sinclair Broadcast Group and many other companies and institutions.

Meta offers new professional certificates through Coursera

Last year, in an effort to fill outstanding positions, Meta stopped requiring job seekers to hold a four-year university or college degree to apply for some roles. At the time, the company said it hoped the move would encourage employers to see that a post-secondary education isn’t the only way someone can learn the skills needed to make them a valuable addition to their workforce. Building on that announcement, the company has partnered with Coursera, an online learning platform, to launch five new software engineering professional certificates.

Meta says the programs are ideal for those looking to build the necessary skills to land an entry-level position in tech. Enrolling in the courses does not require past industry experience or a previous college degree. The new programs cover everything from front-end development to Android and iOS app creation, with the latter offering a crash course in JavaScript, React, Swift and UIKit. Two of the programs begin on June 30th, with the latter three slated to launch on July 31st – though you can pre-enroll for all of them starting today.

The courses come at a time when tech companies like Meta are struggling to staff up domestically. Even before the pandemic, there were nearly one million unfilled IT positions across the US. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the shortage will only get worse in the coming years. Just how much additional professional certificates will help address the problem is hard to say, but clearly Meta is trying to do what it can to solve its own talent shortage.

DoorDash adds a cheaper DashPass plan for students

DoorDash is courting students with a cheaper DashPass subscription. The DashPass for Students plan costs $5 per month, which is half the cost of the regular DashPass. The annual student plan costs $48. There's a free 30-day trial as well. All undergraduate and graduate students at accredited US colleges and universities are eligible to sign up.

Those who do will get benefits such as no delivery fees on food and grocery orders above the minimum spend, reduced service fees, five percent credit on eligible pickup orders and exclusive promotions and menu items. For a limited time, DashPass members can order Buffalo Wild Wings' new Doritos Flamin' Hot Nacho Wings.

DoorDash cited a study that suggests 70 percent of US college students order from a food delivery app each week. They do so four times per week on average. Around 27 percent spend more than $100 per week on food delivery, and nearly three quarters say they're more likely to place orders while studying for finals or midterms. Signing up for DashPass for Students could help them save on delivery and service fees — as long as their preferred restaurants are served by DoorDash.

The regular DashPass has more than 10 million members. DoorDash is likely hoping that students who sign up for the cheaper plan will move on to the regular subscription after they graduate.

Google Classroom will help teachers monitor progress with practice sets

Students using Google Classroom won't have to wait until a test to know how well they understand a concept. Google has previewed an upcoming "practice sets" feature in Classroom that lets teachers gauge progress through automatically graded assignments. Pupils can see real-time feedback on their answers, and can ask for hints through explainers and videos. Teachers, meanwhile, will know which students are struggling with a given problem.

Google is currently testing Classroom practice sets with some schools, and plans a beta release sometime in the "coming months." They'll be available to both teachers using the Teaching and Learning Upgrade as well as schools using Google Workspace for Education Plus. The company is encouraging would-be early adopters to register their interest in joining the beta.

Classroom's practice feature won't always be useful. Not every exercise can fit into a web form, after all. When it is relevant, though, it could help teachers devote more attention to individual students or focus lesson time on concepts that stymie the class at large. Kids will ideally be well-prepared for tests, while educators can refine their courses.

College sim 'Two Point Campus' arrives on May 17th

Two Point Campus, Sega and Two Point Studios' follow up to Two Point Hospital, will arrive on May 17th. The quirky college life simulator is coming to PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S and Nintendo Switch. Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass subscribers can play at no extra cost on launch day.

You'll be able to build a dream (or nightmare) college campus from the ground up, from residence halls and classrooms to ornamental pathways and forests. Players will be able to give students a college experience packed with relationships and extracurricular activities, such as concerts and a sport called Cheese Ball, and possibly even an education.

Students can take classes such as gastronomy and robotics, and they each have their own character traits to be catered to. Keeping students happy and helping them earn strong grades can boost your college's prestige, allowing you to enroll more students and boost the institution's bank balance.

Pre-orders for most platforms are open today, and will be available on the Switch eShop later. Locking in a pre-order will net you in-game goodies for not only Two Point Campus, but Two Point Hospital as well.

Sega/Two Point Studios

The SAT will drop the pencil and go completely digital by 2024

The SAT standardized college admissions tests will be taken exclusively on computers starting in 2024, The New York Times has reported. The new system will spell the end to tests taken on paper with No. 2 pencils, a right of passage for American high school students since the SAT was first administered nearly a hundred years ago.

Students will instead complete the exams on laptops or tablets, either their own or devices issued by the school. If students don't have a device, the board will provide one on the test day. And if a student loses power or connectivity, "the digital SAT has been designed to ensure they won't lose their work or time while they reconnect," said the College Board, which administers the tests.

On top of the technical changes, the testing time will be shortened to two hours instead of three. It'll feature shorter reading passages with one question for each, reflecting a wider range of topics more representative of what students will see in college. For the math section, calculators will finally be allowed. And students and teachers will get test scores in days rather than weeks, with educators no longer having to deal with packing, sorting or shipping test materials. 

It felt a lot less stressful, and whole lot quicker than I thought it'd be.

The College Board said that in pilot testing, 80 percent of students found the digital-only tests less stressful. "It felt a lot less stressful, and whole lot quicker than I thought it'd be," 11th grade student Natalia Cossio told the board. "The shorter passages helped me concentrate more on what the question wanted me to do."

The new testing standard was announced amid a growing trend for schools across the US to drop the SAT (or rival ACT) tests altogether. For Fall 2022, around 1,815 schools (of nearly 4,000 degree-granting institutions) have eliminated the requirement for standardized test scores, according to the FairTest non-profit foundation. 

"Schools that did not mandate ACT/SAT submission last year generally received more applicants, better academically qualified applicants and a more diverse pool of applicants," FairTest Executive Director Bob Schaeffer told the Los Angeles Times last year. 

Critics have also noted that the SAT tests handicap students who don't have access to expensive test preparation courses or who can't afford to take the $55 test multiple times. The digital SAT shift "does not magically transform it to a more accurate, fairer or valid tool for assessing college readiness," Schaefer told the NYT. The College Board, meanwhile, has said that SAT scores can actually help students who don't have top-flight grade-point averages. 

Apple pulls verification requirement for US education shoppers

Earlier this week, Apple began requiring that students and teachers in the US verify their identity through authentication service UNiDAYS before they could take advantage of the company’s discounted education pricing. The move closed a long-standing loophole that had allowed almost anyone to save money on an Apple device as long as they weren’t caught in a random check.

However, mere days after implementing that requirement, Apple has just as quickly removed it. Per MacRumors, you can once again buy discounted Macs, iPads and other Apple products from the company’s US education website without the need to verify that you’re currently a student or a teacher. The outlet suggests the company may have made the change after some educators and school staff members complained they couldn’t verify their status through UNiDAYS properly, and therefore couldn’t obtain a discount on a product they wanted to buy.

It’s unclear if Apple plans to reimplement the requirement once it sorts out any potential issues with the system. For years, Apple has used UNiDAYS in many other countries, including the UK, to ensure only those who qualify for its education discounts can get them. We’ve reached out to the company for comment and more information.