A Better Me

2021-04-12
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Online higher education is an option for continuing your education or changing career paths that matches the time and social-distancing demands of our world today. Completing courses entirely online, though, often makes it a little harder to find supplemental resources that will help you understand the material and collaborate with peers.

If you’re considering or already enrolled in online learning, add these five online programs to your virtual schooling experience - they’ll make collaboration, in-depth training, and searching for resources much easier!

Fastweb

Are you just starting the process of finding online programs? What about scholarships and financial aid to help pay for your continuing education? If you’re overwhelmed by the choices available in online learning today, Fastweb can help. Originally a site dedicated to compiling scholarship opportunities, Fastweb has branched out to offer resources that evaluate programs and courses as well. Check out their Online Learning area to see some of the pros and cons associated with many popular online courses - even if your prospective institutions aren’t listed, you’ll get an idea of the questions you should ask to evaluate a good fit. At the same time, search through Fastweb’s collection of scholarship opportunities; they have categories for First-Time Graduate Students as well as Non-Traditional, Adult, and Returning Students. The service is free to use and makes wading through the thousands of options more manageable!

GeoGebra

Many higher ed degree programs require math and science courses, especially if you’re thinking about in-demand fields such as healthcare and IT! Taking notes and having study sessions online when mathematical equations and symbols are involved can be difficult - those tools just aren’t readily available in most applications. GeoGebra solves that problem. An online platform that includes study tools as well as a “calculator suite,” GeoGebra is a free way to access all of the tools you’ll need to engage with math and science virtually. You can collaborate with peers or save notes for yourself. The site also houses lots of tutorials that cover common topics from Algebra to Geometry and more. You can access the platform in a web browser or download app versions for use on your phone and offline.

EndNote

Does your degree program involve a lot of writing and research? If so, investing in a program like EndNote will save you time and make your research process much more efficient. Designed to streamline the search for relevant literature and the creation of bibliographies, EndNote can be a powerful tool for writing final papers or a Master’s Thesis. You can also collaborate with peers if you have a group assignment; it’s easy to track progress across multiple users. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time online researching and writing, the one-time student license fee ($116) is worth it.

PDFelement

Online learning might very well mean reading through lots of PDFs. If you’re more comfortable taking notes directly on the material (rather than having things in separate notebooks that get lost), invest in PDF annotation software. PDFelement (student pricing 50% off or use the free version that watermarks the pages) allows users to write directly on the document using a variety of pens/highlighters/sticky notes/etc. You can also share documents with peers, add information and links from other documents, and convert to other file types (like Word – a quick way to incorporate pieces of various PDFs into a single document for class presentations, for example). With a powerful PDF editor, you can make the most of the digital materials from all of your courses.

Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning

Would you like to brush up on your skills with common software like Excel and Word or learn more about new programs for web development and business skills? While you’re learning course content from your instructors in an online program, you may find that additional background skills training will help you succeed. Lynda.com (now called LinkedIn Learning) offers thousands of online tutorials in various subject areas from business (resume writing, effective listening, etc.) to website coding to software use and more. You’ll feel more confident in your courses with a strong set of foundational skills. Try a month free, and then check with your institution to see if they have an educational license or special student pricing available.

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