Have you taken some college courses but have not earned a degree or certificate yet? Have you thought about going back to school, but feel overwhelmed by the cost and complexity of the process? You are not alone. An estimated 32 million nontraditional students across the nation have some college experience but no degree to show for it, according to the American Council on Education. Many of these students may want to pick back up and start again, but aren’t sure how to go about it.
When I left home for college, I was convinced that my calling was to become a teacher. I had been preparing for it my whole life. From forcing my little brothers into my make-shift classroom in the basement every day during summer vacations all the way up to job shadowing my favorite elementary school teacher as part of my senior project in high school, there was never a doubt in my mind that I would spend my life in a classroom.
Whoops. My mistake!
Have you ever thought “who am I and how did I get here?” We all feel lost at times and forget who we are and what we want. With spouses, children, jobs, and life somewhere along the way we lose sight of our path. We forget our dreams, our goals, or aspirations. Are you feeling lost? It is never too late to discover yourself!
Spend some time getting to know you. What do you like to do, where do you like to go, what are you passionate about? Ask yourself is there one thing can you change in your life that would make you happier. If money and time did not matter, what would you do for a career? Is there something you have always wanted to try but haven’t? Use these questions to start a journal, write down your thoughts and feelings, and create a map to finding you. Keep this somewhere easy accessible so when you feel lost it will help you to remember who you are.
Higher Ed Insight, a research consulting firm, conducted an evaluation of Lumina Foundation’s Adult College Completion initiative from 2010 to 2014. The resulting report, Adult College Completion in the 21st Century: What We Know and What We Don’t, finds that while interest in adult college completion has increased across the entire higher education and policy communities, there are still challenges that adult students face when they return to college.
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced its 2015 Best Websites for Teaching & Learning at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference held in San Francisco in June of 2015. AASL's annual list honors internet sites that "foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation and collaboration".
Four of the top Media Sharing websites selected by the AASL in 2015:
1. Tackk: Ridiculously Simple Creation + Sharing
According to Google, Tackk is “prime edtech for your blended-learning classroom”. Educators can use Tackk to create, collect and review assignments for their students and share lesson plans with fellow teachers.
There are a myriad of reasons adults return to school. Some are planning a career transition, others need new skills or certifications to advance and still others enroll in courses for enrichment, development and to study subjects of personal interest. Whether it has been one year, ten years or even forty years since you were enrolled in college, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure you’ll be successful in your new endeavor.
1. Sign Up for a Non-College Class
There is a huge selection of websites and apps for students to choose from and some can actually be quite helpful for keeping a student organized and on task. Below are ten apps and websites that we think are fun and useful!
Winner of Apple's Intuitive Touch Award and Android's Best App of 2012, Any.do allows you to make and review a checklist of daily tasks and then sends you reminders when those tasks need to be accomplished.
2. College Tips
College Tips is an online college survival guide for college students that contains advice, resources and tips for surviving college written by college students themselves.
There are plenty of great reasons to keep learning and the widespread availability of online courses means that adults can now explore any subject, anytime, and for the rest of their lives.
Here are eight wonderful reasons why you should always keep learning:
1. Improve Your Self-Confidence
Self-confidence can be influenced by two things; your trust in yourself as well as your level of competence, which comes from knowledge, experience and the skills that you possess. Taking an online course and learning new skills can provide a tremendous boost to your self-confidence.
2. Fight Boredom
Staying challenged helps fight boredom. Take every opportunity to enrich yourself and learn something new; take a course, read voraciously, watch TED conferences online or attend webinars in your field of interest.
3. Keep Your Brain Healthy and Your Mind Sharp
Online education, also known as distance learning, consists of taking classes via the internet. More and more students are taking online classes because of the flexibility and convenience they provide. Students can login to their classes and complete assignments anywhere, any time of the day.
Online education, when done right, is no easier than education provided in a brick and mortar building. However, to be a successful online learner requires a certain skill set. For some, these skills are innate. For others, they may need to be learned and practiced.
Jennifer Morrison, a blogger at Military Career Education, recently compiled and released a list of iOS and Andriod apps for students to utilize and optimize their time. We've taken her list and added a couple suggestions of our own. If your favorite education app isn't on this list, please share it in the comments below. We are always interested in learning what new tools are available!
This app allows you to track your course schedules and assignments, and organize them by due date and class. You can also sync your syllabus and resource materials.