Choosing a Major Based on Personal Interests

By Courtney Phillips

Almost every high school student thinking about college has been told “do what you love in school.”  Sounds like great advice, doesn’t it?  Well, the problem with that advice is that it is well intentioned but largely impractical because it assumes the soon-to-be collegian knows the types of classes that will be of interest walking in the door.

This is not always the case and the classes in which a student may be interested are not always the best classes to take.  For example, a student may love art and want to become a professional painter.  He chooses a liberal arts university and focuses on only those classes that will be of use for a professional painter.

The problem with the “follow your bliss” advice for entering college students is that there is just not enough personal development or understanding of the world that has taken place.  College students are idealists who have little, if any, grasp of how challenging things will be once they graduate with their degree.  They may also feel that a degree is all they need and that nothing will keep them from getting their dream job and making a huge salary in an entry-level position. This is just not the case.

For anyone thinking of college who is unsure of what would be a useful major, consider the following:

•    Choose a university with a strong liberal arts program.  These programs will offer a taste of everything from literature to philosophy to art and science.  For someone who is unsure, liberal arts universities offer much diversity.

•    Do not declare a major or allow yourself to be pressured into something of which you are not 100% sure.  There is no harm in entering a program as undeclared and it can be very helpful for you as you work to discover what will be best for you.

•    Research industries and fields of study that pay well and pursue them, if they are at all appealing.

•    If you are interested in a major that does not offer an entry-level salary you can afford to live on, choose it as a minor and something more practical as a major.

•    Think about the things you enjoy and how you may be able to make a career of your interests.  For instance, the professional painter wannabe above may find computer-generated art is a great way to express creativity and make some serious cash.  Do an internship or apprenticeship to help decide.

 

List-mania: 100+ Web Tools for Editing, Maintaining, Remixing Lists

If you live by your lists, from groceries to important school assignments, then these web tools will be invaluable for you. No matter if you need help creating, editing, organizing, or just maintaining your lists, these tools offer a way to get what you need accomplished. With tools for simple to-do lists, lists of websites, task managers, organizing ideas, and lists available on your mobile phone, you’re sure to find some great tools to help you manage every kind of list in your life.

Creating Lists

If you need help creating lists, storing lists, or you just want to share some lists, then these tools will help you out.

  1. Google Sets. Google Labs offers to generate lists for you based on words that you supply. Choose from a short list of 15 or less words and a long list.
  2. FlexLists. If you want to create a database, use FlexLists to keep your list organized. You can also import or export these lists, monitor through RSS, and integrated into websites.
  3. Lists of Bests. Create a list that stays on this site and you can check of items, share and compare with others, and more.
  4. ListAfterList. Create a list that goes public on this site. You can also search for lists and add your knowledge to a wiki list.
  5. zenlists. Whether you want to create a recipe list, a music list, or personal goals, this web-based tool will help you create and manage your lists.
  6. Listingly. This tool helps you create lists, allows you to share them or keep them private, pull them up on your computer or your phone, or print them out.
  7. iPrioritize. Create lists, then drag tasks up or down the list to organize and check off as you complete them. You can access you lists via RSS, email, and phone.

To-Do Lists

These tools will help you manage and edit your to-do lists online so you will stay on top of all our classes or projects.

  1. Zirr.us. This to-do list embraces the popular cloud concept and organizes your tasks in the familiar cloud formation, with higher priority tasks in larger fonts and lower priority tasks in smaller fonts.
  2. Remember the Milk. This popular to-do list keeps your tasks organized, reminds you when something is due, and integrates into Google Calendar.
  3. Ta-da Lists. Sign up quickly and be using this simple online to-do list for an easy way to create a fast web-based list.
  4. My 50. This tool will help you keep focused on your life goals by managing your list of places to go, things to do, and anything else you want to do.
  5. 43 Things. Publish your to-do list to the community and keep yourself accountable for getting your tasks finished with 43 Things.
  6. MyTodos.With a calendar interface, add to-do items to your list, share with others, drag and drop to keep your tasks organized.
  7. Bla-bla List. Use this tool for a simple to-do list that you can email to yourself or update others via RSS feed.
  8. HassleMe. Let this app know how often you want to be hassled and what you need to do, and you’ll receive an email reminder about your task.
  9. Toodledo. Not only can you keep a to-do list here, but Toodledo offers a feature that analyzes your dates, priorities, and time estimates to create a schedule for you to ensure everything gets done.
  10. bitBomb. Set up reminders from your to-do list that will come to your mobile phone as a text message with this tool.
  11. todopub.com. Create your to-do list, then access it from your computer, mobile, or iPhone. You can also get text messages or emails from your list.
  12. NowDoThis. This to-do list stays hidden–except for the next thing on your list. Edit your list so that your priorities are at the top, and this list will only give you one task at a time.
  13. Joe’s Goals. This simple chart allows you to input your goals or tasks, then you check off each you complete daily.

Website Lists

If you enjoy web browsing as a hobby or use Internet research for your online classes, then you have probably used bookmarking sites to help you organize your favorite sites or to keep track of sites you reference. These tools will help you keep your websites in order and allow you to edit and remix them as you see fit.

  1. Del.icio.us. This popular site allows you to save favorite websites, organize by tags, add notes to yourself that you can also share with others, and browse other peoples’ bookmarks to find similar content.
  2. Reddit. Not only can you bookmark your favorite sites here, but you can also see what others think of popular sites that they rate. Best-rated sites are at the top of the list.
  3. Digg. Organize your favorite sites and then give your opinion about whether or not you like certain sites.
  4. StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon creates lists of sites that meet your selected criteria, and you can choose to bookmark these or not.
  5. Snip!t. Snip sections of webpages you want to remember, make notes on them, and add them to your bookmarks.
  6. Clipmarks. With this bookmarking tool you can select a portion of a webpage and save it.
  7. Fleck. Keep all your bookmarks in one place and share with friends. You can also use Lite–which provides shortened urls for sharing on Twitter.
  8. Digital Notes. Download this software to access social bookmarking where you and your friends can discuss websites on a shared note.
  9. iFaves. Organize your favorite sites by most-visited or tags you assign so that you never lose track of bookmarks again.
  10. Furl. Not only can you bookmark and share with others, this tool also allows you to create new lists like shopping lists and more.
  11. PurpleBunny. Bookmark, add comments, share with others, and even discuss web sites with this tool.

Taking Notes

Use these tools to take notes to help create your lists, then edit and organize your notes and lists.

  1. Notezz!. Just create a password and user name and you are ready to keep all your notes in one place without any complicated features with this simple note-taking tool.
  2. Diigo. Highlight passages on web pages, add sticky notes, and share with friends with this tool that is accessible through both your PC and iPhone.
  3. WebNotes. Highlight text and attach notes to web pages, create notes in folders, and even share your notes with others.
  4. MyStickies. This Firefox add-on allows you to add sticky notes to web pages and organize them with tags as well as search, sort, and edit them.
  5. AyeNotes. Create and use your own shorthand, then when you are typing notes, they are automatically converted to full text.
  6. Stickies. Create virtual sticky notes on your computer desktop with this tool. Just like real stickies, they stay there until you remove them, but unlike the real thing, these can be iconified, remind you of tasks, and even emailed.
  7. Jotcloud. Similar to Stickies, but with fewer functions, you can write down your notes on virtual stickies with this tool that is completely web-based.
  8. PinNotes. This sticky note tool allows for adding pictures, time and date, and more right into your notes.
  9. notebook G. Whether you are taking meeting notes, creating a shopping list, or managing your recipes, this web-based tool helps you keep everything together and organized.
  10. Notefish. Save web content on Notefish notes, then organize and share your notes as you like.
  11. Ubikuo. Store public and private notes on this web-based tool that allows you to access anywhere you have Internet–even on your phone.
  12. Evernote. This note-taking tool is a powerhouse and allows you to record your notes by taking a photo with your phone, typing in text, or clipping information from the Internet, and you can use it on your desktop or your phone.

Task Managers

If your lists require input from a variety of sources and you need to be able to stay on top of progress, assign to others, or schedule tasks, then these task managers are the tools for you.

  1. Voo2do. Not only can you create to-do lists here, you can also assign priorities, group into projects, assign and publish, and make notes on your progress for each.
  2. HiTask. This web-based task management app provides for easy scheduling, organizing, assigning, and sharing of tasks.
  3. Nozbe. Get things done with this application that allows you to keep to-do lists, manage projects and tasks, get reminders, share with others, and even access from your mobile phone.
  4. TreePad Lite. This personal database provides a place for you to store notes, emails, texts, links, and more in an easy-to-organize and accessible format.
  5. Todoist. With a simple interface, integration with Gmail, mobile access, and a built-in calendar, your tasks will be easily managed with Todoist.
  6. mecanbe. Set goals, tasks, have performance evaluations, measure progress, and get support if you aren’t already part of a group with this tool that helps you organize and achieve your goals.
  7. Midnight Inbox. Based on the GTD philosophy, this task manager helps you organize email, files, tasks, calendars, and notes all in one place.
  8. TaskComplete. Organize task lists, calendars, schedule meetings, and collaborate with team members with this web-based task manager.
  9. Tasks Jr.. This web-based task manager allows you to organize and prioritize your personal and professional projects with hierarchical organization.
  10. Enleiten. Organize and collaborate on tasks and projects with this tool. There is a free version as well as upgrade versions for a fee.
  11. task*pad.jp. Enter your tasks along with a time to get them completed and you will get a "success" or "failure" and can even see a history of your achievements.

Organizing Ideas

If you need help keeping your ideas organized, these tools will do that as well as help you get started on projects or collaborate with classmates.

  1. Tinderbox. Store and organize your notes with this tool, then post on your blog for sharing with others.
  2. Kayuda. Whether you want to record your own thoughts or are trying to organize a brainstorming session at work, Kayuda helps you get everything together.
  3. FreeMind. This mind-mapping software helps you keep track of projects, organize research, brainstorm, or just keep up with random bits of knowledge that you want to keep in one place.
  4. VUE. Created at Tufts University, this mind mapping tool is designed to help those specifically for teaching, learning, and research.
  5. WiseMapping. Create free mind maps with this tool, then share yours or browse other people’s mind maps.
  6. bubble.us. Start brainstorming with this simple online tool that creates bubbles and connects your ideas.
  7. Mindomo. This web-based mind mapping tool will have you organized and thinking clearly.
  8. Gliffy. Create flowcharts for a project or use this tool to help organize your ideas and steps to complete your projects.
  9. Mapul. Easily create organic-looking mind maps with this tool.
  10. View Your Mind. This tool allows you to create and edit maps which make your thoughts visible.
  11. MindManager 8. A combination mind-mapping tool and task manager, MindManager 8 will have you creating, organizing, and never losing track of all your ideas.

Contact Management

Keeping lists of clients or business associates is important for professionals. These tools will ensure you never misplace a valuable contact again.

  1. Tabber. Combine all your online accounts and contacts with Tabber, where you can keep tabs on everyone with ease.
  2. Plaxo. This web-based service not only helps you organize your contacts, but stay in touch with them as well.
  3. Highrise. Highrise offers a centralized way to manage contacts and share with others if you are in a corporate setting and is an excellent option for those with hundreds of contacts.
  4. Online Contact Management. Store and manage your contact information in one place with this web-based solution available for a fee.
  5. Keepm. Store contacts online, then share, import, and export them as you need with this free service.
  6. WebAsyst. This online contacts manager allows you to organize, collaborate, and even sell online.
  7. FunClient. This free online service is simple and easy to use. Manage customer contacts, track activities, and collaborate with others.
  8. BatchBook. Perfect for small businesses, this tool allows you to make lists of contacts, organize, make to-do lists, create reports and important lists, and much more. Free for one user or budget-friendly pricing for additional users.

Collaboration Tools

Keeping track and managing your own personal list can be difficult, but throwing in an entire team or office can make the task seem impossible. These tools make collaboration a breeze.

  1. Backpack. Backpack allows for easy collaboration with features such as shared to-do lists, announcements, calendars, files, and even centralized discussions.
  2. Basecamp. Share files, track time, schedule milestones, assign projects, make to-do lists and more. Basecamp makes project collaboration an easy process.
  3. ThinkFold. ThinkFold allows groups to create interactive, real-time outlines without confusion.
  4. iLeonardo. iLeonardo is a social network that allows you to collaborate on research with friends or others who happen to be working on the same subject you are.
  5. LooseStitch. This tool that helps facilitate brainstorming and working together by creating outlines, sharing ideas with others, and keeping all your changes together.
  6. Famundo. Families and organizations alike will find Famundo useful to share calendars, to-do lists, shopping lists, photos, and communicate.
  7. Thinkfree. This free services include document creation and sharing, file access and sharing, collaboration with classmates, blogging, and iPhone access. Other services are available for a fee.
  8. MeetWithApproval. Whether you want to plan a virtual meeting or organize a face-to-face meeting, using this planner to create a smooth process.
  9. writewith. For writing projects, this tool keeps everyone together with shared documents and tasks, discussions, and more.
  10. Thinkature. Collaborate, organize your thoughts and research, and prepare your paper or project with this tool.
  11. ProBoards. Create a discussion board easily and quickly so you can collaborate. You can also post your discussion for others to access as well.
  12. KonoLive. No matter if you are collaborating with colleagues on an important assignment or with friends while planning a birthday bash, you can all create and share activities and lists, get updates and notifications, and find out status on your projects.

RSS Readers

If your list of favorite blogs has become a headache to keep up with, then using an RSS Reader will help you. RSS readers will send you updates automatically as well as allow you to organize and share your favorite blogs. Here are some great online readers to help you manage your blog list.

  1. Google Reader. Not only will Google Reader send all your blogs to one place, you can organize them by categories you select, star favorites, and share with other Google Reader friends.
  2. Bloglines. Bloglines was one of the first readers available and offers easy-to-read blog posts from your selected list of subscribed blogs.
  3. NewsGator. Get free RSS readers here that are available for both desktop and mobile phones.
  4. NewsAlloy. If you want a free way to get all your news and special interest blogs delivered to you, this tool also allows you to organize by folders and channels.
  5. MySyndicaat. Get your news delivered to you or directly to your website with this tool.
  6. Feeds 2.0. Sign up for a beta account and get free feeds that can be organized and even provides a tag cloud for your current posts.
  7. Fwiki. Fwiki is a feed management system that allows you to receive your favorite feeds, then use your feeds to create "Oceans of News" that you can use on your website or blog.
  8. FeedShow. Get your blogs delivered with this reader and you can also organize by folders, convert to PDF, or print.
  9. Fastladder. For those of you with an astounding number of feeds coming into your reader, this option is for you. Experience no slow-down and use shortcuts to manage your blog list.
  10. Pageflakes. Pageflakes allows you to customize your homepage with apps, including a reader that you can access each time you open your browser.
  11. Netvibes. Another personalized start page, Netvibes also allows RSS feeds by simply creating a "module" with the feed url you want.

Mobile Lists

If you need to be able to access your lists from your phone, check out these tools to help you keep on track.

  1. Motask. This mobile to-do list manager is simple to use with the ability to add tasks, edit, and delete them from your phone.
  2. pTasks. Use this task manager on your mobile or get it through Facebook.
  3. CheckOff. Use this tool for your iPhone to manage recurring lists, manage multiple lists, and even organize lists by days of the week.
  4. Round To It. This iPhone app allows you to create lists and is packed with tons of features to make the lists user-friendly.
  5. Habits. iPhone users who are also GTD fans will love this tool that helps you create good habits by reminding you of how often you should be doing them based on the criteria you enter.
  6. reQall. Use voice, email, IM, or text messaging to create lists of things you don’t want to forget, then retrieve and even share your lists with others.
  7. iPhonedItIn. Despite the name, any phone can use this tool which allows you to create a list, recall it, edit it or share it.

25 Safe, Fun & Educational Virtual Worlds for Toddlers, Kids, and Tweens

By Courtney Phillips

The fun, educational opportunities awaiting you in virtual worlds isn’t just limited to adults. Parents may be concerned about the safety and security of their children online, so here are 25 safe places for kids to play online. Kid-friendly and kid-only virtual worlds are available in almost every niche, from fashion to pirates to sports. Read on for more of these safe, fun and educational virtual worlds for kids and teens.

Younger Kids

Younger kids will enjoy losing themselves in virtual worlds that feature pirate ships, adventure worlds, the Wild West, and more.

  1. Tootsville: Customize your little Toot, kind of like an avatar, to make friends, play games, shop and more.
  2. Neopets: Neopets is an internationally-used virtual world and game site for kids. The world of Neopia has updates on "world events," features a Neopian pound, and more.
  3. Puzzle Pirates: Kids can learn strategy, meet friends, find sunken treasure and do other pirate-y things in this virtual world. Pirate ships are full of other players to work and play with and battle other ships.
  4. Bang! Howdy: Bang! Howdy is a "fast-paced tactical strategy" platform that features worlds like Frontier Town and Indian Trading Post for kids to play games, meet friends, and develop critical thinking skills.
  5. Whirled: Whirled is full of cute and crazy characters and features a virtual networking world with games and arcades. Top games include Corpse Craft and Bella Bingo, and players can even create their own rooms to invite friends over, decorate and just hang out.
  6. Disney’s ToonTown online: Create your own space, collect Disney icons and widgets, play games, earn badges, go on Disney-themed adventures, and more. From the Jonas Brothers and Hannah Montana to Phineas and Ferb to Pirates of the Caribbean, all the Disney favorites can be found here.
  7. Mokitown: Mokitown is a virtual world by MobileKids. Members are called Mokis and explore their own city together, learning about traffic safety, playing games, discovering geography and more. Mobility Points are earned and then cashed in for cool stuff you can do or buy around town. Kids can chat, send postcards, invite friends and more.
  8. Lulilab: Formerly Playdo, Lulilab lets kids and teens explore their creative side in a virtual worlds like Spine World, where players can travel, explore, chat and build their own communities. Lulilab has won awards for its graphics and community, and players can create their own home pages, upload their own artwork, play with artistic online tools and more.
  9. Nicktropolis: Nicktropolis boasts over 8.6 million citizens, who actively surf, skateboard, snowboard, play games, create avatars and meet friends. It’s sponsored by Nickelodeon, so you know it’s kid friendly.
  10. BarbieGirls: This girls-only hangout lets kids create their avatar, play games, experiment with fashion, go to lunch with their friends, communicate via BChat and more.
  11. Handipoints: Younger kids can enter the world of HandiLand to adopt their own cat and watch movies. An upgraded membership lets kids play with furniture, clothes, play newer games and more.

Teens and Tweens

Introduce your teens and tweens to these virtual worlds, that let you open up your own fashion boutique, hang out with friends on the beach, decorate their own rooms, and more.

  1. Whyville: Whyville lets kids create their own animated avatar. The virtual world is for kids only and lets them visit the Greek Theater for special community events, hang out with friends at the beach, write for the local paper and start up a business.
  2. Vanguard Saga of Heroes: This highly addictive game from Sony features a community, advanced character search, very organized game stats and rankings, fan club and more.
  3. World of Warcraft: Anyone who’s into World of Warcraft will tell you that this is more than just a game. It’s an entire virtual world where building characters, upholding reputations and understanding the whole history of World of Warcraft borders on the obsessive.
  4. SecondLife: SecondLife is a sophisticated community of virtual worlds that even caters to whole institutions, training programs, educational facilities and businesses. Individuals, including teens, can also create their own identity and meet other members, experiment with jobs, go on vacation, hang out with friends, and more.
  5. Why Robbie Rocks: Turn your avatar into a serious fashionista with Why Robbie Rocks. You can get dressed in logo and band t-shirts, dresses, awesome shoes, and different hairstyles and beauty products. Players can also open up their own shop and save their avatar for icons on their blogs and other social media sites. Why Robbie Rocks also features fashion contests and a concept store, which highlights new designers.
  6. Habbo: Habbo is a virtual world for teens that currently has over 4,700 members. Bond with friends over favorite TV shows, bands, and more.
  7. The Sims 2: The Sims 2 is immensely popular and addicting and has all kinds of societies, communities, games and opportunities for meeting friends and experimenting with lifestyles and future dreams. You can download cool cars, exile yourself to Ying-Yang Island, download music, send postcards and more.
  8. Cybertown: Cybertown is a place for teens to get a taste of life on their own, but way cooler. Set up your own home with a virtual pet, get a virtual job, attend awesome concerts and clubs, listen to music, and even set up your private messages and inbox.
  9. The Palace: The Palace is a visual chat platform that lets you create your own avatar and then use it to create your own chat server. You can also create The Palace logos for your website to advertise your avatar and community. Palaces include the Mansion, Kids Nation, Palace in Wonderland, Ocean Boulevard, Haunted Palace, and more.
  10. Voodoo Chat: Join Voodoo Chat to take advantage of the graphical chat community with rooms like SinCity Family Room, No Boundaries and MojoMatch Hangout. Players communicate with gestures, animations and sound files, like Bites, which are an audio version of an emoticon.
  11. VP Chat: This virtual world has special chat rooms for different ages, where avatars can play Checkers, Battleship, Backgammon, Spades and more. The tournament system makes this world highly addictive, and members earn currency or points in the form of Chat Chits for add-ons and more.
  12. Fashion Fantasy Game: Girls can become fashion designers and boutique owners in this virtual community. It’s a free virtual world that features contests, lets you play dress up, dress like a celebrity and design your own clothes.
  13. Empire of Sports: Empire of Sports is a sports universe where real-life players compete. Sports include tennis, track and field, football, basketball, skiing and bobsled.
  14. There: There is a safe environment for teens to be independent and meet new friends. You can create, start a new fashion line, travel, play paint ball and other games, go to barbeques, visit CosmoGirl Village, and more. For teens 13 and up.

Get Your Green Degree, For Free: 100 Open Courses That Anyone Can Take

If you are impassioned about the environment and want to learn more about green topics such as conservation, energy, sustainable development, or global warming, then you will find plenty of free college classes in the list below to help expand your knowledge base. The following courses are organized by discipline, but don’t let your English literature background stop you from exploring civil engineering classes. There is plenty of crossover between these courses and various other disciplines.

Earth Sciences

From climate change to global warming to environmental Earth science, the following classes will have you learning plenty about the environment.

  1. Conservation and biodiversity. This podcast explores the ecological communities in Honduras and Indonesia and introduces the concept of conservation bio-geography. [University of Nottingham]
  2. Dynamics of Complex Systems: Complexity in Ecology. This course reviews both classical works and recent literature that discuss the complexity of ecology. [MIT]
  3. Dynamics of Complex Systems: Ecological Theory. Students will examine both classical and current works on ecological theory. [MIT]
  4. Practising science: reading the rocks and ecology. This course is a great introduction to both Earth sciences and ecology and the interconnectedness of the two. [The Open University]
  5. Geobiology. Learn about biology as it relates to the Earth throughout history from the origins of the Earth to global warming. [MIT]
  6. Seminar in Environmental Science. Get the latest in current research going on in the field of environmental science with this course. [MIT]
  7. Climate change. Learn about climate change, global warming, and the greenhouse effect in this course. [The Open University]
  8. Special Topics in Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences: The Environment of the Earth’s Surface. Study the basics about the Earth’s physical and chemical environment in order to know the best practices for management of the environment. [MIT]
  9. Environmental Earth Science. Explore how "geologic processes control and modify the Earth’s environment" in this class. [MIT]
  10. Global warming. Examine the changes in the Earth’s temperature through study of natural temperature changes, history of the climate, and recorded temperatures. [The Open University]
  11. Strange Bedfellows: Science and Environmental Policy. Learn about the relationship between science and politics when it comes to setting environmental policies. [MIT]

Biology

These courses touch on such topics as tropical ecology, water and health, and mangroves and biodiversity.

  1. Tropical Ecology and Conservation. Learn along with past students who experienced a hands-on trip to Costa Rica to study tropical ecology and conservation. [Tufts University]
  2. Natural Science Part I and II. Students who need a little background in science can take this class to get an overview of such topics as energy, chemical processes, genetics, diversity of life, and geologic processes. [Western Governors University]
  3. General Ecology. Not only can students learn the basics of ecology in this class, but also understand how ecologists construct knowledge. [Utah State University]
  4. Introductory Biology. Having a working knowledge of biology will set the foundation for better understanding specialized biology courses pertaining to the environment, and this class will provide what knowledge. [MIT]
  5. Animal Behavior. Understanding the basics for animal behavior is an important piece of understanding their role in the natural world. [MIT]
  6. Biology of Water and Health. Explore the ways water and health are related in this multi-disciplinary approach class. [Tufts University]
  7. Training Course on Mangroves and Biodiversity. Students will study the mangrove ecosystems and learn about threats to them as well as sustainability management options. [United Nations University]
  8. Finding information in science and nature. Teaching the basics in finding and evaluating information, this course will help you know where to look for information, how to organize it, and how to stay current in your knowledge. [The Open University]
  9. Introducing Environment–taster materials. This basic course is designed to instruct the novice about scientific and technical aspects of studying the environment while also teaching writing and learning skills to effectively communicate your findings. [The Open University]

Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Engineering

These engineering classes examine everything from transport processes to chemicals in the environment to designing for sustainability.

  1. Environmental engineering. This unique class is designed for school pupils to inform them of the type of work done by environmental engineers. [The Nottingham University]
  2. Transport Processes in the Environment. With an emphasis on rivers and lakes, this course examines the "mass transport in environmental flows." [MIT]
  3. Groundwater Hydrology. Learn about groundwater flow, managing contaminated groundwater, and more in this class. [MIT]
  4. Systems Perspectives on Industrial Ecology. Students learn about life-cycle analysis of the impact of materials extraction, processing, and recycling. [MIT]
  5. Chemicals in the Environment: Fate and Transport. Examine how man-made chemicals move through water, air, and soil and the effects of this transport on the environment and people. [MIT]
  6. Globalization of the Engineering and Construction Industry. The challenges and risks involved for senior managers in construction, engineering, and architecture are examined against a backdrop of global markets. [MIT]
  7. Project Management. Learn to "effectively plan, organize, and control" a construction project by learning effective methods and experiencing hands-on situations. [MIT]
  8. Design for Sustainability. Explore the issues of water and wastewater management, energy use, material selection, and construction within the context of two methodologies as it pertains to the built environment. [MIT]
  9. Introduction to Civil Engineering Design. Students will learn about the basics of civil design while taking into consideration such factors as built environment, natural environment, and economic and social factors. [MIT]
  10. Fundamentals of Ecology. This engineering class focuses on the basics of the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems, with a special emphasis on aquatic systems. [MIT]
  11. Ecology II: Engineering for Sustainability. Examine the connection of humans and natural environments as it pertains to physical, chemical, ecological, and economic principles. [MIT]
  12. Sustainable Energy. Examine current and future energy sources with topics including extraction, resources, and end-use. [MIT]
  13. Chemicals in the Environment: Toxicology and Public Health. Learn to define the relationship between disease and exposure to environmental chemicals in this biological engineering class. [MIT]
  14. Public hygiene and epidemiology. Civil engineers can learn about human pathology as related to water sanitation throughout history and as it pertains to today. [Delft University of Technology]
  15. Environmental Microbiology. Examine microorganisms in both natural and artificial environments. [MIT]
  16. Transportation Policy and Environmental Limits. This engineering class looks at the "economic and political conflict between transportation and the environment" in an effort to teach students ways of developing policy. [MIT]
  17. Environmental Engineering MEng Project. This graduate-level class provides students a hands-on opportunity to learn about environmental engineering. [MIT]
  18. Economic & Environmental Issues in Material Selection. Learn how to take into consideration the environmental and economic implications of the materials selected for use in products. [MIT]
  19. Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Design I. Study the built and natural environment through projects and exercises in this class. [MIT]
  20. Soil-based Hazardous Waste Management. Explore engineering management of hazardous waste in this course. [Utah State University]

Architecture

From building materials to sustainable design, these classes take a very green approach to architecture.

  1. Fundamentals of Energy in Buildings. Learn about energy consumption in buildings and learn about designing with an eye on innovation and sustainable building. [MIT]
  2. Introduction to Integrated Design. Students will find out the basics of architecture as it relates to disciplines including sustainability, history, and structures. [MIT]
  3. Ecologies of Construction. Examine the resource requirements for current building as a primary resource for determining the materials and energy involved in new construction. [MIT]
  4. Emergent Materials II. This course focuses on sustainable design by examining responsible building materials in both current and future usage. [MIT]
  5. Contemporary Architecture and Current Debate. Students will learn about architecture after WWII and assess current issues against that period. [MIT]
  6. Sustainable Design and Technology Research Workshop. Explore the issues of sustainability as they relate to architecture in this class where students will propose their own solutions. [MIT]

Urban Studies

Whether you are studying to become an urban planner or just want to know what you are talking about when speaking at city hall for your favorite cause, these classes cover plenty of information on the intersection of urban life and the environment.

  1. Introduction to Environmental Policy and Planning. Environmental planning techniques and strategies are the focus of this introductory class that sets the foundation for further investigation into environmental policy and planning. [MIT]
  2. Gateway: Planning Action. Explore themes and challenges facing urban planners in this course, which examines real-life case studies. [MIT]
  3. Special Studies in Urban Studies and Planning - The Cardiner River Corridor Workshop. Learn about preserving and enhancing existing landscapes with this workshop that focuses on the Cardiner River Corridor in Catalunya, Spain. [MIT]
  4. Environmental Justice. Explore the issues surrounding environmental justice and the effects of analyses of these issues on environmental policy and planning. [MIT]
  5. Foshan China Workshop. This course examines the issues of creating a sustainable environment along the downtown riverfront area of Foshan in order to improve the quality of life there. [MIT]
  6. Gaoming Studio - China. Students will plan and design options for this waterfront district with an eye to watershed and ecosystem protection as well as other urban considerations. [MIT]
  7. Sustainable Economic Development. Study environmental and economic development planning, policy, and management for urban communities. [MIT]
  8. Planning for Sustainable Development. Looking at the US and Europe, this class examines ways to incorporate sustainable development in urban planning. [MIT]
  9. Environment and Society. Students will take a look at the environmental and social impacts of industry, examine personal responsibilities and roles in these problems, and explore solutions. [MIT]
  10. Managing coastal environments. Learn about estuaries by specifically studying the Blackwater estuary and learn how best to manage sustainable development in this type of environment. [The Open University]
  11. Environmental Management Practicum: Brownfield Redevelopment. Participate in an urban renewal project on a former inner-city industrial site being transformed for optimum community usage. [MIT]
  12. Urban Transportation, Land Use, and the Environment. Three in depth studies of cities in South and Central America allow students to explore transportation and environmental issues of urban planning. [MIT]
  13. Civil Society and the Environment. This class takes a close look at NGOs and their relationships to environmental policy and planning. [MIT]
  14. Science, Politics, and Environmental Policy. Study the role of science in environmental policymaking in the US and compare to other political systems’ processes. [MIT]
  15. Environment and Sustainable Development. Examine "policy responses to environmental problems caused by economic development" in this class. [United Nations University]
  16. Regional Energy - Environmental Economic Modeling. Students will look at "regional energy-environmental modeling" within context of such topics as supply and demand, energy forecasts, and environmental implications. [MIT]
  17. Reforming Natural Resources Governance: Failings of Scientific Rationalism and Alternatives for Building Common Ground. Examine the results of scientific management in recent natural resource cases and explore alternative methods for decision-making processes. [MIT]

History

Learn about the history of technology, food and energy as it relates to the environment in these classes.

  1. Introduction to Environmental History. Take a look at the way people after the time of Columbus have impacted their environments and study the biological consequences through time to the present environmental crisis. [MIT]
  2. Technology and Nature in American History. Examine the way technology and industry have shaped the American landscape and explore the place of nature in a technological world. [MIT]
  3. Food and Power in the Twentieth Century. Explore the transformation of food over the past 100 years and examine how this has affected industrialization, globalization, agriculture, labor movements, business, and even race and gender. [MIT]
  4. Energy and Environment in American History: 1705 - 2005. Learn the history of how America became the largest consumer of energy in the world and explore possible paths for the future. [MIT]

Sociology and Anthropology

From consumer culture to conflict and social change, these classes take a look at humanity’s role in the current state of the environment.

  1. The Social Construction of Technology in Development. This class explores the possibility that technology develops as a response to social factors and examines issues surrounding this development. [United Nations University]
  2. Consumer Culture. Examine what it means to be a part of a consumer culture and explore the ramifications of such a lifestyle in this Humanistic Studies course. [MIT]
  3. Environmental Conflict and Social Change. Examine the relationship between humans and natural environments against a backdrop of environmental conflicts in this course that uses real-world case studies. [MIT]
  4. Energy, Environment, and Society. Participate in energy innovation opportunities at MIT with this class that has students create projects based on "understanding of energy systems and their major components." [MIT]
  5. Environmental Struggles. Examine the definition of "nature" as well as conflict over the use of natural environments to explore the connection between nature and humanity. [MIT]
  6. Working with our environment - an introduction. Review the history of technology and its impact on the environment and explore ways that society can responsibly embrace technology while being mindful of the environment. [The Open University]

Humanities

These philosophy and English classes let students explore the thoughts of themselves and others when it comes to green issues.

  1. Environmental Philosophy. This course looks at the current environmental crisis and explores solutions through a variety of disciplines. [University of Notre Dame]
  2. Writing about Nature and Environmental Issues. Nature writing and environmentalist essay are the focus of this course. [MIT]
  3. Writing and the Environment. Study the works of scientists and environmentalists who have written in an effort to transform thought and behavior and learn to write with the same strategies. [MIT]
  4. Environmental Ethics. Explore human interaction with the environment in this look at contemporary environmental ethics. [Capilano University]
  5. Expository Writing: Exploring Social and Ethical Issues through Film and Print. Engage in social and ethical issues through writing exercises and studying literature and film of those who have spoken about their own feelings on a variety of subjects. [MIT]
  6. Writing on Contemporary Issues: Imagining the Future. Explore your vision of the future through studying the literature of others who have imagined and warned about the future as well as personal writings. [MIT]

Public Health

One important impact of the environmental problems is on public health. These classes cover everything from mad cow disease to water and sanitation issues to air pollution.

  1. Social and Behavioral Foundations of Primary Health Care. Learn basic primary health care premises and understand their role in developing countries as well as discover ways to plan and implement this care within an ecological model of health behavior. [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]
  2. Health and environment. Learn about the impacts of changes in the environment on health by studying the environmental legacy, pollution, population growth, and ecology. [The Open University]
  3. BSE and vCJD: their biology and management. This course examines mad cow disease, the link between similar diseases that affects humans, and the management of these diseases. [The Open University]
  4. Environmental Health. Students will examine health issues, causes, and potential approaches to manage environmental health issues in both developing and industrialized areas. [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]
  5. Food Production, Public Health, and the Environment. Explore public health and food production as it pertains to issues such as economics, population, and equity through case studies. [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]
  6. Tropical Environmental Health. Examine problems and solutions for water and sanitation issues in developing countries that impact public health. [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]
  7. Public Health Toxicology. Learn the basic concepts of environmental toxicology as well as methods of preventing public health issues. [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]
  8. How Risky is Breathing? Statistical Methods in Air Pollution Risk Estimation. Students examine the health effects of air pollution through the statistical analysis of national-level research done by the instructor. [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]
  9. Water and Sanitation Needs in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies. Learn about the history of water and sanitation on public health and explore ways to assess and quantify water and sanitation needs during extreme emergencies. [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]

Political Science

Green topics are often at the forefront of political discussion. Understand their role in politics with these political science classes.

  1. International Politics and Climate Change. Conflict and cooperation in relation to international politics and climate change are the focus of this class. [MIT]
  2. Democracy? You think you know?. Examine the history of democracy and study what makes a democracy in this course that serves as a fundamental for anyone who may want to make a difference for the environment via politics. [The Open University]
  3. Field Seminar in International Political Economy. Study the "theoretical, empirical, and policy perspectives" of international political economies in both industrial and developing regions. [MIT]
  4. Environmental Politics and Policy. Explore the way environmental policy is created in the US through case studies. [MIT]

Business Management

Learning about green business is a smart move for managers and entrepreneurs. These classes offer a look at ways environmental factors impact business management.

  1. Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy. Explore scientific, economic, and ecological issues surrounding global climate change in this class. [MIT]
  2. Laboratory for Sustainable Business. Examine ways in which companies are embracing sustainability in order to make positive changes for their companies. [MIT]
  3. Environmental factors and organisations. Concepts such as globalization and offshoring are explored in relation to the green environment and the ethics and responsibilities of organizations are discussed. [The Open University]
  4. Environmental Policy and Economics. Students will learn about environmental regulations by the government through real-world experiences. [MIT]

Miscellaneous

From agricultural science to fire management, these courses offer a bit more knowledge to round out your green degree.

  1. Agricultural Science and Policy I. Look at soil, water, air, and energy as it pertains to natural resource conservation to help ensure environments. [Tufts University]
  2. Agricultural Science and Policy II. In the second part of this series, this class examines plant-pest interaction, crop breeding, plant nutrients, and livestock production. [Tufts University]
  3. Wildland Fire Management and Planning. Learn about fire behavior, its interaction with the environment, and ways to predict fire behavior. [Utah State University]
  4. Integrated safety, health and environmental management: an introduction. This class from the UK looks at the risks involved in safety, health, and environmental management, examines ways to integrate systems, and also explores emergency planning. [The Open University]

Lessons for Life from College

The experience of going to college is like no other – we not only earn an education that lets us make something of our lives, we also gain a host of other advantages, like making new friends and learning lessons that hold us good stead for the rest of our lives. I wouldn’t call my four years at university the best of my life, although I do admit they helped make the rest of the years that followed be the best they could. And so here they are, the lessons I took with me from my days at college:

•    Balance is everything: Some people consider college as a party that lasts for four years, while others walk through the same time span with their head buried in their books. There’s no need to go to such extreme ends of the scale when the middle is perfectly fine. I learned the hard way (after an almost disastrous freshman year) that if you want to succeed, both in college and in life, you must learn to do the perfect balancing act between work and pleasure. Sure, the party may look like fun, but there’ll always be other parties while you’ll never get your exams back. Make wise decisions at the right times, and you’ll have no cause for regret.
•    It’s a small world: College is where most of us get to meet people from other cultures and countries; while some of us have no trouble accepting them with open arms, others do the shunning and ignoring act really well around them. The worst kinds are those that abuse and insult them. If you learn in college the valuable lesson of getting along with the people around you, no matter how different they seem to be, then you should have no problem in adopting the same attitude all through your life.
•    Time is money: If you have a trouble with getting out of bed every morning, then it’s best to avoid those early classes. The same lesson applies to life as well – if you can’t get to work on time, it’s time to find a new job that suits your best working hours.
•    Work pays: Holding a job during college helps you earn pocket money and pay for your books and tuition. It also teaches you to manage your time more efficiently. This comes in handy later in life when you’ll be juggling a family, kids, a full-time job, and your own needs at the same time.
•    Independence from dependence: College was my first time away from home, mom and pop, and the life I knew for 17 years. Cutting those apron strings took a while, but I managed to fend for myself pretty well from my sophomore year. Life is similar; we’re forced to make changes at every stage, some pleasant, and others not. That first year at school taught me more than any book could, about adjusting to new situations and coping with them.

And so you see, the lessons you learn from college are not always found in books.

 

5 Helpful Tips When Dealing with Deadlines

As a professional writer, there is one thing that is always present and even possibly looming over you—the deadline.  Deadlines drive writers to get their work done in a timely fashion and help to facilitate the writing process by placing time constraints on the work in question. 

Without deadlines, many fail to complete tasks in a timely fashion and leave untold volumes of work left unfinished.  For some, deadlines mean crunch time and this crunch is what helps inspire better work.  Whatever the case may be, deadlines are necessary to the professional writer for a variety of reasons.  What follows is a brief list of some helpful tips for dealing with deadlines.

Know the Guidelines

Take a good hard look at what is being asked of you as a writer.  Note any style requests, formatting, etcetera, before getting started.  This will ultimately help you out in the end when you are getting ready to submit your piece.  There is nothing more frustrating than having to go back a redo everything because you didn’t know the guidelines of the assignment during its composition.

Do Your Homework

Especially important when dealing with research-driven writing, you must establish your knowledge base and have your notes in order before getting started on a project.  Get this step out of the way as soon as you can so that you are able to move forward with your project in a timely fashion.

Set a Schedule

Even if you think you work better under pressure, it may benefit you more to set a schedule for your assignments so that they are produced without being hasty.  Taking time with your writing can increase its quality exponentially, and will have the side benefit of reducing your stress levels in the process.

Save in Stages

As writers, we have a tendency to constantly go back and rewrite things; computers have made this very easy to do indeed.  If you are working on a long project over an extended period of time, try saving your files under various working file names, just in case you wish to revisit your approach later on.  It’s good to have several versions of your draft later, when it comes down to revising and editing your work.

Allow for the Unexpected

Working with computers and telecommuting has its advantages and disadvantages.  Your connection can go down at the most inopportune times, so try your best to finish up before the eleventh hour.  Missed deadlines can mean missed opportunities in the future, so don’t fall into the procrastination trap.

 

Are You a Genius? 50 Intelligence Tests to See Where You Stand

Are you the smartest person in your office, school, or home? If you think you’re intellectual ability is unmatched, take these intelligence tests, which measure everything from your learning potential to your Mensa status to your emotional IQ. Then, pass them around to friends and family to compare scores and settle the debate over who’s the smartest once and for all.

Mensa and IQ Tests

Are you Mensa material? Find out by taking a Mensa workout and other IQ tests here.

  1. IQ Test Labs: This PhD certified test features sample questions and a score conversion to help you get started.
  2. Free IQ Test: Compare your IQ to the average score of 100.
  3. Mensa Intelligence Test Part 1: Try to figure out these letter and number puzzles and riddles. If you get 19 correct, you’ve reached the test’s "genius" level.
  4. Classical IQ Test: Version A: Here you’ll be tested on logical reasoning, language abilities and more.
  5. Test for Above Average Abilities: Find out if your abilities are high enough to score a membership to the International High IQ Society.
  6. Verbal IQ Test: This test measures your intelligence and ability in writing and speaking.
  7. Mensa Workout: If you can correctly answer 30 questions in 30 minutes, you might be a genius.
  8. Difficult Logic Test: Your score on this test "correlates with your actual IQ score," so it can also be used as a rough estimate of your overall intelligence.
  9. Kids IQ Test: This kids IQ test is also PhD certified.
  10. GoIQTest: This IQ test is divided up into sub categories and is PhD certified.
  11. UNIMIX 01: This test combines pictures, math questions and more.
  12. UNIVIS 01: This test is comprised of only visual questions and problems.

Short Quizzes

If you don’t have much time to prove your intellectual prowess, take one of these tests, which only take a few minutes at most.

  1. I.Q. Test: This free test has just 20 questions and compares your score to the average of 100.
  2. Quick IQ Test: You This test is only comprised of 15 questions.
  3. 60 Second Free IQ Test: This IQ test lets you compare scores with other users around the world.
  4. Difficult Intelligence Test: This test measures your ability to answer questions without the help of a calculator or any other aid.
  5. IQ Quiz: Find out your brain size in less than 10 minutes when you take this quiz.

Emotional Intelligence Tests

Just because you’re book smart doesn’t mean your emotional intelligence is high. Test your emotional stability and your reactions to everyday events with these tests.

  1. E-IQ Test: This True/False test asks you to answer according to your reactions.
  2. Emotional Intelligence Test: This test will also help you discover ways to improve your emotional intelligence.
  3. What is your emotional intelligence quotient?: This iVillage test is another quiz that can measure your emotional intelligence.
  4. The Emotional Intelligence Test: Assessment.com’s emotional IQ test costs $8.99 but scores "your greatest emotional strength and weaknesses."
  5. Emotional IQ Test - Abridged: Rate your reaction to 10 different situations for your score.

Specialty Tests

From your style IQ to your color IQ, these specialty tests aren’t as serious, but they’re still fun.

  1. Attention to details test: This fun specialty test tests memory and attention to detail.
  2. What’s your fashion IQ? Test your runway knowledge: Test your knowledge of designers, red carpet looks and more.
  3. Test Your Color IQ: This 15-question true/false quiz is all about colors’ natural effects on mood and personality.
  4. What’s Your Resume-Job Hunt IQ: If you’re looking for a job, make sure you’re thinking realistically and practically. Take this test to find out if you’re on the right track.
  5. Your Salary IQ: This 5-question true/false test measures your knowledge about finding salary information, negotiating salaries and more.
  6. Viral Video Quiz: Find out if "you’re on top of this whole viral video trend" when you take this quiz.
  7. Art Appreciation IQ Test: Find out how much you really know about the art world with this test.
  8. The Detailed I.Q. Test: Testcafe’s special IQ test is a popular test that was featured on AOL and other websites.
  9. Dog IQ Test: This is actually an IQ test for your dog and features different games and behavior tests.
  10. 2 Minute Intelligence Test: This 4-question test probably seems silly at first, but the answers actually tell a lot about the way you think.

Timed Tests

If you’re really up for a challenge, take one of these timed IQ tests to see where you seriously stack up against your peer and classmates.

  1. Sequence IQ Test: This fun test gives you 45 minutes to solve several sequence questions.
  2. eCMA: This 36-question Cognitive Mental Abilities IQ test will determine whether or not you’re eligible to join the International High IQ Society.
  3. Free IQ Test: This test claims to be "the world’s quickest free IQ test," and you have only 5 minutes to complete it.
  4. Amazing IQ Test: You have 60 seconds to answer the 14 questions here.
  5. A.C.E Official I.Q. Test: This test automatically submits itself after 20 minutes.

Intelligence and Personality

What kind of smart are you? These intelligence tests accommodate for different personality types.

  1. Intelligence Type Test: There isn’t just smart and stupid. Take this test to find out what kind of smart you are.
  2. The Brain Test: Find out if you think with your left brain or right brain.
  3. Personality disorder test: Find out if you have leanings towards paranoia, schizophrenia or another personality disorder.
  4. Creative Problem Solving Test: This test will reveal how your brain works.
  5. Intelligence Type Test: This 49-question test is another test that explores how intelligence and personality intersect.

Just for Fun

Take these fun tests for a less serious look at your intelligence.

  1. Am I Dumb?: This short quiz measures "your intelligence when dealing with average everyday situations."
  2. Quiz: Could You Pass 5th Grade?: This 14-question test measures your knowledge of and ability to pass the 5th grade.
  3. Advanced Culture Fair IQ Test: This test measures "your ability to detect patterns despite deliberate distraction."
  4. How Smart are You?: This 11-question test asks you very simple math, logic and trivia questions.
  5. Daily IQ Test: See if you get smarter day by day.
  6. IQ Geeks: Try out one of the IQ tests offered through the IQ Geeks Forum.
  7. Chimera’s Conundrums IQ Test: This test was first published in GAMES magazine and is still a popular quiz.
  8. The IQ Test Club: This free test comes with a sample score report and features verbal, visual, pattern and sequential problems and questions.

Ditch the Backpack: 100 Essential Web Tools for Virtual Students

While learning at home offers great opportunities for working on your own time and schedule, it can also offer drawbacks when it comes to working with others or getting immediate help on a problem. Whether you need help, collaboration, or just want a little extra knowledge when completing your assignments, these web tools will help you find what you need. From note taking to researching to staying organized, the following resources will have you making top grades in your classes.

Collaboration

Studying online doesn’t mean you have to lose out on the brainstorming and social connection. These tools will help you stay in touch with classmates while creating the best collaborative projects possible.

  1. Zoho Show. Don’t let the fact that you are a virtual student hold you back from making awesome presentations. Zoho Show helps you create a presentation and share it with anyone with a browser.
  2. meebo. Instant message with anyone using this tool. Just log in from the browser and start IMing your classmates no matter if they are on AOL, Yahoo!, Google, or MSN.
  3. Pidgin. Download this tool so you can IM with anyone on 16 different IM accounts.
  4. Campfire. Set up instant chat rooms with your study group or classroom using Campfire and make communicating as a group much easier.
  5. MeetWithApproval. Plan a virtual meeting with classmates or organize a face-to-face with this meeting planner.
  6. TeleFlip. If you step away from your computer, don’t worry about missing out. Send your email messages to your phone as text messages with this free tool.
  7. flurry. If you need to participate in a class group messaging session, this tool will allow you to do it on your mobile phone.
  8. Thinkature. Collaborate with classmates, organize your thoughts and research, and prepare your paper or project with this tool.
  9. Wizlite. Use this tool to highlight any text online and share with others while working on that group project.
  10. ProBoards. Create a discussion board easily and quickly so you can collaborate with classmates and leave the discussion for others to access as well.

Bookmarking and Note-Taking

Internet research is a great way to find information for your assignments. These tools will help you with bookmarking your finds and taking down notes so you don’t forget what you want to include in your project.

  1. Del.icio.us. Use this great bookmarking tool for research that you will be able to access again later or even share with classmates.
  2. Qipit. Fax, email, or store PDF files you create of any document with a photo you take from your phone.
  3. Google Bookmarks. Never lose your bookmarks again when you switch to a different browser with this helpful tool to keep and organize all your bookmarks.
  4. Google Notebook. Use this tool to save information you find while you are browsing around the Internet.
  5. mynoteIT. Upload Word documents, create and store notes online, track upcoming assignments, and create classes or study groups with this tools.
  6. Yahoo! Notepad. Make notes that are accessible anywhere you can get Yahoo! with this tool.
  7. NoteMesh. Create a wiki for your class where you can store notes and your whole class can access them.
  8. Clipmarks. Save text, images, and video from any place on the Internet and have easy access to them with this tool.
  9. Web-Chops. Similar to Clipmarks, this tool will allow you to take pieces of web pages and save them on your own page at Web-Chops.
  10. Diigo. Highlight portions of web pages, create sticky notes, and even have access to your notes from your cell phone with this tool.

Writing Tools

From spell checkers to bibliography creators to word counters, these tools will help you write like a professional.

  1. orangoo. Paste your text into this site and immediately find any spelling errors you may have.
  2. SpellJax. Here’s another spell checker. Just paste your text and check your spelling.
  3. Alphabetizer. Paste a list into this tool to immediately get a list alphabetized quickly and easily.
  4. The Biography Maker. This tool will step you through creating an informative biography on any person you select as your subject.
  5. Yahoo! Babel Fish. Translate any text or website into English with this tool. If English is your second language, use it the other way around.
  6. OttoBib. Create an automatic bibliography of any book by choosing the appropriate style and entering the ISBN from the book.
  7. EasyBib. Using MLA style, create a bibliography of a book, journal article, website, and more with this tool.
  8. ajaxWrite. Firefox users can download this free word processor that is a great substitute for Microsoft Word. Create compatible documents and even view Word documents.
  9. Writeboard. Create a web-based text document with this tool, then use it to either edit, share, or send yourself a text file of your document.
  10. Common Errors in English. Find out if you are using quotation marks properly, if you chose the correct form of a word, and so much more with this handy list of errors.
  11. Word of the Day. Expand your vocabulary with this great tool from Dictionary.com.
  12. Cliche Finder. Make sure you avoid those overused cliches in your writing in the blink of an eye by checking your phrase with this handy dandy tool.
  13. WordCounter. Find out if your 500 word research paper is actually 500 words with this online word counter tool.

Research

Research is often a major part of your classes, so make sure you have all the tools you need to do the best research possible for your assignments. From reference material to managing sources, these tools will keep you on track.

  1. Google Reader. Use this reader to conveniently get all your RSS feeds in one place.
  2. Google Alerts. Get email updates on any specific topic you are interested in following.
  3. Google Scholar. Use this search engine to find scholarly results on any topic you select.
  4. Bartleby.com. Access several handy reference books at this site that has a very comprehensive library.
  5. Refdesk.com. Don’t worry about going to the library. Find over 40 encyclopedias here to learn about space exploration, psychology, and more.
  6. Online Etymology Dictionary. If you need to find the origin of a word or phrase, then this dictionary will let you know where it came from.
  7. Sparticus Educational. Study with this online encyclopedia to learn all about the American Civil War.
  8. U.S. House of Representatives Floor Summary. This real-time tool lets you know about the proceedings occurring on the House Floor every day.
  9. ANYDAY Today-in-History. Find out what happened in history any day of the year including any important birthdays, holidays, and religious observances and history.
  10. CiteULike. As you find scholarly articles on the Internet, use this tool to store, organize, and share them with ease from any browser.
  11. Footnote. Get original historical documents from the Revolutionary War to Project Blue Book UFO Investigations on this site.
  12. Zotero. Firefox users can take advantage of this tool that helps you collect, manage, and cite your Internet research sources.
  13. Connotea. Research is much easier with this tool that manages online references and is specifically designed for researchers.
  14. Wikipedia. While you will need to be careful relying solely on the information here for a research-based project, Wikipedia is an excellent place to get a basic understanding of almost any topic.

Study Tools

Everyone can use a little extra help when it comes to those difficult classes. Whether you need to be quizzed on your French vocabulary or want a summary of the Shakespeare play your professor assigned, these study tools will give you a hand.

  1. Quizlet. Use this interactive tool to help you study for almost any subject from foreign languages to history to math.
  2. SparkNotes. Get study guides in biology, history, literature, and Shakespeare at this site.
  3. Answers.com. If you have a question, you will probably find the answer with this tool that relies on a combination of reliable resource materials, user-generated answers, and articles from the editorial staff.
  4. WhatIs.com. For any technology questions you may have, this helpful site will provide you with the answer you seek.
  5. Yahoo! Education. Find a dictionary, thesaurus, math help, quotations, sample tests for many standardized exams, and much more.
  6. TutorLinker. If you need a real person to help you get ahead in your studies, use this online tool to find a tutor near you.
  7. Litsum. Get online summaries of literature to help you understand your next assignment in English literature.
  8. ReadWriteThink. Get all kinds of study help for reading and language arts from vocabulary to interactive reading.
  9. QuickMath. This tool solves algebra and calculus problems free so you can check your work.
  10. Cramster. Try practice problems, look up textbook solutions, or find study tips with this helpful resource.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a popular way to brainstorm and organize your projects so that you can ensure you are creating the best paper or project you can. Some of these mind mapping tools are also for groups to collaborate and plan projects.

  1. VUE. Created at Tufts University, this mind mapping tool is designed to help those specifically for teaching, learning, and research.
  2. Cmap Tools. Create concept maps with this mind mapping tool designed specifically for academic research.
  3. bubble.us. Start brainstorming with this simple online tool that creates bubbles and connects your ideas.
  4. Mindomo. This web-based mind mapping tool will have you organized and thinking clearly.
  5. Gliffy. Create flowcharts for a project or use this tool to help organize your ideas and steps to complete any assignment.
  6. FreeMind. Not only can you brainstorm and organize your ideas here, but you can also keep track of your project and see it through from start to finish.
  7. MindMeister. Collaborative mind mapping is easy with this tool. Try out the free version before signing up for the paid versions.
  8. WiseMapping. Create free mind maps with this tool, then share yours or browse other people’s mind maps.
  9. Mapul. Easily create organic-looking mind maps with this tool.
  10. View Your Mind. This mind mapping tool allows you to "generate and manipulate maps which show your thoughts."
  11. ThinkFold. If you have a group working together, it can get confusing and messy trying to track everyone’s ideas. ThinkFold allows groups to create interactive, real-time outlines without all the trouble.

Organization

Every successful student knows that organization is a key to getting ahead. You won’t forget assignments, test dates, or those brilliant ideas kicking around in your head with these organizational tools.

  1. Backpack. This tool can organize anything from just your own studies to that of an entire class. Make pages, use calendars, post announcements, get email or text message reminders, and more.
  2. Google Calendar. Use this tool to keep track of meetings, tests, deadlines, and more. Set up reminders so you will never forget anything.
  3. Jotlet. If your virtual class has a website, create an online calendar and share it with classmates with this tool.
  4. Remember the Milk. This to-do list tool will keep you on track with all your assignments and you can even use it with your cell phone, Google maps, and more.
  5. Bla-bla List. For a more simple to-do list, use this tool. You can also email it to yourself or update others via RSS feed.
  6. Ta-da Lists. Create lists, check off items as you go, and share with others with this tool which is accessible by most browsers and on your phone.
  7. Evernote. Capture an image of whatever you want to remember, then use this tool to make it accessible from your computer or phone with tags.
  8. Stickies 6.5a. Create virtual sticky notes on your computer desktop with this tool. Just like real stickies, they stay there until you remove them, but unlike the real thing, these can be iconified and remind you of tasks.
  9. Jotcloud. Similar to Stickies 6.5a, but with fewer functions, you can write down your notes on virtual stickies with this tool. No download is necessary.
  10. Joe’s Goals. This simple chart allows you to input your goals or tasks, then you check off each you complete daily. This is great for staying on top of assignments.

Math, Science, and Geography Tools

From calculators to an interactive periodic table to interactive maps, these tools will help you succeed.

  1. Universal Currency Converter. This handy tool will help you find exchange rates from many different countries.
  2. Algebra.help. If you need some algebra help, use this tool that has lessons, calculators, and worksheets.
  3. calcoolate.com. This online calculator will help you equate, save your history, and even replace your Windows calculator with this tool.
  4. calcr. It doesn’t get more simple than this tool. Type in your equation and hit return to get an answer.
  5. e-Tutor Graphing Calculator. Don’t spend your money on a graphing calculator; use this online version instead.
  6. Create a Graph. While targeted to younger learners, this tool is still helpful for anyone who has to create a graph.
  7. Martindale’s Calculators On-line Center. Find any type of calculator at all, from a slide rule to the nutrient content of food, with this tool.
  8. Create a Graph. Use this tool to custom-make any type of graph quickly and easily.
  9. Periodic Table of the Elements. This interactive, full-color periodic table is also available as a downloadable PDF file for printing.
  10. Visible Body. Take advantage of this incredible visualization tool to help you learn about the human anatomy from the muscular system to internal organs. You will need to sign up for a free membership.
  11. Visable Earth. View NASA images of the Earth with this tool.
  12. Google Maps. This interactive map program is great for geography and more.
  13. Google Earth. With Google Earth, where you can see real images of places all over the world.

Various Tools

Whether you need to store your documents, want to find websites recommended by educators, calculate your GPA, or need to find a great project for your science class, these tools will get you going in the right direction.

  1. Box. Manage, store, and share your files with this tool that will help you keep up with documents, spreadsheets, and even photos.
  2. Xdrive. Store your documents, track changes, and even share your documents with this online tool.
  3. Openomy. Like the other file storage sites, this one also allows you to manage and share your files, but it also offers you the opportunity to embed your file in websites also.
  4. Campusbug. This social networking site not only keeps you connected with other students, it also offers tools and resources for studying, homework, and projects.
  5. SiteTradr. Find out what sites educators are recommending with this cool tool that takes the worry out of Internet reading.
  6. Mindpicnic. Sign up for free online courses on a wide variety of topics here.
  7. learnhub. Use the experience of other users to find help with your assignments on this social networking site that shares education.
  8. Instructables. Learn how to make anything with this fun site that can have you creating an awesome project for class or anything else you want to do.
  9. GPA Calculator. Don’t be surprised when your report card arrives. Use this handy tool to figure out what your GPA is based on your grades.

100+ Free Open Courseware Links for Web Designers

Graphic and Web Design Tools

Whether you are just starting out or have plenty of experience under your belt, these free online resources will help strengthen your knowledge of many popular graphic and web design tools.

  1. Flash. Learn to use Macromedia Flash in this course that will culminate with your having created one fully-functional Flash project.
  2. Weekly Web Design Class. Go beyond simply learning HTML to develop a deeper understanding of what makes a great website with this class.
  3. Learn and Apply HTML. Take this WebCT "exemplary course" to learn how to perform HTML coding.
  4. Blogs, Wikis, New Media for Learning. Find out how to best use some popular Web 2.0 tools and applications in this class.
  5. Adobe Photoshop Basics. Get 8 weekly lessons to help get you using Photoshop with ease.
  6. Adobe Sample Courses. Adobe offers 7 days’ worth of free online training for Adobe programs such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Acrobat.
  7. QuarkEd Training Files. Whether you are just learning Quark or are an old pro, these free files will have something for you to learn.
  8. DHTML Animation. Learn the how to animate web pages using a combination of HTML, CSS, and Javascript.
  9. Graphic Design Basics. This listing of free courses from About.com offers some excellent free classes to teach you the basics of graphic design.
  10. Beginning Web Design Course. Take this course and in six weeks you can have the basics to design excellent websites.
  11. The Graphic Reporter. Get free tutorials and tips on graphic and web design topics from this site.
  12. Dreamweaver Tutorials. If you use Dreamweaver to create websites, then these free tutorials might come in handy for you.
  13. Open of Course. This open courseware site requires free membership to access their courses, but they offer an entire section on web design.

Media Arts

A perfect combination for web designers–technology and art–these media arts courses will polish your skills to help produce top-notch websites.

  1. Fundamentals of Computational Media Design. Learn the basics of media design in this class with hands-on design opportunities.
  2. Holographic Images. This hands-on laboratory course teaches about holography and holographic imaging.
  3. Special Topics in Multimedia Production: Experiences in Interactive Art. Using visiting artists’ lectures and discussion on the history of interactive art as springboards, students create their own interactive art project in this class.
  4. Media Art I. Get hands-on experience with this class that introduces students to the various concepts of media art.
  5. Media Art II. Building off Media Art I, this course looks at black and white photography, digital imaging, and public art.
  6. Media Art III. Continuing in this series, students will deepen their learning while studying digital sound and digital video art while strengthening their technical abilities.
  7. Media Art IV. The last in the series, this class allows students to work on three projects that will polish their technical and conceptual skills.
  8. Pattern Recognition and Analysis. Learn about recognizing patterns and features of interest in numerical data in this class.
  9. Affective Computing. Study the relation between computing and emotion in this class that looks at how emotions are elicited via the computer.
  10. Signals, Systems, and Information for Media Technology. This graduate-level class explores audio/visual signals and how they are received by humans.
  11. How to Learn (Almost) Anything. Through these experiential learning activities, look at the relationship of technology and hands-on learning and explore what can be learned.
  12. Technologies for Creative Learning. Lego fans will love this opportunity to examine ways new technologies can help stimulate learning and creativity in this hands-on course.
  13. Introduction to Media Studies. Examine the role media plays in society in this class. For the same subject matter, but a different topic focus, try Introduction to Media Studies Fall 2005.
  14. Creativity, community, and ICT. Learn about how creativity works, about collaborative creativity, and how technology can assist in both the collaborative and creative aspects of learning.
  15. Topics in Cinematic Storytelling. Learn the basics of communicating a storyline through a visual medium.
  16. Common Sense Reasoning for Interactive Applications. This course goes over the relationship between humans and computers with an emphasis on increasing communication.

Art

From learning about the art of color to studying art and technology, these art classes will help you create visually appealing websites.

  1. Feeling and Imagination in Art, Science, and Technology. Study philosophy, psychology, and literature to learn about the ways emotion and imagination play into the creative process.
  2. Art of Color. Learn about the use of color in visual arts, the psychology of color, and more in this course that is a must for graphic designers of any type.
  3. Composing Your Life: Exploration of Self Through Visual Arts and Writing. Enjoy using several types of media to explore yourself and your creativity in this course.
  4. Photography and Truth. This anthropology class examines how photography works to document and communicate as an art form.
  5. Documentary Photography and Photo Journalism: Still Images of A World In Motion. Learn how to convey thought and emotion through photography in this class that also requires written accompaniments to the photo documentation for class.
  6. Modern Art and Mass Culture. Learn about modern art and theories while looking at how the artist uses the combination of art and pop culture to express herself.
  7. Introduction to Art History. Learn how art has developed and functioned through the years and how it has served as an extension of the culture.
  8. 20th Century Art. Learn about art as it developed throughout the last century with a backdrop of the cultural changes that occurred during that time.
  9. BSAD Foundations in the Visual Arts. Designed for architecture students, this course teaches students to communicate through various visual media forms.
  10. Art and Technology. Learn how digital and bio-technologies relate to art in this course.
  11. Introduction to Video. Work on projects, including a final assignment of personal storytelling, that will develop your skills as a videographer and video editor.

Writing and Editing

Creating an effective site relies on more than just the visual aspect. Make sure your writing and editing skills are up to speed with these free courses.

  1. Expository Writing: Social and Ethical Issues in Print, Photography and Film. Through the study of film and literature, this course teaches students to expand their writing skills to create well-reasoned arguments and a polished product.
  2. Expository Writing - Food for Thought: Writing and Reading about Food and Culture. Strengthen writing skills while also studying about culture through food in this delicious class.
  3. The Creative Spark. Through journal writings and studying artists of various media, this course teaches about creativity–what it is, how it’s valued, and how it grows.
  4. Consumer Culture. Practice writing while also taking a look into the world of American consumerism. What a combination for a web designer.
  5. Expository Writing: Analyzing Mass Media. Learn to write a strong, persuasive essay while taking a look at the impact mass media has had on American culture.
  6. Writing and Experience: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Cyberspace. Through an exploration of American pop culture, this class helps practice writing for an online audience.
  7. Intro to Tech Communication. An especially valuable writing course if you come from a more technical background than a literary one, this course offers the basics in writing for an information-based audience.
  8. Introduction to Technical Communication: Ethics in Science and Technology. Take a look at how ethical dilemmas are resolved (or not resolved) when they arise in technology-based situations.
  9. Introduction to Technical Communication: Explorations in Scientific and Technical Writing. This course offers the basics in technical writing with topics including graphics, web page writing and design, and email.
  10. Becoming Digital: Writing About Media Change. With the shift to digital media, business, communication, and entertainment have changed significantly. This class explores that shift while strengthening writing skills.
  11. Digital Poetry. Students study digital poetry in various forms including soundscapes, hypertext poetry, animation, code poems, and interactive games.

Technology

From technology trends to securing online businesses to technology and gender, these classes offer plenty from the technological side of web design.

  1. Information Technology Essentials. This basic course offers an overview of hardware, software, and technology concepts and trends.
  2. Data Mining. This course examines data mining methods that have evolved from both statistics and artificial intelligence and looks at recognizing patterns and making predictions with this information.
  3. Media Industries and Systems. Learn about the trends, audience, and creative process as forces shaping content in media industries and systems.
  4. Technology for Professional Writers. This course teaches important technology skills with a focus on the writer’s perspective.
  5. Information technology: a new era?. Take a look at technology and how it has impacted the economy, productivity, and more in this course.
  6. Search Engines: Technology, Society and Business. Learn from a distinguished group of lecturers in the course that examines Internet searches and how they relate to business.
  7. Practicum in Enterprise Security. Students learn first-hand in this course that teaches what you need to know about securing your online business.
  8. Technology Strategy. This course is designed for those who will invest in or run a business where technology will play a major role and will cover investment planning and behavior of competition, suppliers, and customers.
  9. Technology and Gender in American History. Learn about the history and current presence of women in technology and how both have shaped the field and society itself.

Copyright and Ethics

Working online, you need to ensure you are following the law and ethics of the Internet. These courses will teach you what you need to know.

  1. Introduction to Copyright Law. This course covers the basics of copyright law with a heavy emphasis on Internet-related topics–a must for anyone working on the Internet.
  2. Information Law and Policy. Find out about copyright law, protecting databases, licensing of information, privacy and more in this course.
  3. Ethics and the Law on the Electronic Frontier. Law, policy, and technology come together in this course that discusses several topics concerning the Internet and law.

Psychology

Understanding the visitors to your sites is an important aspect of designing. Learn about gender issues, vision science, online interaction, and more in these courses.

  1. A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain. This course is geared for all types of students, not just psychology majors, wanting to explore the nature of the human brain and cognition.
  2. Psychology of Gender. Learn about the gender differences and social influences within several social realms.
  3. Special Topics in Vision Science. Learn about both human and computer vision in this class that explores the psychology of vision.
  4. Understanding Online Interaction. Get the basics about how people communicate online and also learn how to design "effective learning environments" on the web.
  5. Social Visualization. Learn about the psychology behind the online user audience and practice visualizing this crowd through their activities and interactions.

Culture and Globalization

When creating a website, it is important to remember that the audience will likely be a global one. Learn what you need to know about various cultures and global communities to ensure you are creating an inclusive website.

  1. Communicating Across Cultures. Learn about the effects of globalization on society and find out how you can become more culturally sensitive to those around you.
  2. Visualizing Cultures. Using the opening of Japan by Commodore Perry, this course examines cultural perceptions with regards to racism, nationalism, war, propaganda, and more.
  3. Topics in Culture and Globalization. Explore how globalization has shaped cultures in both First and Third world countries by looking at their pop music, advertisements, film posters, and political cartoons.
  4. American Dream: Exploring Class in the U.S.. This course looks at the potential of class in American and how it relates to other differences such as race and gender.
  5. Internet Technology in Local and Global Communities. This course looks at programming, Internet technology, open source programs, and entrepreneurship and is a part of the MIT-African Internet Technology Initiative.
  6. New Global Agenda: Exploring 21st Century Challenges through Innovations in Information Technology. This course examines how IT development has affected globalization and international politics.
  7. Media in Cultural Context. Learn about how culture defines itself through TV programs and how international markets are impacted by these identities and others perceptions of these identities.
  8. Managing local practices in global contexts. This course covers a lot of ground as it examines several aspects of business in the global environment.
  9. International Relations. Learn such important topics as international economy, values and attitudes, and global issues in this course that is a must for anyone dealing with international business contacts.
  10. Economic Development, Policy Analysis, and Industrialization. This course teaches how government plays a role in developing countries that affects global business. One topic of interest is the introduction of the high tech industry in these countries.
  11. Working in a Global Economy. This course examines global economy and the practice and policy changes that have occurred since the development of the current economy.
  12. Globalization, Migration, and International Relations. Learn about globalization and its impact on businesses and people around the world.

Marketing

Knowing something about the market is vital to web design as your work will be what the customer sees. Take these classes to learn all about marketing, marketing strategies, and the customer.

  1. Introduction to Marketing. An excellent place to start for those just starting out in marketing, this course covers all the basics.
  2. Marketing Management. Another introductory course, this one offers a basic overview of the concepts of marketing and is a great place to start before moving to more advanced marketing courses.
  3. Marketing Strategy. This course looks at marketing in conjunction with the strategy for a company as a whole. The course is recommended for entrepreneurs, consultants, and project managers.
  4. Entrepreneurial Marketing. Focusing on the general concept of marketing problems, this course examines basic marketing and new venture issues to help the student learn to have a better understanding for her specific needs.
  5. Strategic Marketing Management. Understanding the market (rather than the customer) is the focus of this course, which will teach the skills necessary to complete a marketing research survey.
  6. Listening to the Customer. This course, the companion course to Strategic Marketing Management, studies the needs of the customers rather than the market.
  7. Special Seminar in Marketing: Marketing Management. The focus of this course is to teach students the basics of marketing ideas and phenomena while honing students’ abilities for market analysis and planning.
  8. Marketing communications as a strategic function. This course covers the basic arguments for marketing communications as an important strategy, the changing role of communications, and customer preferences.

Entrepreneurship

Whether you are starting out with a business of your own or just working with plenty of entrepreneurs as clients, these classes will help you with the basics of entrepreneurship.

  1. Developmental Entrepreneurship. Looking at real-life examples of both failed and successful businesses in developing countries, this class explores developmental opportunities and business models.
  2. Entrepreneurial Finance. Entrepreneurs will benefit from this course that looks at raising money for technology-based companies and the early stages of development.
  3. Early Stage Capital. This course offers lessons on start-ups and early stage capital generation with a focus on building relationships with investors and advisors.
  4. Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning. Getting personal finances in order and planning for the future has an impact on your business as an entrepreneur. Learn the basics with this course.
  5. Investment Risk. This course focuses on risk aversion, qualifying risk, risk factors, and discounted cash flow and the net present value rule.
  6. Special Seminar in Management The Nuts and Bolts of Business Plans. Specifically targeted to entrepreneurs, this seminar looks at the basics of creating a business plan.
  7. Pricing. Looking at real cases, this course aims to teach an understanding for pricing strategies and techniques for businesses.
  8. Entrepreneurial behavior. This course looks at the definitions, qualities, function, and work styles of entrepreneurs.
  9. Management Communications for Undergraduates. The content of this course includes a focus on writing, speaking, team work, and interpersonal relationship skills.
  10. Managerial Economics. This course covers the basics of microeconomics as it pertains to management decisions and is a must for any entrepreneur.
  11. How to Develop "Breakthrough" Products and Services. Likely the goal of most entrepreneurs, this course teaches how to create breakthrough products and services through concrete, systematic concepts.
  12. Entrepreneurship in Contemporary America. Find out what several American business women have faced in a field that has typically been a man’s realm.
  13. Law for the Entrepreneur and Manager. This law class aims to educate the learner in the basics of the legal issues that affect a business from start-up to going public.

100 Free Self-Assessment Tools to Choose Your College, Major, and Career

At all stages of of our lives, we’re expected to make life changing decisions based partly on our experience, skills and interests. But what happens when all those variables change? Below are 100 free tools that can help you tune into your natural strengths, hobbies, interests, goals and skill sets no matter what part of life you’re in. High school students, recent college graduates, military personnel and mid-career professionals looking to shake things up can find what they need here.

Comparing Colleges

High school students and those going back to school can refer to this list for tools and questions that will help them compare colleges.

  1. Princeton Review College Rankings: The Princeton Review’s controversial but illustrious college rankings list can help you find the best colleges based on your priorities: academics, quality of life, demographics, extracurricular activities and more.
  2. U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges: This list is also a must-read for parents and prospectives. Browse by program type, geographic location, academics and more.
  3. Online Education Database: If you’re interested in pursuing an online education, turn to this resource for school overviews, rankings and more.
  4. Peterson’s: Peterson’s College Search helps you put your priorities and needs in order, prompting you to fill in boxes for admissions, demographics, location, academics and campus life, which helps you narrow down your search.
  5. College Navigator: The National Center for Education Statistics has put together a toolkit for students wanting to research American colleges and universities.
  6. CHEA: The Council for Higher Education Accreditation provides information about college accreditation, including searchable directories and contact information for the six regional accrediting agencies.
  7. American Association of State Colleges and Universities: Here you can find information about 430 public colleges and universities in the United States.
  8. College Choice Variables: Print out this sheet or design a chart of your own to take with you on college visits. You can easily rate schools based on placement, campus resources, location, size, housing and other factors.
  9. College Board: Search colleges by name or by major, cost or location using this tool.
  10. More Tips for Choosing — For Students Only: The Seattle Times’ guide asks students to be honest with themselves when choosing a college.

Finding the Right Match

When it comes to picking the right school, you want to make sure that your experience is going to give you everything you need socially, academically, emotionally and professionally. Below are tools to help you find the right match.

  1. Quick Facts About Private Colleges and Universities: If you’re trying to decide between a private and public school, get the facts about private college tuition, diversity and more.
  2. The Women’s College Coalition: Search all-female colleges and universities with this tool.
  3. Counselor-O-Matic: This beta project from The Princeton Review is designed to help you find the best college for your needs and personality.
  4. The Right Way to Pick a College: This article helps students ask themselves the right questions when picking a college.
  5. College MatchMaker: CollegeBoard’s MatchMaker tool evaluates your preference for several different qualifiers, including size, public vs. private, and setting.
  6. Find the Right Colleges for You: Use the College Matching Wizard and other government tools to discover the schools that fit you best.
  7. What kind of college is right for you?: This fun test from gURL.com will help you figure out your priorities.
  8. Choosing a College That’s Right for You: This article has a lot of tips for students who need help with their college search.
  9. Scholarships.com: This tool will help you find ways to pay for the school of your dreams.

Military, School or Career?

After high school (or college), what plan is right for you? Here you’ll find tips and tools to help you figure out if you’re bound for vocational school, the military, a job or college.

  1. What should you do after high school?: Find out what kind of school–if any–is right for you.
  2. The Life After College Forum: Join in the discussions on this forum to explore options for life after college.
  3. Occupational Outlook Handbook: Read up on your dream careers to find out what qualifications you need to succeed in the field.
  4. I Survived High School, but Can I Survive Europe with No Parents?: Rick Steves’ daughter Jackie gets honest about her upcoming Europe trip–alone.
  5. What Should You Have Done After High School?: If you haven’t graduated high school yet, it’s not too late for you. Take this fun quiz to find out what you should do after senior year.
  6. eLearnersAdvisor: This tool evaluates how well you would do in an online education setting. You can also search online degrees and programs here.
  7. Is the Army Right for Me?: Army.com’s guide will help you determine if you’re cut out for the army.
  8. How to Work Abroad After College: Who says you have to get a boring office job when you graduate? This popular trend buys time and lets you see the world.
  9. 10 Steps to Joining the Military: This 10-step guide will help you figure out which branch of the military is the best for you, or if you’re better off going to college or getting a job.
  10. MyFuture.com: This website has great tools for helping young people decide the next step, from finding jobs and internships to living on your own to joining the military.

Personality Tests

Personality tests can give you insight into your goals, your natural skills and abilities and even your interests.

  1. Which Career will Suit Your Personality?: Are you an office person or do you crave work in the field? Find out here.
  2. Quiz: The Brain Test: Do you think with the right or left side of your brain? Knowing can tune you into the types of jobs and skills that come most naturally to you.
  3. Test of Analytical Skills: Test your analytical skills as a way to narrow down your career and major interests.
  4. Work Interest Quiz: This quiz aims to show you two work types that match your personality.
  5. How Well Do You Know Yourself?: Before making any life-changing decisions, discover how much you really know about yourself.
  6. Career Test: This test matches your answers and personality to 40 different careers.
  7. Kalil’s Personality Quiz: This quiz finds out your color personality and then determines your strengths and weaknesses.
  8. The Testing Room: The Testing Room involves quizzes that determine personal drive, working style, thinking style and more. Basic reports are free.
  9. Human Resource Department: This ten-question test evaluates your emotional health as well as your working style.
  10. What’s Your Personality Type?: This quiz follows the popular Extravert, Thinker, Judger, Perceiver, Sensor, Introvert, Intuitive system.

Identifying Your Interests

Sure you like baseball and naptime, but how do those translate into work-related skills? Learn how to identify your interests the right way and make a living off your hobbies here.

  1. Careers - What’s Your Interest?: This tool displays lists of related jobs underneath questions about hobbies and interests.
  2. Convert Your Hobbies to Lucrative Careers: This guide gives examples of how different hobbies can translate into careers in early childhood education, activities and program coordination and others.
  3. Use Your Hobbies and Interests: Monster’s Career Advice section encourages job candidates to tap into their hobbies and interests during interviews, the job search and when evaluating your skills.

Determining Level of Education

How much education do you need? Don’t waste your time going to graduate school if it won’t get you any closer to a career, but keep in mind special licensures and continuing education requirements for your field.

  1. Grad School: Georgetown’s guide features many questions that students need to ask themselves before applying to grad school.
  2. Professional Teaching Standards Available Certificates: Learn about the kinds of certification you need to become a teacher.
  3. Career Guide to Industries: Research industries like health care, manufacturing, transportation, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and others to determine how much education and training you need.
  4. Technical Schools Guide: Research technical schools on this site to learn about starting an entry-level career with less training.
  5. Are Graduate Studies Right for You?: Indiana University helps students decide whether a graduate-level education is necessary for their needs and career choices.
  6. Making the Decision to Study Medicine: This website gives prospective med students a realistic look at medical school, including the number of years you have to dedicate to education and choosing a specialty.
  7. What jobs can you get with an associate’s degree in business administration?: See how far an associate’s degree will get you in the business field here.

Picking a Major

Colleges these days, especially liberal arts schools, encourage students to keep an open mind and take a lot of different classes as a way to explore themselves and their interests. How, then, can it be easy to pick a major with all those choices? Read below to find out.

  1. What Can I do With a Major In…?: This tool will help you explore careers in the arts, business, the sciences, service and social sciences.
  2. How to Pick a Major: This article follows the flip-flop process many students go through when settling on a major.
  3. How to Pick a Major That’s Right for You: This presentation has lots of tips for college students.
  4. Find Work Outside Your Major: If picking a major is stressing you out, or if you’re afraid that you picked the wrong major, read this article to understand how your major doesn’t always determine your future career.
  5. Choosing a College Major: How to Chart Your Ideal Path: This detailed guide will help you examine your interests and special skills.
  6. Majors Search: Type in a major, browse by category or find out what major you need for a particular career path here.
  7. Five Steps to Choosing a College Major: These tips include assessing your interests, exploring career possibilities and considering your values.
  8. List of College Majors in USA: Not all colleges offer every major on the list, but this guide can be helpful for exploring new areas of study.
  9. The 10 Most Worthless College Majors: Take this humorous article with a grain of salt before selling out to a more "practical" major.
  10. Does Your Minor Matter?: After stressing about your major, should you worry about a minor? This article will help you out.

Evaluating Skills and Experience

Does a retail job and computer workshop add up to enough experience? Learn all about evaluating your skills and selling transferrable skills here.

  1. Discover Your Career Skills: This 30-question test will help you tap into the natural abilities that will serve you well in the workplace.
  2. Online Career Assessment Review for Job Seekers: Here you will find a review of different career tools and assessment tools.
  3. Testing Your Career Competencies: MonsterTrak’s evaluation system asks you to rate each skills statement to learn more about your qualifications.
  4. Internship Checklist: Use this tool to rate your internship and find out if you’re ready for the next step.
  5. Are You Ready for the Real World?: Use this guide as a way to evaluate your preparedness for a real job and real working lifestyle.
  6. Transferrable Skills: Learning how to sell transferrable skills on a resume or interview can be extremely valuable for a candidate without much job experience.
  7. Assess Your Skills and Interests: This guide will help you figure out the skills you can sell during a job interview.
  8. Evaluate your skills and passion to find job that fits you: This Tucson Citizen article has very valuable tips for discovering a career path.
  9. Job-related skills: Which of your skills will be useful to you on the job? Find out how to make the distinction here.
  10. Career Planning: Skills: This transferrable skills checklist can open up new career possibilities that you didn’t think you qualified for.

Choosing a Career Path

Whether you’re starting out in the workforce or considering a career switch, these tools can help you map out a plan.

  1. GigZig: Career Paths of Real People: This excellent tool follows the real career paths of web workers.
  2. How to Choose a Career Path: Suite 101’s guide asks readers to take the following into consideration: an open mind, hobbies and a broad education.
  3. Health Care Careers: The AMA has put together this resource center to help those interested in health care learn about career paths and salary ranges.
  4. AfterCollege: Search for entry-level jobs and internships on this site.
  5. Choosing a Career Path: This self-help guide offers up tips and scenarios that can give your career planning a boost.
  6. CareerOneStop: Here you can research salary and benefits information, different careers, education and training options and a lot more.
  7. Career Voyages: This government resource features high growth industries, emerging industries and all kinds of information and about career planning and the job market. Use the Career Advisors to answer questions about mapping out your path.
  8. O*NET Career Exploration Tools: Tools featured here include an ability profiler, interest profiler, work importance locator and more.
  9. Virginia Career View: Access career assessment tools, information about professional licensure and many other career resources from Virginia Tech’s website.
  10. JobProfiles.org: This site is great for researching different career paths and the education programs that get you on track.

Considering a Career Switch

Hardly anyone stays in the same job for their entire professional life anymore. Before you make a hasty career switch, though, use these tools to find out if you’re leaving for the right reasons and to plan out a viable option for your next job.

  1. Adult Career Changers: Use Kuder’s tools to find out if and when you should make a career switch.
  2. Overcoming Your Career Change Fear: 5 Expert Tips: This guide recommends understanding your fears and working with your financial situation.
  3. Career Changes: Confused about planning your switch? This resource will help.
  4. Get a Better Job: Learn about promotions and career moves here.
  5. Are You Missing the Point of Being a Freelancer?: Make sure you understand what it’s like "on the other side" before making the switch to freelancing full-time.
  6. Should You Quit Your Job?: This quiz may help you determine whether you’re ready for a new job.
  7. The 10-Step Plan to Career Change: Make your career switch an organized endeavor with this resource.
  8. Before You Quit Your Job: This guide urges readers to consider several factors before leaving their jobs too hastily.
  9. Quiz: Is It Time to Quit Your Job?: Here’s another quiz that can help you decide if it’s time to quit.
  10. Five Situations When You Shouldn’t Change Careers: Are you quitting because you want to challenge yourself in new ways or because you hate your boss? Learn the difference here.

Life Tools to Help You Choose

Choosing a career and college also means that you’ll have to consider things like living expenses, salary, moving costs and more. Use these tools to determine which factors are most important to you and how you’ll deal with changes.

  1. Salary Calculator: Find out how much you’re worth in areas around the country here.
  2. Cost of Living Wizard: Determine the cost of living around the U.S. using this tool.
  3. What are your skills worth on the open market? A guide to salary surveys online: Before demanding a raise based on one online salary guide, read this article.
  4. Industry Profile: Research industry statistics by state with this tool.
  5. Money Basics: What are Your Priorities?: Find out what your financial priorities are before taking a job that pays a lot but soaks up all your time or that is fun but hardly delivers a paycheck.
  6. What are Your Priorities?: This article helps professionals evaluate their workplace priorities and expectations.
  7. The Moving Cost Estimate: Use this tool to find out how much it will cost to move from one state to another.
  8. homefair: This excellent planning resource has tools for assessing cost of living, salaries, city statistics, renting, buying, moving, determining the best city for you and a lot more.
  9. A College Far Away From Home: This blog post helps prospective college students research the pros and cons of going to school far away.
  10. Consider Relocating: The Riley Guide has put together a list of resources you’ll need if you want to relocate, including demographics and statistics for different cities, real estate guides, school and health care directories, cost of living, and relocation guides.