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5 Internet Savvy Study Tips for Online Learners


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A history student writes Wikipedia articles about the culture of Argentina the night before a big exam. A law school student creates a podcast that regularly reviews what he learns in his first-year courses. If you're still studying with hand written notes and 3x5 cards, you're missing out.

You meet with your teachers online. You view lectures online. You talk with your classmates online. Why not study online as well?

There are several unique and challenging ways to master your material by harnessing the power of the web. Consider one of these internet savvy study tips:

1. Write or record Wikipedia entries. Wikipedia.com (off-site link) can be a valuable resource for students. Read the articles related to your topic of study. If there is any information missing, add it. Writing the ideas in your own words will help you internalize the topic. If the articles are complete, consider reading them aloud for the Spoken Wikipedia Project (off-site link). Reading the information will help you remember it. Additionally, your recording will help other Wikipedia users in the future. Do keep in mind that Wikipedia is user-edited and contains errors – it's a good idea to double check all information before committing it to memory.

2. Join a discussion group. Joining a discussion group can help you find answers to your questions and retain enthusiasm for your subject. If your class doesn't already have a discussion group, consider joining one on Yahoo Groups (off-site link) or Google Groups (off-site link). There are thousands of groups on everything from classic literature to computer science. You can even create your own page and invite fellow class members to join you in a virtual study group.

3. Post your reading notes online. Posting your notes for public scrutiny will encourage you to verify the information and present the facts in the most comprehensible way possible. Plus, your notes will help others prepare for their own assignments. Try a free public note sharing website such as stu.decio.us (off-site link) or Web Note (off-site link).

4. Create online flash cards. If you have to memorize terms and definitions, skip the index cards. Instead, try an online flash card maker. These websites allow students to create, share, study, and print cards from their computers. Check out Flash Card Exchange (off-site link), Flash Card Maker (off-site link), or The Amazing Flash Card Machine (off-site link).

5. Broadcast a podcast. If you have the equipment and the know-how, creating a weekly (or monthly) podcast about what you're learning can be a fun way to really get to know your subject of study. Plus, other students will benefit from your productions. For an example of a student created podcast see Life of a Law Student (off-site link). For more technical information, you may also want to check out the About.com podcasting site.

Finding new ways to study can help you overcome the monotony of old habits and keep learning fresh. These four study skills tips can help you get started; but, always keep your eyes open for unique ways you can put the web to work for your education.
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