Bookbyte Blog

Clueless college freshman meme

Read on for tips to keep from being completely clueless!

Being a college freshman is only slightly less nerve-racking than the first year of high school. You may not have to worry about upperclassmen trying to prank you (hopefully), but being in a new school, whether you’re living on campus or not, can be a stressful experience. Besides trying to avoid locking yourself out of your dorm room and signing up for too many credit cards, here’s some helpful tips to prepare you for your first semester.

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Black Mortarboard and computer keyboardWhoever you are, whatever your SAT score and high school report card looks like, you could take a course at Harvard, Yale, MIT, Stanford, or Johns Hopkins right this minute. These elite schools, among many others, have begun to offer open, online, not-for-credit courses to anyone who wants to take them. These are casually referred to as MOOCs, massive open online courses.

You might assume that these classes consist only of video lectures, a collection of slides with a professor’s voiceover, the equivalent of watching some informative YouTube videos. In fact, the courses are as complete as any you’d take in college. There are assigned readings to accompany every class, a syllabus, homework, and essays. Many of them even have some form of grading.

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5 Things NOT to Bring to the Dorms

There are dorm room essentials…and then there’s this stuff.

The amount of dorm “necessities” seems to grow every year – at least that’s what companies want you to think. Here are a few of the most illogical items that the Sharper Image, Pottery Barn, and other interior design offenders have included in their dorm collections, in no particular order.

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Gamfication

Avatars, guilds, quests, XP — sounds like the newest installment of World of Warcraft, but for a growing number of classrooms it’s just another day at school.

Lee Sheldon, a video-game designer and Game Design teacher at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, came up with the idea of “gaming” his lesson plans after becoming bored with the traditional teaching format of: lecture, quiz, grade, repeat. Sheldon knew if he was boring himself, his college students were probably even worse off. That’s when it clicked: he needed to “gamify” the classroom.

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linkedin-logo

You know LinkedIn. It’s that social network you meticulously maintain but never look at, unless you’re applying for an internship or get an email because someone endorsed you. It’s the most useful and least fun way to spend your time on social media.

In a new, potentially trend-setting redesign, Cornell University’s graduate school of business management allows applicants to fill in most application information automatically. All the applicant needs to do is connect to his or her LinkedIn profile.

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Receiving some bad news

In terms of recent news that generated outrage, few stories in the past month can compete with the Facebook “Mood Manipulation” Experiment. If the story escaped your notice, here’s the basics: A study conducted by Facebook’s data team filtered 689,003 users’ News Feeds for positive or negative keywords. The test was to see what impact this had on the users’ subsequent posts. Needless to say, users with only positive Feeds were more likely to say something positive. Negative Feeds led to more negative posts.

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Yesterday, the US Education Department’s Twitter account for financial aid sent out a tweet saying “If this is you, you better fill out your FAFSA” followed by a link to their site and a screenshot from this scene from the movie Bridesmaids, complete with the caption “Help me, I’m poor.”

o-FAFSA-TWEET-570

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