Saturday, April 30, 2016 for exam help

Math has long been one of the core subjects in school. I would say almost every school in the United States requires math to graduate. For some, math is easy to understand  for others, math is the most difficult subject in school. Since middle school, no class other than math has required me to study as much in order to get an excellent grade on a quiz or a test. It's not that I find math difficult, I find it to be alright, but the fact is math requires practice. The great thing about math is studying in the short term actually works. If you are familiar with the questions before an exam, you are bound to get a decent grade. In contrast, subjects such as English when critical readings are given,  short term studying has a minimal effect on your grade. English tests would require a long term studying of many books to enhance a person's ability to read more critically. 

There are many great non- profit sites that help students study for exams. However, is a great tool. The site is simply designed but nonetheless very helpful. In addition, math does not change too much over time so information remains very reliable over a long stretch of time. provides resources from Basic Math to Calculus. In addition, each subject has its own variety of formulas. For example: 
Overall, the formulas provided are fairly complete. It is every thing a student needs to be prepared for taking a big final exam. 

My favorite thing about is that it has links to other sites for test preparations and study tips. A section of their study tips even addresses math anxiety! In my opinion, their math anxiety page is actually pretty funny and effective, I would encourage anybody to check it out. 

One last great feature  provides is a page on finding the right math tutor. The information given is fairly extensive and I agree with the page when it says, "A good math tutor will need to have mastery of the material that he or she is teaching". 

Feel free to check out! There's a lot of useful resources on there both for parents and students. And remember, the site is absolutely  free!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The financial benefits of using a Phone in Class

In today's world, when you look around, you will most likely find someone using an electronic device. From the restaurants to schools and even churches you will almost definitely spot a person ducking down and looking at their rectangle piece of plastic or glass.  Since the release of the iPhone in 2007, the world has changed drastically. Before the release of the iPhone, people had other things besides a smartphone to occupy their lives. Nowadays, people fill the pauses of their lives with a smartphone. Obviously, many things have pros and cons and smartphones are no exception to this rule. A positive use for a  smartphones  and one of the most important benefits of a smartphone is the financial benefit in a classroom.

Above: People filling their pauses in life with a smartphone. Source:

Just several years ago, when I was still in middle school, phones were condemned from school. Students were not allowed to use any sort of electronic devices in the hallways or classroom. This included any time during school hours, even during breaks or lunch. If caught, a teacher may confiscate the device and require a parent to pick up the device at a later time. I have always believed that this rule was counter intuitive because if smartphones are used responsibly, they can be put to great educational use. Fortunately, the tide has shifted and schools now somewhat encourage the use of smartphones in the classrooms. In fact, it would rather be extremely inconvenient if a student did not own a smartphone. According to in 2015, 88% of American teens between the age of 13 and 17 have a mobile device while 73% have a smartphone. If a smartphone is brought to school as an educational device, and the school acknowledges this, tons of money towards buying additional technology can be saved.

The number of times my teachers have asked me to take out my phone for class activities have increased exponentially each year. From Kahoot! to Quizlet Live to completing a school survey, I have used my device that my family paid for entirely. In wealthy school districts, bringing a personal device should be no problem for most students, however, in more impoverished school districts, bringing a personal device to school could be more problematic than helpful. Currently, school districts of less wealthy regions receive more state funding than a school district in a more wealthy region. I'm not promoting the raise or decline of funding towards any schools whatsoever. However, funding more technology  for students without the ability to purchase their own technology should be made a priority. In wealthy school districts, administrators should consider allocating more money for extra curriculars, or wherever the student body desires. 

Overall, smartphones can bring a financial benefit to any school district. Instead of rejecting them, administrators should embrace them and use them as a beneficial resource with the mindset that the school district just saved money on buying excessive resources.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Reading Online Notes for English Class- Is that considered cheating?

As a student, I can testify that online notes for English novels are extremely helpful and many students participate in using these notes. However, can they be too helpful? Do they provide an unfair advantage? I believe they are helpful and at the same time fair. Personally, my favorite site for English notes is Sparknotes, while many of my classmates prefer Schmoop or Cliffnotes.

So first of all, what kind of notes do these sites provide and what makes them so helpful?

My favorite site, Sparknotes, provides notes for many popular English classics, including To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, Romeo and Juliet and many more novels which are commonly found in a English class's curriculum. The Sparknotes editors are graduates of top schools and teachers with experience regarding literature.

In these online programs, you can find very detailed resources referring to  very specific parts of the book. In To Kill a Mockingbird's Sparknotes, you can find a video, context, plot overview, character list, analysis of major characters, themes, motifs, symbols, detailed summaries on sections of the book, important quotes with explanations, key facts, study questions, and a quiz.

The video is very good example of how Sparknotes can be utilized.

So is the use of Online Notes cheating?

Many will jump to say it is cheating with the vast amount of resources it provides for free. With the amount being so vast that students no longer have to read the book to get an understanding of the book. However, I believe that the use of online notes is not cheating, if you have read the book. Sometimes, reading is difficult and not everything is understood perfectly. Online notes are great because if there is a symbol that I do not understand within the book, Sparknotes will explain the meaning to me. In addition, online notes prepare me for tests and quizzes. Reading the book is not always enough and these notes, which are written by educators, provide me with more perspectives in understanding the reading.

The cons of online notes

While online notes can be a very useful study tool, it comes with its cons. Like previously mentioned, students may just read the notes rather than the book. In addition, online notes can also take away the self interpretation of a book. The beauty of reading a book is that anybody can interpret the same words differently. However, when a student only reads the online notes, he/she is subjected to the editor's interpretation.

While I believe online notes are a great tool for English tests and quizzes, they can easily be subjected to misuse and cheating for an assignment. However, with proper use, such as reading the actual novel and using online notes as a compliment, online notes are fair and resourceful.