Posts Tagged ‘students’

Will Students Survive without Wikipedia?

Type any topic into Wikipedia today and you’ll get a glimmer of what you would’ve had–the full article–followed by utter starkness–the Wikipedia black out screen.

Wikipedia, along with many other big online names such as Reddit, has chosen to go dark today to protest the anti-piracy legislation, SOPA and PIPA, that are believed to threaten how the Internet works as we know it. Wikipedia and other sites believe these bills provide ambiguously broad mechanisms for enforcement of copyright which would restrict innovation and threaten the existence of websites with user-submitted content, such as, drum roll, Wikipedia.

The free Internet encyclopedia we have taken for granted is making sure we’re astutely aware how different the Internet experience would be without a free and open policy. And more importantly, how different the college or student experience would be without Wikipedia.  Probably a lot different. A lot.

What’s easier or more accessible than hitting up Wikipedia to help you write a paper or prepare for an exam? Not quite sure what Immanuel Kant was talking about? Look him up! Forget when the Tennis Court Oath happened? Look it up! Now, professors will ridicule you endlessly for citing Wikipedia as a source, but that doesn’t mean Wikipedia doesn’t make the best jumping off point ever. It can help you decide which “real” resources to hit up next.

And what about when you’re at a party where you don’t really know anybody, except that person who coerced you into coming along, and the conversation comes to a halt because nobody can remember the name of Newt Gingrich’s third wife. A little smart phone maneuvering here, a little Google search there, and you’re the savior of the party by pulling up the Wikipedia article on Callista Bisek.

But in all seriousness, how would the Internet change if SOPA and PIPA were to pass and how would it affect you?

Are you in favor of these legislations or against them?

As a student, how are you coping without Wikipedia today? Do you even notice a difference?

Share your thoughts! Leave a comment below.

Comments: 4 Comments »

How Social Media and Game Mechanics Can Motivate Students

laptopStudents rejoice! According to this article, social media and game mechanics could actually positively affect you. So next time your mom tells you to get off the video games and set the table–well, you should probably listen to your mother.

But, you can explain to your mother later that social media and online games can teach skills that can be difficult to teach in normal school curricula–like time managements, teamwork and creative problem solving.

Here’s how Mashable breaks down how social media and gaming mechanics can have a positive affect on education:

Status Update and Checkins
Whether high school students or college students send a tweet or a Facebook status to their entire network about a goal they have, it becomes more real, especially if people comment on it and provide feedback. As with the status updates, checkins make people feel like they’re not alone–they’re traveling with someone else. Plus, it also adds a bit of a healthy competitive edge. Both of these things are factors that could motivate students to work harder to reach their goals.

Today in school, everybody is a winner; there are no losers. Leaderboards bring back that competitive edge to school in a way that’s completely powered by students’ own desire to do better. By comparing progress with each other’s peers, students are driven to move up the leaderboard. This tactic can give mundane school assignments a bit of a makeover.

Move Up the Levels
A little positive feedback never hurt nobody. Offering levels for students to move up in is a great motivator. Take the Cappex Cap Challenge (log in and start playing now!), for example. Not only do you get further in your college search, but the more you do for your college search, the more you move up levels and are rewarded virtual caps and real prizes.

What’s your take on social media and gaming in school?  Comment and share!

Making Your College Decision Part 1: Set Clear College Priorities

Categories: Admissions Advice

collegeboundWe’ve already told you how to deal with waiting to hear from the colleges you’ve applied to, but soon, you’ll actually have to make your college decision.  If you’re accepted to two of the three schools you applied to, which one will you choose?

At Cappex, we’re very familiar with the college search and decision process. We have some great tips we’d love to share with you on how to make your college decision so you can avoid resorting to “eenie meenie miny moe” to make your decision. In this post, we’ll talk about part 1: setting clear college priorities.  This pretty much means firmly understanding what you want out of your college experience.  If “college experience” is too vague a term, we’ll help break it down with these words of wisdom from the Cappex College Priorities Worksheet:

1. Location
The actual location of your college or university is a major factor.   If plane flights were free and time travel existed, a lot more of us would probably be studying way further from home.  So the question comes to down to where you would like to live for four years? How far from home are you comfortable being?

2. Academics
Do you know what you want to study in college?  Of the schools you were accepted to, which one has the better program for what you want to do?  Does one school have bigger classes than the other?  What type of environment do you want to learn in?

3. Campus
What are the major differences between the college campuses you’re choosing between? How long does it take to walk from the dorms to the union? Where are classes held? Is it urban or rural? Small differences in one college’s campus over the other might help you make your college decision.

4. Social Life
Some schools are more academic or more social than others, so you’ll want to find the perfect balance for you. A social life can involve parties, sports, arts, Greek life, whatever you’d want yours to revolve around.

Making the college decision is not an easy one. And if you really want help making your choice, try this worksheet.