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10 Online Tools for Summer Self-Education

10 Online Tools for Summer Self-Education

As another term is wrapping up, you must be thrilled that you’ll finally be able to enjoy your days without having any responsibilities associated with your studies. However, you shouldn’t forget all about your education throughout these months, since all the effort you invested into the exams for the term that’s now behind you will be worthless if you don’t remember anything you’ve learned.

You surely know that studying is not only about getting good grades; it’s all about growing as a person and obtaining knowledge that you’ll use throughout your life. With all those summer distractions that you are yet to experience, your memory can easily fade away, so you’ll need to freshen up your base of information from time to time.

The following tools won’t take much of your time, but will help you stay prepared to handle the following educational challenges with ease.

1. ImageQuiz

    The best way to remember information in the long term is by freshening up your knowledge with fun quizzes. ImageQuiz allows you to upload your own images or use content from the web in order to create quizzes. There is no need for registration, so you can create a quiz within minutes and test what you have remembered from all that studying you went through.

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    2. Map Tales

      By creating map-based stories, you will not only make your summer trips more fun, but will also improve your storytelling skills, which are extremely important for academic writing. You can also use this tool to create visual presentations of historical eras or the journeys of fictional characters.

      3. Draft

        This free word processor enables you to collaborate with other users. You can use it to practice your academic writing skills and get feedback on your content. Draft will help you stay away from distractions and find the things you have written without any effort. Another cool way to use this tool is for creating daily entries about your summer experiences.

        4. I Wish You To

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          It’s easy to forget about your classmates when you’re out of school for months, but don’t forget that their friendship and support helped you get through difficult times during the school year. I Wish You To is a great tool that enables you to create unique e-cards that you can send to your classmates (or even teachers) throughout the summer.

          5. Sketchlot

            Don’t you miss the whiteboard during summer? Of course you don’t, but this tool is much more than a replication of a whiteboard. It enables you to draw and sketch online, which will make all information easier to remember.

            6. Visme

              This free online tool will help you create infographics, animations, and presentations on any topic you can think of. During the summer, you can use Visme to create informal and fun presentations, which will help you get used to the tool and use it like a pro when the new term starts.

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              7. Buncee

                With Buncee, you can create multimedia presentations that will help you remember all important information you’ve learned during the previous term.

                8. Pinterest

                  Of course you’ll use Pinterest during the summer, but did you know that you can do that with an educational purpose in mind? Find resources associated to your favorite subject and pin them to your board. That will make you look cool, but will also help you learn in a fun and relaxed manner.

                  9. Essay Minions

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                    Summer is the best time to read some of the books that will be mandatory for your next literature class. That will save you from a lot of frustration during the next term. However, you should also write the book reports while the impressions are still fresh. If you struggle with writing, then Essay Minioins is the right resource to turn to. The professional writers you can hire at this website will help you write the essays and improve your academic writing skills during the summer.

                    10. GeoGuessr

                      Geography can be very fun when you learn it through a game with an educational twist. This is the perfect game for summer mornings—it will help you explore the world and get more excited about this class.

                      Increase your learning potential during the summer!

                      Your summer break is the perfect time to discover that gaining knowledge and improving your academic writing skills can be fun. Without the pressuring deadlines and the anxiety caused by your teacher’s comments, you can learn whatever you are interested in without forgetting what you have learned during the previous term.

                      Featured photo credit: Community stills via telestrekoza.com

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                      Melissa Burns

                      Entrepreneur

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                      Last Updated on March 15, 2019

                      How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

                      How to Be a Leader Who Is Inspiring and Influential

                      When I began managing people 15 years ago, I thought having a fancy title was synonymous with influence. Over time, I learned that power is conferred based on likeability, authenticity, courage, relationships and consistent behavior. When leaders cultivate these attributes, they earn power, which really means influence.

                      Understanding influence is essential to professional growth, and companies rise and fall based on the quality of their leadership.

                      In this article, we will look into the essentials of effective leadership and how to be a leader who is inspiring and influential.

                      What Makes a Leader Fail?

                      A host of factors influence a leader’s ability to succeed. To the extent that leaders fail to outline a compelling vision and strategy, they risk losing the trust and confidence of their teams. Employees want to know where a company is going and the strategy for how they will get there. Having this information enables employees to feel safe, and it allows them to see mistakes as part of the learning journey versus as fatal occurrences.

                      If employees and customers do not believe a company’s leadership is authentic and inspiring, they may disengage, or they may be less inclined to offer constructive criticism that can help a company innovate or help a leader improve.

                      And it is not just the leadership at the top that matters. Middle managers play a distinct role in guiding teams. Depending on the company’s size, employees may have more access to mid-level managers than they do members of the C-suite, meaning their supervisors and managers have greater influence on the employee and the customer experience.

                      What Is Effective Leadership?

                      Effective leadership is inspiring, and it is influential. Cultivating inspiring and influential leaders requires building relationships across the company.

                      Leaders must be connected to both the teams they lead as well as to their own colleagues and managers. This is key as titles do not make a person a leader, nor do they automatically confer influence. These are earned through trusting relationships. This explains why some leaders can get more out of their teams than others and why some leaders experience soaring profits and engagement while others sizzle out.

                      Eric Garton said in an April 25, 2017, Harvard Business Review article:[1]

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                      “… inspiring leaders are those who use their unique combination of strengths to motivate individuals and teams to take on bold missions – and hold them accountable for results. And they unlock higher performance through empowerment, not command and control.”

                      How to Be an Inspiring and Influential Leader

                      To be an inspiring and influential leader requires:

                      1. Courage

                      The late poet Maya Angelou once said,

                      “Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.”

                      Courage is required in the workplace when implementing new strategies, especially when they go against professional norms.

                      For instance, I heard Lisa TerKeurst, bestselling author and founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, explain her decision to move away from her company’s magazine. While the organization had long had a magazine, she saw a future where it didn’t exist.

                      In order to make the switch, she risked angering her team members and customers. She took a chance, and what started out as a monthly newsletter, has grown into a multi-dimensional organization boasting half a million followers. Had Lisa not found the courage to change the direction of her organization, they undoubtedly would not have been able to experience such exponential growth.

                      It also takes courage to give and receive feedback. When leaders see employees who are not living into the company’s mission or who are engaging in behavior that may undermine their long-term success, one must risk temporary angst and speak candidly with the colleague in question.

                      Similarly, it takes courage to hear constructive criticism and try to change. In business, as in life, courage is necessary for being an inspiring and influential leader.

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                      2. A Commitment to Face Your Internal Demons.

                      If you feel great about yourself, enter a leadership position. You are likely to be triggered in ways you didn’t think possible. You are also likely to receive feedback that may leave you second-guessing yourself and your leadership skills.

                      The truth about leading others is that you get to a point where you realize that it is difficult to take people to places where you yourself haven’t gone.

                      To be an influential and inspiring leader, you have to face your own demons and vow to continually improve. Influential leaders take their personal evolution serious, and they invest in coaching, therapy and mindfulness to ensure that their personal struggles do not overshadow their professional development.

                      3. A Willingness to Accept Feedback

                      Inspiring and influential leaders are not afraid to accept feedback. In fact, they actively solicit it. They understand that everyone in their life has a lesson to teach them, and they are willing to accept it.

                      Inspirational leaders understand that feedback is neither good nor bad but rather an offering that is critical to growth. Even when it hurts or is an affront to the ego, influential leaders understand that feedback is critical to their ability to lead.

                      4. Likability

                      Some people will argue that leaders need not worry about being liked but should instead focus on being respected. I disagree. Both are important.

                      When team members like their boss and believe their boss likes them, they are more likely to go the extra mile to fulfill departmental or organizational goals. Likable leaders are moved to the front of the line when it comes to being influential.

                      Relatedly, when colleagues feel management dislikes them, they experience internal stress and can spend unnecessary time focusing on the source of their manager’s discontent versus the work they have been hired to do.

                      So, likability is important for both the leader and the people she leads.

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                      5. Vulnerability

                      Vulnerability is critical for being an inspiring leader. People want the truth. They admire leaders who can occasionally demonstrate vulnerability. It promotes deeper relationships and inspires trust.

                      When leaders can showcase vulnerability appropriately, they destroy the illusion that one must be perfect to be a leader. They also demonstrate that vulnerability is not a dirty word; they too can be vulnerable and ask for a helping hand when necessary.

                      6. Authenticity

                      Authenticity is about living up to one’s stated values in public and behind closed doors.

                      Influential leaders are authentic. They set to live out their values and use those values to guide their decisions. The interesting thing about leadership is that people are not looking for perfect leaders. They are, in part, looking for leaders who are authentic.

                      7. A True Understanding of Inspiration

                      Effective leaders are inspirational. They understand the power of words and deeds and use both strategically.

                      Inspiring leaders appropriately use stories and narratives to enable the teams around them to see common situations in an entirely new light.

                      Inspirational leaders also showcase grit and triumph while convincing the people around them that success and victory are attainable.

                      Finally, inspiring leaders encourage the teams they lead to tap into their own genius. They convince others that genius is not reserved for a select few but that most people have it in them.

                      As explained in the article True Leadership: What Separates a Leader from a Boss:

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                      “A leader creates visions and motivates team members to work together towards the same goal.”

                      8. An Ability to See the Humanity in Others

                      Inspiring and influential leaders see the humanity in others. Rather than treating their teams as mere tools to accomplish organizational goals, they believe the people around them are unique beings with inherent value.

                      This means knowing when to pause to address personal challenges and dispelling with the myth that the personal is separate from the professional.

                      9. A Passion for Continual Learning

                      Inspiring and influential leaders are committed to continual learning. They invest in their own development and take responsibility for their professional growth.

                      These leaders understand that like a college campus, the workplace is a laboratory for learning. They believe that they can learn from multiple generations in the workplace as well as from people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

                      Influential leaders proactively seek out opportunities for learning.

                      The Bottom Line

                      No one said leadership was easy, but it is also a joy. Influencing others to action and positively impacting the lives of others is a reward unto itself.

                      Since leadership abounds, there is an abundance of resources to help you grow into the type of leader who inspires and influences others.

                      More Resources About Effective Leadership

                      Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Harvard Business Review: How to Be an Inspiring Leader

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