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The Only Learning Resources Your Children Will Ever Need To Be Smarter

The Only Learning Resources Your Children Will Ever Need To Be Smarter

“Work smarter, not harder” is an annoying cliché that works for obvious reasons. In the same respect, it’s crucial for us to make sure we’re learning smarter too, especially when it comes to our kids.

Luckily, the Internet exists. And using online resources for learning is considered to be one of the best ways to prepare your kids for college, but picking the right websites that help children learn can be a real challenge.

After all, there are countless tools, platforms and websites that are being marketed to parents with the promise of turning your child into the next Sheldon Cooper (though some of us will settle for a functioning adult).

So if what you’re looking for includes top-notch websites that will make your kids smart enough to win college scholarships, then consider these awesome resources.

1. Wonderopolis

A word of caution: this website is addictive no matter what age you are. Learning is basically pointless when you don’t care about the material being fed to you, especially if you’re not being graded. Wonderopolis makes you forget learning was ever an ordeal by providing daily “wonders” through videos and easy-to-read stories. These wonders are real questions asked by real kids around the world, and they include interesting thoughts such as, “What Brings a Tear to Your Eye?” and, “How Do Mirrors Work?”

    2. Miss Spell’s Class

    In some ways, learning how to spell better doesn’t make sense. You’re really just learning how to remember correct spelling, and it’s more about memorization and luck than acquiring a tangible skill. That’s why most websites that are geared toward spelling fall short. The kids aren’t really learning anything—they’re just memorizing. That’s why people love Miss Spell’s class, a facet of Dictionary.com. It’s a simple spelling test, but it doesn’t require you to actually spell anything. You go down a list of words and determine when something is spelled incorrectly. This allows children to learn better reading comprehension skills on top of basic spelling. There’s even an iPhone app you can download.

      3. Starfall

      Since 2002, Starfall has been helping kids learn how to read and become better readers through fun and interactive exercises. You can choose which level of reading you’re at (basic alphabet, starting to read, having fun with reading, etc.) and even pick categories that match your interest. Like magic? You can select the magician category and play exercises that help you learn words and pronunciations that revolve around a magic show. It’s simple, targeted and effective at helping kids cultivate reading skills.

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        4. National Geographic Kids

        One of my fondest school memories is when we would watch National Geographic videos for what felt like hours. Even though I now realize that my teachers did this in order to take a break from dealing with insane children, I can’t help but hold National Geographic in a high regard for providing relevant and inspirational information via a kid-friendly format, and their website does this in spades. Nat Geo Kids uses tons of fun games, interesting videos, puzzles and cool photos to make the world feel like a smaller, exciting place.

          5. Funbrain

          If you’re just looking for a large collection and variety of fun games, then introduce your kids to Funbrain. This website is packed with games, comics, reading tools and more that are all geared toward being just as entertaining as they are useful for learning.

             6. Pottermore

            Not just a shopping cart for reading the Harry Potter ebooks, Pottermore evolves the Hogwarts universe by providing educational games and features that make the stories come alive. For the same reason that Harry Potter has created avid readers out of countless kids, Pottermore provides an online approach that makes reading fun for a new generation.

            Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 3.49.24 PM

              7. Spatulatta

              Sure, academics and schoolwork are important, but kids also need to learn how to cook properly and feed themselves too! Spatulatta is one of the best resources for teaching anyone to cook, not just kids, thanks to their ample guides and recipes geared toward beginners. In other words, it’s better than letting Pinterest teach your kids how to prepare a meal.

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                8. Help My Kid Learn

                It may not have the most creative name in the world, but Help My Kid Learn is one of the best resources—period—for targeted learning according to age and skill level. The simplicity of its design makes it a breeze to navigate, and its large variety of lessons, topics and exercises makes this a one-stop site that will suit most of your child’s needs.

                  9. Make Me Genius

                  A lot of the websites we’ve talked about so far have been rooted in the basics of reading, math, spelling, etc. But kids also need to learn more of the advanced material they’re bound to struggle with as they get older, especially when it comes to science and even traffic rules. Make Me Genius is a great platform for this, providing multiple types of teaching exercises that range from videos and PowerPoints, to tests and easy-to-read articles.

                    10. Google Lit Trips

                    Virtual field trips are great ways to capture the visual and experiential minds of our kids, and you have a lot of great trips to pick from if you search online. One of the best I have ever come across is Google Lit Trips, a completely free service that allows you to walk the shoes of famous literature characters in a virtual world. You’ll see what they saw in these awesome “trips,” ensuring a learning experience that actually sticks with your child.

                      11. BrainPOP

                      One of the most visually arresting websites on this list, BrainPOP is a fantastic website for kids who learn at a fast pace. It’s rich with content that is image and video based, and pretty much every essential subject is covered. BrainPOP’s best feature is that it makes the experience very fun for kids, and the site is updated frequently, making sure that they come back for more.

                        12. Scholastic

                        What better way to help your child fall in love with learning websites than showing them one with all of their favorite characters? Scholastic books come alive on this website, where kids can play educational games based on Magic School Bus, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and other classic characters they already love.

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                          13. Pora Ora

                          Pora Ora is a free, 3D, virtual world that allows your child to build their own character and embark on an educational adventure (though they probably won’t realize they’re learning). Like a video game, children will be motivated to keep playing (and learning) as they explore this fun and engaging world.

                            14. ReadWriteThink

                            Some of you have kids who are just waiting to let their creativity explode, as you can see from their love of coloring books and other art activities. But it’s also important to help kids harness the creativity of writing and design, which they can do on ReadWriteThink. Kids are encouraged to design their own newspapers, flyers, or even brochures with tools for writing and image placement. They’re not just learning how to write; they’re learning design and layout skills that can actually translate into a real career, making this a fantastic resource for future publishers.

                              15. Magic Tree House

                              Like Pottermore, Magic Tree House captures the fun of the famous books in an interactive and engaging website. Kids will play games that introduce them to new cultures and stories that actually make history and social studies a blast to learn.

                                16. Tagxedo

                                Tagxedo is another great resource for helping kids learn both writing and design skills, as it allows them to create and save word clouds like the one below. If they have to memorize a speech or quote, they can also design a word cloud that will help them recall every single word, and there are tons of design options to make every cloud unique!

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                                  17. Learn Your Tables

                                  I don’t look back fondly on having to memorize multiplication tables, no matter how catchy the songs were. That’s why Learn Your Tables was created to provide a visual resource for helping kids learn even the trickiest equations. It also tests them on their tables to make sure they’ve got it down, thanks to an interactive “drag” system that they control.

                                    18. Science Bob

                                    One of the most unique features of Science Bob is how it helps kids tackle science fair projects. It teaches kids how to pick a great topic and use the scientific method to develop a project that will make sense and benefit their chances at winning big. The website also provides fun experiments and exercises that will teach kids how to research and think scientifically, even if their name isn’t Bob.

                                      19. Rhymes

                                      Useful for poetry and writing classes, Rhymes helps kids find new words that match even the trickiest phrases, introducing them to the advanced mechanics of creative writing. The website also generates citations based on its ample nursery rhymes, teaching kids how to use the internet without plagiarizing!

                                        20. Sweet Search

                                        I saved the most relevant for last. The fact is that everyone (including children) uses search engines to gather information and answer questions these days. Sweet Search tackles the problem of unreliable (and countless) results by providing answers to your search query that are educational and geared toward students. There are over 35,000 websites on this search engine, and every single one has been approved to provide the most informational and accurate data that will truly benefit your kids.

                                          Did I miss anything? Be sure to provide your own awesome recommendations for websites that help children learn in the comments below.

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                                          Published on November 9, 2018

                                          How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                          How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                          Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                                          Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                                          So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                                          6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                                          When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                                          1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                                          Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                                          To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                                          In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                                          • Microsoft Excel
                                          • Microsoft Access
                                          • Statistics
                                          • Data Analytics
                                          • Adobe Campaign
                                          • Quickbooks
                                          • XML Database management system
                                          • Filemaker Pro
                                          • MATLAB
                                          • Hive
                                          • FORTRAN
                                          • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                                          • SAS

                                          2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                                          Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                                          Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                                          • Content Management System (CMS)
                                          • Google Analytics
                                          • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                                          • Email Marketing
                                          • Web Page Design
                                          • WordPress
                                          • Digital Media
                                          • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                                          • Campaign Management Software

                                          3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                                          A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                                          • Adobe Photoshop
                                          • Adobe InDesign
                                          • Adobe Illustrator
                                          • AutoCAD
                                          • CorelDRAW
                                          • Microsoft Visual Studio
                                          • Maya
                                          • Microsoft Word
                                          • Microsoft Publisher
                                          • Operating Digital Cameras

                                          4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                                          The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                                          To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                                          • HTML
                                          • C/C++
                                          • Java
                                          • Python
                                          • XML
                                          • UI/UX
                                          • LINUX
                                          • CISC and RISC architecture
                                          • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                                          • Memory Management
                                          • PCB Layout
                                          • SQL

                                          5. IT Troubleshooting

                                          Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                                          So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                                          • Backup management
                                          • Diagnostics
                                          • End User support
                                          • Client-Server management
                                          • Installation and configuration
                                          • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                                          • System administration
                                          • Tech support

                                          6. Enterprise Systems

                                          Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                                          Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                                          The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                                          Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                                          Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                                          Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                                          1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                                          a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                                          Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                                          Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                                          b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                                          This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                                          c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                                          Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                                          Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                                          2. Rule the Social Media World

                                          a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                                          Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                                          From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                                          b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                                          This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                                          c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                                          Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                                          Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                                          3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                                          a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                                          From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                                          b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                                          Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                                          The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                                          c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                                          The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                                          4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                                          a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                                          It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                                          From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                                          b. Canva Design School

                                          From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                                          c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                                          62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                                          d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                                          The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                                          Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                                          5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                                          a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                                          IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                                          It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                                          b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                                          The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                                          Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                                          The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                                          • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                                          • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                                          • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                                          • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                                          • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                                          • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                                          • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                                          Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                                          Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                                          1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                          It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                                          Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                                          2. Work on Your Efficiency

                                          Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                                          For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                                          3. Look for Shortcuts

                                          Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                                          4. Apply for an Internship

                                          Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                                          By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                                          How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                                          So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                                          Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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