The Art Of Note Taking

By following these ten steps, you will become a more efficient note taker and this will help improve your overall study skills. With good note-taking skills, better grades are just around the corner.

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If possible, sit near the front and center of the class. You will be less likely to become distracted and will probably find staying focused easier.

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Use a binder instead of a traditional notebook. This way you can add, rearrange, or rewrite pages of your notes, insert handouts and assessments in the appropriate chronological order and review the material covered in the chapter/unit much easier.

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Put headings and the date on all papers. Organize them chronologically in your binder.

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Take notes on loose-leaf paper and keep them organized in a three-ring binder. Make sure that you hole punch and add all of the handouts, assignments, quizzes, tests, etc. to your binder. It usually is best if everything for the entire chapter/unit is kept in chronological order in your binder.

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Think about what is being said before you write anything down. Do not write down everything the teacher says. Pick out important phrases, terms, and concepts to focus on.

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Record any examples the teacher may give while lecturing. Examples are extremely important in creating connections in your brain and in helping to jog your memory while studying.

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Look for cues that teachers give to indicate that something is important. For instance, they may repeat something a few times, change the volume or tone of their voice, write it on the board or overhead, and/or creates lists for you. Be sure to ask them to repeat what they have just said if you miss the initial cue but later realize that you should be writing the material down.

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Leave some space between portions of your notes so you can make additional comments as you study or read the text.

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Re-write or even re-TYPE your notes. Not only will your notes be much more organized and make studying easier, but the practice of re-writing notes gives you another opportunity to think about the material as you write or type it again. Make sure that you re-write them in a timely manner. The more time that passes between taking the original notes and re-writing them, the less effective this strategy is.

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Review these notes often. The more times you see them, the easier it is to commit them to memory and the less time you will spend studying them prior to the test.

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Note: This content was curated from a third party.

Why a University Education?

The world in which we live is constantly evolving. We are demanding more and more from our citizens than ever before and in order to live up to the demands of the world, we need a solid education upon which to base our skills and knowledge. There are many alternatives available for receiving an education these days, which is good news for those who have not yet managed to obtain a four-year college degree. Truthfully, that degree is the difference in literally hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of a lifetime than not having a degree.

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Four Reasons for a Four-Year Education


The first reason that you should consider a university degree is the fact that it will substantially increase your earning potential. If nothing else appeals to you, this is typically the one reason that most people return to school after years in the workplace. If you are in high school and haven't really had to deal with the bills and burdens that many adults face it's difficult to explain how important any edge when it comes to earning ability truly is. However, you should be aware that you need to choose your major wisely if money is your sole motivation. Not all careers pay equally when compare to the education required to enter them.

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This may seem like a strange term to use when discussing why you should get a university education but this is perhaps the best insurance you can find as far as employability goes. Having a university degree gives you a competitive edge over those who do not. In many cases, you will find that education is beginning to trump experience as employers are seeking workers with more rounded skills rather than those with very specific skills. The modern university typically requires a brief exposure to all kinds of information and coursework that isn't necessarily related to your major. This provides graduates with a broader understanding of the world (at least that is the assumption).

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Believe it or not, those with degrees are much more employable than those that do not have them. There was a time when the trend was to employ those who had experience over those who had an education. That trend is rapidly evaporating as companies want employees that can fill multiple roles more and more often. The limited exposure to certain ideas or ideals and principles that most people receive as part of their university education makes you a more employable candidate because you should be able to adapt and adjust, as this was required during your educational process.

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There is nothing quite like believing in yourself. Getting a four-year education is one way to build confidence not only on a personal level but also on a professional level. Whether or not you realize it, this is often the best reason for pursuing a university degree. This reason, as a matter of fact, will actually affect all of the other things I mentioned above. If you have more confidence in your ability you will be more willing to go out there and get the job done. As a result, you will earn more money and you will ensure that you are an asset to your company by proving yourself to be just that.

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Regardless of your personal reason for pursuing a university degree, there are very few wrong reasons to get your degree. Good luck in your educational pursuits. I know they will serve you well.

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Note: This content was curated from a third party.

A Community College Education is a Good Start

Many people search and search for the University they will attend upon graduation from high school. Eager students look forward to their time at university while parents wring their hands hoping that their children choose to attend a university that is not only close to home but also within their budget limitations. Another worry that parents have when their children decide to attend college is whether or not the university they attend will have the specialized and individualized services that their children were accustomed to receiving in high school. Face it; larger universities tend to be rather impersonal when it comes to the education of their students.

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One answer to all those worries and more is to transition your students from high school to a two-year college rather than throwing them to the university wolves so to speak. Many people find that two-year colleges can, in fact, provide superior educations to four-year universities for those first two years or foundation college-level courses. You will not get the specialized or specific instruction in a two-year college that is available to upper-level students on a university level but most students find the first two years of their college educations focused on getting the requirement and pre-requisite courses rather than the specialized courses in their intended field of study.

Many people also find that those first two years at a community college – transitioning from a small pond to a larger lake – are much easier to handle than going straight from high school to a university – out of the pond and into the ocean. Universities often have lower level classes as auditorium classes. These classes offer little individual instruction and are often sink or swim sorts of classes. Those students who have special learning needs are often lost in the shuffle when entering a university. Community colleges offer smaller classes and ample opportunities for tutoring as well as classes on how to learn to study.

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Two-year colleges are also much easier on the budget than most universities. Most people find that community college does not place nearly the financial burdens on families that universities place. Add to that the fact that most community colleges offer very flexible class scheduling and even some courses online and you will find that there are many reasons to consider community college that go well beyond mere budgeting requirements.

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Another benefit to students who wish to enter the workforce sooner rather than later is that you can actually get a degree or certification in certain programs from a two-year college. This means that you can actually graduate and begin earning much sooner than if you were to attend a four-year college in search of a degree. If you aren’t sure you want to invest the next four or five years of your life in pursuit of a degree or you simply aren’t ready to commit yourself to one line of work for the rest of your life it is a good idea to spend two years in a community college rather than making the leap straight into a university setting.

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If you are considering whether or not a community college or two-year education is the best course of action for your specific needs, I really recommend creating a list of pros and cons of each and balancing your budget to see where your needs are most likely to be fully met. Remember you can always transfer to a university once you’ve completed your two-year college education or at any time during that education as long as you meet the university’s admission requirements. Good luck and remember that your college education is one of the largest indicators of your future earning potential so take it seriously.

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Welcome to my brand new blog site. Since COVID-19 has corralled us to all be indoors and working remotely, I’ve really had to come to terms with the rut I have been in for quite a while. Let me give a bit of backstory…

I must first admit that I am a lifelong learner. I love learning new things, reaching new goals, etc. I went straight to college after high school, with the unconscious goal of finding a husband (it didn’t work). After graduating with my Bachelors of Science in Political Science, I ended up back at my parent’s home in my old bedroom…and depressed.

Because she didn’t want me just wallowing in my depression, my mother gave me an ultimatum – either get a job or go back to school.

My response? Both! I ended up getting a job at a local two-year college and also taking courses on campus (after all, that’s one of the big perks of working at a college). Despite my educational background, I landed a job in the IT department at the institution. Since I didn’t have a lot of formal education in the field, I started taking courses in that area to shore up any shortcomings I had … and I took certification exams to help provide evidence of that training.

After a few years of this, I admittedly got bored and decided to pursue the next level of my education – a Masters. I knew I wanted to stay in technology, but I didn’t want to learn more coding … so I found what I felt to be a good alternative – a Masters in Instructional Technology. I love this field because it is constantly relevant because technology is constantly changing. And, if it is constantly changing, that means that people need help learning the changes – especially people who’s full-time jobs are not in technology. I mean, who has time to keep up?

I graduated with my Masters in Instructional Technology in 2008; however, I didn’t see any promotion based on it. But soon after I graduated, the college underwent a change of sorts. You see, our institution had two technology departments …the Office of Information Technology – where I was employed, and Instructional Technology & Distance Learning. Around that time the decision was made to merge the two departments into one. Not too long after this I was given the opportunity to be one of the backups to the Learning Management System (LMS) administrator. Finally! A job that went along with my degree!

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect, because the institution, along with the sister institutions (we’re in a big state-wide system), decided it was time to change LMS platforms. I was able to participate in testing and critiquing the different platforms being considered, and I was on the ground floor when the final selection was made and training was offered. It was a very unique and educational experience.

Around 2012 I began considering going back to school, either for a second masters or for a doctorate. I applied to an institution for a Masters of Science in Computer Science and was accepted into the program. However, the more I considered the program and its requirements, the less interested I was in. Programming just wasn’t the niche that spoke to me, I didn’t want to remain stuck behind a monitor for the rest of my career. I did, however, want to find a way to enhance my instructional technology knowledge and experience. I wanted to find a way to grow that into helping faculty and improving the quality of courses being offered.

Based on my desires, I found a great fit in the Doctorate in Adult & Career Education and began my coursework in 2013. My logic being, if I learn how to teach to adults, then I can take my previous knowledge about technology and apply that to helping faculty better understand the technology they were using to teach and thereby improve the quality of their courses. In fact, my dissertation looked at if burnout levels in faculty affected their ability to accept technology.

During the middle of my doctoral studies my work institution went through a big change. We were to merge with another institution in the same city as us. This created a lot of turmoil and due to the added work load, caused me to slow down my progress in my doctorate. However, I persisted, and in the Spring of 2019 I successfully defended my dissertation and graduated May of 2019.

That was nearly a year ago, and I’ve been in a rut ever since. My father and I took a vacation in June, going to see family, etc. Unfortunately, we came back sick, which certainly has not helped my rut.

Photo by Dustin Tray from Pexels
Photo by Dustin Tray from Pexels

It’s as if my brain is going – you’ve hit the peak, there’s nothing left to pursue. What are you going to do now?

Between all the work from the merger and finishing my doctorate, I admit that I’m burnt out. My brain is tired. But I also have an issue with setting large goals – because my experience has been that of failure. The only goals that have succeeded for me have been educational…and if I’m burnt out from studying, what is there to focus on?

Well, I’ve had a year to “recover” and COVID-19 has forced me back into learning. After all, one of the items that we get to “work” on for work – is taking the training. I have been studying a lot on LinkedIn Learning, and I am currently watching the course of “Breaking Out of a Rut” and it seems appropriate that I force myself further out of the ruts I’m in by getting this site going.

So, on this blog I will be making an effort to:

  1. Write about things I’m learning
  2. Post reviews of different software I try
  3. Discuss my research from my doctoral studies (after all, I put a lot of work into that)
  4. Post links and other information that I find relevant to the concepts of technology & education.

So, if you’ve gotten this far, congratulations! I hope you will continue to visit and encourage. (Right now comments are turned off, but I’m debating changing that in the near future.) I hope that this site can become a resource for others trying to expand their futures as I work on expanding my own!

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