Tag Archives: English

Homework Help – 12 Web Sites That Lend A Hand

Need Homework Help? – Turn To These Terrific Web Sites.

imageParents, it seems, are less equipped than ever to jump in and help out with homework assignments. Statistics from the Canadian Council on Learning seem to indicate – two out of three parents feel incapable of helping their children with homework, or after school assignments.

As a parent what do you do; who do you turn to? As a student, since it’s unlikely you can turn to a parent; what do you do?

According to a Pew Internet and American Life Project study, you both turn to the Internet. The study’s research revealed that the Internet has become an increasingly important feature of the learning environment for teenagers, and is used as an essential study aid outside the classroom.

Students and parents report that the Internet is vital to completing school projects, and has effectively replaced the library for a large number of online students. As many as 71% of students surveyed, report using the Internet as their primary source for researching, and completing major projects.

If you’re a student or, the parent of a student, consider bookmarking the following web sites which will provide comprehensive and reliable educational information that can be used to research school projects, and homework assignments.

Discovery Education

Discovery Education offers free student resources that bring learning to life both inside and outside the classroom. We invite you to take a look at our interactive games, videos, contests, virtual labs and activities designed to help you dive deeper into a topic —and have fun too!

Refdesk 

Since 1995, Refdesk.com, has served as a one-click springboard to many of the Web’s top dictionaries, encyclopedias, calculators, atlases, news headlines, and search engines. The site also includes a handy “homework helper” section that provides help in all subjects for students in every grade.

ipl2 (Internet Public Library)

ipl2 is a public service organization and a learning/teaching environment. To date, thousands of students and volunteer library and information science professionals have been involved in answering reference questions for our Ask an ipl2 Librarian service, and in designing, building, creating and maintaining the ipl2’s collections.

HowStuffWorks

Have you ever wanted to know why an earthquake occurs? How CD burners work? What the sun is made of? These questions and a large number of others related to computers/electronics, automobiles, science, entertainment, and people, are all answered at this award-winning Web site. Simply type a query into the search window or peruse the topics by category. Extras include free newsletters, surveys, and printable versions of all answers.

Novelguide.com

The Web’s answer to those black- and yellow-striped Cliff Notes is Novelguide, a reliable and free source for literary analysis of classic and contemporary books. The site offers character profiles, metaphor and theme analysis, and author biographies.

CliffsNotes

Use these free CliffsNotes literature notes to help with your homework and tests. Browse the list to find the study guide you need.

Math.com

This site provides help in mathematics-related subjects, including basic grade-school math, calculus, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics. Practice exercises are automatically graded, and this free site also features a glossary, calculators, homework tips, math games, and lesson plans for teachers.

Shmoop (Official Honoree of Webby Awards – 2010) is a new learning and teaching resource, lovingly made by Silicon Valley professionals and academics from Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard and other top universities. It is an online study guide for books, literature, essays, poems, US history, and quotes.

Wolfram Mathworld

With more than 12,600 entries this is one of the most extensive mathematics resources on the Internet.

Free Translation

Perfect for language studies, this handy Web site automatically converts text from one language to another. Just type and paste up to 1,800 words into the search window and then select the desired language.

No Fear Shakespeare

No Fear Shakespeare puts Shakespeare’s language side-by-side with a facing-page translation into modern English—the kind of English people actually speak today.

Science Made Simple

Science classes aren’t as easy for some to grasp as for others. At Science Made Simple, students of all ages can get detailed answers to many of science’s questions, read current news articles related to science, get ideas for school projects, and take advantage of unit conversion tables.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Education, Homework Help Sites, Interconnectivity, Living Life, Online Learning, Parenting Help, Recommended Web Sites, Student Help, Timesaving Tips

Catch Your Online Grammar, Spelling, and Style Mistakes, With After The Deadline

imageChurning out two blog posts every day is hard on the eyes – not to mention the back, the wrists – well you get the point. As a consequence – I sometimes find myself looking (with crossed eyes) at words running into words, gross misspellings (easy to correct), or improper word usage (sometimes, not so easy to correct). Your versus you’re, and its versus it’s, for example, can be particularly difficult to pick up when used incorrectly.

Here’s a good example of this – recently pointed out by a reader.

Comment:

“You’re friends won’t – other than to deny that they watch it – or, perhaps to decry it’s prevalence” You’re means You are – so “you are friends won’t” doesn’t make sense, use “Your friends” instead.

“It’s” always means “It is” – so “decry it is presence” doesn’t make sense; use “decry its presence” instead.

Not a big deal, you might be thinking. Maybe not – but as often as not, common errors, particularly punctuation errors, can change the meaning of what you meant to say. I’m sure you’ve seen this example – Let’s eat, Mother. versus – Let’s eat Mother.

I write all my blog articles in open source LibreOffice (with grammar checker turned on), and then copy the articles to Windows Live Writer prior to posting into WordPress.

image

Despite an active grammar checker, proofreading, as time consuming as it can often be, is unavoidable. Still, I’ve learned that proofreading is no guarantee that the odd mistake will not slip through.

There is a partial solution (no technology is perfect), that can help you (and me), avoid the most common grammar mistakes, spelling errors (including contextual spelling errors), and style mistakes, in online interactions – including blog postings, emails (mistakes here can be deadly), Facebook, Twitter, etc.

After the Deadline – developed by the people behind WordPress – is an open source (free), language checker for the Web which is available as:

An add-on for Firefox.

An extension for Google Chrome.

A plugin for Windows Live Writer.

A plugin for self-hosted WordPress blogs.

An extension for OpenOffice.org Writer (still in Beta).

Following installation of After the Deadline on my system as a Firefox add-on, I found it to be reasonably accurate – but not perfect (more on this later). Nevertheless, I’ll keep it on my system – at least in the short term (for the second time).

Installation, in my case, was the usual automatic Firefox add-on install, followed by an easy Options set up as the following screen capture indicates.

image

The following screen shots (click to expand) show spelling errors (an unrecognized word), and style recommendations – in a previous post.

image

image

The type of recommendation shown in the screen shot directly above (change “terminate” to “end”, or “stop”), is the primary reason I deleted this add-on previously.

Consistently, higher level words were marked down as “complex expressions”. It may be popular to assume that “dumbing down” is in vogue, but not from where I’m sitting.

Fast facts:

Checks Spelling – Spell checker looks at context and uses artificial intelligence to make recommendations.

Detects Misused Words – Most spell checkers assume any word in their dictionary is correct regardless of context. This means all misused word errors go unnoticed.

Checks Style – Style checker has thousands of rules and uses context to choose the best suggestions.

Checks Grammar – The grammar checker in After the Deadline protects you from common writing errors. After the Deadline uses statistics to automatically find exceptions to its grammar rules, making it one of the smartest grammar checkers around.

Explains Errors – The misused word detector, grammar checker, and style checker explain the mistakes and suggestions to you. Click an error and choose the “Explain …” option.

Download at: After the Deadline

After the Deadline checks English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish text.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Browser add-ons, Chrome Add-ons, downloads, Email, FaceBook, Firefox, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Google Chrome, Interconnectivity, Software, Twitter, Windows Tips and Tools, WordPress, Writing

After The Deadline Catches Grammar, Spelling, and Style Mistakes

imageHave you ever written a Blog comment, for example, and after you’ve clicked “Submit Comment”, had the distinct impression that what you just wrote could have been improved?

Maybe you threw in a few grammar errors, and since punctuation is not your thing, there were a couple of misplaced punctuation marks, as well. I know, I’ve made more than the odd mistake.

Not a big deal, right? Maybe not – but as often as not, common errors, particularly punctuation errors, can change the meaning of what you meant to say.

I’m sure you’ve seen this example – Let’s eat, Mother. versus – Let’s eat Mother.

There is at least a partial solution that can help you avoid the most common grammar mistakes, spelling errors (including contextual spelling errors), and style mistakes, in online interactions – including emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

After the Deadline, is an open source (free), language checker for the web which is available as:

an add-on for the Firefox web browser.

an extension for the Google Chrome web browser.

a bookmarklet for other browsers.

a plugin for self-hosted WordPress blogs.

an extension for OpenOffice.org Writer, a popular open-source word processor.

a plugin for bbPress forums.

Following installation of After the Deadline on my system as a Firefox add-on, I found it to be reasonably accurate – but not perfect. Nevertheless, I’ll keep it on my system – at least in the short term.

Installation in my case was the usual automatic Firefox add-on install, followed by an easy Options set up as the following screen captures indicate. You’ll notice in the second screen, that you have a wide range of proofreading options.

image

image

Fast facts:

Checks Spelling – Spell checker looks at context and uses artificial intelligence to make recommendations.

Detects Misused Words – Most spell checkers assume any word in their dictionary is correct regardless of context. This means all misused word errors go unnoticed.

Checks Style – Style checker has thousands of rules and uses context to choose the best suggestions.

Checks Grammar – The grammar checker in After the Deadline protects you from common writing errors. After the Deadline uses statistics to automatically find exceptions to its grammar rules, making it one of the smartest grammar checkers around.

Explains Errors – The misused word detector, grammar checker, and style checker explain the mistakes and suggestions to you. Click an error and choose the “Explain …” option.

Download at: After the Deadline

After the Deadline checks English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish text.

After the Deadline has been developed by Automattic, the people behind WordPress, PollDaddy, and Akismet – to name just a few.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Browser add-ons, downloads, Firefox Add-ons, Freeware, Google Chrome, Interconnectivity, Open Source, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Need Homework Help? – Turn To These Terrific Web Sites

imageParents, it seems, are less equipped than ever to jump in and help out with homework assignments. So, if you’re a student, who do you turn to for help with your homework? Back in the day (seems like the Dark Ages, looking back), as a last resort, there was always the Library.

So have times changed? You bet. According to a recent Pew Internet and American Life Project study, both parents and students turn to the Internet. The study’s research revealed that the Internet has become an increasingly important feature of the learning environment for students, and is used as an essential study aid outside the classroom.

Students and parents report that the Internet is vital to completing school projects, and has effectively replaced the library. As many as 71% of students surveyed, report using the Internet as their primary source for researching, and completing major projects.

If you’re a student, or the parent of a student, consider bookmark the following web sites which will provide comprehensive and reliable educational information that can be used to research school projects, and homework assignments.

Refdesk

Since 1995, Refdesk.com, has served as a one-click springboard to many of the Web’s top dictionaries, encyclopedias, calculators, atlases, news headlines, and search engines. The site also includes a handy “homework helper” section that provides help in all subjects for students in every grade.

HowStuffWorks

Have you ever wanted to know why an earthquake occurs? How CD burners work? What the sun is made of? These questions and a large number of others related to computers/electronics, automobiles, science, entertainment, and people, are all answered at this award-winning Web site. Simply type a query into the search window or peruse the topics by category. Extras include free newsletters, surveys, and printable versions of all answers.

Novelguide.com

The Web’s answer to those black- and yellow-striped Cliff Notes is Novelguide, a reliable and free source for literary analysis of classic and contemporary books. The site offers character profiles, metaphor and theme analysis, and author biographies.

CliffsNotes

Use these free CliffsNotes literature notes to help with your homework and tests. Browse the list to find the study guide you need.

Math.com

This site provides help in mathematics-related subjects, including basic grade-school math, calculus, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics. Practice exercises are automatically graded, and this free site also features a glossary, calculators, homework tips, math games, and lesson plans for teachers.

Shmoop (Official Honoree of Webby Awards – 2010) is a new learning and teaching resource, lovingly made by Silicon Valley professionals and academics from Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard and other top universities. It is an online study guide for books, literature, essays, poems, US history, and quotes.

Wolfram Mathworld

With more than 12,600 entries this is one of the most extensive mathematics resources on the Internet.

Free Translation

Perfect for language studies, this handy Web site automatically converts text from one language to another. Just type and paste up to 1,800 words into the search window and then select the desired language. Alternatively, you can cut and paste a Web URL to convert the entire site.

No Fear Shakespeare

No Fear Shakespeare puts Shakespeare’s language side-by-side with a facing-page translation into modern English—the kind of English people actually speak today.

Science Made Simple

Science classes aren’t as easy for some to grasp as for others. At Science Made Simple, students of all ages can get detailed answers to many of science’s questions, read current news articles related to science, get ideas for school projects, and take advantage of unit conversion tables.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under Homework Help Sites, Interconnectivity, Living Life, Online Learning, Parenting Help, Recommended Web Sites, Student Help, Windows Tips and Tools

Help With Homework Web Sites

If you’re a student, who do you turn to for help with your homework? Back in the day (my day – seems like the Dark Ages, looking back), I could always turn to my parents who always seemed ready to help and, better yet, almost always seemed to have the answers, or at least partial answers.

As a last resort, there was the Library.

So have times changed? You bet. Recent statistics from the Canadian Council on Learning seem to indicate that two out of three parents today feel incapable of helping their children with homework, or after school assignments.

As a parent what do you do; who do you turn to? As a student since it’s unlikely you can turn to a parent; what do you do?

According to a recent Pew Internet and American Life Project study, you both turn to the Internet. The study’s research revealed that the Internet has become an increasingly important feature of the learning environment for teenagers and is used as an essential study aid outside the classroom.

Students and parents report that the Internet is vital to completing school projects, and has effectively replaced the library for a large number of online students. As many as 71% of students surveyed report using the Internet as their primary source for researching, and completing major projects.

If you’re a student, or the parent of a student, bookmark the following web sites which will provide comprehensive and reliable educational information that can be used to research school projects, and homework assignments.

MSN Encarta

The free MSN Encarta site features more than 4,500 articles pooled from Microsoft Encarta and comes with dictionaries, maps, fast facts, interactive quizzes, handy homework tools, and more.

Note: After October 31, 2009 this site will no longer be available.

Refdesk

Since 1995, Refdesk.com, has served as a one-click springboard to many of the Web’s top dictionaries, encyclopedias, calculators, atlases, news headlines, and search engines. The site also includes a handy “homework helper” section that provides help in all subjects for students in every grade.

HowStuffWorks

Have you ever wanted to know why an earthquake occurs? How CD burners work? What the sun is made of? These questions and a large number of others related to computers/electronics, automobiles, science, entertainment, and people, are all answered at this award-winning Web site. Simply type a query into the search window or peruse the topics by category. Extras include free newsletters, surveys, and printable versions of all answers.

Novelguide.com

The Web’s answer to those black- and yellow-striped Cliff Notes is Novelguide.com, a reliable and free source for literary analysis of classic and contemporary books. The site offers character profiles, metaphor and theme analysis, and author biographies.

Math.com

This site provides help in mathematics-related subjects, including basic grade-school math, calculus, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics. Practice exercises are automatically graded, and this free site also features a glossary, calculators, homework tips, math games, and lesson plans for teachers.

Shmoop (Official Honoree of Webby Awards – 2009) is a new learning and teaching resource, lovingly made by Silicon Valley professionals and academics from Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard and other top universities. It is an online study guide for books, literature, essays, poems, US history, & quotes.

Wolfram Mathworld

With more than 12,600 entries this is one of the most extensive mathematics resources on the Internet.

Free Translation

Perfect for language studies, this handy Web site automatically converts text from one language to another. Just type and paste up to 1,800 words into the search window and then select the desired language. Alternatively, you can cut and paste a Web URL to convert the entire site.

No Fear Shakespeare

No Fear Shakespeare puts Shakespeare’s language side-by-side with a facing-page translation into modern English—the kind of English people actually speak today.

Science Made Simple

Science classes aren’t as easy for some to grasp as for others. At Science Made Simple, students of all ages can get detailed answers to many of science’s questions, read current news articles related to science, get ideas for school projects, and take advantage of unit conversion tables.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

4 Comments

Filed under Homework Help Sites, Interconnectivity, Recommended Web Sites, Student Help, Windows Tips and Tools

Ultimate Homework Help Web Sites for Students/Parents

If you’re a student, who do you turn to for help with your homework? Back in the day (my day – seems like the Dark Ages, looking back), I could always turn to my parents who always seemed ready to help and, better yet, almost always seemed to have the answers, or at least partial answers.

As a last resort – and for me, it always seemed like the last resort, there was the Library.

So have times changed? You bet. Recent statistics from the Canadian Council on Learning seem to indicate that two out of three parents today feel incapable of helping their children with homework, or after school assignments.

As a parent what do you do; who do you turn to?

As a student since it’s unlikely you can turn to a parent; what do you do?

According to a recent Pew Internet and American Life Project study, you both turn to the Internet. The study’s research revealed that the Internet has become an increasingly important feature of the learning environment for teenagers and is used as an essential study aid outside the classroom.

Students and parents report that the Internet is vital to completing school projects, and has effectively replaced the library for a large number of online students. As many as 71% of students surveyed report using the Internet as their primary source for researching, and completing major projects.

If you’re a student, or the parent of a student, bookmark the following web sites which will provide comprehensive and reliable educational information that can be used to research school projects, and homework assignments.

MSN Encarta

The free MSN Encarta site features more than 4,500 articles pooled from Microsoft Encarta and comes with dictionaries, maps, fast facts, interactive quizzes, handy homework tools, and more.

Refdesk

Since 1995, Refdesk.com, has served as a one-click springboard to many of the Web’s top dictionaries, encyclopedias, calculators, atlases, news headlines, and search engines. The site also includes a handy “homework helper” section that provides help in all subjects for students in every grade.

HowStuffWorks

Have you ever wanted to know why an earthquake occurs? How CD burners work? What the sun is made of? These questions and a large number of others related to computers/electronics, automobiles, science, entertainment, and people, are all answered at this award-winning Web site. Simply type a query into the search window or peruse the topics by category. Extras include free newsletters, surveys, and printable versions of all answers.

Novelguide.com

The Web’s answer to those black- and yellow-striped Cliff Notes is Novelguide.com, a reliable and free source for literary analysis of classic and contemporary books. The site offers character profiles, metaphor and theme analysis, and author biographies.

Math.com

This site provides help in mathematics-related subjects, including basic grade-school math, calculus, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics. Practice exercises are automatically graded, and this free site also features a glossary, calculators, homework tips, math games, and lesson plans for teachers.

Wolfram Mathworld

With more than 12,600 entries this is one of the most extensive mathematics resources on the Internet.

Free Translation

Perfect for language studies, this handy Web site automatically converts text from one language to another. Just type and paste up to 1,800 words into the search window and then select the desired language. Alternatively, you can cut and paste a Web URL to convert the entire site.

No Fear Shakespeare

No Fear Shakespeare puts Shakespeare’s language side-by-side with a facing-page translation into modern English—the kind of English people actually speak today.

Science Made Simple

Science classes aren’t as easy for some to grasp as for others. At Science Made Simple, students of all ages can get detailed answers to many of science’s questions, read current news articles related to science, get ideas for school projects, and take advantage of unit conversion tables.

Added by my friend TechPaul of Aplus Computer Aid, Menlo Park, California.

If I may add? Wiley Publishing has made the collection of Cliff Notes available free online– and made the site an excellent test-prep resource.
http://www.cliffsnotes.com/WileyCDA/

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Filed under Homework Help Sites, Interconnectivity, Parenting Help, Student Help, Timesaving Tips, Windows Tips and Tools