School is difficult. I can confidently say that most people would agree with the statement. What’s more, online schooling has made it infinitely more difficult for students to get academic help.
Imagine this: You’re pouring over a piece of homework, but your mind is completely blank. “How am I supposed to do this?” you ask yourself. You consider texting your friend- which would only result in a shaky video call- or emailing your teacher - which would amount to no more than a brusque reply- neither are promising ideas.
With no one to turn to, what do you do next? I’m here to help you answer that question: here are 9 foolproof websites that will get you the academic help you need during online schooling.
Sciencelearn.org is a website that provides free articles, videos, and interactive activities on all areas of science. Their scientific information is split into 60+ topics (categories), with numerous resources within each topic. If you prefer watching a video or tinkering with an interactive activity instead of reading an article, you can filter the resources you are shown. Sciencelearn.org also gives you suggestions on other related articles (based on what you are viewing), and allows you to save the most helpful resources.
Also, don’t you just hate it when you’re trying to understand a complex article, and there are dozens of words that you don't know? Well, you won’t have to waste your time looking up those scientific words, because Sciencelearn.org displays simple definitions on scientific vocabulary. Therefore, Sciencelearn.org is a wonderful website to help you with your science schoolwork during lockdown.
The “Amoeba Sisters” is an awesome biology channel on Youtube. Their videos are not your typical boring lectures, in fact, they’re fun to watch. Their videos are filled to the brim with humor, and (très) adorable illustrations.
The “Amoeba Sisters” videos are directed towards high school and freshman college students, and will clear up ANY questions you have about biology.
Information from AmoebaSisters.com tells us that the channel is run by two talented sisters: “Pinky”, who has a degree in biology and a background in teaching, and “Petunia” who is a self-taught illustrator. On top of that, every one of their videos falls under 10 minutes, so they can easily be incorporated into your day (no excuse to procrastinate), and are fit for short attention spans.
Next, “Tyler Dewitt” is a chemistry channel on Youtube run by- you guessed it- Tyler Dewitt. Tyler’s videos are on high school chemistry, and they range from 5-30 minutes. His explanations are illuminating because he speaks clearly, and demonstrates using multiple examples. His unique presentation also keeps students hooked! Tyler shoots his videos from birds eye view so that audience members look straight down at a whiteboard. Also, can I just say that Tyler’s handwriting is impeccable?! (not that important, but I just had to comment on it)
Although Tyler no longer posts videos, the bank of information that is his channel is still a convenient way of answering your academic questions. Moreover, TED informs us that Tyler has a PHD in Microbiology at MIT (say what?!), and a background in teaching. I mean, what else could you ask for?
“Shmoop!” isn’t that name interesting? Just the name, the colourful design of the website, and their humorous tone of writing will raise your spirits, and motivate you to study! Shmoop is a free website that harbours an incredible collection of “study guides” on famous literature and poetry. Each “study guide” includes: an introduction, the background of the author/characters, summaries (there is a summary on EVERY SINGLE chapter of each book), detailed analysis, quotes, and quirky illustrations.
But If you would rather watch a video book review, they have over 100,000 video guides. Additionally, Shmoop has an entire section of their website devoted to analyzing Shakespeare's works. Lastly, Shmoop is very versatile and encompasses “study guides” for other subjects such as biology and history.
Sparknotes is similar to Shmoop in that it also explores literature, but Sparknotes may be arguably better than Shmoop because it offers free practice quizzes to test your knowledge (unlike someone -ahem- Shmoop, who decided to make all their quizzes super pricey).
Furthermore, Sparknotes teaches analysis essay writing by explaining the structure of analytical text. Sparknotes also provides info graphics, videos, and traditional text summaries, so you can take your pick! The only downer is that Sparknotes doesn't have a humorous style of writing like Shmoop. But all in all, Sparknotes is extremely effective for refreshing your memory on a book.
a. Khan Academy
If you’re struggling with Maths, then not to fear my dear! I present to you: Khan Academy! [cue clapping] Khan Academy is a free maths website that provides videos and exercises catered to your personal needs, as you can customize the math resources suggested to you.
Khan Academy has a huge range of courses (eg.Geometry, Precalculus, SAT prep), each course contains multiple units, each unit has video explanations, and each video is followed by practice quizzes (phew that was hard to explain). Also, If you’re not ready to launch yourself into a new maths topic (eg. Algebra), you can choose to do a preparatory unit. If you answer a maths question incorrectly, you won’t have to sit there scratching your head. This is because Khan Academy clearly lays out the correct working.
Finally, Khan Academy is super engaging because they have a points system, whereby accumulating enough points, you can level up or “purchase” a cute avatar. Motivating, am I right?
Mario’s Math Tutoring is a brilliant maths Youtube channel. Mario’s math videos are sorted into playlists on: “ACT Math, SAT Math, PreAlgebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, PreCalculus, & Calculus.”(Mario’s Math Tutoring). Each playlist contains from 60 to over 200 helpful maths videos.
Most of Mario’s videos are “short and sweet”, but if you want to do intense studying, he has a playlist dedicated to hour-long bulk exam revision. Mario doesn’t simply fling a formula in your face and expect you to memorise it! He explains the mathematic reasoning behind it. Furthermore, Mario uses examples strategically by beginning with simple examples and then ramping up the difficulty.
4. Humanities and Social Sciences
The Humanities and Social Sciences contain such a wide variety of subjects (according to the Aussie Educator, "Humanities and Social Sciences includes History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship and Economics and Business") that you would never imagine stumbling upon a resource that explores all of them. But it just so happens that YouTube channel: CrashCourse explains each HaSS subject in depth. CrashCourse videos are a pleasure to watch because they are fast-paced, dotted with jokes, beautifully animated, fascinating, and are easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy to understand.
Next, CrashCourse’s videos average 10-15 minutes, with over 40 amazing videos in each subject playlist. The videos in each playlist build upon one another, much like a real course at school. Might I just add that CrashCourse's videos are so interesting that they are practically bingeworthly? Henceforth, CrashCourse is an incredible study tool, so go check it out!
Last but not least: Quizlet! Quizlet is a great study website that enables you to create, and view other people’s digital flashcards. Each “study guide” has flashcards and quizzes designed to help you memorise information.
Additionally, Quizlet is highly useful because it contains quality flashcards for ALL SUBJECTS. Although Quizlet flashcards are not specifically focused on Humanities and Social Sciences, they still contain LOADS of HaSS related flashcards. Just to impress this upon you, I searched up the “Industrial Revolution” and ended up with 20 pages (26 flashcards per page) of related study guides.
But if you feel like taking a break from traditional flashcards, you can play flashcard memory games. One of the most popular Quizlet flashcard games is called "match", the game challenges you to match a definition to the corresponding vocab in the shortest time possible. It not only helps you memorize definitions quickly, but also guarantees lots of fun! (and intense time competitions between you and your friends)
You Got This!
School is hard, but you are more than capable of mastering these classes. Good luck, and study on!