How the Internet Has Changed Homework: 5 Online Tools [Teen Article]

Rachel is a 16-year-old born and raised in NYC.  She enjoys singing, debating, traveling and writing.  Her favorite subjects are English and Science; she wishes to pursue  a career in either of them in the future.

How the Internet Has Changed Homework: 5 Online ToolsSo we’re in the Age of the Internet!  We might as well use it right?  Here are some programs that you could recommend for your or your child’s school.


1.    Dictionary.com

It sure beats searching through pages of encyclopedias!  Need a definition?  It’s right there.  A synonym? You could just look in the thesaurus section.  And there’s more: you can even translate different languages on it!  **Handy when you have an English or a Foreign Language project and you’re stuck on a word. **

2.    E-Chalk

This is one of my favorites.  So basically your school sets up E-Chalk on their school website.  Every student is assigned an e-mail account.  Here on the site teachers can (if they have enough time or few students) put their students into ‘classes’ aka the section of the site where you can see a calendar for upcoming tests, assignments, etc.  My teachers, for example, post most of our homework assignments, online quizzes, even NOTES on the site.  They can privatize it so that only that specific class can see the assignment and notes for their own class.

Personally?  I love that my teachers post up notes.  For those who are prone to get sick and don’t have many friends who take good notes, this is a life-saver!  I mean, what’s the point of calling your friend to get the homework when you don’t know how to DO it?  And plus, there’s less chance of missing something important if you cut class….did I say cut class? I meant get deathly ill ;D.

3.    books.google. com

I’m sure you parents out there remember when you had a book assignment or you needed a quote from that certain book that you “read”.  You would have to run to the library to make sure that you borrowed a copy of the book before someone else did!  Well, those days are also behind us.  Most books that are not brand new have excerpts and previews on Google Books.  This is a quick way to get quotes from certain books for those thematic or controlling idea essays.

4.    Your local library website

I’m not sure about other states having the same thing, but do you know most library’s offer some form of tutoring?  Textbooks and workbooks can also be borrowed at my library.  Can’t find what you’re looking for?  Reserve it online!  I just type in the name of a certain textbook that I want, they deliver it to the closest library to me and all I have to do is pick it up!  This is a simple way to get the complex testing questions as a review book, but save the multiple trips (and your $$$) to the local bookstore to find the same book.  This helps most people I know with their study habits.

5.    Spark Notes

Okay, okay.  I know what you students are going to say, “Spark Notes?!? I just use that to catch up on my reading/cram before my English test!”  Or parents, “How is a site that gives students a way to get away with not doing the actual work be good?”  Well, I’m so GLAD you asked!  You see, now sites have e-books that ALSO have the ‘translations’ of the words of an old story, say Romeo and Juliet. It would give the reader words on the other page what those ‘old’ words mean in the modern day language.

It also has (one of my other favorites) online SparkCharts.  Now for those who don’t know what that is, it is basically a chart several pages long that gives you the synopsis of ALL the information of a certain topic.  They have charts for history, English grammar, multiple foreign languages, math, all types of sciences, and more!  It is a good way to test yourself on how much you remember on a topic that you “may” have a final coming up.  There are also hard carbon copies at Barnes and Noble.  **I recommend getting the ‘longer’ charts if you had to choose between two charts of the same topic but different types.**  The longer ones normally go more in depth with topics you may have to learn.

Age of the internet brings opportunities and more conveniences.  These advantages of the internet should be taken advantage of so that you may further your or your child’s education…speaking of education, there’s an essay I need to write!  Well, I’m off to Google Books, ‘til next time!

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