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Practical Techie: The web is a great homework assistant

Every student from elementary all the way to graduate level can always use a little help in doing the schoolwork.

The web is full of sites that can become educational helpers.

Think of search engines and Wikipedia, or beyond. Even social media such as Facebook can be helpful, according to Mashable.com, a high-tech information website.

For heavy academic research, educators and students must use high-power databases such as those provided by WolframAlpha, Google, Yahoo, Bing, and many others, including archive.org, a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, TV shows and more. A researcher can even use it to find out how a website has looked since 1996 or trace the history of a domain and examine how it has changed over the years.

A student should not overlook GoogleScholar when starting on a paper. It helps to check out library websites and refers to research guides on different topics. There will also be the contact info for research librarians.

WRITING — Something good for word meanings and polished writing is the website Word Hippo, an elite thesaurus that will help students make sure essays do not end up boring and that the right words are chosen for each exposition.

Of course, for a top writing style, never lose sight of Grammerly.com, the application that converts web scribes into refined narrators.

RESEARCHEbsco is an online research database very helpful for backgrounding a selected theme. This platform gives students an open door to thousands of public, university, and government library collections for research on almost any theme imaginable.  This includes a million e-books, digitized newspapers, journals, magazines, and audiobooks.

Another colossal database for school research is Jstor. It has online access to 12 million academic journal articles, primary sources, and books. Of note is its huge archive of high-quality images, all rights-cleared, including artworks, maps, photographs, and news images. Available too are approximately 20,000 open source reports in the field of cultural research from many countries.

SCIENCES — If the assignment is math, CheggStudy, not only gives solutions to textbook problems but also includes questions from which to draw answers by others who already dealt with a similar problem. For example, if a student poses a question on Chegg, an expert will post a step-by-step solution to the query.

Chegg also has library services, from textbook and e-book rentals to flashcards. CheggStudy costs $14.95 for the tutorial services but has free basics.

Worth mentioning is the fact that meta-search engine, Wolfram Alpha is also a lifesaver for math and science classes.

In turn, Desmos is an online graphing calculator that’s way easier to use than a physical calculator. It allows students to do math with a free online calculator for graph functions, plot points, visualizes algebraic equations, adds sliders or animate graphs,

TEACHERS — For educators, Canvas and Blackboard are insuperable classroom tools and for leading learning management systems. Both help teachers and professors post announcements, prepare a class syllabus, and de student grades. These platforms will also assist in submitting assignments. Canvas is especially useful for classroom posters, visuals, and even book design.

Some of the above websites require subscriptions but the following are free, open-source, and are practical for different types of homework assistance, according to o individual needs, They are Khan Academy, Study Geek, Fact Monster, BJ Pinchbeck’s Homework Helper, Common Core Works and  Hippo Campus.

These other two are for parents who require guides in helping their children do homework: Parent Toolkit and Scholastic Parent & Child. 

EduBirdie helps in getting academic writing done efficiently, or assist in chemistry, physics, or economy-themed homework.

Author Details
Author Rafael Matos is a veteran journalist, a professor of digital narratives and university mentor. He may be contacted at cccrafael@gmail.com.

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