What do you do to stay sharp after you get out of school? I’ve seen a lot of good blog posts aimed at helping students avoid “the summer slide.” But what about post-graduation? Not everyone gets involved in a field that is exciting and challenging (like education) — in fact, many end up working jobs that are boring, repetitive, and mind-numbing.
Fortunately, there are little things you can do every day to stay sharp. Everyone knows the popular ones, like cross-word puzzles and Sudoku. But what if you’re not into either one of those?
Last week, we got an email from someone interesting in sharing a few other possibilities. So, if you’re wondering how to keep your mind active even though your body is aging, just remember that there are plenty of apps, games and exercises you can do to help improve your memory, creativity, and cognitive function. And these activities aren’t just designed to get the juices flowing, they’re fun too!
Check out the full article here: Your Brain on Apps: The Best Apps for Improving Cognitive Functioning. I challenge you to not want to make a purchase or two in either Google Play store or the Apple iTunes store afterwards.
Thanks to Whitney Hughlett for the tip-off!
I know the title is lame, but it’s also true. Sometimes life is like that. Let me give you a run-down on what the Campus Challenge is and you can decide if you agree with me.
You know all those nifty apps that you use on a daily – even hourly – basis on your smartphone? Well they all have to be developed by somebody. TradeKing is an online broker that is challenging students to become the “somebodies” who develop those apps with a contest called Campus Challenge. They tried this program at Loyola University Maryland during the spring of this year, and now they’ve rolled it out nationwide – this time with $100,000 in prizes available!
The idea is fairly simple: Develop an app that runs on any platform, designed in any language, which utilizes the Tradeking.com application programming interface (API) either alone or in combination with other APIs from Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Finance, etc. In other words, build a better online or mobile investment “mousetrap.” Oh, and did I mention that the contest is only open to students?
That part alone is already pretty cool. I always love the idea of teams competing to solve a problem in the best way possible. Not only does each team learn a lot in the process, but the awareness that they are competing with other teams drives each group to perform to the best of their abilities. Some really amazing stuff comes from contests like this.
But what makes Campus Challenge “way cool” to me is how my alma mater, Loyola University Maryland is involved. It’s one of only five schools (out of the 30 teams that have entered) that is weaving the contest right into the classroom instead of setting up extra-curricular teams. That mean students are doing this as their class work, not in addition to it.
This, to me, is the future of education. Why should it be that students create nothing of value to the world outside of their university until after they’ve graduated? It’s a totally artificial barrier. In fact, why aren’t we challenging students to contribute to the “real world” right from the beginning?
I see contests and opportunities like this as a great step towards that happening. The face of education is changing, and it is all thanks to schools being willing to step outside of what is considered “normal” and companies like TradeKing who believe that students can make a difference too.
Check out the Campus Challenge website here. If it sounds intriguing to you, see what you can do to get your school to participate in a contest like this one next year!
You probably don’t know this unless you keep a pretty sharp eye on our library page, but TestSoup comes out with new flashcard content every single week. Sometimes we’ll revise or update an existing set (like we did just recently with the GRE), but often that means churning out brand-spanking-new flashcard sets available online, in the iOS App Store, and the Android Market.
Usually we send out an email to everyone on our mailing list announcing all the new content, but that really only helps people on our mailing list, now doesn’t it? So I thought that it might be nice to write a short post about the three new flashcard sets we put out just last week.
That’s it for this week. Hopefully you saw something you liked. And if not, just remember that we’re cranking out new content all the time. Who knows — next Monday you might see something that really grabs you by the horns.
Oh, and one final thing: if you’re a teacher and you’re in the market for $150,000 of free edtech resources for your classroom and your students, head on over to the Back to School Giveaway. It’s a (free) contest that we’re co-sponsoring with some other great edtech companies. We would love for you to win.
Not a teacher? That’s okay. Feel free to spread the word!
The times, they are a-changin’ here at TestSoup. And by “the times” I mean “stuff.” In the past couple months we’ve made a couple Big Leagues(TM) upgrades to the company, and I thought I’d take a moment to walk you through a couple of them.
Not bad for a couple months work, right? And stay tuned — we have big things in the works for this summer. Gotta take advantage of the downtime in the educational world, because those school years can be crazy!
Oh, and don’t forget that we’ll be at ISTE 2011 and will be co-hosting a karaoke-infused tweetup on June 28th in Philly. We hope to see you there!