100 All-Time Best Productivity Tips for Working & Learning from Home

By Nicole White

If you’re working or studying at home, you know that the dream of having a home office can quickly turn into a nightmare of distraction and an unhealthy work-life balance if you don’t keep your productivity under control. By following some of these simple tips, you can help ensure that your home office is a productive one. Read on, and you’ll learn 100 of the best tips for getting things done at home, whether you’re working or learning.

Office space

Keep these tips in mind when settling into your office or learning space at home.

  1. Set aside a space: Create a designated space, preferably a room to be your workspace.
  2. Physically separate yourself: Train your mind to set yourself apart from your home life when working: close your door, and separate yourself from the rest of the house.
  3. Invest in a good chair: Get a mesh backed or leather chair to support your back.
  4. Pick a quiet spot: It’s obvious, but important. Set your home office up in an area that will be away from the distractions of home.
  5. Highlight your accomplishments: Surround yourself with the things you’ve done — diplomas, important photographs, and other reminders of your success.
  6. Create a bright and cheerful environment: Make your home office cheerful to avoid stress and stay happy throughout the day.
  7. Use a laptop: With a laptop, you have the freedom to work anywhere you’d like to.
  8. Have a separate computer: Use a separate computer for work and leisure.
  9. Get out: Go to a coffee shop, the beach, anywhere you can get good work done for a change of pace.
  10. Put plants in your office: Soak up stagnant air by keeping plants in your office.
  11. Use caller ID: See who is calling and avoid answering for telemarketers or others who will waste your time.
  12. Keep a dry erase board: Use a dry erase board to keep your tasks and reminders in easy view.
  13. Keep things clean: A tidy desk will help control stress and keep you more productive.
  14. Consider a standing desk: With a standing desk, you can stay more alert and active in your work day.
  15. Stay away from your couch: Sit at a desk rather than working from your couch or bed.
  16. Set boundaries: Make sure that those in your home know when you’re working and that you’re not to be bothered.
  17. Clear your desk of nonessentials: Put away everything you don’t really need.
  18. Get a great coffee maker: Many people love using coffee to boost productivity, so invest in a high quality coffee maker.
  19. Use noise canceling headphones: Keep noise and distraction out by using headphones that keep things quiet.
  20. Use a separate phone: With a separate phone line, you can keep personal calls to a minimum during your working hours.

Habits

Practice these good habits to stay productive and happy in your home office.

  1. Get dressed: Every day, bathe and make yourself presentable enough for a surprise visitor or trip out of your home so you’ll be ready for anything.
  2. Stay logged out: Avoid logging into IM, social media sites, and other distractions.
  3. Carefully separate work and personal life: Don’t get sucked into working around the clock when you’re at home.
  4. Create rituals: Give yourself a daily signal that it’s time to start working.
  5. Eat first: Don’t fall victim to low blood sugar — eat before you start working.
  6. Get ready for the day: Practice good grooming — change out of your pajamas, have a shower, and breakfast before you get down to work.
  7. Commit to tasks: Don’t let yourself slack off if you’re having a rough day, or you may find that you just can’t get anything done.
  8. Give yourself a weekly review: Every week, take time to think about what you’ve gotten done.
  9. Use distraction reducing tools: Make use of tools that will clear your digital desktop of everything that’s not important.
  10. Turn your phone off: Turn off your phone when you need to minimize distractions.
  11. Simplify everything: Focus only on what really matters.

Time management

Use these tips to stay on top of deadlines and coursework.

  1. Set time boundaries for online use: Limit your online use by setting specific times when you’ll be available to chat and check websites.
  2. Keep regular hours: Carefully schedule which hours you’ll work, and which hours are personal time.
  3. Work when you’re most productive: If you’re most productive around 1AM, schedule your most important work for that time.
  4. Give yourself limits: Always have a finish line for when you have to stop working.
  5. Do important tasks early: Take care of important tasks before you get hit by the lunchtime slump.
  6. Take sprints: When your timer is ticking, focus and work in a sprinting mode.
  7. Schedule fun time: Take time to do the things you enjoy on a set schedule.
  8. Unplug and work on battery power: Create a sense of urgency to get things done by working on battery power, where time is limited.
  9. Use timers: Give yourself short times to do a frenzy of work by setting a timer.
  10. Group your errands: Keep your out-of-office time to a minimum by doing as many errands as you can at one time.
  11. Keep emails short and sweet: Master the art of the five-sentence email.
  12. Just do it: Practice willpower and keep yourself on track to just getting things done.
  13. Be a good boss to yourself: Don’t let yourself become a slacker, but don’t make yourself a slave to work either.
  14. Give yourself deadlines: Make yourself accountable by setting hard deadlines for getting things done.
  15. Check email on a schedule: Check email just twice a day to keep it from taking over your online life.
  16. Get up early: If you start working at noon, you’ll feel cheated and sluggish when 5:00 comes around and you want to stop working.
  17. Use short bursts of productivity: Give yourself just a small time of focused work activity to get things done.
  18. Ignore distractions: Stay away from your inbox, Twitter, TV, and other things that demand your time.
  19. Track your time: Use a time tracking tool to stay on top of what you’re getting done and when you’re doing it.
  20. Take breaks: Don’t let yourself get sucked into work. Remember to refresh yourself with breaks every hour or so.

Organization

Follow these tips to help your organization breed productivity.

  1. Keep lists: Keep lists that detail daily tasks, hopeful tasks, and anytime tasks.
  2. Write things down: Write everything down right as you think of it.
  3. Keep a calendar: Stay on top of what you’re going to do and when you’re going to do it.
  4. Get your to-do list out of your email: Stay organized by keeping all of your tasks in one place.
  5. Create a tickler system: Use a tickler system to make sure you stay on top of important tasks and events coming up.
  6. Designate days for tasks: Do certain things on specific days to stay on track.
  7. Carefully process tasks and information: Have a place for items in your notes and inboxes.
  8. Keep notes handy: You never know when inspiration will strike, so keep a notepad at the ready.
  9. Keep files: Minimize clutter by creating simple files you’ll actually use.

Happiness

A happy work environment is a productive one, so follow these tips to make sure you’re happy with your work at home.

  1. Go out for lunch every once in a while: Even if you mostly eat at home for lunch, it’s good to get out and visit with a friend or colleague occasionally.
  2. Remember what it’s like to work in an office: Be grateful that you get to work at home!
  3. Listen to music: Keep your creativity flowing with upbeat music throughout the day.
  4. Stop working: When your work is done, leave it and don’t come back until the next day. Make notes for yourself if you need to remember something.
  5. Work in a group: Study or work with a group of people to support each other.
  6. Just say no: If you don’t have the time or resources to do a task, just don’t do it.
  7. Get out and enjoy the weather: Take advantage of your flexible schedule and carve out some time to enjoy the weather or special events that you otherwise wouldn’t get if you were working in an office.
  8. Do what you love: Do what you love, and you won’t mind working.
  9. Reward yourself: When you’ve finished an important task, reward yourself with something quick but enjoyable, like a walk around the block or a check on social media sites.
  10. Watch TV: Take advantage of the fact that you can work when you choose, and do what you like at certain times during the day.
  11. Develop relationships: Nurture connections and network.
  12. Make time for others: Respond to emails, and keep in touch with people.
  13. Remember to be grateful: Say thank you to your clients, coworkers, employers, and other people you may work with regularly.

Workflow

Follow these workflow tips to keep everything running smoothly.

  1. Outsource: Whenever possible, get someone else to do work for you, like a bookkeeper or delivery service.
  2. Stop multitasking: Multitasking is inefficient — focus on one thing at a time.
  3. Do your hardest work first: Tackle the work that you’d most like to put off early on, so you won’t be dreading it all day.
  4. Set priorities: Keep in mind the tasks that are most important in order to prioritize your day.
  5. Take small steps: Don’t try to tackle a huge task all at once: break it down into small, manageable tasks.
  6. Make your online life simpler: Reduce the amount of time you spend online by simplifying.
  7. Learn to let go: You don’t have to be a perfectionist — just get things done.
  8. Make it easy to get started: Give yourself a small way to start up a task.
  9. Eliminate unnecessary tasks: Just say no to things you don’t really need to do.
  10. Use technology: Fully utilize web meetings, email, and voicemail to communicate effectively.
  11. Give yourself daily goals: Have specific goals in mind for every work day.
  12. Create an action plan every evening: Before you stop working every day, plan out what you’re going to do the next day.

Parents

Working or studying from home is a special challenge to parents of young children. Follow these tips to stay productive.

  1. Hire a babysitter: Consider child care, even if it’s just for limited hours.
  2. Make naptime work time: Use your child’s nap times to get work done.
  3. Keep your children occupied: Set up an area for your child to play with lots of toys, or even a mini office for them to imitate you working.
  4. Take turns: If you and your spouse both work or study at home, switch off times when one works while the other watches over children.
  5. Work late at night: If your schedule can handle it, get your work done when the house is asleep.
  6. Manage your interruptions: If your baby starts crying, instead of immediately running to tend to it, take a few seconds to write down the task you were on or the thought you were forming, so you can get right back on track.

Health

Follow these tips to keep yourself healthy and productive while working or learning at home.

  1. Stay active: Make sure you take time to be active throughout the day, whether it’s a morning walk with your dog, or a trip to the gym.
  2. Give your eyes a break: About ten minutes of every hour, your eyes need to be away from your computer.
  3. Keep water at your desk: Stay hydrated and healthy by always keeping water to drink at your desk.
  4. Fidget: Don’t stay perfectly still when working at your desk.
  5. Stretch: Sitting at your desk all day or all night can take a toll on your body, so be sure to get up and stretch every now and then.
  6. Eat a full lunch: Don’t just snack throughout the day; take the time to sit down and have a healthy lunch.
  7. Stand up for phone calls: Whenever you get a phone call, get up and walk around the house.
  8. Take a micronap: Doze off for a few minutes and wake up refreshed, ready to tackle your work.
  9. Be careful not to munch all day: Avoid eating all day while you’re distracted with work: stop to eat instead of multitasking.

Useful College Tech Toys

For college students today, there’s no shortage of tech toys available to make your life easier. Laptops, printers, cell phones, and other tools are great for making the most of your college experience. Which ones are among the most useful? Read on to find out about tech tools that are great for college.

A webcam comes in handy when you’re keeping in touch. Hook up a webcam to your computer, and you’ll be able to reassure your parents with regular chats. These are also great for keeping in touch with friends who may have gone to different schools.

Flash drives are so important that you should probably just keep one on your keychain. College students have files flying all over, from journal readings to assignments and digital media. With a flash drive, you can take all of these files to go, sharing them with friends and classmates, and using computer labs and printers.

iPads may be a little expensive for the college student budget, but if you can afford this sought after gadget, go for it. You can use it much like a tablet computer, taking notes in class and more. It’s also great for electronic textbooks, email, and other tasks on the go without taking up a whole lot of room.

Digital voice recorders offer a handy way to get recordings of your lectures and more. Going digital means you won’t have to worry about tapes, and you can easily organize files by date and class for playback whenever you need them. And of course, if you have to miss a class, a voice recorder sent along with a classmate can make it like you were actually there.

Just like a digital voice recorder, a digital pen can help you record lectures with ease. With a digital pen, you’ll be able to digitize your notes to search and reference later. Some digital pens even offer audio recordings, so you can get the best of both worlds.

Even on a college budget, there are some tech toys that are worth the money. With these tools, you can get more done in an easy, efficient way, and have more fun doing it. When you’re deciding on which gadgets you should take to school, keep these items in mind.

Is Walking at Graduation Really that Important?

By Donna Reish

Ah, the sweet feeling of success that accompanies walking across the stage at graduation as you symbolically step into the next chapter of your life — there's nothing quite like it, or is there? Many new college graduates opt to skip the pomp and circumstance in favor of more fruitful endeavors, like beach vacations with their friends or a day of lounging around the apartment, embracing lethargy now that they no longer have to endure all-night cram sessions, endless exams and merciless professors. Others choose to spare no time and begin their careers immediately after school ends. But will these anti-graduation-ceremony-graduates regret it in the long run?

If you're a new graduate who's living in the moment, the answer is probably "no." Now that your childhood is almost officially over, you'd rather spend your final free moments having fun, or at the very least not sitting around for hours in frigid or burning weather, either trembling or sweating your butt off while waiting for your name to be called so that you can shake the hand of the faceless president.

But the significance of attending a graduation ceremony tends to be overlooked. It's a time-honored tradition that dates back centuries; even donning the cap and gown holds quite a bit of meaning. The cap historically symbolizes higher intelligence, though it now identifies your college and degree, while the tassel signifies academic achievement. The colors of the gown may represent your institution, which has given you the opportunity mature into an intelligent and well-rounded adult. The event is an excellent opportunity to take a couple of hours to fully reflect upon and appreciate what you've accomplished. Remember, you haven't officially left college until you've turned your tassel from right to left.

So should you attend your graduation ceremony? For many students, it comes down to one factor — their parents. Although you may not care about the importance of the moment, they certainly will. It's a rite of passage for their pride and joy, and it's a reward for their years of parenting and hard work that likely enabled you to go to college in the first place. Any potential regret that you'll feel in the future will come with knowing that you deprived your parents of such a happy occasion. Do the right thing.

How to Find a Compatible Roommate

Finding a roommate is easy. Finding one that doesn’t drive you mad and you can actually stand to see every day is not. If you’re in need of a roomie and can’t find one that suits you, here are a few tips to help you find a compatible roommate in college:

  • Use a Roommate Match Service: Roommate match services are generally a good idea if you don’t want to live with a friend and you’d rather leave it up to chance. Most services will ask you basic questions about your cleanliness, behavior, personality and any characteristics that could be a problem, like smoking, shyness and odd sleeping hours.
  • Do a Background Check: I’m not suggesting that you get a criminal background check, unless you suspect they are up to no good, but more or less do some homework on their past living situations. Ask old roommates or friends about living with so-and-so and ask them to share any complaints, concerns or advice. You may find out very little or more than you wanted to know, but at least you’ll be able to make a more educated decision afterward.
  • Get to Know Them Before: If you have the time to get to know your potential roommate before moving in together — do it. You don’t have to find out their deepest, darkest secrets or social security number, but it’s a good idea to know if they do drugs, if they’re an insomniac or have an obsession with vampires prior to moving in together.
  • Check out Their Current Place: Before you sign a lease with your future roomie, you might want to check out their current living situation. If you’re a clean freak and can’t stand messes, it’s a good idea to tell them that fun fact ahead of time and see if their tidiness is up to snuff. If you aren’t happy with what you see or if they don’t like your standards of cleanliness, it might be a sign that you need to find a roommate more like you.
  • Use Social Networking: Social media is another effective way to find a compatible roommate in college. If you’re like most college students, you probably spend most of your free time on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and other social networking sites, so why not see if any of your online friends need a roommate or would like to live with you? You may not be close friends with any of your roommate prospects, but at least they’re acquaintances and not complete strangers.

100 Free Courses & Tutorials for Aspiring iPhone App Developers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the iPhone is a big deal and it’s one of the most popular subjects of development these days. Lots of developers are creating their own iPhone apps, and with the right know-how, you can too. Check out our list of courses and tutorials to learn everything that’s important about developing for the iPhone.

University

Here you’ll find iPhone development courses offered by top universities.

  1. iPhone Application Programming: Learn about programming for the iPhone from Stanford on iTunes. [Stanford]
  2. Introduction to iPhone Application Development: Use this course’s posted slides to get a crash course in iPhone application development. [MIT]

Apple Resources

You can learn about iPhone development straight from the source with these Apple documents.

  1. Getting Started with iPhone: Here you’ll find a general introduction to iPhone development. [Apple]
  2. Object-Oriented Programming with Objective-C: This document offers an excellent guide for object oriented programming. [Apple]
  3. Networking & Internet Coding How-Tos: In this resource, you will find lots of great advice for networking and Internet development on the iPhone. [Apple]
  4. Getting Started with Audio & Video: Use this document to get started with audio and video features in iPhone applications. [Apple]
  5. Your First iPhone Application: This introductory tutorial offers a step by step description of getting started with an iPhone application. [Apple]
  6. Getting Started with Performance: This guide offers an introduction to improving the performance on iPhone apps. [Apple]
  7. iPhone Application Programming Guide: Get an introduction to the iPhone OS and development process. [Apple]
  8. iPhone OS Technology Overview: Learn about the iPhone OS and its technologies from this guide. [Apple]
  9. Getting Started with Data Management: Here you’ll find a reference that will help you with data management. [Apple]
  10. Security Overview: Get an understanding of the security concepts on the iPhone from this resource. [Apple]
  11. Performance Overview: Get a look at the factors that determine performance through this guide. [Apple]
  12. Resource Programming Guide: Check out this resource to learn how to work with nib and bundle resources.
  13. Getting Started with User Experience: This document offers an introduction to constructing iPhone application user interfaces. [Apple]
  14. iPhone Human Interface Guidelines: Follow these guidelines to make sure your iPhone app has a good human interface. [Apple]
  15. iPhone Development Guide: Use this development guide to get an introduction to creating web apps on the iPhone. [Apple]
  16. Data Formatting Programming Guide for Cocoa: This guide will teach you how to use Cocoa formatters for data. [Apple]
  17. Getting Started with Tools: You will find a guided introduction to the Xcode toolset from this document. [Apple]
  18. Data Management Coding How-tos: Get answers to common data management coding questions. [Apple]
  19. Introduction to Cocoa Application Tutorial: You’ll need at least a base level understanding of Cocoa for iPhone development, which you can check out in this tutorial. [Apple]
  20. Core Animation Programming Guide: Follow this guide to get the main components and services of Core Animation. [Apple]
  21. Coding Guidelines for Cocoa: In this guide, you’ll learn about naming guidelines for the Cocoa API as well as design advice. [Apple]
  22. Getting Started with Graphics and Animation: Follow this guide for an introduction to 2D and 3D graphics and animation. [Apple]
  23. Learning Objective-C: A Primer: Check out this document once you’ve worked through object oriented programming and Cocoa. [Apple]
  24. Cocoa Fundamentals Guide: You’ll learn about the basic concepts, terminology, and more in Cocoa from this guide. [Apple]
  25. Graphics and Animation Coding How-Tos: In this resource, you’ll find lots of great tips and advice for graphics and animation on the iPhone. [Apple]

Getting Started

Get an introduction to iPhone development through these tutorials.

  1. iPhone App Development-Where to Start: This tutorial will teach you how to get started in iPhone app development. [The Daleisphere]
  2. Bootstrap: Learn a few pointers for iPhone development from this resource. [furbo]
  3. Learn How to Develop for the iPhone: This tutorial will show you how to build an alternate page and style sheet for the iPhone. [NETTUTS]
  4. iPhone Application Development, Step By Step: In this tutorial, you will find a step by step guide to creating a simple iPhone game. [Open Laszlo]
  5. First iPhone Application: Get a brief introduction to creating your first iPhone application. [iPhone SDK Articles]
  6. iPhone Dev: Check out this PDF to get a tutorial for iPhone development. [Lucas Newman]
  7. iPhone App Development for Web Hackers: Use this tutorial to learn about geo-location features and beginner development tips. [How to Iphone Application]
  8. How to Write an iPhone App: This tutorial gives you a basic look at what it takes to write an iPhone application. [Webmonkey]
  9. iPhone App Development for Web Hackers: In this article, you’ll learn about web hacking development for the iPhone. [Dominiek]
  10. Writing Your First iPhone Application: Bill Dudney will walk you through all of the tools and pieces of knowledge you’ll need to write your first iPhone application. [The Pragmatic Bookshelf]
  11. Cocoa Touch Tutorial: iPhone Application Example: This tutorial will show you how to make a very basic Cocoa Touch application with Interface Builder. [Cocoa Is My Girlfriend]
  12. Building an iPhone app in a day: Check out this tutorial to see how you can build a useful app quickly. [The Bakery]
  13. Seven Things All iPhone Apps Need: Check out this list to see what’s essential when creating an iPhone app. [APCmag]
  14. Put Your Content in My Pocket: Learn how to use the iPhone web browser to your advantage from this article. [A List Apart]
  15. iPhone Training Course: Become a master at writing iPhone applications through this course. [Rose India]
  16. So you’re going to write an iPhone app…: Learn about code reuse, memory, and more from this tutorial. [furbo]
  17. Learn How to Develop for the iPhone: Check out this tutorial to see how to build an alternative page and style sheet for the iPhone. [Net Tuts]
  18. Developing for the iPhone: This resource will show you how to develop ASP.NET applications for the iPhone. [Dot Net Slackers]
  19. Getting Started with iPhone Development: Ed Burnette offers a basic introduction to iPhone development. [ZDnet]

Tools

These tutorials will teach you how to use specific tools in order to create iPhone apps.

  1. Make an iPhone App Using the Envato API: Make your own iPhone app with the Envato API with the help of this tutorial. [Net Tuts]
  2. Developing iPhone Applications using Ruby on Rails and Eclipse: Learn how to detect mobile Safari from a Ruby on Rails application through this tutorial. [IBM]
  3. 14 Essential Xcode Tips, Tricks and Resources for iPhone Devs: Learn how to make sense of xcode with this helpful resource. [Mobile Orchard]
  4. Develop iPhone Web Applications with Eclipse: This tutorial will help you learn how to create iPhone applications with Aptana’s iPhone development plug-in. [IMB]
  5. Build an iPhone Webapp in Minutes with Ruby, Sinatra, and iUI: You can learn how to quickly put together an iPhone app with these tools. [Mobile Orchard]
  6. iPhone Development with PHP and XML: In this tutorial, you’ll get a look at developing custom applications for the iPhone. [IBM]

Details

These tutorials cover all of the important details in iPhone app development.

  1. Avoiding iPhone App Rejection from Apple: This tutorial holds the secrets to making sure your iPhone app makes the cut. [Mobile Orchard]
  2. Landscape Tab Bar Application for the iPhone: Follow this tutorial to learn about making the tab bar application support landscape orientation. [Cocoa Is My Girlfriend]
  3. iPhone Programming Tutorial-Using openURL to Send Email from Your App: This tutorial explains how you can send email through applications, and even pre-fill fields. [iCode]
  4. Multi Touch Tutorial: This tutorial will show you how you can respond to a tap event. [iPhone SDK Articles]
  5. Create a Navigation-Based Application: This tutorial will teach you how to create and run a navigation-based application from XCode.
  6. Advanced iPhone Development: Go beyond the basics with this iPhone development tutorial. [Dot Net Slackers]
  7. Here’s a Quick Way to Deal with Dates in Objective C: Get information on dealing with date fetching through this tutorial. [Howtomakeiphoneapps]
  8. Navigation Controller + UIToolbar: Through this tutorial, you can learn how to add a UIToolbar to an app. [iPhone SDK Articles]
  9. iPhone Asynchonous Table Image: Follow this thorough article to learn about loading multiple images in your iPhone app in an asynchonous manner. [Markj]
  10. Localizing iPhone Apps-Internationalization: You can use resource files to display text in a user’s language-learn how in this tutorial. [iPhone SDK Articles]
  11. Tutorial: JSON Over HTTP on the iPhone: With this tutorial, you’ll get a step by step how-to for JSON web services through an iPhone app. [Mobile Orchard]
  12. Parsing xml on the iPhone: This tutorial will show you how to parse XML using the iPhone SDK. [Craig Giles]
  13. Reading data from a SQLite Database: Here you’ll find a quick tutorial for reading data from a SQLite database. [dBlog]
  14. How to Make an Orientation-Aware Clock: Through this tutorial, you’ll learn about building a simple, orientation-aware clock. [The Apple Blog]
  15. Finding iPhone Memory Leaks: Carefully find iPhone memory leaks by using this tutorial. [Mobile Orchard]
  16. Localizing iPhone Apps: MAke sure that your iPhone app is properly formatted according to a user’s native country or region with the help of this tutorial. [iPhone SDK Articles]
  17. OpenAL Audio Programming on iPhone: Here you’ll get code snippets, learning, and more. [Gehaktes]
  18. 9 iPhone Memory Management Links and Resources: Here you’ll find a variety of iPhone memory management resources that can help you get things under control. [Mobile Orchard]
  19. Parsing XML Files: Get an understanding of how you can parse XML files with this tutorial. [iPhone SDK Articles]

User Interface

These tutorials are all about the user interface and interaction.

  1. UITableView-Drill down table view tutorial: Check out this tutorial to learn how to make a drill down table view. [iPhone SDK Articles]
  2. iPhone Coding-Learning About UIWebViews by Creating a Web Browser: In this tutorial, you’ll learn about UIWebViews through the creation of a browser. [iCode]
  3. Design Patterns on the iPhone: Check out David Choi’s guest lecture on user interface design for the iPhone. [New Jersey Institute of Technology]
  4. UITableView-Adding subviews to a cell’s content view: This tutorial will show you how to customize the UITableViewCell. [iPhone SDK Articles]
  5. Drill down table view with a detail view: Learn how to load a different detail view on the UITabBarController. [iPhone SDK Articles]
  6. Extending the iPhone’s SDK’s UIColor Class: Learn how to extend the iPhone SDK UIColor class, and get code samples from this article. [Ars Technica]
  7. UITableView: Learn how to make a simple index for the table view with this tutorial. [iPhone SDK Articles]

Building Tutorials

Check out these tutorials where you’ll build a specific app, and learn more about iPhone development along the way.

  1. Build a Simple RSS Reader for the iPhone: Get walked through the creation of an RSS reader for a simple feed on the iPhone. [The Apple Blog]
  2. iPhone Gaming Framework: This article offers a look at writing code for iPhone game developers. [Craig Giles]
  3. Build a Simple RSS Reader for the iPhone: Follow this tutorial, and you’ll learn about building a simple iPhone RSS reader.
  4. iPhone Game Programming Tutorial: This multipart tutorial offers a way to learn OpenGL and Quartz for iPhone development. [iCode]
  5. Build your very own Web browser!: Follow this tutorial to learn about the process of building your own iPhone web browser. [dBlog]
  6. iPhone application development, step by step: Find out how to build the iPhone application NEWSMATCH using OpenLaszlo. [OpenLaszlo]
  7. Building an Advanced RSS Reader using TouchXML: Get step by step information for creating an advanced iPhone RSS reader from this tutorial. [DBlog]
  8. iPhone SDK Tutorial: Building an Advanced RSS Reader Using TouchXML: This tutorial will help you learn more about iPhone development by building an advanced RSS reader with TouchXML. [dBlog]

Videos

Watch these videos for a visual guide to iPhone app development.

  1. Basic iPhone Programming: Check out this video to get started with iPhone programming. [iPhone Dev Central]
  2. First Step Towards the App Store: Work towards getting your app in the app store with the help of this tutorial. [You Tube]
  3. Hello World: This tutorial will help you learn the basics of iPhone programming. [iPhone Dev Central]
  4. UITableView iPhone Programming Tutorial: Watch this video to learn how to populate a UITableView. [YouTube]
  5. iPhone App Tutorial 1: Check out this video to quickly learn about Interface Builder. [YouTube]
  6. iPhone IB-Your First App: Watch this tutorial to learn how to use the Interface Builder. [iPhone Dev Central]
  7. Understanding Source Code: Learn how to get started with development on the iPhone through this video tutorial. [YouTube]
  8. How to Make an iPhone App: Create an iPhone app using Jiggy and this tutorial. [YouTube]
  9. iPhone Development with Dashcode: Find out how to develop iPhone applications with Dashcode through this tutorial. [YouTube]

Development Resources

These resources are not courses or tutorials, but they are incredibly valuable resources for beginner iPhone app developers.

  1. iPhone Open Application Development: This book will teach you how to create software for the iPhone environment. [Safari Books Online]
  2. iPhone GUI PSD File: Use this set to get a comprehensive, editable library of iPhone UI assets. [Teehanlax]
  3. 31 iPhone Applications with Source Code: Teach yourself how to create iPhone apps by taking a look at the code in these. [Mobile Orchard]
  4. iPhoney: Using iPhoney, you’ll be able to see how your creation will look on the iPhone. [Market Circle]
  5. 35 Free iPhone Icon Sets: Check out this resource to find a great variety of iPhone icons.

Is Greek Life for You?

Almost every college campus has an active fraternity and sorority society. Do you want to be a part of it? There are a few considerations to keep in mind before you make your decisions to join.

Do you want to be a part of a formal community? Once you join a fraternity or sorority, you’ll be a part of a community during school and beyond. In this community, you can find many great resources and support.

Do you have time to commit? Greek life represents a huge time commitment. There are regular parties, service times, and more that will require your presence as a member of the community.

Do you have money to commit? Joining a fraternity or sorority isn’t just a time commitment, it requires a financial commitment as well, specifically in membership dues. You may also spend a lot of money going out with fellow brothers and sisters in Greek life.

Can you get a scholarship? Some fraternities and sororities offer scholarships. Of course, you will be required to join a specific group in order to cash in on the offer, so be sure that if you accept, this is a community that you’d like to be a part of.

Would you benefit from mentorship? Fraternities and sororities often offer mentoring relationships, including study times and one on one relationships with alumni. As a student and recent graduate, you can take advantage of what is offered.

Can you deal with partying and studying at the same time? TV and movie portrayals may be an exaggeration of what Greek life is really all about, but the fact is that there’s a lot of socialization in these groups. There will be lots of drinking and partying as a member of a fraternity or sorority, and you’ll have to learn how to keep up with the fun and studying at the same time.

Don’t forget to do your research. If you think you might enjoy being a part of a fraternity or sorority, find out what it is all about. Research different groups by talking to students and going online. See if you can afford to be a part of the community, and if they fit your lifestyle and idea of fun.

Do you think Greek life is right for you? Take these important points into consideration when making your decision.

So Your Roommate Snores

Roommates can be a lot of things—disrespectful, messy and loud. But believe it or not there are some things that are out of their control, like snoring. Having a roommate that snores can be torturous, especially if you’re a light sleeper. Fortunately there are some things you can try in order to assure you get some decent shut eye.

The first thing you need to do is confront your roommate about his or her problem. It could be that no one has ever been in the position to tell your roommate about the snoring (so it wouldn’t be fair to be angry with your roommate) or it could be that your roommate is aware and already has remedies. If your roommate does have remedies ask if they’ll start using them; if they do not then politely ask if they would consider taking any.

A simple remedy would be to instruct your roommate to sleep on his or her side. Those who tend to lay on their back narrow their airway passage—which can cause snoring. So telling your roommate to sleep on their side or gently rolling them on their side during then night can get rid of that annoying nocturnal soundtrack.

You can also try purchasing nasal strips. They can be bought at any local drug or grocery store and usually work wonders because they open the nasal passages to reduce snoring. You can also purchase a humidifier. Some people tend to snore because they have dry throats. Humidifiers release water vapor into the air and can moisten your roommate’s throat to reduce the snoring.

If you know that your roommate drinks alcohol frequently it might be a good idea that you suggest they stop. This is because when people consume alcohol their vocal cords fold. When this happens, snoring occurs. This is not to say that you go accusing your roommate of being an alcoholic, but sometimes it’s better to deal with the problem once you’ve identified the source.

If all else fails you can try investing in a fan to drown out the noise or in some good ear plugs.

Finding the Best Laptop for College

College will become that much more difficult if you’re not with the times technologically. One of the most essential items that every student must possess is an up-to-date laptop. But it’s not easy to make such a big purchase, especially if you’re not exactly sure of what you need. Several things should be taken into consideration before you embark on your computer and electronic store excursion.

Many students use their laptops for both entertainment and school purposes, requiring a good amount of RAM. Purchasing one with, say, 8GB is probably excessive and would put a hefty dent in your wallet. It’s better to aim for one with a minimum of 2GB, but 4GB is ideal. That should enable you to store lots of important documents, download all of the essential programs and then some, watch movies and have the freedom to operate it without limitations. Look for laptops with processors such as the AMD Turion, Intel Core Duo and Intel Core 2 Duo. Also the size of the screen and portability are factors to consider, depending on how you’ll use it.

As a poor college student, price will certainly come into play. Fortunately, there are several laptops that cost in the $500 range that are both highly functional and reliable. For example, the Samsung R480-11 features 4GB of RAM, an HDMI port, and a Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system. Toshiba, Asus and Gateway also offer affordable laptops that contain 4 GB. It’s also not a bad idea to purchase a refurbished laptop that can do just about everything a new one can, but at a much lower price. Factory refurbished laptops are laptops that were returned to the manufacturer and then inspected, repaired, reformatted and reloaded with a new operating system. Custom refurbished laptops are assembled with different parts that can be determined by the buyer, enabling it to better suit their unique needs. Most people are surprised by the capability and reliability of refurbished laptops, which contrasts with the stigma that many people attach to all-things "used." Typically they do come with warranties, so in the unlikely scenario that something does go wrong, you’ll be covered.

If you need to surf the internet, write and nothing more, then consider purchasing a Netbook. They’re cheap, small, light and portable, and perform their narrows range of functions efficiently. Whether you can spend $200 or $500, there are numerous options that’ll meet your needs as a student. The right one will prove invaluable to your college career.

How to Create Your Own Online Course: 100 Tools, Guides, and Resources

Perhaps you have a special skill, talent, or knowledge-base that you want to share with others, and maybe you’ve heard that teaching online courses can make you a little extra money. The resources below will help you discover how to combine both what you have to offer and what you wish to gain by guiding you through creating and establishing an online course. No matter what age of student, subject you want to teach, or size of the class, you will find resources and information to bring your class online.

Learning Management Systems

Learning Management Systems host your online class and provide a place for students to receive and turn in assignments, class communication, and more.

  1. Moodle. This free and very popular course management system allows you to design a course for thousands or only a few students and gives access to creating forums, wikis, databases, and much more.
  2. Blackboard Learn . Blackboard is used by many institutes of higher learning, as well as other organizations, as a source of online classroom management.
  3. eLearningZoom. Take advantage of the free trial to see how this application works for education, organizations, and businesses.
  4. Nicenet’s Internet Classroom Assistant. Set up your course here and have access to conferencing, scheduling, document sharing, personal messaging, and link sharing.
  5. FlexTraining. This e-learning system offers a low-cost solution to providing online training and education. The home page also offers plenty of thinking-points for considering a learning management system.
  6. Backpack. While not specifically a learning management system, this app is great for organizing groups and sharing information–and is available at no charge for the basic services.
  7. OPEN Learning Management System. This open-source management system helps online teachers with course building as well as class management activities such as creating a syllabus, discussion forum, file uploader, a grade book, calendar, and more.
  8. Manhattan. This free system is run on Linux and is currently being used at many colleges and universities for their online education programs.
  9. ATutor. ATutor is an open-source web-based management system that is easy for administrators to install and easy for instructors to utilize.
  10. .LRN. .LRN was developed at MIT, is currently used in a wide range of educational settings, and is open-source.

Resources for Getting Your Class Online

Read these articles to find out everything from using a free blog to host your class to selecting and implementing a Learning Management System.

  1. How to Teach an Online Course using WordPress. This article clearly outlines how you can use a free WordPress blog to create a simple online class.
  2. How to Create Your Own Website to Support an On-line Course: tips, hints and practical information. If you want to design a website to support your online course, then check out this article that gives technical step-by-step directions.
  3. How to Set Up an Online Class Using WebCT 6. Find out how to set up your class with this Blackboard application.
  4. How to Write a Free Online Course to Promote Your Website. This article offers suggestions for creating an online course as a marketing tool.
  5. How to Create a SCORM Compliant Quiz. Learn to make quizzes that work seamlessly in your online environment and effectively measure student progress.
  6. Online classrooms for FREE?! A Review of Free Online Learning Management Systems (LMS). This article takes a look at several different free learning management systems and offers suggestions for ease-of-use and other criteria.
  7. White paper provides advice for implementing an LMS. This article offers a synopsis of a white paper that offers suggestions to get your LMS going with few problems and also includes where to access the white paper for free.
  8. Learning Management Systems (LMS). Find many resources to learn about the various LMS available and help you choose the right one for your online course.
  9. 7 Tips for Selecting a LMS. These seven tips will put novice online course developers at ease when considering an LMS.
  10. LMS 2.0: How to Select an Advanced Learning System. Read this white paper to learn what to consider when selecting a system for your course.

Resources for Developing Your Class

You may have plenty of great ideas for your class in your head, but you will need to translate those ideas into approachable tasks for the online environment. These resources will help you do that.

  1. Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning. Click through these selections offering advice and information on what a good online class should provide and how to create an online learning environment.
  2. SCORM Explained. Learn what SCORM is and why it may be important to your online learning environment.
  3. How to Develop Your Online Course. This article offers a wealth of information and points of consideration when developing an effective online course.
  4. Sloan-C Events. Many of the workshops listed here are perfect for learning how to set up your online course.
  5. E-CLASS: Creating a Guide to Online Course Development For Distance Learning Faculty. Written by a professor, this article offers an in-depth look at how you can start a distance learning class or program within an institute of higher learning.
  6. Develop Online Courses. This self-paced online course offers information that you may find helpful when first developing your online course.
  7. Nine Tips for Creating a Hybrid Course. If you will have students in a combination of face-to-face and online classes, this article offers plenty of suggestions.
  8. Planning online courses. While this class requires a fee to take, it teaches both new and experienced instructors how to get their course online.
  9. Writing online courses. Pay to take this class that brings together the best in teaching methods and technology to help you learn how to write a quality online course.
  10. Tips for Developing Media-rich Online Courses. From thinking about the learners’ perspective to providing regular feedback to content preparation, this article helps you create an engaging, media-rich class.

Resources for Teaching Online

Find plenty of suggestions to enhance your teaching skills and to learn about special issues for online teaching with these resources.

  1. How to Teach an Online Class. These steps provide plenty of information on various aspects of teaching, including creating a syllabus, creating lessons and tests, and student contact.
  2. How to Set Up an E-Course. The advice here provides helpful ways to ensure your online class goes smoothly with tips on welcoming students, setting up "office hours," and more.
  3. Online Courses – Tips for Making Them Work. This veteran online educator shares her experience and offers suggestions for creating an online educational environment that promotes student learning and satisfaction.
  4. Tips for Training Online Instructors. Whether you will be hiring someone to teach your online course or you will be doing it yourself, this article offers plenty of good advice on how to make sure the teacher is prepared and equipped to teach online.
  5. Six Tips for Students’ Online Success. This article offers advice for ways to acclimate students to an online learning environment after leaving a traditional classroom setting.
  6. Teaching Online: Tips and Advice. This site offers a listing of helpful resources that cover such topics as tips and opinions, teaching with technology, journals for teachers, and discussions.
  7. CTDLC: Teaching Tips. From the Connecticut Distance Learning Consortium, get links to information on what students want from online teachers to what students say about online assessment to preventing cheating in online classes.
  8. Teaching Tips Index. This site is full of resources that any teacher, online or in the classroom, can use and range from preparing lesson plans to creating a syllabus to using inclusive language.
  9. Tips and Tricks for Teaching Online. This resource includes help with everything from designing the online course to assessment ideas and even includes some Blackboard tutorials.
  10. Tips for Teaching Online. This article offers great advice for such aspects of online teaching as keeping the lines of communication open, coping with workload, and using discussion as a tool.
  11. Teaching Online: Tips and Tricks Part 1. From creating a sense of community to contact with the instructor, this article offers plenty of sound suggestions for making your online teaching experience a positive one.

How-to Videos

Watch these videos to get help with everything from creating your class in Moodle to using audio and visual media in your class to best teaching practices.

  1. How to Create an Online Course in Moodle!. This video shows how to get started creating your course with Moodle.
  2. How to Create an Online Course in Minutes. Using eLearningZoom, this video tutorial will walk you though the initial course set-up.
  3. Best Practices in Online Education. Learn how UMBC motivated and stimulated students in this 2-hour presentation on best practices.
  4. Second Life: NC State Classes Go Virtual!. Learn how two classes at NC State successfully incorporated Second Life into their structure.
  5. Narrative Forms in the Digital Classroom. Discover how this literature class at Vanderbilt University utilized online technology to teach students how to improve their critical thinking and composition skills.
  6. Opencast Project Open House at UC Berkeley. This 1 hour video presentation discusses using audio and visual media as a tool for learning, including online learning.
  7. Earth Internet Solutions. Watch this video to learn how Earth Internet Solutions can help you get your class online.
  8. Tips and Tricks for Teaching Math Online. Whether you are planning to teach math or not, this PowerPoint presentation offers great suggestions for keeping online students engaged.
  9. Teaching Excellence Workshop Session 4 – It’s Showtime!. Watch as these instructors discuss tools used to enhance their online teaching.

Resources from the Student’s Perspective

Good educators have the ability to put themselves in their students’ shoes in order to understand how best to reach them. These resources provide information about what makes a good online learning environment for students. Make sure your online classes provide plenty of these opportunities or even point your students to these links.

  1. How Students Develop Online Learning Skills. From online discussions to instructor techniques to connections with fellow students, you will find lots of information about how online students learn best.
  2. Tips for online courses. Texas A&M offers these tips to students taking online classes to ensure they get the most out of their experience.
  3. Survival Tips for On-line Courses. These ten tips offer sound advice for students in general as well as online students.
  4. The 7 Mistakes Distance Learners Make. Help ensure your students don’t make these mistakes while taking your online class.
  5. Study Tips for Distance Learners. These tips include suggestions such as "Check your email at least once a day" and "Demonstrate good communication skills."
  6. 7 Success Strategies for Distance Learners. These basics can apply to any student, but even more so for distance learners.

Creating Content

If you need help creating content for your class, check out these resources.

  1. OER Commons. Get free content for K-12, college-level classes, and other educational courses at this invaluable resource for online instructors creating their own courses.
  2. Quia. Access online text books; create educational games, quizzes, and other online activities; and get unlimited math questions that cover hundreds of topics.
  3. The Online Books Page. Find a free text for your class among over 35,000 available at this site.
  4. Open Courseware Consortium. Why reinvent the wheel when you have access to so many great classes already developed. Check out the open courseware classes on the subject you hope to teach and see about incorporating them into your class.
  5. Cool School. This Canadian company will develop dynamic content targeted for K-12 for your online lessons available for a fee.
  6. Federal Resources for Educational Excellence. Browse through the many available resources here which include primary documents, photos, videos, and animation in subjects ranging from jazz to American literature to astronomy–and they are all free of charge.
  7. Biz/ed. This British site offers educational materials for students and educators in the fields of business, accounting, economics, travel and tourism, and sports and recreation.
  8. Mrs. Glosser’s Math Goodies. Find math lessons, worksheets, and more at this site.
  9. Distance Learning Center: Creating Online Content. The resources at this site from Community College of Allegheny County offer suggestions and links to places that will help you create content for your online class.
  10. Guide to Create Content. If you want to stream digital media for your online class, learn how to do so with this resource.
  11. Topmarks. Another British website, this one finds teaching resources and educational websites based on the criteria you select. They find content for early education through adult education in a variety of subjects.

Helpful Tools

Use these tools that range from catching plagiarism to reference materials to assistance with organization.

  1. CopyCatch. Find out if students are plagiarizing their work by using this application.
  2. Alphabetizer. Paste any list into this tool to immediately create an alphabetized list easily.
  3. Writeboard. Create online text documents that can be edited and shared with this tool that also integrates with Backpack.
  4. WordCounter. See if your students’ 1000 word papers are actually 1000 words with this online word counter tool.
  5. Google Alerts. Find new information on your research topics or ideas for new classes by receiving email updates on any topic through Google Alerts.
  6. Bartleby.com. Access several handy reference books for your own personal use or to encourage students to use.
  7. Connotea. Research is much easier with this tool, specifically designed for researchers, that manages online references.
  8. SiteTradr. Find out what sites educators are recommending with this tool that takes the worry out of Internet reading.
  9. Nozbe. Keep yourself organized with this application that allows you to keep to-do lists, manage class projects and tasks, get reminders, share with students, and even access from your mobile phone.
  10. Notely. Recommend this app to your students. Notely provides tools such as note-taking, a scheduler, homework planner, a calendar, and is made especially for students.

Collaboration Tools

These tools will help keep your online class connected through group projects, communication, and more.

  1. Zoho Show. Zoho Show helps students create awesome presentations that can also be shared with others.
  2. Campfire. Set up instant chat rooms with your class or study groups using Campfire and help facilitate communication between students.
  3. MeetWithApproval. Plan a virtual meeting with your students with this meeting planner.
  4. Thinkature. Students can collaborate with each other, organize thoughts and research, and prepare papers and projects with this tool.
  5. Wizlite. Students can use this tool to highlight any text online and share with others while working on group projects or collaborating on assignments.
  6. ProBoards. Create a discussion board easily and quickly so you can create an area for class collaboration.
  7. CiteULike. Share scholarly articles on the Internet or have students research them, then use this tool to store, organize, and share with ease from any browser.
  8. Google Calendar. Use this shareable calendar to keep track of assignments, tests, deadlines, meetings, and more while keeping the whole class informed.
  9. ThinkFold. ThinkFold allows groups to create interactive, real-time outlines collaboratively.
  10. Notefish. Students and instructors alike can save web content on Notefish notes, then organize and share notes with the class.
  11. PBwiki. Group collaboration is easy with this popular wiki platform.
  12. writewith. For writing projects, this app keeps students working together with shared documents and tasks, discussions, and more.

Distance Education Blogs

These blogs offer the latest information on distance education, including news and information for teaching and learning online. Stay on top of what is happening in the distance education world in order to keep your online courses on the leading edge.

  1. Virtual High School Meanderings. This blog looks at the many issues of distance learning, but with a specific eye on high-school online learning.
  2. California Dreamin’. Learn about course development, conferences on distance education, and much more with this blog.
  3. e-Learning Evangelist. Working in the world of e-learning since the mid-1990′s, this veteran online educator has plenty to share.
  4. My State of Flux. Find resources, reflections, and information about online learning in this blog.
  5. BestOnlineHighSchools.com. Find out what’s going on in the world of high school distance education by reading the information here.
  6. Teaching and Developing Online. This blog offers lots of advice and links to resources to enhance the online learning environment.
  7. Thoughts from BFE. The technology director from the only fully online high school program in the US blogs about technology as well as online learning in both high school and higher education.
  8. Online Learning Update. This news aggregator offers all the latest trends and developments in online learning.
  9. Inside eLearning by Susan Smith Nash, Ph.D.. Find information on creating effective teaching tools such as effectively using visuals in papers and how to use statistics to support your research.
  10. Inspiration for Education. The news articles and interviews here offer uplifting stories that usually revolve around online education.
  11. Michelle’s Online Learning Freakout Party Zone. Get tips and resources to enhance your online learning environment with this blog.

What Can I Expect in an Online Course?

Online college courses are set up in a way that replicates the classroom experience as best as possible in a virtual setting. Instead of showing up to a physical classroom, students go online, enter a username and password to access their courses, and then click on the course material. You may recall that in a traditional classroom setting, a professor or instructor hands out a syllabus to his or her entire class and provides an introductory overview of the course on the first day of class. With online classes, students are typically notified via e-mail when classes start, and the syllabus and class description are available online as part of your course material.

Students access online instruction differently depending on their college’s course management software, but most courses are very straightforward to navigate. Class lectures are often made available to students in the form of audio and video files and reading material. Other resources your professor might post include links to helpful information, discussion boards to facilitate class participation, and instruction for completing homework assignments. Video files might show your professor at the head of a classroom, writing important information on a white board or through a Power Point presentation, the slides of which are often made available in your online course. Students will be responsible for taking down important information from these lectures in notes, but the good news is you can usually rewind video or audio lecture files if you believe you missed something important.

Online classrooms may require you to use an online textbook, or you may need to purchase a physical textbook. You will need to study the assigned reading from these textbooks in the same way you would for a traditional class.

Many professors wrap up class participation into your overall grade in an online course. To gauge your engagement in an online course, your professor will take note of how often you contribute to discussion board threads and how frequently you log in to your course. The course management software allows professors to see which of their students are "showing up" to lectures and which are "skipping class."

Finally, students can interact with their fellow classmates and their professor via student e-mail and chat functions built into the course management system. Some online professors even have virtual office hours where you can be sure you will catch your professor online to get your questions answered quickly.

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