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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

These are my personal takes on the learning platforms we utilize at school

The picture where I got this image was from an article titled What Every Teacher Should Know About the Science of Learning.
wiley.com
The picture where I got this image was from an article titled “What Every Teacher Should Know About the Science of Learning.”

For as long as time can tell, learning has never been something that I enjoyed. It feels tedious, and at times, it can feel like it’s constantly the one thing that brings me the most joy but also mentally drains me. 

But one thing that has helped change my perspective on it is changing the way I think about learning. I can either choose to think that I “have” to do it versus “getting” to do it. 

You can probably guess that I now think of learning as something that I get to do because our school has so much to offer regarding what courses you choose to immerse yourself in. 

As I’m now entering my senior year of high school, I’ve realized that our cycle of learning never really has to stop, and quite frankly, it doesn’t stop. You still have to learn in college, and once you get a job, I think that’s where the beauty of learning really starts to flourish within itself. 

School used to be an environment that I dreaded studying in because it didn’t feel fun. But now that I’m taking courses that apply to what I potentially want to major in, I find joy in the fact that I can learn about the most random facts within the course framework. 

With that being said, I wanted to give my personal takes on the plethora of learning platforms that I, as a student in high school, have utilized throughout the entirety of my high school experience.

Math 

Delta Math – I have always been a math-oriented student ever since I started learning my times tables in the first grade. Whenever we would do those minute-long tables in the second grade, I was always the first one to finish. Math was my strong suit, and it was the class that I seemed to do well in. This was until I reached high school and started to struggle with the most basic concepts. Luckily, with resources like Delta Math, I was able to understand not only the problem but also the step-by-step process, watch review videos, and understand what I got wrong and why. What I like about Delta Math is that you can repeatedly practice new concepts because the program generates new problems every time you attempt a new question. It’s also a favorable platform because it keeps track of your progress and what problems you have completed or haven’t. This is a resource that I highly recommend for anyone who’s taking any math class that comes before Precalculus. 

Every resource that I have used to help me become more knowledgeable in the subjects I’m learning in school is likable in its way.

WebWork – As much as I love what WebWork has to offer, I also mildly dislike it. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with how the program works; it is just challenging to get acclimated to. Some of the software is very specific in how you type certain letters and numbers when answering questions, which I’m sure a lot of my friends in Precalculus can relate to. However, what’s even more disheartening is the fact that this platform is heavily utilized in college, which makes me wonder if I’ll even be able to utilize the website properly at that level of education. 

Sapling – I never understood the importance of doing homework outside of school until I met Sapling. Out of all the resources that I have ever used in my life to understand math on another level, nothing tops the excellence that Sapling holds. Not only does the textbook have perfect examples, but it also has step-by-step examples, perfect explanations for definitions, practice problems online that relate to the book, multiple choice questions (MCQs), video solutions to either examples in the book or the most difficult problems in the homework, and so much more. However, out of all the resources that Sapling has to offer, if I had to pick one aspect, it would most definitely be the step-by-step instructions on how to use certain functions on your calculator. 

Science 

phET Simulation – PhET Simulation is a great science resource that I have utilized for a total of two years. I thoroughly used it in my Physics and Chemistry classes sophomore year, and I caught myself again using it in my Advanced Geology class. It’s a great resource for simulating an experiment that’s too risky to perform in school, but I would be lying if I said that it was always reliable. It’s a good resource to understand how labs work in the realm of science, but if you are anything like me and struggle with reading between the lines of instructions that teachers give, it might not be the most effective. 

History 

TCI Textbook – TCI has always been a staple resource that I have used from the 5th grade all the way up until my freshman year of high school. It was a great resource before COVID-19, and it was great during COVID-19. It had perfect lesson games to review the content, the textbook readings were very specific, and the coursework set up on that learning portal was very structured and organized. However, for someone who prefers using visual examples over linguistics, it was hard to follow when there weren’t videos attached to it. It’s a great resource for people who like to read, but for those who prefer writing their ideas down and learning through videos and diagrams, not so much. 

English 

No Red Ink – No matter how many stories I write on the website, books that I read for school, and articles that I read in the news, grammar will be, and has always been, something that I’ve struggled with. English is not my strong suit, which is ironic considering how almost every year of high school, I’ve basically taken two years of English. Irrespective of my opinions, however, I also think that No Red Ink has been very rudimentary throughout my academics, specifically in high school. I’ve had the pleasure of using it almost every year of high school, and I can honestly say that it has been helpful to my learning. At times, it did feel monotonous constantly practicing the basic rules of grammar, but I’m glad that it at least allows you to personalize your experience with No Red Ink by making cool backgrounds based on your preferences in TV shows. 

Membean – As much as I hate to admit it, Membean has been helpful…in moderation. It was annoying, having to do the 15 minutes of practice twice a week and completing the multiple-choice quizzes every week. But it has helped me with my word choice, and that is the only good thing that I have gotten out of using Membean. 

Miscellaneous

Khan Academy – Last but certainly not least, the number one resource that I recommend to anyone to learn about pretty much anything and everything related to academics is Khan Academy. It’s the perfect resource for SAT preparation, AP Classes, practice problems, practice videos, and so much more. It’s been a consistent study resource for me that I have been using since the 4th grade when my teacher introduced me to it, and looking back, I can honestly say that I am grateful for what Khan Academy has been able to help me understand. According to the website itself, Khan Academy’s mission statement is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

So, all in all, although I do feel strongly about more of these learning platforms than others, my perspective on each one of these platforms only goes to show that every resource that I have used to help me become more knowledgeable in the subjects I’m learning in school is likable in its way.

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About the Contributor
Arpita Das, Publicity Editor
Arpita is a senior entering her third and final year as a staff writer on The Central Trend. She has been a part of the Science Olympiad team since the 7th grade but made the tough decision choice to step down this year. However, Arpita still keeps herself busy working once a week with kids on Thursdays and being a part of clubs such as Model UN and DECA. When Arpita isn't writing, you will often find her rewatching The Flash on Netflix, playing the piano, doing press on nails, going on walks, studying at the library, and visiting new coffee shops. Despite the fact that it's her last year of high school, she is so excited to see what senior year has in store for her and is curious to see what pieces of writing she will produce. Car: A black Volvo SUV that goes by the name of Ali whom Arpita adores. Favorite food and color: The Fettuccine Alfredo from Olive Garden and Navy Blue Favorite class: Advanced Writing for Publication and Honors Model UN Favorite actor from The Flash: Grand Gustin, also known as Barry Allen Does she have an unhealthy obsession with The Flash? Yes, yes she does, and she always will!  

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