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How to Effectively Manage Your Time

Do you ever feel stressed out and anxious because you just do not have enough time to get your work done? Do you ever find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day? All this tension can be alleviated if you learn how to manage your time more effectively. Here are some great tips to help you manage your time and get all your work done without stressing out!

  • Prioritize. The first step of learning to manage your time is prioritizing. Make a list of the things that are of high priority to you, including studying for exams, writing papers, going to work…etc. Then, list the things that are of medium priority, and finally, the things that are of low priority. Make sure the high priority action items get done first!
  • Create a schedule. Whether it is a planner, wall calendar, or app on your phone, find an organization tool that allows you to create a schedule for your day. Write down all the things you have to do during each day, to ensure that nothing gets forgotten, and you are not scrambling to finish things last minute.
  • Avoid distractions. Determine the environment where you are most productive, and always work in that environment. For example, if studying with friends or in groups is distracting to you, you should avoid doing so.
  • Be flexibility. Students and working professionals alike need to have flexible mindsets and flexible schedules. Build some wiggle room into your schedule to help you manage unforeseen obstacles. There will be ups and downs in your life, and you must learn to plan accordingly!

Learning how to effectively manage your time will ensure that you are more relaxed overall and that you get your work done! Share with us how you de-stress. Please leave your comments below.


Community College vs. Four-Year University

As students make their way through high school, many of them struggle to choose enrolling in a community college or joining a four-year university program. For many, the idea of independence draws them towards choosing a four year university program. For others, going to community college is just the easier and more cost-efficient option. However, there are many things that one should consider before making an important decision like this. In this blog post, I will discuss several of these factors:

  • Academic quality: Class sizes at community colleges are generally much smaller than those at large public four-year universities. On average, the student-to-faculty ratio is also much lower at community colleges, which means more one-on-one interaction with professors.
  • Tuition costs: There is no doubt that community colleges are much cheaper than four-year universities. Many cost just a few hundred dollars for full-time students per quarter or semester for tuition. In comparison, most four-year universities cost several thousands of dollars per quarter or semester for tuition, not including the rent, meal points, food, utilities, and other miscellaneous expenses. Going to a community college can save a great deal of money.
  • Extracurricular Activities: Although community colleges offer their students extracurricular activities, students at four-year universities tend to be much more involved with their respective clubs, newspapers, journals, fraternities, sororities, and professional associations. Organizations at four-year universities hold a wider variety of events, including meetings, socials, game nights, parties, outings, and weekend getaways, simply due to the greater flexibility of their students’ schedules.
  • The “college experience”: Four-year universities win hands down in this department. Whether it be joining a fraternity, supporting your school at a college football game, or deep, late night talks with your roommate, you are guaranteed to have a richer and more vibrant college experience (like the one portrayed in the movies!) at a four-year university.

In conclusion, there are many things to consider when choosing between a community college and a four-year university. At the end of the day, it all comes down to priorities. Ask yourself whether interacting with your professor, saving money, getting involved at school, or having the real college experience is the most important thing to you. Having your priorities in check will guide you in making this important decision.


Summer 2015 at Knodemy: A Look Back

For most kids, summer is a time for relaxing by the pool, trips to the beach, playing in the park, eating ice cream, and forgetting about all they learned during their long year of school. However, it does not have to be this way! Summer can be just as productive as it is fun, and here at Knodemy, we ensure that the kids who participate in Knodemy summer programs get a lot more out of their summer than just some fun memories, bruises, and sun tans. The kids who participate in Knodemy’s summer programs learn essential coding, programming, and teambuilding skills that will last them a lifetime!

One of Knodemy’s major events during the summer was the Girls Coding Hackathon in June. The hackathon laid foundation for the students who were eager to learn basics of computer science, coding, and programming. They had an opportunity to come together and bring their ideas to life. The girls learned to become the builders and creators of technology. This event was held in order to empower girls, who are underrepresented in STEM fields, and help bridge the gender gap in these areas.  

Knodemy’s biggest event during the summer was the annual KnoCode Hackathon in August. Dozens of students came in from all over the Bay Area to learn to code and participate in this fun competition. The first part of the hackathon was focused on giving the students instructions on programming and coding. After the instruction was over, students broke off into groups and collaborated to brainstorm ideas, create a product, and market it. At the end of the hackathon, each team presented their project to judges and Knodemy instructors. They also had the opportunity to listen to an inspiring speech by Assemblywoman Catharine Baker. The students left at the end of the day with not only more knowledge about coding and programming, but also a better idea of how to work as part of a team and pitch to an audience. Overall, the hackathon was a huge success! There are pictures below.

We hope you enjoyed reading about Knodemy’s summer events, and we hope to see you at more of other upcoming coding events and hackathons during the school year! Check out upcoming events here: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/knodemy-the-knowledge-academy-8158398809



Top Five Back-to-School Tips

Going back to school after a long and relaxing summer can be a real challenge. Getting used to waking up early, going to classes, doing homework, writing papers, studying for tests, all while balancing extracurriculars, can be difficult. However, if you follow these five back-to-school tips, your transition to the new school year can be easier than ever before!

  • Stay organized. Get a planner, and write down all your assignments along with their due dates, as well as deadlines, club meetings, and personal commitments, in order to ensure that you stay organized and get everything done on time. Block out chunks of time each day to focus on homework, studying, extracurriculars, socializing, and family time. Doing this will help you create a balanced, orderly lifestyle for yourself, and prevent unnecessary stress or breakdowns.
  • Don’t procrastinate. Every time you hear about an exam, plan to start studying for it at least a week in advance. Prepare for papers, projects, and other large assignments in advance as well. Leaving these types of things to the last minute will never lead to the best results or the best grade.
  • Prioritize. In order to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle, it is important for you to prioritize the different aspects of your life. Do not let any one part of your life, whether it be one class or one club, take up the majority of your time. Let go of certain things and get the most important things done.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you are struggling academically, do not hesitate to ask a teacher or tutor for help, or to join a study group. Use resources such as Knodemy for help in coding and other subjects! If you are struggling emotionally or socially, do not be afraid to go to a counselor or mentor for help; that is their field of expertise, and that is what they are there for.
  • Take “me” time. Finally, it is important to not let your classes and extracurriculars cut into your “me” time. It is important to get a normal amount of sleep, see your friends from time to time, talk to your parents, and go out. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with everything going on at school, so do not feel guilty about taking a break and getting some space.

Going back to school can be stressful and difficult, but if you keep these tips in mind, it will definitely make the transition smoother and easier!


3 Crucial Tips on Handeling Cyber-Bullying!

Cyber-bullying is a common and very stressful problem in the lives of teens and tweens. Most of us have been involved in situations where mean text messages or emails have been sent to us or to our friends. Spreading rumors on social networks, posting embarrassing pictures or videos and setting up fake profiles are just some of the examples of ways the cyber-bully intimidates and harasses others.

Any kind of bullying has devastating effects on the lives and psyche of the victims. However, being the victim of cyber-bullying is especially stressful because of the anonymity and lack of a physical boundary and time frame within which the bullying occurs.

The anonymity and ease of information dissemination via the internet, gives bullies a chance to exploit the weaknesses of others. However, if ever faced with a situation in which you are the victim of online bullying, there are certain things you should  do in an attempt to limit the negativity forced upon you.

3 Tips for Handling Online Harassment.

  • Never try to keep it to yourself!

This is Rule #1! No matter how embarrassing or offensive the content, never try to keep it to yourself and internalize your victimization. Admittedly, ignoring the bully is sometimes a good way to deal with such an incident. However, even if you decide to not give the bully the satisfaction of a reaction, it is always important that your parents or close friends are aware of the situation. If nothing else, they will give you their perspective and input on handling the offending individual. Every situation seems less stressful if you have someone to fall back on for support.

  • Keep Records

This may come in handy if the situation worsens and you need to take the case to the authorities or the website administration, teachers etc. Cases of online harassment are now being taken to court and many verdicts have been passed recently in favor of the victims. The first such verdict was passed in 2014.

  1. Take some time off the computer

When you are being targeted, it is easy to get caught up in the situation and perceive it to be more significant than it has to be. You need to realize that your entire life is not dictated by an image or a post on a website. Be sure to block or delete the offender if you are aware of their identity. Just turning off the computer, and leaving the website is a step in the right direction. Take a break and focus on sports or other hobbies and activities. Spend time with people who make you feel comfortable and happy to be who you are!

So whether you decide to tackle the bully head-on or refrain from reacting, remember to try to solve the problem in a positive matter instead of letting it bring you down emotionally.  Staying cool may be the best tactic of all!


Getting To The Root of STEM. What is STEM and Why is it Important?

The acronym STEM is increasingly becoming part of our nation’s academic parlance as the necessity of its inclusion in our academic planning becomes apparent. STEM education is characterized by its focus on an interdisciplinary curriculum related to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Excellence in these disciplines is considered to be the impetus behind technological advancement in any modern society.

Educators and administrators agree that in order to develop technological innovation and stay globally competitive, American students need to embrace STEM learning at every phase in their academic life. The current administration has set up many programs aimed at increasing participation of students in STEM fields. In 2009, the “Educate to Innovate” campaign was launched, with the goal of motivating and inspiring students to excel in STEM subjects. As recently as March 2015, at the White House Science Fair, President Obama announced over $240 million in new private-sector commitments to inspire and prepare more girls and boys – especially those from underrepresented groups – to pursue STEM careers.

Sixty percent of students who arrive at college intending to major in STEM subjects switch to other subjects. To reverse this trend, the University Innovation Fellows program has recently launched “#uifresh” (University Innovation Freshmen), a campaign to introduce college freshmen to opportunities in design, entrepreneurship, and innovation related to STEM disciplines. The University of Virginia, University of Minnesota, and University of Florida are among the universities already participating in this effort.

There is a dire need to encourage young people to explore their interests in these fields so that the gap between demand and supply for tech innovators is bridged. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce E.S.A. (Economics and Statistics Administration), over the past 10 years, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as growth in non-STEM jobs. This growth in demand for tech workers will continue in the foreseeable future.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ employment projections from 2012-2020, technical occupations are projected to grow around 21.5 % from 2012 to 2020. STEM jobs are the jobs of the future. STEM occupations are projected to grow by 17.0 percent from 2008 to 2018, compared to 9.8 percent growth for non-STEM occupations.

The largest group of STEM jobs is within the computer and math fields, which account for close to half of all STEM employment. Second are engineering and surveying occupations with one-third of all STEM employment, while 13 percent are in the physical and life sciences, and 9 percent in STEM management jobs.

In lieu of these statistics, it is not difficult to conclude that exposing students to the possibilities and value provided by STEM education is not only a wise decision but also possibly a crucial component of their personal as well as societal development.







Emotional Intelligence in Students

Most of us realize, as we go through life that success is not about being the smartest person around. Intellectual capability alone guarantees nothing. Success is also dependent upon how you approach problems and deal with undesirable, sometimes unforeseen circumstances.

There is no denying the strong correlation between achievement and the ability to handle pressure on the way towards our goals. The ability to handle our emotions in a productive manner is termed Emotional Intelligence. Sociologists find that the IQ,(Intelligence Quotient) of an individual is an inaccurate predictor of ‘success’ in life. The importance of the EQ(Emotional Quotient) cannot be overlooked when we study performance and achievement.

Suffice to say, a steady and reasonably high EQ is required for fruitful completion of tasks in all phases of life, and this includes the demanding and very challenging phase of student-life. School-going young individuals are still in the process of learning from experience and this is the stage at which they need to learn how to handle the dilemmas that they are sure to face at some point.  Parents need to be proactive in fostering their children’s emotional growth and learning.

Traits of emotional intelligence, though innate, can be developed. There are a multitude of steps parents or students themselves can take in order to improve their emotional intelligence, and as a result, increase their odds of having a more fulfilling experience at school and in their work environment.
Let us briefly outline 3 basic ways in which emotional intelligence can be developed.

Stressing Positivity

Positivity is a major plus, when working towards a goal. Many students and their parents feel that if they adopt the stance of zero tolerance towards failure or mediocrity, they will do better. However, there is a need to understand that failing to reach a goal is not synonymous with the failure of the individual. The capacity to handle setbacks is part of emotional maturity. Setbacks are inevitable and are important in giving us clues regarding reassessing our preparation strategies, and for setting modified goals. If we get emotionally crushed each time things don’t go according to plan, we will not be able to bounce back as quickly as we would if we were to look at it as a positive learning experience. Perseverance and continued self-motivation are a necessary component for accomplishment.

Alternate Avenues or Distraction

Another technique that can help develop our emotional resilience is to step back and focus on another passion or activity for a while. A well-rounded individual with various interests is able to benefit from temporarily taking a break from the source of unrest when there is the danger of getting overwhelmed by a certain situation.  Engaging oneself with another interest, skill or pastime can help us approach the initial task in an improved way. This technique can also help ground us in the reality that our existence is multi-faceted and we cannot determine our worth through one particular experience.

Working With Others (Group Projects)

The benefits of working with other students on projects should not be discounted. Effectively and efficiently working with others is a skill that all of us need in life. Positive interactions with others teach the ability to coordinate, be respectful of the opinions of others. They learn to anticipate the feelings of peers and experience appropriate levels of empathy. In the work environment students will go on to constantly draw on these lessons of mindfulness. They must learn, at an early age, to value differences of culture and language etc. This also reduces bullying and disrespect in the short as well as long run.

These are examples of a few skills that parents of students and students themselves may want to start working on in a bid to improve their emotional resilience. Many books and online resources are available on the subject of Emotional Intelligence. It is definitely worth investing some time self-reflecting and seeing how you can improve your EQ and help your future self reach his or her goals more effectively.