Brain drain is always a risk during the summer months, and college-bound students may be particularly susceptible to a slump this season due to all of the changes and closures stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
While summer learning experiences may look different in 2020, there are still an array of opportunities for students to step outside of the box and expand their horizons, even from the comfort of their living rooms. Students who had originally planned to attend in-person classes or participate in a summer session may wish to turn to virtual learning experiences to ensure that they stay academically engaged throughout the summer months.
If you are interested in exploring online learning options this summer, it’s important to do your research and pinpoint opportunities that align with your interests and goals. We’ve selected some exciting experiences for students with a variety of different ambitions, which can serve as excellent starting points in your summer planning journey.
edX provides anyone with an internet connection with the chance to take university classes in an array of different departments. Aspiring entrepreneurs will gravitate towards this introductory-level course taught by faculty from MIT. Students will learn about innovations in mobile apps, 3D printing, power electronics, international development, watchmaking, and more. Upon completion of the course, participants will have the skills needed to conduct market segmentation, develop end user profiles, understand customer personas, and calculate addressable market size.
Much like edX, Coursera offers courses taught by professors at renowned universities across the globe, including this course affiliated with Copenhagen Business School. Clothing lovers and environmentalists alike will have the opportunity to learn about the challenges and opportunities brands face when trying to adopt sustainable business models. Participants will also be inspired by case examples from the fashion industry and learn details about their innovative and sustainable business models. The course includes several quizzes for an interactive element that promises to keep students on their toes.
What if you could take Yale’s most popular course for free and from the comfort of your own home? Well now you can! Yale is offering The Science of Well-Being also on Coursera. The goal of this course is to help students be, well, happy! It combines psychology and behavioral science in order to help students dive deeper into what happiness means, what tools students need in order to create productive habits in their daily lives in order to feel happier and more fulfilled. Students learn more about how the fields of psychology and behavioral science intersect and how each informs the other to create practical solutions to big questions.
FutureLearn is another resource that provides the college lecture experience right at home with classes taught by universities and specialty organizations on popular topics including creative arts, law, health, politics, science and digital skills. For students who love sports and history, the English Football course taught in collaboration with the University of Leicester, De Montfort University, and the Leicester City Football Club is a great introduction into the intersection of history, sports, and politics, and how each impacts the other. Students learn about the origins of soccer, the social impact of the sport in the UK and beyond, and how the sport might evolve in the future.
Looking to learn without sitting through hours of lectures? Skillshare offers bite-sized classes to learners in just 15 minutes per day. This creative writing class is an ideal option for students who are aspiring novelists – or just want somewhere to start when brainstorming college application essay topics. Professor, editor, and best-selling author Roxane Gay will guide students towards finding a purpose for telling their story, connecting their work to bigger themes, writing and revising drafts, and conducting crucial research to support their work. This is a great first step intro into learning more about creative and practical writing. For students who are looking for more focused help on their application essays, the IvyWise team of expert counselors can help you brainstorm, edit, and revise college application essays to ensure that you’re presenting your best-self to admissions committees.
Khan Academy is another excellent resource for students who are interested in exploring a wide variety of topics on their own terms, with personalized experiences and trusted content created by field matter experts. For students who are passionate about STEM or interested in launching their own website, this introductory coding course can be an ideal option. Students will learn how to use HTML and CSS to make webpages, including details on creating different fonts, hosting websites on Github, and opportunities for future learning to put these new skills into action.
While not a true online course like the rest of our recommendations above, general virtual test prep and tutoring is a great way for students to continue to learn and prevent the summer slump. For students who are still planning to take the SAT or ACT on this fall or in 2021, summer is an excellent time to focus on test preparation. Both the SAT and ACT have a plethora of resources on their websites including free practice tests. For a more targeted test prep timeline and strategy, IvyWise offers ACT and SAT prep with our expert tutors who have taken these tests and aced them.
At IvyWise, we understand that summer vacation is a valuable opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience and gain expertise on the subjects that interest them most. Our team of expert college admissions counselors work one-on-one with students to pinpoint options that align with their interests and goals. Contact us today for personalized guidance on summer activity planning and more.