Free Math Help

Hotmath.com is a website that provides free math help for a variety of homework problems from over 150 math textbooks. The site also offers free online math calculators and math workbooks and games. The site currently serves over a million students, and can provide you free help in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, precalculus and calculus. There are also free video lessons and practice tests to help you sharpen your math skills. This site looks very helpful, so check it out if you need some math help. Let us know what you think.

Collaborate on School Projects with Stixy.com

Alright, so another online collaboration website started up.

Yep, another one.

This one is called Stixy.

Stixy.com is an online bulletin board that allows you to post your notes, word docs, and photos all on one page.

You can do the same things with iGoogle, but Stixy makes it look a heck of a lot nicer. And you can also easily share everything with your friends or other classmates (in case you’re working on a school project).

Heres how it looks . . .

The website is still in beta (and acting a bit buggy), but overall it’s a pretty nice website for keeping track of your various class assignments and “to do” lists. I still prefer iGoogle for this type of stuff, but Stixy.com does have a much nicer interface. Check out Stixy when you get a moment.

15 Online Notepads You Should Check Out

There must be over 100 different websites out there offering web-based notepads to students.

Some of these websites are pretty cool, but most of them need a major design overhaul.

Well, were going to review each one eventually, but well provide you links to each one so that you can check them out for yourself. Check them out:

Feel free to leave a comment below about which online notepad you enjoy using. And please let us know if theres a particular online notepad that you think should be reviewed here.

5 Online Libraries You Should Know About

Here are five great online resources that can help you research prior to writing your next paper. These online resources can help you save time, and can really help if you don’t have time to visit a library.

Google Scholar
The advanced features on Google Scholar can help you quickly narrow down and research your topic of interest. Google scholar provides you a rich database of research material available on the web. Though much of the content requires passwords to view full journal articles, you can still view abstracts for free.

E-Research – Harvard University
This research site will provide you with a list of journal articles and online references for whatever topic you’re interested in. Though this site was built for Harvard students, you can still access and use the site without a student ID. Simply click on the “show unrestricted” button to get access to free content.

LibrarySpot.com
Library Spot can provide you with online encyclopedias, dictionaries, journal articles, and other important reference materials. The website can seem overwhelming at first because of the amount of information available, but it’s definitely a great place to start for general research.

WorldCat.org
WorldCat.org can provide you with a laundry list of books and articles to reference for whatever topic you’re interested in. It’s sort of like going to the largest library you could imagine. It’s all there for you to sort through to find the books that might help you for your paper. The only problem is that it doesn’t provide any abstracts for the books you want to know more about.

Encyclopedia.com
This site is valuable because it provides links to tons of great online encyclopedias. Just type in a term and you’ll find dozens of definitions and information about that topic–with links going to the various online encyclopedias. The only problem with this site is that it’s cluttered with ads.

These five online libraries will help you with your research.

I Heart Buzzword: A Nifty Online Word Processor

Even though I’m a big fan of Google Docs, I have to admit that Buzzword (an online word processor) is pretty slick. It doesn’t have all the cool Microsoft-esque features that Google Docs has, but it has enough to let you create and share your web documents with ease. The cool Web 2.0 interface is also a big plus.

Heres a screen shot:

The only disappointing part about Buzzword is that you need to have Adobe Flash Player 9 to play with the Beta version. This is a problem if you’re trying to access it from a school library. Most campus libraries that I’ve spent time in are really behind in technology. And they (obviously) won’t allow you to install anything.

Despite the technology issues of trying to use Buzzword on school computers, this is a very cool web application. Check out the video preview to see how it all works.

Top 20 RSS Feed Readers You Should Know About

Now that the school semester just ended, its time to catch up on some reading.

Im a big fan of Google Reader, but there are a bunch of other great RSS readers out there.

Heres a nifty collection of RSS readers you may not know about:

Alertbear
Desktop-based feed reader for Windows.

Alesti
An RSS reader based on Ajax. Very simple, clean interface.

Bloglines
Organize, save, and share all your favorite feeds and its completely free.

Fastladder
Fastladder claims to help you read the most amount of feeds in the shortest time-frame.

Fav.or.it
Allows you aggregate RSS feeds like a typical reader – and allows you to leave comments on blog posts without leaving the site.

FeedDemon
Get your RSS feeds sent directly to your Windows desktop. Requires Microsoft Windows.

Feedreader
A desktop-based feed reader. Its like a feed reader in Microsoft Outlook.

FeedShow
Free online feed reader that lets you save items locally and covert posts to PDF or print format.

GoogleReader
Organize your feeds into folders, share with friends, save your favorites, and add notes to any post you want. My favorite.

GreatNews
It automatically stores all your feeds locally, so you have access to the feeds even if the site is down. It also integrates nicely into Bloglines.com.

GritWire
Its a personal page like Netvibes that has a SpeedFeed Reader application.

MSN Start
A typical personalized page (a la iGoogle) where you can add feeds of your favorite sites.

My Yahoo
A personalized page that allows you to add your RSS feeds.

Netvibes
A clean-lookin personalized page that allows you subscribe to feeds. I have several friends who like using Netvibes because of the sweet interface.

NewsAlloy
A web-based feed reader that is Mobile/PDA enabled.

NewsGator
The site offers a free web-based RSS feed reader – and a desktop version that integrates into Microsoft Office.

Rojo
A simple RSS reader – similar to Google Reader.

Sage
A nice lightweight RSS feed reader extension for Firefox.

Shrook
A free RSS feed reader for your MAC desktop.

Voyage
Visually-appealing RSS feed reader that lets you scroll through feeds with your mouse wheel.

And if you dont know how RSS readers work, heres a great video that shows you the benefits of subscribing to your favorite web content:

Please let me know of any others that I missed.

Ill be glad to add them here.

How to Find More Cash for School – 9 Financial Aid Options

As an undergrad, I financed my way through college with grants and student loans – but there was a time when I didn’t have enough money for basic living expenses.

Sure, I had a place to live on campus, but I didn’t have much money for anything else.

So if you ever find yourself worried about financing your education (like I have), here are some ways to cover your college tab:

Federal Pell Grants
The Federal Pell Grants are financed by our federal government – and typically get awarded only to undergrads. These don’t ever need to be repaid. It’s essentially free money to attend class. The maximum amount of money you may get is $4,731 (through June 30, 2009).

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
The SEOG grants are paid to you to help cover your financial needs. These can be awarded to both part-time and full-time students. Grants range between $100 and $4,00 per year (depending on need).

Stafford Loans
Stafford loans need to be paid back, but the interest is subsidized while you’re in school And you don’t need to start paying it back until 6-months after you graduate.

Federal Perkins Loans
The Perkins loans are available for both undergrads and graduate students. Interest rates on these loans is about 5% right now (03/08). Undergrads can get up to $4,000 per year, and graduate students can get $6,000 per year.

College Scholarships
There are tons of free college scholarships out there – it’s just a matter of taking the time to apply. Some people think that you have to have a perfect G.P.A. to qualify, but that’s not the case. There are thousands of scholarships based on other factors; including: athletics, community service, arts, etc.

Plus Loans
You may not know this, but you can get a loan to cover the cost of your education through your parents. Your parents are allowed to borrow the amount of money you need to cover the cost of your education (minus any other financial aid you receive).

Veterans Administration
You don’t have to be a military veteran to qualify for a financial aid. If you’re mother or father served in the military, you might qualify to get some financial help for school.

Company Assistance Programs
I work for a company that is paying my way through graduate school. And I’m not alone – there are many corporations that will pay for schooling and training of its employees. Most of the time you need to work fulltime, which can be a strain on study time – but it relieves the stress of paying the semester bill.

Social Security
I know you probably think social security is only given to older people, but that’s not the case. Social security payments are available people up to age 18 for unmarried students with a deceased parent or a parent who is disabled or drawing social security benefits.

Where to Buy Cheap College Textbooks – 29 Nifty Websites

Classes are starting up for me this week, so that means I need to start ordering my textbooks.

Buying textbooks is always a pain because of the inflated costs involved.

Last semester, I had to buy a 150-page textbook written by my professor that cost $97 used. And Im sure that cost doesnt surprise you.

Textbook prices are out of control – especially after reading on Digg.com that textbook prices have risen almost 186% since 1986.

However, there are plenty of places online to buy textbooks on the cheap.

Here are 29 places to buy cheap textbooks:

Abebooks.com
Free shipping and a way to shop 13,500 online booksellers at once.

Addall.com
Addall.com compares textbook prices across the web. It provides you with all the fine details – like taxes and shipping involved for each store.

Affordabook.com
Find discounted textbooks and novels.

Alibris.com
Alibris will connect you to independent booksellers across the United States. You can find some great deals here.

Allbookstores.com
Compare prices across hundreds of bookstores affiliated with Allbookstores.com – which looks a bit like Amazon.com.

Amazon.com
Ive bought and sold my textbooks through Amazon.com many times. You can get connected to some independent sellers who offer great rates on used textbooks.

BetterWorld.com
Fund literacy, care for the environment, and save money on textbooks with BetterWorld.com. They even offer free shipping. Check out their prices.

Bigwords.com
This website is a book search engine that aggregates prices of textbooks across the web.

Bookbyte.com
Another website that allows you to buy and sell used textbooks.

BookCloseouts.com
Cross your fingers and pray that you can find a discounted textbook here. You can find some amazing deals.

BookFinder.com
Lifehacker.com recommends this book search engine to find cheap textbooks.

Books-A-Million.com
A site similar to half.com – which allows you to buy discounted textbooks and novels.

BuyUsedTextbooks.com
Buy and sell used textbooks

CampusBooks.com
CampusBooks.com claims to save students 58% on average on textbooks. Prices include tax, shipping and coupons.

CampusBooks4Less.com
Another bookstore search engine to find cheap books.

Campusi.com
This search engine compares textbook prices on over 200 online bookstores.

CollegeSwapShop.com
This nifty website allows you to buy, sell, or swap used textbooks.

CompareTextbooks.com
A cool spot to get price comparisons on your textbooks at different websites.

Chegg.com
Chegg.com allows students to rent college textbooks – instead of paying the high cost of buying them at your campus bookstore.

DirectTextBook.com
This websites compares textbook prices across a bunch of popular online stores like Ebay.com, Half.com, and Amazon.com.

Ebay.com
You might be surprised to find your textbooks on sale at Ebay.

eCampus.com
eCampus.com provides a place to buy and sell discounted textbooks. Youve probably seen their ads in your campus newspaper.

FreeloadPress.com
Ive never used this service, but they offer free textbooks in return for completed surveys. These textbooks have ads in them – which help pay the cost. Leave a comment if this service is legit or not.

Half.com
Ive found some great discounted textbooks here.

Halfvalue.com
This is a typical buy & sell used textbook website.

iChapters.com
Save the environment and your money by purchasing only the book chapters you need to read as an eBook.

Textbookrevolution.org
A website thats beginning to archive links to free textbooks across the web. A very cool project!

TextbookX.com
You may have heard of TextBookX.com because they have a handy Facebook app that allows students to buy and sell directly through your profile. Ive never used this service, but leave a comment if you have. Im curious if it worked for you.

ValoreBooks.com
ValoreBooks.com promises cheap textbooks for students.

And dont forget about these free online textbook resources:

Any other websites you recommend should get added to this list?

UC Berkeley Offers Free Classes Online

We just found out that UC Berkeley launched webcasts of hundreds of class lectures.

Yep, that means you can watch video courses in a variety of different subjects. Some of their free online classes include: astronomy, biology, physics, psychology, quantum mechanics, and philosophy. Check out Berkeleys full online webcast library when you get a chance.

Cheat Sheets

Heres a list of some helpful cheat sheets from around the web . . .

Algebra Notes
23 pages filled with every formula and rule you need to know for Algebra.

Algebra Cheat Sheet
A down and dirty guide to Algebra – in just 4 pages. Theres even a shorter cheat sheet here.

Calculus Cheat Sheet
6 pages of Calculus notes to help you master Calculus.

Chemistry Cheat Sheet [pdf]
This pdf provides a list of math and chemistry tips.

Computer Science Cheat Sheets
10 pages of theoretical computer science formulas.

English Grammar for Dummies
Somebody uploaded the entire English Grammar for Dummies book. Get the pdf while its still available. 388 pages.

Geometry Fact Sheet
Everything you need to know about Geometry.

GMAT in a Nutshell
A helpful list of info to help you prepare for the GMAT exam.

GMAT Tips
Grad Student Mirna Safi developed this document to help others study for the GMAT.

Grammar Cheat Sheets
Franklin provides you with a quick and dirty cheat sheet covering some of the most common grammar errors students make.

Law School – Bar Exam Cheat Sheets
35 pages of notes to help students pass the Bar exam.

MCAT Mnemonics
A giant list of mnemonics to help you prepare for the MCAT.

Pharmacology Notes
A huge list of pharmacology terms.

Physics, Calculus & Astrophysics Cheat Sheets
Harvard student Friedman provides everyone his personl cheat sheets in Calculus, Multivariable Calculus, Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Optics, Relativity, Astrophysics, and tons more. Everything can be easily viewed or saved as a jpg.

Physics & Calculus Cheat Sheets
Dana provides his personal cheat sheets in Calculus and Physics. These are zip files that you can easily download.

Physics Final (Cheat Sheet)
A student posted his personal cheat sheet for his High School physics exam. Its complete with problems from the test.

Trigonometry Cheat Sheet
All the Trig formulas you need to know.

Vocabulary Cheat Sheet
This pdf is designed for those preparing for the GMAT, but will also help for the GRE. 96 pages.

Can you recommend any others?