We rejoice in the successes of our OpenStudiers. Akash has been with us for at least a couple of years, catapulting into fame when he won the Back to School video contest (Check it out on our YouTube channel: OpenStudying https://youtu.be/yVPSvYDvN04)! He also assumed the role of Ambassador and then went on to lead the community run newsletter, OwlBuzz, for a couple of months.
We were delighted to write him a Letter of Recommendation and now are super thrilled to share this letter he wrote to Preetha, our CEO. Here’s to your success, Akash.
Let’s face it. Every one needs a letter of recommendation sometime in their lives. You could be applying to college or a job. And then don’t forget all those pesky scholarships, internships, awards…the list is endless. So you start high school or college, trying to impress your teachers or counselors. (BTW, this gets pretty dismal if you are in a 3000 person freshman class.) It is a major pain and causes many a junior/senior sleepless nights! Right?
Your success matters to us, so the OpenStudy team began noodling on the notion and came up with this solution. You’ll love it! Our SmartScore analytics gives us such a razor sharp perspective of who you are that we decided to offer Letters of Recommendation based on what we know about you.
The first few people to take advantage of it – have of course loved it. Michele_Laino – well known as a Qualified Helper – said,
“Dear OpenStudy team,
Thanks for my recommendation letter. It is a very beautiful letter!! That letter is very important for me, since I think it will be more easy for me to get a job.”
We wish you luck Michele!
Several prominent OpenStudiers used it to apply to college. Just a couple of examples:
Data_LG2 applied for a scholarship and get this, was awarded one. She of course feels it was due to this sparkly new Letter of Recommendation.
And Akashdeep! Wow, he did so well in his application to colleges US and UK, that we are just bursting with pride about his accomplishments. (You can read his letter to our CEO in another blog post.)
Each Letter of Recommendation talks about your SmartScore and what it means. It also talks about your skill set, problem solving, teamwork and engagement. These are soft skills that employers and colleges care about. We also talk about your particular expertise, how many questions you have answered, how many fans, testimonials etc you have. If you have a played a role on OpenStudy as an Ambassador or Moderator, then there is an additional glowing note about your leadership qualities.
Of course, our CEO, Dr. Preetha Ram, a renowned educator has carefully crafted these letters of recommendations, so she knows what to say and how to say it.
So our Letters of Recommendation are really painless and only cost you 50 Owlbucks. So check it out from the Emporium! To Success and beyond!
Design OpenStudy’s next T-shirt!
Win a free T-Shirt if yours is the one of the designs we choose!
It is very simple.
1. Go to customink.com
2. Create your design
3. Save it with the email: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Make sure you add your OpenStudy Username to the title of your design! So we can reach you.
1. Keep it simple.
2. The design should have no more than two colors.
3. The OpenStudy logo may be used in this context.
4. Deadline Friday August 21.
Prizes: 50 Owlbucks for each design chosen and a free T-shirt when it is made.
Fame! Fortune! and the admiration of the OpenStudy community!
All submitted designs become the property of OpenStudy and can be used by OpenStudy in the future.
The Q list! Here are our first group of Qualified Helpers.
They come from all over the world, and are our resident experts!
Some are moderators, some are not.
All want to help. So come ask they your questions!
Jigglypuff314 Satellite73 Perl TuringTest Michele_Laino Nincompoop
Myininaya Dan815 Kainui Saifoo Ashleyisakitty Shrutipande9
Clalgee Cggurumanjunath Kirbykirby Turingtest Abhisar Hero
Australopithecus Chmvijay Triciaal Asnaseer Hartnn
JigglyPuff is off to college and she shared her college essay with us.
I always considered myself a decent A/A- range student, yet on my desk sat a mostly blank sheet of test questions I had no idea how to solve. Running my fingers through my hair, tugging on it as if doing so would pull some answers out of my head, I glanced around the classroom. It was silent except for the scratching of pencils on paper. I racked my brain for answers, scrawling out any guess I thought might be correct. The bell rang as I made haste to cram in as much as I knew in the last problem. It was the first test of the year in AP Calculus AB, and, as with many things, life was about to get worse before it could get better.
Although how much worse did not slap me in the face until a week later when I got that test back. I looked at the glaring red numbers on my test, able to do nothing but sit in shame. Slowly recovering, I flipped through each page in confusion. I read through the problems that I had gotten wrong which was no small number. Horrific red digits at the top of the test declared my grade — 52% would be forever imprinted into the back of my eyelids. Slumping in defeat, I hid my test in the back of my classwork, telling myself I would do better next time.
Alas, when the next test came and went, my grade did not improve by much. Even though I thought I had a good enough grasp on the concepts, it was apparently not enough. Acknowledging this, I decided to seek out help to understand where I was going wrong. Like most of us, I decided to consult the one source that knows it all, the Internet I looked up a multitude of websites that could potentially aid me in my endeavor. There was Khan Academy, which had its own approach to math, but it would not help with my specific questions. There was Tutor.com, which cost money I did not have. Finally, I found OpenStudy.com.
OpenStudy is set up so anyone can sign up for free and ask a question. Then some other user can help. Since it was free I tried it out.
Me: Could someone please help and explain to me how to evaluate the limit: lim as x approaches 0 of (3)/(7xcot(5x))
Hartnn: try to bring the limit of the form sin theta/theta (note, in cos part, you can directly put x=0)
Hartnn: sin(5x)/5 = 5*sin(5x)/5 got that?
Me: kinda… and then what happens to the (3)/(7cos(5x)) part?
Hartnn: you just plug in 0 for that part!
Me: so that part would just be 3/7?
Hartnn: absolutely correct
Hartnn: and 5 sin 5x/5x part will be just 5
Me: so final answer is 15/7?
Hartnn: good! yes
Me: Thank you!
In a few minutes I had it. Now onto the other fifty concepts I needed. I found that OpenStudy helps me immensely in this one on one interaction process. Over the next few months I was able to bring my grades up. Not only that, but while I had been waiting to receive help on my own questions, I started helping other people with their questions. Helping other people gave me better retention for what had I learned, thereby helping me even more with my studies.
As I spent more and more time helping and being helped, I realized that I really enjoyed being able to teach others. The sense of gratification and satisfaction when I help others with their math is unrivaled by any other happiness I know. It has allowed me to come to the conclusion that I want to follow this happiness and become a Mathematics Teacher.
There was one last test to be taken and it would become the only one that matters: the AP Calculus AB Test. A shuffling of papers resonated through the room, as I read, “Why does the limit as x approaches infinity of negative one to the nth power over n factorial equal zero?” I remember getting help with a problem like this, and the explanation “This case is also known as the squeeze theorem.” I smiled to myself as I knew for sure I would not be failing this test, or any other.
OpenStudy is one of the most important things in my life.
A little about my life. I’m the oldest of 5 kids. My brother, sister and I are all home schooled. We all enjoy keeping up with our chickens and our garden. We like eating the food, but not the weeding so much :). We grow strawberries, grapes, potatoes, lettuce, tomatoes, peas, and just about anything in between. We live out in the country, so we can go outside and be as rowdy as we like, and have a big garden.
I can also tell you about how I joined OpenStudy and how it’s helped me. I had been going to a public school for most of my schooling. Then one summer after 6th grade, my parent’s beliefs changed. So instead of going into 7th grade at a public school, they decided to enroll us in the online K12 program.
At first I didn’t like it at all. Before K12, Science was my favorite subject – but now it became a hated subject. I was not used to teaching myself. My grades were slipping, and my parents were getting frustrated with me. They thought I was doing it on purpose. They thought that I was trying to make my grades slip so that way they would let me go back to public school, where all of my friends were.
I remember sitting in my study room and sobbing quietly. I wanted so badly to understand the information, but it just wasn’t working. I went to help sessions with my teachers and nothing helped. I spent so many nights crying myself to sleep.
Then one day I decided that if I couldn’t figure out the answers myself, I’d just search them. And OpenStudy began to show up on my Google searches. I just looked at what was written and figured out the answers. But I never did fully understand. I just searched for answers.
Eventually, I joined OpenStudy 2 days after my 13th birthday. At first, I just used OS for answers. Then I started thinking, “If people help with answers on OS, then I’m sure someone could help me understand my math concepts…” And that’s where I really started using OS. I remember asking a question about math, and almost falling out of my seat when I understood what they were saying.
I didn’t hate Science or Math anymore. It became a friend again. Now I do math for fun. I can now teach myself. My grades are no longer in the dark. They’re glowing. Most importantly, I don’t hate school. I can learn at my own pace, and I like homeschooling much more than going to the public school that I used to go to. Without OpenStudy, I would still be shedding tears all over my text books and crying myself to sleep at night.
I don’t really know how to explain my love for OpenStudy. All I can really do is to do my part and try to help the people who need help and set an example. That is why I am proud to be an OpenStudy Ambassador.
Submitted by K_lynn
Announcing the first Owlfred Scholar: JiggyPuff314! We are delighted to award this scholarship to JigglyPuff after careful consideration of all the applicants. JigglyPuff is a long time OpenStudier, who has risen to the ranks of Ambassador through years of unfailing courtesy and helpfulness. She is currently serving as the lead Social Media intern, helping tell the world about OpenStudy. In her application she tells us that her experiences helping OpenStudiers with their math problems led her to her choice of major in college. This fall JigglyPuff will go to college to major in Math Education! We wanted to recognize her for all she has done for OpenStudy and send her off with the first Owlfred Scholarship!
In her own words:
Our mission at OpenStudy has always been to help students of the world succeed.. We know study help is the the first and most important step to a student’s success – but there is more to succeeding than good grades. So our efforts at OpenStudy have been focused step by step on getting you, our OpenStudier’s closer to your goals.
We built our social learning platform and community of helpers and scaled it so millions come each month to our site to get help. Our community has grown and thrived by helping one another. But social learning is more than just learning. There are relationships, advice, mentoring, support – a virtual family.
The second step was to provide you, our OpenStudiers with a way to track your performance, to assess what you are good at, and that led to the SmartScore. We called it going beyond grades, and began telling you about how good you were as a problem solver, a teamwork and how engaged you were with OpenStudy. Then we launched Titles, so that you could tell the world how good you were in a specific subject. These are all about developing and demonstrating your credentials!
Our next step is to nudge you forward on your path to success, whether it is to college, graduate school, a job or internships. You will be able to request an OpenStudy transcript, a volunteering certificate, a letter of recommendation… all documenting your activity on the site. But more on that later.
The Qualified Helper program is about giving you something more, both for the helpers on the site and the people seeking help. With these credentials you have developed on OpenStudy, you can now become a Qualified Helper. Qualified Helpers provide paid help and therefore get something back when they help. Think of it as using those credentials to make money. Think of it as OpenStudy giving its best users something back for all the time they have invested in helping the community learn. Think of it as our salute to the best OpenStudy helpers! And think of it as raising the quality of help you receive.
So how does this work?
You can see which Qualified Helpers are online at the moment. This first set of Qualified Helpers are Awesome and have beens specially picked. Here is what happens:
1. You are looking for help in Math, (works only in Math now) and want some expert help.
2. Click on the “Ask a question” box, as usual.
3. Then click on the Ask Qualified Helpers at the bottom of the box.
4. You will be asked to buy OwlBucks with your credit card through PayPal. Remember, you can buy Owlbucks with a credit card on PayPal or a bank account tied to your PayPal account. Its really easy. You will need to buy a minimum of $9.99 for 50 OwlBucks. Each time Qualified Help is only 10 OwlBucks so you can ask for help 5 times with 50 OwlBucks.
5. Next 10 OwlBucks will be deleted from your account.
6. You will be sent back to your question. Your question appears blue in the feed so everyone knows that you have paid for help.
7. A message is sent to all Qualified Helpers online to come to your question.
8. They start helping you.
9. You get an explanation, and are happy.
10. You will see a little golden bell on top of your screen moving around. Click on it. You will be asked to rate your Qualified Helper. Please rate them. If you do not rate them, they do not get their rewards.
11. Come back and ask for Qualified Help again!
Apply to be a qualified Helper. Here is the link:
So take it for a spin. Ask a Qualified Helper. You’ll help yourself, help someone who has helped many before and help OpenStudy.
Check out OwlBuzz, produced by our OpenStudy interns, ambassadors and moderators! Thank you for your hard work!
Design and submit a friend for Owlfred.
We’ll pick the top 10.
Begin with the standard Owl graphic.
Personalize it, give it some personality.
Add a caption, a name, tell us why this Owl deserves to be a Top 10 Best Friend.
The image should be 500×500 pixels, png or jpeg, on a transparent background.
Send your contributions to email@example.com
Deadline Dec 10
Don’t forget add your real name and OpenStudy username in your email.
If your Owl design meets our criteria, we’ll upload it to openstudytutorials.weebly.com
Winners will receive the brand new Owlbucks!