Distance learning is a great way to earn a degree. With a full-time job, a family, or other commitments that make it difficult for you to attend class, online study is without a doubt, the most convenient way of obtaining your diploma.

But for the socially-adept, taking classes online might seem too distant from the traditional classroom setting. However, an online environment does not have to replace face-to-face time altogether. In fact, you can still be part of the social scene while attending an online school. Our advice on how to stay social while learning from home will help you make your virtual experience more meaningful and enjoyable.

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It’s almost time for back to school, and that means that students all over the country are getting ready to head to college. Whether you are getting an accredited online degree, or going on campus, you can get help with your study, and find plenty of tools to help you complete assignments. There are even web tools to help you save money and have a little fun.

The best part about using web tools as a college student is that it doesn’t have to be costly. You don’t need a scholarship to afford these tools. Many of them are free, or available at a low cost. So, no matter your needs, get ready; these web tools can help you succeed as a college student:

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It’s not easy to meet people when you’re attending college online, so Social Media outlets become all the more important. Find study-partners, make contacts, find people interested in the same field, and even make friends using these social media tools. Degrees are important, but getting jobs after graduation can be more about who you know than what you know. So start getting to know other online college students!

  1. Facebook – Facebook is the largest social media site. Even though it’s not just for college students anymore, it is still the first place to look for people going to the same online college and majoring in the same degree. Don’t be afraid to send a message introducing yourself and asking for a study-buddy. Even if you are miles apart, you can brainstorm together, complete projects together and share resources.
  2. Skype – Skype isn’t your typical social media site, you don’t have to friend anyone or post pictures, or “like” status updates. But, it is the best tool out there for brainstorming over long distances with classmates. Brainstorming, or just getting on the Skype video-chat, is a great way to stay motivated and excited about your online courses.
  3. Google Buzz – Google is trying to get on the Facebook bandwagon and created Buzz, a combo of Facebook and Twitter. Keep up with your friends, their blogs and their projects, with an easy click on the left side of your Gmail page. If you have friends pursuing the same career as you, you might find valuable insights into job opportunities.
  4. Twitter – Twitter isn’t just for keeping in touch with friends, or telling your “followers” what you had for breakfast. Start following well-known people in your chosen profession and see how they are using Twitter. You might pick up a few pointers in your career field, or at least learn how the pros use social media to effectively promote their businesses.
  5. LinkedIn – LinkedIn is the professional Social Media web site. Even while you are a student you can begin networking with other students, your professors, and professionals in your field. They can even write you recommendations on your LinkedIn account for future employers to see. You can upload your resume and educational background and use your LinkedIn account as an informal resume supplement to help you land a job once you graduate.

Twitter is the informational source du jour and can help keep just about anyone updated on just about anything. Even guidance counselors can turn to Twitter for their work. These are 7 Twitter users every guidance counsellor should follow.

College Prowler

The College Prowler is a Twitter account can help any guidance counsellor to stay updated on what’s going on with colleges. And it does so with a personal perspective. This Twitter feed prides itself on providing reviews of colleges from the attending students themselves.

Maps4college

Maps4college is a Twitter account that provides regular Tweets on many topics related to college applications. You will learn about how to complete the perfect college application essay and to avoid student loan data theft. A number of topics of vital importance to those considering higher education are presented here. Any guidance counselor could pick up some helpful information here that is just dying to be passed on.

CollegeBlogs

CollegeBlogs is a Twitter account that offers up information on useful topics such as ways to win scholarships, how to find good yet obscure colleges, and all you ever wanted to know about college waiting lists. And this account will also point you to other Twitterers who also have insight into the college counseling experience. This is the mark of a Twitterer who is really trying to help. They don’t mind sending you somewhere else if you can find help there too.

Nytimescollege

Nytimescollege is another Twitter account that addresses the thoughts that are likely to be foremost on aspiring college students’ minds. Its short and intriguing Tweets are merely portals to more in-depth information on relevant topics like term papers and rejection letters. These links flesh out topics in such a way that you will learn all you need to know.

CollegeChat

CollegeChat is a Twitter account dedicated to all topics that come up before, during, and after college. You can learn about how to choose the best school for both yourself and your financial means as well as how to get off wait lists and how to write resumes. This is the place to turn to learn more about the entire college journey including how to enter the real world when it’s over.

Nyteducation

Nyteducation is the ideal Twitter account for keeping up on all things college. You can learn about colleges, universities, teachers, tuition, scholarships, financial aid, loans, and everything else that weighs on the college application experience. Anyone looking to be as well-versed as possible on both colleges and universities and on the college application process will surely want to turn to this Twitter feed. Guidance counselors who want to keep up with the latest information about colleges simply must check in with this Twitter account on a regular basis. There will always be something worthwhile here.

College_Success

College_Success is a Twitter account dedicated to helping those who need financial aid assistance. In this way, guidance counselors can gain access to new and valuable resources to help guide students to the scholarships and other forms of financial assistance that they need. This account gives tips on how to secure sufficient financial aid packages as well as notifications of available scholarships. Beyond this, articles are provided on why a college education is so important and who will benefit from it the most.

These are 7 Twitter users that every guidance counselor should follow. They routinely provide indispensable information on how to get into colleges and on the whole college search and application process. They help to keep guidance counselors in touch with the latest tips, techniques, and information that will surely help those they guide in ways that cannot be measured.