By Eric Garneau
Students are experts at wasting time on the Internet, it's true - but imagine a World Wide Web with sites that actually give them important, useful and compelling information! That's what our three nominees below do, and they do it excellently. Each site features a ton of great knowledge aimed at high school students, the college-bound, undergrads and all types of lifelong learners, providing tips, deep insights and encyclopedic information to help fill you in on almost anything you'd want to know. Which is your favorite? Check out the nominees, then vote on your favorite!
An excellent destination site for any intrepid DIY-ers, Lifehacker offers a conglomeration of practical tips and tricks for making things the way you want them to be. The site's posts are divided into categories, all of which provide relevant information for the young and the Web-savvy: you can read up on practical cooking tactics, the latest Windows fixes or so-called 'MacGyver tips.' The site also features a column called 'Ask Lifehacker,' where readers can write in with their burning questions. Recent stories of interest include 'How to Kill the Facebook News Ticker' and 'The Best and Worst Things to Buy at Popular Retailers.'
College Confidential operates on the principle that most parents and students don't have the chance to accrue a lot of experience in the world of college admissions, which makes a stressful process even harder. Therefore, they've assembled an editorial team of experts in the field to share the information they've gained throughout the years with the ultimate goal of, in their words, 'demystifying' the admissions process. Their site offers helpful features like a college search (so prospective students can narrow down options based on their preferences), information on paying for college and an 'Ask the Dean' column.
In operation since 1995, RefDesk bills itself as the 'fact checker for the Internet.' It's a massive information portal, something of a conglomeration of Google, Wikipedia, Weather.com, the dictionary, The New York Times and countless other sources. Students can use the site's search functions to look for knowledge in a variety of fields - medical or law dictionaries, Associated Press headlines, ancestral records and many more diverse sources. If you're worried about information overload, the site also features links to games, 'positive, good news' and other levity-filled destinations.
Any of our nominees can give you plenty of fulfilling hours on the Internet, but only one can win. Support your favorite, and don't forget to get the word out and vote on Facebook by October 21st!
Not on Facebook? We've also got a SurveyMonkey to help you vote for your favorite education tools and resources.