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New Study Shows Playing Video Games Actually Makes You a Better Learner

DUH we learned that a billion years ago.

And no, we don't mean learning how to drive aggressively by playing Mario Kart.

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Just Like People: Humpback Whales Teach Each Other New Hunting Techniques

Think humans are special because we can show one another how to do things? Think again. According to a study published this week in the journal Science, humpback whales not only developed new ways to hunt different prey -- they also shared that information with other whales, teaching one another new hunting techniques.

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Flies Raised On Booze Need Alcohol To Learn, Just Like College Students

Fly larvae -- fine, maggots -- that are raised on food spiked with alcohol grow up into flies who can't learn normally without the aid of a little booze juice, marking yet another way in which maggots are pretty much just like college students. A study demonstrating the difficulties maggots experienced while trying to process new information without the aid of a morning beer to take the edge off things appears this week in the journal Current Biology, which reminds us that keg stands are not always recreational choices -- sometimes they are educational tools.

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Science Proves Sleep Learning Possible; “Learn French While You Sleep” CDs Still Useless

Good news for the productivity-minded individual -- the eight hours a day you spend dead to the world in the comforting embrace of sleep is time you could be getting work done. Hooray? Well, maybe. While reading or learning another language while you catch some shut-eye is still the stuff of fantasy, new research from the Weizmann Institute suggests that learning in one's sleep may be a possibility, and that previous attempts just haven't used the right combination of senses to make our subconscious minds start paying attention. Researchers have now used sounds and smell to get sleeping brains to expect a combination of the two sensations without any input from the conscious mind, according to a study published in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

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MIT Unveils Free Online Class, is This the Future of Higher Education?

Renowned as a premiere institute of higher learning for the sundry sciences, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced a new program that will bring a free version of one of its classes online. The program is called MITx, and the first of its fully automated courses kicks off this fall with 6.002x Circuits and Electronics. In addition to no costs, there are no prerequisites, anyone anywhere can sign up, and will receive a certificate upon completion. Seems like everyone is giving away university courses these days, huh?

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Feeling Bored and Undereducated? Try Any of These 400 Free Online Courses!

Are you an over-educated college graduate unable to find a job? Then why not spend your time between filling out job applications by taking some free online college courses to keep you well ensconced in your ivory tower! While Stanford may have turned lots of heads with their free, graded online courses, there are quite literally hundreds of other courses available online for free. At least 400 of them, according to Open Culture. They cover everything from History to Computer Science to English to Biology, and everything in between. But 400 is an awful lot to read through, so we've broken down a much shorter list for your reading pleasure.

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How To Use Social Media To Get Better Grades [Infographic]

When we think of students using social media, it's hard not to imagine the college freshman holed up in the library spending hours on Facebook when they should be studying for exams, but maybe there is a little more value in social media for students than you would think. An interesting infographic by Masters in Education suggests that being involved in social media is actually good for students' grades. However, the graphic doesn't really get into the nuts and bolts of how they established a correlation. Still, some of the claims seem pretty believable, like students using social media to organize themselves into a study group when one wasn't organized by a professor. Even if the social media addict is unlikely to be at the top of the class, it is still good to note that there are positive ways to use social media for educational purposes. It doesn't have to be a brain sucking vortex of wasted time, in fact, it could provide some great new ways for students to learn.

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