Can I borrow your notes?
If you haven’t heard of Notable, it is just a matter of time before you do. Notable was launched in July this year by fourth year Software Engineering students Hengjie Wang and Jordan Thoms from The University of Auckland.
The internet note taking application created by the duo was ignited by internships the pair did earlier this year as part of their degree at the heart of Silicon Valley in San Francisco. Notable currently has 450 users from various faculties. Fellow student Alliv Samson, who graduated from her BA in Film & Television, Media Studies and Political Studies at the University last year, is responsible for the creative design and marketing of Notable. The team from Cecil collaborated with Hengjie and Jordan to enable Cecil to be synchronised to Notable so students can load their lecture notes onto the programme.
"The problem Notable aims to solve" says Hengjie, “is the ability to take notes next to your lecture slides so you don’t lose context of what you’re actually writing”.
Not only is Notable a note-taking tool, it allows students to share their own notes, comments and questions with each other in real time, and live during lectures.
With the average class size at the University being 120 strong (Engineering and Law can go up to 1000), Hengjie and Jordan’s aim was to develop a way of breaking down barriers between students in classes of this size.
Jordan is excited to note that people from other universities around New Zealand and Australia are signing up. The buzz around Notable has even been picked up by Chinese Media and lauded by lecturers such as Adam Blake from the eLearning Group at the Centre for Academic Development, he says “Notable is very simple to understand and easy to use, but powerful. By enabling students to access course materials online and add their own notes directly alongside each page, whether during a lecture or off campus, it encourages students to take more ownership of their learning”.
Margaret Goldstone, Associate Dean from the Faculty of Science says, “I am excited about the possibilities for better class engagement and new learning opportunities.”
With a wry smile Jordan explains that Notable takes 80% of his time, with perhaps 20% reserved for study. “A lot of time is spent meeting people, convincing lecturers to use it, finding out what features people need and building those in.”
Hengjie is quick to point out that even though it’s a work in progress and all consuming, it’s their passion and therefore a lot of fun.
“As software engineers we can ask people for feedback then we can go ahead make those changes, it’s not tiring for us even at 4am in the morning”.
Recently qualifying for SPARK’s $100,000 Challenge, the business partners are now concentrating on their business plan and getting ready to pitch to investors.