Computer science professors Ralph Ruby Jr. and wife Paula created a first-of-its-kind app called Class Notes. It allows students to text and save short-hand notes for lectures, study groups and exams. Ralph Ruby says the app is simple, and easy to use.
“One of the things that they don’t need to be doing is memorizing what goes where….when in today’s technology, we can put things, messages and cues, there that they can read each time. So that they don’t have to spend time memorizing,” said Ruby.
In the app, texts and abbreviations trigger academic suggestions, similar to auto-correct in smart phones. Students can create personal dictionaries, sort their notes by subject and date. They can also save syllabi, PDFs and other class materials.
The note taking app is believed to improve learning outcomes for grades three to grad school by allowing students to use a tool that they learn and understand very well to take notes. Research shows that teenagers spend an average of five hours and forty-five minutes a day texting.
Co-designer Paula Ruby says the benefits to using class notes, go beyond the classroom.
“Any type of job you have to take notes….and so this is just a foundation. For a skill that they’re going to be using the rest of their lives,” said Paula Ruby.
The app features seven note-taking styles, as well as information sheets, and tutorials. The class notes app is currently available for iPad users. Students can download it for the one-time fee of $4.99 from the App Store.