Why we don’t allow videos in Classmint Study Notes?

We launched Classmint around 3 months back and we are receiving a number of requests:

  • More Note Templates
  • Groups for private sharing
  • Adding Videos to the Notes
  • Many more features

We did a thorough analysis and realized that we can’t have videos in the Classmint notes given the current use case of the product because of following:

  • Classmint is used in the Classroom as an ICT (Information and Communication Technology) by many AVID (avid.org) schools in USA. We can see like 15-50 students concurrently accessing the service and creating study notes. If we would allow videos, school’s network will experience a traffic spike and it would be hard for them to use Classmint in the classroom.
  • We think video is a poor replacement of student-teacher communication. We feel video is useful in the flipped classroom model which can be shared thru popular Youtube channel or Vimeo. We don’t want to be a platform that helps teacher and student to collaborate on study materials. Also, help students master the content which is shared by the teacher. First time, It should happen in real-time or face to face.
  • A Teacher or Student can’t print a video on a piece of paper. When we are talking about study notes in real-life, we are talking about something that can be printed on a piece of paper. Most of study happens with things that can be printed and carried with you.
  • We are also working to build mobile apps that will sync. your study notes created using the platform. It is really hard to sync. a video because of the size constraints.

We are making this decision for the next 1 year and will be happy to revise our decision and see if it would make sense to include videos in here.

 

 

Guided Notes vs Flash Cards vs Cornell Notes

Typically, study material used by students or shared by teachers exist in 3 key formats.

Classmint Team decided to dissect these stuff to figure out realities of various study note formats.

Lets try to understand pros and cons of each method and their usefulness in studying.

Guided Notes:

  • Very easy to create
  • Many free software/services available for the same.
  • Good for note-taking purpose.
  • Offers good context for learning.
  • Hard to revise but easy to reuse if taken properly.

Flash Cards

  • Very hard to create because one has to summarize and divide knowledge.
  • Many free software/services available for the same.
  • Good for revising and mastering the content.
  • Doesn’t offer context for learning. Easy to revise by hard to reuse.

Cornell Notes

  • Hard to create as it involves diving knowledge in left and right sections.
  • Not many software/services available for the same. Largely taken offline.
  • Great for revising and mastering material.
  • Offers context for learning. Easy to revise and reuse.
  • Software to create them almost non-existent.

We chose Cornell Notes as default format of Classmint Study Notes because:

  • Easier to create as compared to flash cards
  • It has better context as compared to flash cards.
  • It’s reusable e.g. One can use a friend’s notes for study.
  • Can be folded and also played like flash cards.
  • It looks beautiful.

What study notes format do you use? Have you tried Cornell Notes?

From Qlazzy to Classmint

We previousely built something called as Qlazzy.com.

Goal of Qlazzy was to be a central repository of all open educational resources with easy accessibility and most features required to master that content. One the features was Notes where people could Add Learnings to an open lesson.

qlazzynotes

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see learners could add notes to the lesson on the left.

We noticed that the learners who added or interacted with the notes were using the product 3-6 times as compared to other features.

During college I bought notes from a senior and they were extremely useful.

So, we decided to launch Classmint which is Study Notes product.

 

 

How It all got started?

After finishing my Bachelors of Engineering, I relocated to Mumbai and then USA for work.

I visited my school after 10+ years and found out something interesting.

grades

12th grade result board which mentions my name at the top and no student scored higher in last 10+ years. I felt great about it first but soon realized that May be something is wrong with the schools. Good teachers have left or study environment isn’t just right or something else. I did some more research on Education system and found out this:

andrew-coulson-cato-education-spending

Key observations here:

  • Cost per student is increasing even after adjusting inflation.
  • Staff per student has also increased over time.

The Math, Science and Reading (English) scores have remained the same. I mean this is really inconsistent with rest of the world:

  • Our mobile phones are more powerful than computers 10 years back.
  • Social networks and Email have changed the way we communicate.
  • Internet has changed so many things.

Clearly, Education isn’t changed much and even Bill Gates would agree with me:

Education has not been changed. That is, institutional education, whether it’s K-12 or higher education, has not been substantially changed by the Internet.

– Bill Gates (June 25, 2012)

http://chronicle.com/article/A-Conversation-With-Bill-Gates/132591

So, Our goal at Classmint is to change it and help to score high in exams and life.

 

Convert Anything into a Cornell Note using Imports

We are pleased to introduce imports feature.

Now, Classmint can convert anything into a Cornell Note format.

How to get started?

Login to your Classmint account and clicky on Import button.

Import button

A dialog box will show up and select the file that you’d like to import to Classmint.

It will automatically convert the file into a Conrnell Note for you to study.

Classmint currently supports following formats for import:

  • Powerpoint – PPT, PPTX
  • Microsoft Word – DOC, DOCX
  • Adobe PDF files
  • Rich Text Format
  • Open Document Format
  • Text Format

We believe you will love this feature and it will help to learn faster.

Feel free to let us know what you think in comments.

Science behind Classmint

Cornell Notes Format

Classmint uses Cornell Notes format which is proven to be useful in synthesizing and applying learned knowledge.

An excerpt from Wikipedia.

A study published in 2008 by Wichita State University compared two note taking methods in a secondary English classroom, and found that Cornell Note taking may be of added benefit in cases where students are required to synthesize and apply learned knowledge.

Why learn something if we are not supposed to apply that knowledge?

Classmint lets you learn better by enabling to apply learned knowledge.

Active Recall

What is Active Recall?

Active recall is a principle of efficient learning, which claims the need to actively stimulate memory during the learning process. It contrasts with passive review, in which the learning material is processed passively (e.g. by reading, watching, etc.). For example, reading a text about George Washington, with no further action, is a passive review. Answering the question “Who was the first US President?”, is active recall. – Wikipedia

How Classmint enables Active Recall?

  • Folding the Cornell Note. You can hide the detailed notes and see only the left section which is keywords or questions using Fold button. This enables to actively recall the details/notes on the right side of the margin.
  • Notes Player plays the note contents left-to-right, top-to-bottom. When you’re playing the note, you have a chance to recall the notes on the right side before you play them.
  • Classmint features Text Annotations and Image Annotations which can be actively recalled by the learner to see if they remembered the meaning or not.

Although Classmint provides tools to make an active recally the onus if on the learner.

Spaced Repetion

As per Wikipedia

Spaced repetition is a learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect.

Classmint’s Revision List feature enables you to revise material over time. It automatically add a note to the revision list when you study it.