Student life made easier with note-sharing app

By Siobhan Leathley

Software engineering students Hengjie Wang (pictured) and Jordan Thoms have created an app to help students better understand lecture content. Photo / Supplied
Software engineering students Hengjie Wang (pictured) and Jordan Thoms have created an app to help students better understand lecture content. Photo / Supplied

A new internet application created by two University of Auckland software engineers allows students to share and compare lecture notes in real time from anywhere in the country.

Students Hengjie Wang and Jordan Thoms have teamed up to create Notable, which is now being used by nearly 200 New Zealand students.

The app allows students to share annotations, questions, or comments with eachother, regardless of location in the country.

University of Auckland has given Notable users direct access to lecture notes and course documents contained in the university's e-learning hub, Cecil.

Wang and Thoms came up with the idea while interning in San Francisco at the end of last year.

They spotted a need for something which would make note-taking easier and help students better understand lecture content, Thom said.

Through Cecil, Notable users could start making course or lecture notes immediately.

"You load it up and start typing, as you would pick up a pen to start writing," Wang said.

Students could choose to keep notes private or to only share them with friends.

Wang said he was not aware of any software available which had the capabilities, speed, or efficiency of the app.

The duo started developing and coding Notable in March and officially launched it on July 16.

"We've been constantly working on this, regardless of assignments, and we're dedicated to building this," Wang said.

And the pair's software engineering background meant it was a cheap undertaking.

"We were able to optimise the back-end (database) and keep costs at a minimum,'' Wang said.

They could store Notable's documents in an external storage system, similar to cloud computing.

The next step will be to approach other universities with the app and encourage them to integrate it into their e-learning systems.

In the future, the two students plan to take Notable overseas, starting with Australia and eventually approaching American universities.

Notable has qualified for Spark's $100k Challenge, a student-led initiative recognising and encouraging young entrepreneurs. Winner of the challenge gets $25,000 in seed capital and six-months' incubation at The Icehouse.

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