Two UCSB students are developing a website that will allow students to share class schedules, notes and study guides online beginning in Fall 2011.
Fourth-year economics major David Friermor and fourth-year political science major Jordan Townsend created the “SchoolBook” project and accompanying Facebook application alongside fourth-year Humboldt State University finance major Andy Cox to unite the social and educational aspects of college life. The site will synchronize with Facebook to display friends who share classes and provide users with tools to distribute class resources and create study groups.
According to Friermor, the website’s design was inspired by Cox’s discontent with the lack of communication between university administration and students.
“Andy first came up with the premise of how he was unhappy with the way education was handled,” Friermor said. “He felt like there was a huge disconnect between the university and the students.”
The team aimed to bridge the educational gap and give students resources to better handle the university’s system. Friermor said the project’s goal is to give students a tool for overcoming the university’s academic challenges.
“When we were first coming up with the idea, we had to figure out where our focus would be — bettering the school system from the university standpoint or helping the students work with the current structure,” Friermor said. “We chose the latter.”
Additionally, Townsend said the website features tools that enable users to share documents and rankings of professors to assist both the students and the university.
“It will benefit the students because it will give them tons of knowledge on the class before they enter into it,” Townsend said. “It will benefit the university because they will have a channel to directly connect with students and see what they think.”
The group participated in the UCSB Technology Management Program’s New Venture Competition — an entrepreneurial contest where students submit original business ideas — to contend for financial support and investment opportunities. Although the website did not make it to the final event, External Program Manager of TMP Bill Grant said it is a promising endeavor.
“I think their ‘SchoolBook’ project has great scope and potential,” Grant said in an e-mail. “They were very close to being finalists in the most competitive year ever for our TMP New Venture Competition.”
The alpha version of the website was released to a small focus group of approximately 60 UCSB students at the beginning of Spring Quarter. Townsend said the full version of the site is set to launch this fall will also branch out to several other California university campuses. Students interested in the website’s features can visit UCSBSchoolBook.com/blog.