This academic year, already 2000 students are using Web 2.0 to improve their way of studying without knowing or caring what Web 2.0 really is. We owe it to Tom Whitson, a British student fresh out of University. He started Notely, a Web 2.0 application for students from all over the world to get their workload organized by using to-do lists, homework planners, calendars and class schedules (demo).
Tom told us how he came up with the idea of Notely: “I studied Pshycis at the Imperial College London. I saw a lot of Web 2.0 sites springing up, meeting the needs of techies, blog aggregators and the like. But nothing was focused on the student market, a potentially huge market. I think Web 2.0 has a lot to give students, a lot of the ideology of 2.0 is focused – essentially – on group learning and sharing. Something we’ve been doing at school all our lives.”
Tom began thinking of ideas and started working on a few different ideas. Yet, Notely is the one he stuck with. “I think with Notely I have a shot at giving something to students, providing them with a tool they can actually use and benefit from.”
So basically Tom is making Web 2.0 easy for students. “Yeah that was the angle. Web 2.0 should be about making average people’s lives easier using their data and their experiences. That’s what Notely is trying to achieve for students.”
Besided having a vision, Tom also knows how to make money: “The student market is huge, there were 958940 students in UK higher education alone in 2005 – 2006 academic year.” They can sign up for free, and for 5 dollar a year the site is free of advertisement. Taking in account that developing Notely probably wasn’t very complicated and thus didn’t needed a lot of investment, mr. Witson is about to gain a lot of money. How? Just by making 2.0 understandable.
With that in mind, it’s good to know that any profits he’ll make the first year will be donated to Education For Life.
One final request for Tom, please do let the students also share in the joy of beautiful Web 2.0 design by giving your lay-out a somewhat slicker touch. Apart from that, Notely is another great step towards the implementation of Web 2.0 in everyday life.