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Soshiku=a reason for cell phones in school

Soshiku, a website created by 17-year old Andrew Shaper, is a simple and elegant web-based tool for tracking school assignments. Launched this September, I stumbled across it via a note on Twitter and I have to say I'm completely impressed.
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Written by Christopher Dawson on

Soshiku, a website created by 17-year old Andrew Shaper, is a simple and elegant web-based tool for tracking school assignments. Launched this September, I stumbled across it via a note on Twitter and I have to say I'm completely impressed. According to the launch press release,

Andrew Schaper, the 17-year-old founder, launched Soshiku after he himself could not find any reliable, easy way to keep track of his schoolwork. Aimed primarily at high school and college students, Soshiku has been made with ease of use and accessibility in mind.

It's worth mentioning that I was impressed with the site before I read the press release and found out the site was created by a high schooler.

The site itself consists of areas to track classes, assignments, and partners (other Soshiku users with whom you might collaborate on an assignment). It's incredibly easy to use:

  1. Sign up for an account (username, password, name, and optional email)
  2. Add classes
  3. Add assignments
  4. Add partners (if necessary)

The assignments can include detailed notes and attached files, as well as a list of related tasks that can optionally be assigned to partners collaborating on the assignment. Reminders appear on your Soshiku home page but can also be emailed to you and/or delivered to your phone via SMS (the only hurdle right now is that the phone must be one of the major US carriers).

Here's where things really get interesting, though, as far as I'm concerned. Why should a student have to write down an assignment in class, then log into Soshiku when they get home at night and enter the assignment information online? I probably wouldn't bother with the second step; I certainly wouldn't expect the average high school student to do it. However, Soshiku allows students to either email or text assignments to their calendar. Once a phone is registered with the Soshiku account, all it takes is a text with the syntax "[Assignment name] in [course name] due [due date]".

Web 2.0? Meet Education 2.0. Nice work, Mr. Schaper. This site is completely free, by the way, supported by subtle Google Adsense ads and user donations.

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