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Quicklyst: Note taking web app created by student

What it is: Senior in high school Shantanu Bala emailed me yesterday with a link to a new web application he built called Quicklyst. Quicklyst is a web application for note taking. Shantanu created Quicklyst to make taking and studying notes easier.  Quicklyst makes it easy to take notes, deliver notes to a Kindle device, look up topics in Wikipedia, and define words within notes automatically using the Merriam Webster Dictionary.  It is free and easy to use from any web connected computer. Students can quickly organize their notes into study guides and even create a study queue for important notes.  Notes can be searched by topic or subject.  Quicklysts can be delivered to a Kindle, printed, or downloaded as text files.  There is no need to register to create a Quicklyst, to save a Quicklyst, students will need to create a username (could be email address but doesn’t have to be) and password. While students take notes, they can instantly include definitions and search information in their notes.  Type a question mark followed by the word you want searched and Quicklyst will automatically add information from Wikipedia and DuckDuckGo. Type a colon followed by the word you want defined and Quicklyst will automatically insert the definition into the notes. Students can click on the + sign next to their notes to add the notes to their Study Queue.  The study queue is a place for students to save notes that they want to reference and study later. How to integrate Quicklyst into the classroom: Quicklyst is a great addition to any student (or teacher) tool box. It makes note taking a breeze, quickly importing definitions and search information into the notes. In a one to one setting (where every student has access to a computer) Quicklyst could be used by students to take notes during discussion, lecture, or any type of whole class learning activity.  In the one or two computer classroom, Quicklyst could be assigned as a student job in your classroom. During the class, the student assigned can take notes that can later be downloaded and sent to students, or printed as a study guide.  The class job should be rotated so that each student has an opportunity to be class recorder. Quicklyst is also excellent for teachers taking notes in staff meetings, professional development, or conferences.  It is such a simple tool to use and has just the right amount of extras (instant definitions) to make it really useful! Use Quicklyst with younger students to create KWL (know, want to know, learn) type notes with students.  Using a projector-connected computer, interactive whiteboard, or classroom computer, students can begin the chart and fill it in as they learn more.  The simple built in search and definition make it ideal for this type of use. Tips: Quicklyst is a fantastic example of student innovation, it once again begs the question are we providing opportunities for this kind of creativity in schools?  Shantanu created Quicklyst in his free time for fun, amazing! I asked Shantuanu where the idea for Quicklyst came about and how he learned how to program, here is his response: Mainly, notes were something I always had a problem with. I’d either lose them or forget them, or just use a textbook since my notes weren’t very good. Although my school doesn’t have laptops for every student, schools are slowly getting more and more computers for use directly in the classroom. I realized it might be interesting to create something that stores a person’s notes online and allows a person to search his or her notes easily. That solved my first problem of losing and forgetting my notes. But there was one thing I found missing when looking through some of my notes: structure. I’d try to continue my notes chronologically, but sometimes there’s a gap when a teacher stops teaching one subject and jumps to something else that’s more urgent. Other times, I’d miss a lesson, and I’d forget to copy someone else’s notes. On a computer, this process is much easier, and copying/moving things around can happen in a couple seconds. I also realized that notes feel very disconnected — there’s a wealth of information available online, and there’s only so much a teacher can fit into a class period that’s less than an hour. Providing that information to a student while they take their notes in class seems like the right direction. It encourages active learning by allowing a student to ask a lot of questions and find answers themselves. Part of the reason I am really excited about the amount of information available online (and the quality of the information) is because I was able to teach myself how to code in the 6th grade. I just followed some tutorials online, and whenever I was confused I just asked a question on a forum and I’d get an answer pretty quickly. There are a ton of people who write excellent materials and answer questions completely in their free time. It’s really amazing. Once I got into high school, I found out that I could get credit by taking some community college courses in programming, so I took Java and C++ classes. But my favorite programming language is really the one I learned first — Python. Thank you Shantanu for creating such a useful application and sharing it with all of us! Leave a comment and share how you are using Quicklyst in your classroom.

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Edublog Award Nominations 2010

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, inspiration, Teacher Resources | Posted on 17-11-2010

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It is that time again, Edublog Award nomination.  This is a time of year I look forward to…and dread.  It is a great time to learn about new blogs/educators/resources as the nominations go out, but it is also becoming increasingly difficult for me to nominate.  My Google Reader is packed full of favorites.  I need many more categories than those that edublogs supplies!  After much deliberation, here are my nominations:

Best individual blog- @TheNerdyTeacher http://www.thenerdyteacher.com/ for his epic posts on all things education and pop culture. Saved by the Bell is a favorite.
Best individual tweeter – @ShellTerrell I have no idea how Shelly does it, but she is incredible!
Best group blog – http://coopcatalyst.wordpress.com/ This is an incredible group of educators, I love their individual blogs but when they come together it is magic.
Best new blog – http://gret.wordpress.com I love reading each of Greta’s posts, I am so glad she decided to start a blog!
Best class blog – http://alfordnews.wordpress.com/ Kelly does such a great job with her class blog, I love the way she creates Smilebox creations of what her kiddos are doing to share with parents.
Best resource sharing blog – http://freetech4teachers.com Richard is a resource sharing rock star.
Most influential blog post – http://www.johntspencer.com/2010/02/i-hope-he-stays-lunatic-for-life.html To be fair most of John’s posts are inspirational to me. I think this one sticks out because it reminds me of conversations with my dad about the moon and growing up.
Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet based discussion – #cpchat  I have loved seeing this group of administrators come together.
Best teacher blog –@whatedsaid http://whatedsaid.wordpress.com/ Edna always leaves me thinking and working to make myself better. Plus the visual learner in me loves her Toon Doo cartoons for each post!
Best librarian / library blog – My favorite librarian @shannonmmiller http://vanmeterlibraryvoice.blogspot.com/
Best school administrator blog – @gcouros http://georgecouros.ca/blog/ George provides honest reflection and inspiration around every bend.
Best educational tech support blog- http://jasontbedell.com/ Jason did an outstanding series/ebook about tech integration.
Best elearning / corporate education blog – http://thegatewayto21stcenturyskills.blogspot.com/
Best educational webinar series – Reform Symposium (not sure if I am allowed to nominate this one since I was involved, but want to nominate the rest of the awesome team, it was incredible!)
Lifetime achievement – @cybraryman1 Jerry has an incredible collection of knowledge and resources that he has added to for years. It doesn’t matter what you need or are looking for, Jerry always has it at the ready (including personalized birthday webpages).

That is beyond hard for me!  If you want to see who I would nominate if I could include all of my favorites, check out these Google Bundles edublogger alliance 1 and edublogger alliance 2.

Want to nominate your favorites?

In order to nominate blogs for the 2010 Edublog Awards you have to link to them first!

  • Nominations: Close Friday 3 December!
  • Voting: Ends Tuesday 14 December!
  • Award Ceremony: Wednesday 15 December!

1. Write a post on your blog linking to:

You can nominate:

  1. For as many categories as you like,
  2. But only one nomination per category,
  3. A blog (or site) for more than one category
  4. Any blog or site you like but not your own blogs (sites) :)

2. Email edublogs the link to your nomination post

Happy nominating!

Comments (6)

Thanks Kelly! You’ve been an inspiration to me this year. Hopefully, some of your dedication rubs off and I can finish the second half of the book.
I tried to respond via DM, but you’re not following.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely, Beth Harris, artrubicon, Roy Ph-Jacobs and others. Roy Ph-Jacobs said: iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Edublog Award Nominations 2010: My Google Reader is packed… http://goo.gl/fb/Qwa5o […]

Thanks for the nomination!

Thank you!
Readers should know that:
Kelly’s was one of the first blogs I read and was inspired by.
It was when Kelly started a blogging alliance that I became involved with other bloggers. She has supported me in several contexts and broadened my thinking. Her modeling, guidance and inspiration for educators worldwide is exceptional.
To be nominated by you is really meaningful!

Wow Kelly! Thanks so much! I’m humbled by your nomination. It seriously means a lot!
You have so much to do with my blog. Thanks for inspiring and supporting me every day.

Kelly! Thanks so much! Loved collaborating with you this year and you’re on my nominations as well! Thanks for the joy you bring to the PLN!

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