Move over Cliffs Notes. A new homework helper called Volley may be making inroads to win the title of best app for studying ever created. But even if it never takes the gold, the app-in-the-making is definitely the most ambitious homework assistant ever imagined. Dare we say it might even spark a revolution in the way people study and learn? Sure, that’s a big statement. But Volley is a very, very big concept that could potentially deliver.
Here’s the concept: On its website, the company states its goal as “computationally understanding and teaching the world’s academic knowledge within a decade.” How so? The app lets students point their camera to whatever they’re struggling with — a page from a text book, a meddlesome homework question, some perplexing lines of Shakespeare — and instantly receive a trove of targeted educational resources: Think videos from the Khan Academy, articles from Wikipedia, along with harder-to-find pieces of information that Volley’s founders say would otherwise be impossible to find on a simple Google search.
Is this cheating? Or is it the magic solution to truly unleash the potential of self-directed learning? Only time will tell.
Investors include Zuckerberg Education Ventures (yes, that Zuckerberg), while Volley’s founding group includes people like the developer of the award-winning procrastination-busting app, Finish.
So can Volley really help you decode that daunting algebra problem? It remains to be seen. Want to give it a try? Sign up here for private alpha testing and see for yourself how it works.
Need a study aid tonight, and not ten years from now? One of our favorites is SparkNotes, an easy-to-use, far-from-perfect free website. Included is test prep for all high school subjects, from chemistry to computer science, physics to philosophy, although the literature section is the most developed. ACT, SAT and other standardized tests are also covered, giving students strategies and information about the tests, but not sample questions.