Product Review of inClass
inClass looks like an old-school cloth-bound organizer, mimicking the pen-and-paper method of calendaring, note-taking, and organizing. This little black book is totally electronic, though, giving learners a single place to organize their school lives. Students can create separate organizers for each term, adding instructors and their contact information, creating classes with assignments and due dates, and taking notes within each course’s section. Within their notes, they can add audio, images, files, and drawings (with the in-app upgrade). They can share these class notes with friends as email attachments, notes within the app, or via iTunes file sharing. Assignment due dates can be viewed through the calendar, which shows a month-at-a-glance on the left side of the page and a list of the selected day’s activities on the right. The coolest and most usable feature is the note-taking, with both audio and note-sharing capabilities. Even learners without the app can receive and listen to, or review, emailed notes.
This is a tool that can empower learners, and it’s just right for college learners. High school learners, especially those taking concurrent college courses or those with a heavy AP load, may find it helpful as well. No teacher dashboard is available to set up classes; learners take full ownership of the app. Teachers in lecture- or discussion-based courses may want to tell learners about it and encourage them to try it out for note-taking and sharing as well as for organizing their calendars.
Several other apps exist separately as calendaring, note-taking, or sharing tools, but inClass is unique as a complete organizational resource. Getting started can be a bit intimidating, especially for a Google generation used to at least some auto-populated information: Students have to enter class schedules, instructors, and assignments manually. inClass then gives learners a hands-on lesson on the benefits of putting in a little work on the front-end so they can keep track of and share assignments and class notes, with everything easily accessible in the app.
Overall User Consensus About the App
The portfolio-style design might not be familiar to most learners, although using it is pretty intuitive.
Curriculum and Instruction
Students are empowered to organize their work, schedules, and assigments, keeping contact information, calendars, and notes in one place. Sharing notes with classmates is easy, too.
Tips and tricks for getting the most from the tool are offered on Twitter, Facebook, and a YouTube channel. Note-sharing is versatile and easy.