Designed and built by Handstand Inc. and backed by noted entrepreneur and philanthropist¬†Cher Wang¬†, Nota‚ĄĘ is an entirely new type of open collaboration platform in which every book becomes its own knowledge community.
Nota (Latin for “note”) improves the learning experience in three ways:
- Collaborative: Every textbook in Nota is an open community. Anyone can annotate a textbook by adding videos, links and images to the pages of a book, fostering collaboration around an ever-increasing knowledge base.
- Cumulative: Nota helps students learn from other students at a distance and across time. The rich media annotations within each textbook can be ranked and discussed to enhance peer-to-peer learning, building a better book for the next set of students.
- Pervasive: Nota’s cloud-based knowledge platform allows learning to follow the student. A student can open a digital textbook wherever, whenever, and on whatever digital platform is at hand, whether it’s a computer web browser, Android tablet or Apple tablet.
With today’s digital textbooks, all of the learning that occurs when a student searches the web or works with a fellow student happens outside of the book. A traditional textbook doesn’t grow alongside the student. Now with Nota (Latin for “note”), when a student opens a textbook he is presented with the videos, web links and images that other students using the book found the most valuable. Over time, as the students add, rate and discuss the best of what they find, the textbook becomes the equivalent of that great teacher who is always available. And if the student doesn’t find what he is looking for in the existing annotations, he can start his search directly from the book, creating the opportunity for the student and the book to learn more. Nota enables books to grow smarter as the students using it learn new things.
“Today’s students grew up collecting and connecting rich media from across the web, both inside and outside the classroom,” says Handstand CEO and founder Dr.¬†William Cockayne¬†, Ph.D. “Our team set out to design a platform that matches how students truly learn, discover and collaborate.”
Nota is launching with a free catalog of the best textbooks from the open educational resources (OER) community. The first catalog will focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) topics, a cornerstone of education around the world. Additional free catalogs will be released quarterly in partnership with publishers, universities and libraries.
Nota is backed by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ms.¬†Cher Wang¬†. Wang has a personal desire to improve access to quality education. “Given the critical importance of STEM subjects in promoting economic development and scientific innovation, it is vital for all business leaders to foster innovative ways to engage and stimulate higher numbers of people in STEM education and careers,” said¬†Cher Wang¬†. “I am excited about the possibilities of Nota to truly innovate how we read and learn, and I am committed to ensuring the success of Nota to broaden technology learning opportunities worldwide.”
New users can sign up for a free account at¬†www.notareader.com¬†and download the Nota app for Android in the Google Play Store. Nota will be available on the iPad in¬†February 2013.
You can follow Nota on Twitter @nota_reader¬†and Facebook¬†www.facebook.com/NotaReader.