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Taking Notes

I've recently started playing with a neat little tool called
Note Sake
which I found out about through the blog post about a recent
Tech Podcast Roundtable

I have to admit I was really skeptical that it would even be useful. Sometimes I make bad assumptions about what will be available and workable. But surprisingly, i haven't had any problems. I'm not necessarily using it as intended, I don't actually take notes directly into the form, since I prefer to be able to write in contracted braille during class. But I am putting a copy of my notes up there to afford me better organization and back-ups in case I lose my notes. It's very neat because you can put in a title in your notes, tags (some call them categories), and download a word or pdf copy of your notes. I think it's a very neat tool.

I don't have anyone who I know on the service yet, so I haven't played with the sharing functions of the site. But how cool would it be to be able to accessibly share notes? All you'd have to do would be to know the username of your friend. It's always been cumbersome to share notes if you're a blind person, since handwriting isn't OCR/scanning-friendly. This would allow us to share notes with classmates, and see what they've written. This is helpful in classes where it's hard to keep up, or there is a lot written on the board.

I don't use the notetaking services offered by my school's disability services office because I rarely find it necessary, but I could see it being helpful for those who do. It would eliminate the copying and recording or typing steps.

I do see some possible barriers for this service though. The problem I see is that it's not always possible to use the internet in class. Wireless is becoming more and more available on my campus, but it's not everywhere yet. I've also read some accounts of professors banning laptops from the classroom. Even then, I don't hear many laptops in class. So the barrier is getting students to type their notes.

Even so, this is a very neat service, and I find it to be very accessible. If you're interested in trying out the service and sharing notes, let me know. We'll figure something out in regards to swapping whatever information is needed. It's definitely worth a look at this service!


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