Technology and education are slowly merging as new technology is brought into more classrooms and the internet grows in its ability to provide educational tools. Even Apple, one of the most successful tech companies in world, has introduced itself into the world of education with the ability of the iPad to provide more dynamic and in depth textbooks. A new startup trying to alleviate a common annoyance to many college students is GoSoapBox.
The web app is meant to help increase interaction between the students and the teacher giving the lecture. It does so with 4 general tools that teachers can use at their disposal. One of these features is audience questioning. While other levels of education tend to have smaller class sizes, college lecture courses can have many more students making the ability of the students to ask effective questions much smaller. What GoSoapBox allows is students to electronically submit questions and then classmates can upvote them. Naturally the most common questions among the students would move towards the top and the teacher can answer those questions without having to disrupt the flow of the lecture.
GoSoapBox also allows teachers to start discussions. In a normal setting only a handful of the students in the lecture would actually be able to contribute to the lecture given the time restraints of most college courses. With the discussion tool, a teacher can start different topics and then get input from any and all of the students in their lecture.
The other 2 tools sort of go hand in hand as a way for the teacher to evaluate how the course is going. They can see a real time view of just many students are confused and how many are understanding the lesson. The teacher can also provide polls and quizzes as indicators of what knowledge is being retained or as an ongoing assessment.
Teachers can purchase the system at $15 a month or $90 for a year’s worth of the service. Students don’t need any new type of technology or account to use the service. All they need a code and they can use it with whatever device they have with them at the class, whether it be a phone, a tablet, or a laptop. The idea for GoSoapBox was developed while being in a lecture class, and it helps students to use their electronic devices as a means to constantly interact with lecture as opposed to a means of becoming distracted.