“Shvoong Homework” is a new service from Shvoong in which kids can organize their school work in one place, share homework and class summaries with their friends and meet people across the world and share knowledge. It’s nice to see websites diversify a bit and offer creative ways to implement new solutions to old problems; think of Shvoong Homework as a red string tied around the finger of kids that spend more time socializing at school than they do paying attention in class, and this can also be a great tool for anyone looking for new ways to track their kids assignments as well. If it sounds like a mash up of the best that Facebook has to offer, with the trappings of MySpace, yet for children, and, along constructive lines, then I’m compelled to examine the possibilities as to whether or not Shvoong can offer a worthwhile alternative to traditional social networking for the younger elementary and junior high set.
The site is broken down into four sections, Home, My Timetable, My Network and of course, My Friends. There is also a Shvoong Summarizer that can be used to mark “the most important sentences in any block of text for you” so you can keep your highlighters at home! I had already signed up for Shvoong’s traditional service for writers, and liked what they were doing, so when they emailed me on this I knew that I had to tell someone about it because this could finally be that one educational application that could take us back to the wonder years of the early eighties when computers weren’t networked and were actually being used for some good! So I signed up, first off they tell you how many classmates are online now, as well as how many friends are too, they also provide a calendar with 5 weekdays and 8 cells, to plan and track your actual classes with. If you go to “My Homework”, you can click on everyones notebook, your friends notebook, or your class notebook, or even your schools notebook, to see what other people are working on, and whether or not that can help you with your assignements or to learn if perhaps they’re someone that you should network with to help you through the classes you’re taking.
Finding other classmates from around the world with notebooks was easy enough, but no one seemed to have any actual assignments in the books, though there were plenty of classes listed as those that students were taken. So I took the liberty of creating some mock assignments for my pottery class. This involved creating questions and writing down answers that can post for everyones eyes or just myself or my friends, and I even jotted down when the exam was, and will have Shvoong remind me of it a week early so that I can prepare for it. The service is still in beta, and it appears that the social-networking aspect of the site is what needs to be worked on the most, as that part can be a bit confusing. Overall this is a great service for students looking for a creative way to keep track of their assignments, remotely from any computer at no additional cost. That reason alone may be enough for most students of all ages to take a look at what Shvoong is offering.