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finalsclub.org

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Founded Year

2007

Stage

Dead | Dead

About FinalsClub

FinalsClub is a non-profit open education project that leverages social networks to facilitate collaborative note-taking and online study groups. It pays Harvard students to post their lecture notes online, offering the substance of Harvard courses free to anyone with an Internet education.

FinalsClub Headquarter Location

1132 Massachusetts Ave

Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138,

United States

Latest FinalsClub News

FinalsClub: Classroom Note-Sharing Without the Exclusivity

Feb 9, 2012

SEND ANOTHER EMAIL CLOSE share “I’ve come to understand that education is about an experience,” says Andrew Magliozzi, the founder of  FinalsClub.org . A Harvard graduate, Magliozzi is trying to revolutionize the way students learn, offering them a platform for collaborative note-taking, online study groups and annotated texts. The site is named after Harvard’s renowned Final Clubs, known for keeping old lecture notes on file to help the less studious members pass their classes. While some could say that, like the Final Clubs, the site serves as a safety net for those not willing to attend lectures, Magliozzi sees the site more as a tool to facilitate learning and heighten knowledge. The site became an official nonprofit in 2009, but currently serves as a “hobby” for Magliozzi, who also runs Veritas Tutors , a Cambridge-based full-service tutoring company, that offers in-person and online instruction. In the years to follow, he hopes to expand the presence of FinalsClub, saying that MIT’s been inspiring but that Harvard’s contributions to opencourseware have been “lackluster.” Primarily serving the Harvard campus, Magliozzi stumbled upon some initial copyright concerns, claiming, though, that “from the very get-go, [he] was always very straightforward with people” and that he made FinalsClub a nonprofit to assuage people’s concerns about copyright. “We’re all about freedom, openness, sharing and collaboration,” Magliozzi says. “To some degree, our founding principles are trying to align themselves with the best interests of the entire academic community.” Although there are professors at Harvard who are very open to the idea and have already begun making their classes more open, including CS50 professor David Malan , there are still 20 percent of professors who are undecided about the service and another 20 percent who are vehemently opposed, according to Magliozzi. Professors are invited to ask questions, however, when they see a course of theirs entered into the site, and do have the option of opting out and making their lectures unavailable. Four or five have opted out thus far. Yet, students have a crucial role to play, as well. “If you’re a student and you have privileged access to some extraordinary academic resources and knowledge in general, I think you’re almost obliged to share it with the rest of the world,” Magliozzi says. Students are always engaging in study groups, but it’s typically offline. To Magliozzi, it’s not about creating new technology, but rather “using the technology we have in new ways, and breaking down the barrier of psychology.” He says, “So many students in classes today type their notes on their laptop, but there’s still no collaboration.” Magliozzi has surveyed hundreds of students at Harvard, Yale, Columbia and other top colleges, and has found that several don’t share their notes for two simple reasons: they’re afraid of being accused of cheating and they don’t want to give up their competitive advantage. “People value their own ideas,” Magliozzi says, who claims “it’s unfortunate. I think there’s so much more to be gained if we collaborate.” When asked how many users Magliozzi has on board FinalsClub now, he answers, “Not enough,” but he knows they have a lot of room to grow. “I think everyone has something to contribute.” Magliozzi blogs when he’s not working. His site is called “ Please Steal This Idea ,” and it encourages readers to build off his proposed business plans he doesn’t have time to act on himself. “I am a believer in intellectual public property,” Magliozzi says, also admitting that even if he weren’t to create FinalsClub, someone else would. “Education, in general, is really on the cusp of a revolutionary change,” he says. “We’re going to look back at education the way we look at the encyclopedia. I can’t imagine my world without Wikipedia in it.” FILED UNDER:

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