- When choosing the subject for each of your School Loop courses, there are now specific options for most middle school and high school courses. This makes results more relevant, and is a big improvement over the meager four choices available previously (math, science, history, and economics). As before, Academist uses the course name to make an initial guess of what the subject is during setup.
- Because Academist knows the classes you are in, it prioritizes resources in the corresponding subject areas. For example, if you are learning about energy in chemistry class, a video about chemical energy will carry more weight than one about gravitational potential energy. Links that are in the right subject area for your class will have a checkmark next to them, and links in other subject areas will have a question mark next to them.
- The new "ⓘ Info" button above your Current Assignments will give you useful tips to help you use Academist.
- The settings page now looks much less ugly.
- The math and science textbooks used in the CUSD middle schools are now available as textbook options.
- Other small improvements
- Sadly, in the interest of improving the search algorithm, I haven't had the time to add other study resources besides Khan Academy.
I remember when I thought this blog was a waste of time, but it turned out to be a great place to display information (see the new "An In-Depth Introduction" page). After all, what's a project without a website to tell the world about it? So here's my 2 cents for future geniuses: I highly recommend trying out something other than Blogger. Blogger is incredibly overdue for an update, and there are other free website creators like Weebly that will be easier to use and result in prettier-looking websites. Regardless, try to make your blog into a tool to get people interested in your project. Often times, the English teachers know what they are doing. :)
I also need to address the lasting impact of this project (or lack thereof). Currently, there are 53 users of Academist. However, that number may be skewed, because recent graduates may still have it sitting dormant on their computers. That aside, I am taking a gamble by continuing work on Academist. It has functional limitations that may prevent it from reaching many more people. On the other hand, the staff at CUSD are interested in it and are willing to take the time to spread the word out to the staff & students at the middle schools and high schools. Here's a huge thanks to Megan Arias, Joseph Hartman, and Dr. Rob Nye; without them, I may not have had the motivation to develop version 2.0, and I would not have been able to add the middle school textbooks.
To sum up, Academist is not perfect. A combination of limitations in both Academist and Khan Academy often result in suggestions that are not relevant. Still, they often are relevant and useful. They have to be if Academist is going to help anyone, and that is why I thought it was important to develop version 2.0 in order to increase Academist's chances of success. I have tested Academist and received positive feedback, but I won't claim that everyone will find it useful. Only time will tell.