I wish StudySpots had been around when I was a college student. I’d spend hours hunched over books and my laptop in my dorm room or the same cubicle at the library, accumulating a layer of grime and tears as I crammed for an exam or struggled through a term paper.
StudySpots, presented by a team of five young women from Girls Who Code, wants to prevent students from turning into accidental hermits. The site, which presented at San Francisco TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon today, presents you with a list of study spots based on the weather and your mood.
The team behind StudySpots—Roxy Banik, Natasha Driver, Nikki Allen, Michelle Polton-Simon, and Lily Yuan—includes three high school seniors and two college freshmen. They were inspired by research that shows studying in different locations, instead of just confining yourself in one place all the time, can actually help with memory retention because the brain makes associations between information and the sensations it experiences, consciously or not, in different environments.
To use StudySpots, you first enter your zip code so the site knows how the weather is in your location, and then you choose your state of mind: focused and ready to roll or in the mood to procrastinate. Then based on those two factors, StudySpots gives you a list of places, including cafes, parks, and libraries, where you should go.
StudySpots is based on a simple idea, but I think it has the potential to vastly improve the life of students. Not only would studying in different places help boost their information retention, but it would also help them escape the bubble of campus living and improve their mood by decreasing isolation. By patronizing local businesses and venues, students can also help the economy of the area their campus is located in and build better “town/gown” relationships.To monetize and grow, StudySpots would expand with sponsored deals and pictures of locations, so students can get a preview of study spots before they haul their laptop out.
The five women participated in today’s Hackathon as part of a partnership between Girls Who Code, a nonprofit organization, and Cambio, a site geared toward Millennials that is run by AOL (which also owns TechCrunch). They’ve spent this summer rebuilding Cambio, which gets 7.5 million unique views a month, and took a quick break from working on the site and school to fly to San Francisco from New York for the Hackathon.