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A personal learning assistant

1:1 personal learning consultant to help students get in college or become self-directed learners.

Photo of Gregory Wilson
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First iteration

Mobile app to prepare high school students for the college admission process


"The lowest-income students with the highest scores on eighth-grade standardized tests are less likely to go to selective colleges than the highest-income students with the lowest test scores" - The Education Trust

"The average public high school college counselor is responsible for 471 students, according to the National Association of College Admissions Counselors — an average dragged down by the even higher ratio in schools that serve low-income students." - The Hechinger Report

What’s the story you’re going to tell for the next four years?

Starting as early as 9th grade, students should be encouraged to start developing an academic portfolio that will get them in the right colleges (and scholarships). This should include classes (both online and at school), standardized and AP test prep, field trips, internships, mentorships, leadership opportunities, and other informal learning experiences.

As the system learns about the students' interests and strengths it would help them figure out what careers and colleges would best suit them. The system could utilize virtual reality to offer students "day in the life" experiences based on a college student or someone in the workplace.

When necessary, the system can connect students to a human consultant for more specialized assistance. 


Second iteration

The internet contains a mass amount of free learning content online from podcasts and blogs to short lectures and videos. There is a need for an application that can quickly and easily curate these resources when you need them. This system would be used to curate and build playlists to help people learn anything they want at anytime by simply telling the system what they want to learn. Other features should include:

- Bookmarking key points in a lesson through voice command (e.g., by saying "save this point" during a podcast)

- Taking notes through voice command

- Context aware system: The ability to learn about your surroundings at any point or connect what you have learned in the past to where you are or what you are doing in the present

- Content rating system

- The system can quiz you on what you've learn by asking you questions (verbally or through text) after you finish a lesson or playlist

- If someone else is currently learning the same content, provide the ability to connect with them through video or chat for collaborative learning

- Award badges when you master a concept


Third iteration

Placing all these features into an augmented reality device like Microsoft Surface or Meta. System becomes like Iron Man's Jarvis, a learning consultant who is always with you.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

Anyone who wants a learning consultant to help them in and through college or learn a new skill or concept outside of the classroom.

This idea emerged from:

  • An individual

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Programming and intelligent agent building experience

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Building an app that recommendations learning experiences based on interests.

Tell us about your work experience:

I have experience in education, design, technology, and research.


Join the conversation:

Photo of James McBennett

Would be great to have an application to submit a college essay to and instantly get feedback on how to improve it before submitting.

Photo of Gregory Wilson

That's actually a pretty cool idea! What if you had a virtual personal assistant that could act as a college counselor throughout your four years in high school helping you figure out what you want to major in, what colleges you want to apply to, give feedback on essays, help with test prep, and find projects and experiences that could make you more attractive to colleges?

Photo of James McBennett

I said in a different post that the main reason kids from rough neighborhoods don't get into Harvard is they haven't heard of it. The second reason may be a list of other things, but without solving that rather easy to solve first problem, nothing else can happen. On a different level, they are many questions and tips students just don't know. "Common knowledge is not so common." A virtual automated assistant would be a great idea!

Photo of Gregory Wilson

You should check out this article: .

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