Self Initiated Learning

Sure we need teachers, but why live into teachers’ ambitions when students have their own?

Here’s an idea I have for an AI learning system that motivates students to go after their greatest potential.

I call it Virgil.

Virgil’s first question to any student: What do you want to do?

A student may reply, “I want to sell 10-million records by my 18th birthday.

Virgil then aggregates data that’s relevant to the ambition:

The first album featuring Dr. Dre sold 50,000 records when Dre was 19.

Students use that kind of data to create tasks for themsleves, like sell 20 singles in 20 days.

Virgil hooks into popular apps to focus the student’s progress with personalized insight: You’ve logged 250,000 hours in Garageband. Maybe it’s time to sell a song?

If a student falls short of a goal, Virgil suggests ways to adapt: Focus on creating a new song today – or just listen to Concrete Roots. Each achievement (sold one album on iTunes) triggers a new challenge (sell another!).

Teachers can also use Virgil to recommend additional goals like getting perfect attendance in class or maintaining a certain GPA.

Students ultimately decide if teacher recommendations are more important than their own and Virgil adjusts its feedback accordingly. In this way Virgil is a guide not an arbiter, helping students cultivate confidence to go after any ambition.

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