A Dream

Hello everyone. We’re going to enable a UX.

It’s best explained from the student’s perspective.

You log in with your Google account. You’re presented with a gift: a seed. A pop-up opens up and asks for your name in English. You type in your name. Suddenly, the seed at the center of the ground becomes planted within the ground. You can see it just under the surface of the sunlight. The window asks you, “When were you born?”

You input your birthday. The seed opens.

Curious, the next window pops up. There is a picture of three apples. The question plays over the speaker, “How many apples are there?”

You input ‘3’. And now, the seed has sprouted into the sunlight. Upon scrolling, you see that there are many ways for this, your seed to grow. There’s the main route, English, with 457 general to intermediate to advanced English skills along six connected branches: listening, reading, speaking, writing, vocabulary, and syntax. From each tendril, you can see courses in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Biology. There’s a chest by the tree and upon clicking it, it opens up and shows you a mini-window of the digital library with an adequately-sized search window. Setting it down, for now, you go back to your life.

24 hours goes by.

You’re reminded to check on your plant, because it needs water. Water on mytree.org represents exercises a user completes in line with their learning goals. With every single user beginning from the same point: the seed. As the user completes quizzes, lectures, videos with logged watch time, and reading (tracked as well), the plant grows, the base widens, and new shoots, leaves, and all other wonderful things begin to happen with your plant. In the superimposed background, upon magnification, you can see other things growing, other buildings, and other structures supported by a system of growing knowledge, checks, and balances.

Once you’ve passed everything a young adult should know, your redwood of a tree now has the branches to fill out, to build out, to feed with skills.

Each branch represents the free courseware, syllabi, and other materials offered currently online at mitcourseware.edu and other well-established educational institutions, branching out into Information Technology….you spy with your eye.

Another goes into rocket science.

And yet another goes into materials science. The other branches off from physics and chemistry to English Literature & Clinical Psychology. Your tree has become a banyan tree, one of the greatest collective species of trees on the planet.

But now, you need people to help you with your projects, not only to build, but to assess, to certify, and to adjust/improve with guidance, care, and kindness.

They’re there. They’ve been watching all of these trees of knowledge grow. While sitting on the toilet, or checking their phone bored out of their minds in a meeting or mundane occurrence,

and

with just a comment, an insight, a connection, or a tip,

you could just very well recreate what Albert Einstein did with his penpal: an exchange of letters about missile ballistics turns in the Theory of Relativity.

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