The TutorTech2000

The TutorTech2000 is every educators dream. Not only can it assess a student’s present understanding on virtually any topic, it also serves to fill in any gaps in their knowledge through a personalized learning program. Advancing the education system more than ever before, students will learn more often, efficiently, and in more depth. Of course, the TutorTech2000 is not just for students. As long as humans have more to learn, this technology can be used by anyone and everyone!

The sleek and multi-functional design is non-invasive (think Google Glass), but it is unlikely you would ever want to take it off! The design has been optimized to function with only four electrodes – two which connect behind the ear, and one on each temple. In addition, the TutorTech2000 has a built-in microphone, to listen to your commands, as well as a speaker, to give its own. Fitted with a mini-projector and prism, you can see practice problems, diagrams, or whole websites in real time.

TutorTech Diagram

(image adapted from Google Glass)

Here’s how it works. You tell the TutorTech2000 which subject you want to brush up on. Say, your multiplication tables. Through voice control, it processes this command and projects for you a series of problems to test your current understanding of the topic. You see the first problem in front of you: 3 x 3. Without a second thought, you respond correctly to the headset. Your brain signals are recorded between the span of time in which you are given a question and you submit the answer. Since, in this case, that time span was incredibly short, the system registers your level of confidence with this problem. As a result, it ups the challenge and presents you with 9 x 7. For arguments sake, say that you are now struggling. You rack your brain to remember the answer that you had tried to memorize yesterday, but to no avail. So you go about the process of counting out one nine, two nines, three nines, and so on until you arrive at the correct answer. Your brain action and subsequently the signals processed in the latter scenario are much different than the former. It is on this basis that the TutorTech2000 can gauge how much and how deeply you understand something.

Following this assessment, the headset will project a step-by-step explanation of the problem and perhaps re-explain certain concepts that it sensed you especially struggled with. By also measuring your brain signals during the teaching session, the TutorTech2000 will eventually be able to distinguish between when you are comprehending the presented information, and when you are confused, frustrated, and feel as though the material is completely over your head. With that data, it will continue to adapt the curriculum accordingly.

Of course, this technology will work with countless subjects: from multiplication to long division, calculus, physics, neuroscience, history, literature, and everything in between. The testing and teaching methods will somewhat vary among them, but the general recording and revising process will remain the same. In each scenario, the TutorTech2000 will measure the signals from the indicated brain locations, acting as an EEG.

TutorTech Electrodes

The interpretation of this data is the greatest challenge in this design, but huge steps have already been taken in this direction. One program already exists which uses an EEG to measure levels of certain predefined short and long term emotions, including engagement/boredom, frustration, and instantaneous excitement. All of these could have applications in recording an individual’s level of understanding.

Affectiv Suite

In addition, Google Glass technology has already implemented the described visual overlay system, as well as the voice-controlled Internet communication.

Combining these technologies is one challenge in itself, even without the alterations for processing cognition. In addition, working towards the element of practicality could require at least another decade. The TutorTech2000 should be functional mobile, without significantly hindering the user’s daily life. In that regard, sizing and sensitivity are also key. Although some current EEG systems have as few as four electrodes, others have as many as 256. Optimizing results while minimizing space could take years in itself.

With all of this in mind, I can see at least prototypes of this technology being created within a few decades. Perhaps in 50-some years, education will be revolutionized as we know it!

5 responses to “The TutorTech2000”

  1. Carlos Aizenman says:

    I love the idea and implementation. So you are suggesting to use some sort of biofeedback to regulate the delivery of information based on yourt level of awareness. Eventually you can train yourself to optimize your perception of new material. This reminds me of a similar approach to what is used here: http://www.spreeder.com

  2. Heather M. Forbes says:

    This is a really cool idea! I think implementing Google Glass would make it even more interactive!

  3. Abigail Schreder says:

    This is such a great idea! It would definitely help a lot of students and educators alike!

  4. Sagar Telang says:

    Awesome idea. It is amazing to see endless possibilities in this field.

  5. Saachi Gopal says:

    I love the idea! It would be very impactful in education for both students and teachers.

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