Microsoft Partners in Learning & Cortana, an unofficial experiment in the future of Education Technology

I was recently inspired by a blog post from Ray Fleming, about the new academic potential found when using the intelligent voice-activated assistant on Windows Phone called Cortana. Ray lists a few things that you can do with Cortana, like creating shopping lists and sending text messages, but then talks about real world academic uses for it.

  • “When/what/where is my next lesson?”
  • “When is my next science lesson?”
  • “When is my next essay due?”

With my usual Teacher first thinking, I went straight to the potential for making a teachers life just that little bit easier. I thought about a lesson I had to teach, and how quickly I had to pull together a lesson plan on a subject I knew nothing about. Wouldn’t it be great if I could just pull down a 21CLD relevant lesson ready to go, straight on to my phone with the help of Cortana?

Find a lesson for X.

I started hacking away at a prototype, the Cortana documentation isn’t too difficult, but I wasn’t really sure where I could find these lessons… Having worked with the Partners in Learning team to build the 21CLD app, I thought it would be the perfect way to shine an additional light on some of the amazing user submitted resources found on the Partners in Learning activity search.

This is the end result. It’s only a prototype and at this stage won’t be a publicly available app, because the PiL site doesn’t have a public api. If you’re interested in more details you can always find me on twitter @LucasMoffitt or see my other apps at Teacher Collection, Windows apps for Educators.

If you’d like to see something like this hit the stores leave a comment below and i’ll pass it on!

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