Emerson Walker is 14 years old and — if he gets his way — he’s about to change the way schools all over America handle their schedules.
He has developed a calendar app, called mPlanner, that solves school’s trickiest problem: Coordinating the differing schedules of classes, parents, sports teams, doctors and so on. As his almost fully funded Kickstarter page describes it:
School assignments are posted online, their school events calendar is on the school webpage, their sports calendar is on the fridge, their doctor appointments are on their parents’ phone, and their social events are on social media sites.
The mPlanner app syncs them altogether:
The mPlanner syncs with assignments from school portals (such as Schoology and Blackboard), and presents each assignment to them to “triage” into a study plan.
The app also benefits parents by providing them with a parent interface, allowing instant access to their child’s schedule so they can be on the same page.
The idea is genius, because if you know anything about school calendaring web sites like Blackboard and Classes, you’ll know they are balky, complicated and annoying to use — in addition to being stored on separate sites. (I can attest to this personally from my experience using three different class scheduling systems at Columbia and NYU.) If mPlanner “solves” this problem, it could easily become the Facebook of calendars. Remember, Facebook started off as a literal “face book” for college campuses.
Emerson, of Turpin High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and his collaborator, Will Muller, a senior at Indian Hills High School, already won a Cincinnati Startup Weekend contest, getting themselves some free office space and advice. They’ve already got mockups of the app on their web site. And there’s an adorable/impressive pitch video on YouTube (below).
Emerson only needs $5,000 from Kickstarter to get his project done this summer, he says.
Lastly, don’t worry (too much) about him spending it all at the mall: “My dad, Ry Walker, Partner at Cincinnati venture studio Differential (http://differential.io), is formally running the project, and will manage the money,” he writes.
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