Gooru, a free online tool for personalized learning, is going to have the first unit of each of Sibling's Blended Schools Network (BSN) online courses available, which will allow teachers to search for "standards-aligned" multimedia learning resources on any K-12 topic. Joshua Bolkan, writing for The Journal, reports that teachers can also:
â¢ Remix Web and original content to create custom collections
â¢ Share collections with students to meet their personal needs
â¢ Monitor students' real-time engagement, comprehension, and progress
â¢ Browse courses on Gooru's K-12 libraries and create customized content for their classrooms
â¢ Access more than 2,200 lessons from BSN
â¢ Access additional lessons through the use of BSN's marketplace
"Blended Schools Network's focus has always been about helping teachers. By working with Gooru, we can reach out to so many more educators from across the globe to demonstrate how deeper learning, through these lessons, can transform learning in the classroom," said Jed Friedrichsen, chief academic officer of Sibling Group Holdings, in a prepared statement.
Gooru was founded and created by CEO Prasad Ram, also known as Pram, who describes his site as "an open and collaborative online community where the best free materials for learning can be found, created, remixed and shared." Pram was head of R & D for Google India and CTO for Yahoo! India, reports Jordan Shapiro of Forbes. He made contributions to Google Maps, News, and Translate. Gooru, as described by Pram, is a "a non-profit education technology startup in Silicon Valley with a mission to honor the human right to education."
Just as algorithms are built on Google, Bing, and Yahoo! to cross reference and filter a large catalog of information to deliver results that help the search engine company meet their advertising priorities, Gooru is "built to find the best online learning resources, to collect metadata and analyze your learning habits in order to use predictive technology to suggest the best resource for the future. Gooru not only prioritizes educational goals, but also allows teachers to filter results by subject, grade level, and types of media (videos, slides, handouts, etc)".
Another example is the way that Netflix remembers, not only what kind of movies you like, but what kind of program you like at different times of the week and day. Gooru allows teachers to create shared online "playlists". How students used the data is recorded and analyzed.
"At every interaction, Gooru captures usage data, social signals and learning outcomes, which are used to develop user profiles, inform recommendation algorithms, and provide teachers with tools to deliver personalized learning to their students."
This is going to enable teachers to assess the effectiveness of learning resources instead of using students' ability to conform to teaching styles. In other words, it makes suggestions on how to teach by looking at the whole class.
Gooru want to expand education resources according to Pram. It also empowers teachers to do what they do best, only more efficiently and easily. Gooru is, simply put, a new classroom tool.
On the Gooru home site are guides, tutorials, teacher feedback, and schedules for live and online events. There also is access to community, district, and partner libraries of courses on every subject area.