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"Google Maps" for Learning - an open and free platform

Learning Navigator - a “GPS for Learning” precisely locates a students’ knowledge and mindsets and fills learning gaps using open resources.

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Gooru has developed a Learning Navigator that is designed to be used across disciplines, geographies and learner abilities. Currently, it has research proven success in learning K12 Math. We will expand to all K12 core subjects and for upskilling in a few critical job areas. 

Navigator locates the deficiencies of students and fills the gaps with simple directions and assured outcomes, analogous to Google MapsNavigator works on the principle that we have to locate them in terms of their current knowledge, skills, and mindsets, present a personalized "route" using a variety of online, open and distributed resources, and recommend “reroutes” based on their performance until they reach their destination. 

Every stakeholder has real-time actionable insights about learner efforts, so they can personalize intervention and promote strong learning outcomes.Navigator is supported on Android and iOS and configured to support the local needs based on local school curriculum and job demands. 

Learning Navigator technology includes four tools and a platform. Navigator for Learners provides a GPS-like experience for Learners. Navigator for Instructors enables instructors to track learner progress and provide personalized interventions. Navigator Mission Control provides real-time data to administrators and all stakeholders, so they can see what's working and scale success. Navigator Library supports content coordinators to develop competency frameworks and migrate their curriculum into Navigator courses. Math Navigator is a supplemental math course that utilizes the tools of the Learning Navigator. It helps learners develop the foundational knowledge, skills, and thought processes required to be successful in 2nd grade to High-school math and better prepare for more advanced mathematics and STEM careers. Learners move from 2nd grade to HS math with a full spectrum of standards aligned resources and assessments.  Navigator Library includes an open curated catalog of over 1M math open education resources. Navigator platform with APIs and widgets, brings the curated catalog and navigated learning functionality that can be integrated into 3rd party applications. Navigator integrates research to practice enabling researchers to enhance Navigator with their science and verify for improved outcomes with lab-schools. By interacting with these experts, Gooru brings strong foundations in learning sciences, artificial intelligence, and education practice to the Navigator. Current innovation partners include researchers from Stanford, UC Berkeley, Drexel University, Digital Promise, SERP Institute and IIIT-Bangalore as well as five lab schools in the United States and two districts in India. All innovation is supported by funders such as Cisco, Hewlett Foundation, NSF, and the United States Department of Defense.

Gooru has established a Navigated Learning Collaborative (NLC) with Innovators, Practitioners, and Partners collectively referred to as Collaborators. Navigator is open and free for all students and teachers around the world. Practitioners and Partners pay an annual membership fee to use Mission Control tool for admins and the Library tool with their curriculum coordinators. Collaborators incorporate the cost of hosting and support for their users into their operations enabling sustainable scaling of the Navigator across geographies and disciplines. 

Gooru has an unwavering commitment to a vision of social justice at scale. Social justice to us means equal access to outcomes — not just resources or opportunities. Gooru takes a no-excuses approach toward our vision that every learner deserves to achieve strong learning outcomes. As a result, we ensure that the Navigator is accessible and effective with lifelong learning worldwide regardless of the abilities of the learner, technology infrastructure, discipline of learning, availability of technology infrastructure, and language of instruction, in their environments.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

We will not dispense with any part of the pre-covid school system, but, enable the right solution to rapidly "emerge". Every part of a pre-covid school system is generally there for a good reason. Institutions evolve based on a synthesis of emerging science, new requirements, and evolving constraints. It would be a terrible idea to throw things out. Instead, we prefer to design the solution to be emergent. Solutions should manifest in each environment so it borrows from the old and adapts to the new. Real-time data for all stakeholders (students, teachers, principals, superintendents, curriculum designers, etc.) makes it possible to design emergent solutions. Different stakeholders can coordinate their efforts to optimize for the learner based on the actionable insights they have. Post-covid school system should focus on outcomes and not on "average daily attendance". We have to equip everyone (teachers, admins, content providers) to enable outcomes. We introduce an approach that we call Navigated Learning (NL). NL “digitizes” what was previously “analog” learning, by structuring the learning space as competencies. The following affordances are enabled with Navigated Learning and form the core components of our technology that makes practice of Navigated Learning convenient to achieve impact at scale. a) Inclusive: Each learner's current knowledge and skill and mindsets are different. They learn using different activities (e.g. if they are visually impaired or have other preferences). By locating every learner It becomes possible to enable them to personalize adaptive pathways using a full-spectrum of curated learning activities. This works for learners regardless of their technology infrastructure, language of instructions, curriculum standards, learning abilities, preferences, knowledge proficiency, or mindsets. b) Student Agency: Learners can set goals and reflect on their progress that builds agency and take responsibility for their successes. Learners can then learn at their own pace or move ahead as they can track their progress in real-time. c) Practice Backed by Science: Learning outcomes can only happen if the pathway of learning activities is backed by science. The personalized and adaptive pathways should incorporate trans-disciplinary science of learning. Researchers can develop tools that implement their science to support learners and instructors with independent learning and classroom practices.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

Gooru (www.gooru.org) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit with a mission to honor the human right to education by enabling the learning ecosystem with technology tools that promote outcomes. Inspired by many organizations worldwide that have achieved strong learning outcomes for their cohorts, Gooru along with trans-disciplinary researchers in major universities and lab school practitioners has formalized the Navigated Learning approach to assure learning gains for all learners. Navigated Learning understands the complete learner- their knowledge, skills, and mindset in relation to a competency framework, recommends a personalized pathway of learning activities, and modifies their routes based on performance to ensure they reach their learning destination. Gooru has co-created the free and open Learning Navigator tool to assist scaled practice of Navigated Learning. Navigator is a GPS for Learning, that provides real-time data to all other stakeholders. In addition to researchers, we work with schools, technologists, content providers and implementers around the world. Gooru collaborates with practitioners across disciplines and geographies to validate their practice and accelerate outcomes for their cohorts. Gooru partners with companies and governments to integrate the Navigator tools into their applications. Gooru has over 60 collaborators and 7 million learners across disciplines and geographies. We bring to them a free and open (www.github.org/gooru) Learning Navigator. All of our collaborators pay for their own incremental cost of using the Navigator ($0.01 per competency gained).

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

We are a distributed team headquartered in Silicon Valley, California, USA (neighborhood called Redwood City). Our teams are in Pittsburgh, PA, and in India in the cities of Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune. Our approach to bring learning outcomes to everyone is through partners. We have 62 partners in 7 countries serving over 7M students worldwide.

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