“Google Maps for Education”: Assured Learning Outcomes for Every Student

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Current approaches to education cannot assure learning outcomes. As a result, too many lack skills needed to qualify for basic employment or get well-paying jobs, contributing to income inequality. Gooru has developed a free Learning Navigator, analogous to Google Maps, that locates learners’ current knowledge and skills in real-time, and provides personalized pathways with reroute suggestions ensuring that everyone reaches their learning destinations. The Navigator will transform education by enabling students, teachers, administrators, government officials and more to track learning in real time and act to continuously improve education.Navigator is inclusive by design. It locates each learners’ knowledge and presents appropriate learning activities just when needed. With everyone reaching their learning goals, the inequality gap can be narrowed. This project will implement the Navigator with 10 million K12 students in two Indian states, with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and in training for 10 million workers in the U.S.

Problem Statement

Even as many countries have experienced robust economic growth, millions of workers have been left behind, resulting in a growing economic inequality. According to the World Bank, one-third of the working age population in low- and middle-income countries lack the skills required for quality jobs. The problem starts early: More than 60% of primary school children in developing countries fail to achieve minimum proficiency in learning. As a result, more than two billion working-age adults lack the essential literacy skills required by employers. Even in the U.S., workers without adequate skills struggle economically. Despite expenditures of trillions of dollars annually and despite advances in technology and learning science, the traditional system of education -- that requires students to learn the same lessons together at the same pace and largely ignores the great diversity of student capabilities and learning styles -- is failing to prepare all students for today’s world. And without immediate, accurate data about the state of learning of each student, teachers, administrators, parents, and others cannot fully leverage existing educational resources or align learning with changing real world employment requirements. Fortunately, the same digital technology that has disrupted the world’s economies can assure learning outcomes for all students by tailoring instruction to the needs of each learner. By introducing Gooru’s Learning Navigator in schools and training programs, we can ensure that every student acquires the knowledge and skills they need to enhance their employability. Empowering local communities with the tools to redesign learning strategies will facilitate the change.

Solution Overview

Navigated Learning, developed over the last ten years, provides comprehensive, real time data on every student’s learning. To do this, Navigated Learning establishes a “competency” as the core unit of learning. Students can use the Navigator to track their performance in terms of competencies gained, and teachers can provide instruction based on each student’s progress toward competency mastery. Content providers can monitor the actual usage and efficacy of their content. Funders and administrators can assess the effectiveness of their programs. Access to this rich data enables all ecosystem participants to auto-regulate. Similar to “Google Maps,” which can be used as a guide to driving or walking or for riding public transportation, the Learning Navigator is a broadly applicable tool. Once it is “localized” to a specific domain, the Navigator technology can be used to accelerate learning with any curriculum, at any grade level, in any language, and can support a variety of teaching and learning practices, including group and project-based learning. Our project will create a robust collaborative network that brings together a diverse set of players—including teachers and trainers, administrators, content and tool providers, and researchers— to localize and implement the Navigator in each domain as these participants pursue their individual agendas. We are confident that within five years, the power of navigated learning will be widely understood, and the software will be broadly adopted in global education and training.

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Project Funders

  • Hewlett Foundation 2009 - 2020
  • Department of Labor 2014 - 2018
  • National Science Foundation 2000 - 2023

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