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Invited Talk at the ALTTAI (University of Memphis) Friday, Feb. 8th (2019)

Invited Talk at the ALTTAI (University of Memphis) Friday, Feb. 8th (2019)

by 祥恩 胡 -
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Digital Learning Platform with the Navigator - a “Google Maps” for Education

Great strides in technology have resulted in huge gains in communication, healthcare, and entertainment among other fields. However, we have failed to move the needle with learning across K12, HigherEd, Skills Training and Professional Development. Learning tools and applications focus on improving productivity, but, instead, technology should provide the assurance that every student will reach their learning goals. Digital learning is not about watching videos and answering multiple-choice questions. But, digital learning is about digital data from the full spectrum of learning activities. We can establish a data backbone that updates user’s activities in real-time and uses that to personalize their learning. Personalized learning should have the elegance and ubiquity that Google Maps brings to navigation while concealing the sophistication necessary to power it. 

Dr. Prasad "Pram" Ram will present how learning navigation technology can complement classroom instruction and empower our students. Gooru has developed a Learning Navigator -- a "Google Maps" for learning. With the Learning Navigator, students locate their current knowledge and skills, set their learning destinations and are presented with a personalized pathway of learning activities. As they navigate through their learning experiences, they are rerouted based on their performance. Using real-time data about student performance and dynamically updated information about the efficacy of learning activities, Navigator ensures that every student reaches their learning goals every time.  

Learning goes well-beyond gaining curriculum knowledge to developing non-cognitive skills. Student’s motivation, self-confidence, grit, perseverance, communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity have a major impact on their learning outcomes. These can only be supported by a caring teacher/mentor. Navigator provides teachers with real-time data about student’s performance during the class period, during their course and across their grades. Teachers use this data and the associated suggestions to personalize the learning pathways. This talk will illustrate some key aspects of the Learning Navigator and discuss a Navigator for Math program where students in four urban high schools in California had over 2.5 years of academic growth in a single year with a pre-algebra course.

Dr. Prasad Ram- Founder and CEO of Gooru

Prasad Ram- founder and CEO of Gooru. Ram was born in Tiptur of Karnataka state in southern India. He obtained his B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay in 1987. He then went on to pursue his master's degree (M.S) and Ph.D. in Computer Science, from UCLA. Ram led Google Books for Education in Mountain View, CA. Prior to that, he was CTO Google in India where he led projects on Maps, News, Translation Technologies, Search and Ads. Prior to Google, Pram led engineering teams at Yahoo! where he led the creation of products (Yahoo! Audio/Image search, Yahoo! 360, and Yahoo! Hotjobs) and platforms (Spam Filtering, Behavioral Targeting, Mobile Data Analysis, Vertical Search, Content Management). He started his career as a research scientist at Xerox Research where he worked on Digital Rights Management. 

Pram is Council Member and Chair of the Education Committee at California Council of Science and Technology, and he is a Board Member at Leadership Public Schools. While working at Google, Ram devised a prototype of the Learning Navigator as a 20% project while at Google. Navigator is a “GPS” for learning that empowers students with real-time data about their proficiencies and choices of learning activities, so they can choose their learning path and pace. What began as a "20% effort" evolved into a year-long pilot in India that included 1,000students across 25 classrooms. Ram subsequently left Google to found Gooru[2] as a non-profit to develop the free Learning Navigator with a mission to honor the human right to education. In August 2016, it was announced Gooru would be partnering with the LMS developer itslearning to create 35 curriculum courses using Gooru's extensive open content catalog.