GROWING GOORU: If you're a teacher, you have probably wished that the Google stars would align to make it easier to find the best digital resources drifting around in cyberspace. Now that wish may be coming true, at least in science and math. EdNovo, a nonprofit started by Prasad Ram, formerly head of Google's R&D group in India, is starting to share the "alpha" of its free search tool for teachers, Gooru. The effort is still spankin' new: as recently as this past spring, "Pram" was still working at home on the code and whipping up cappuccinos in his kitchen for the occasional visitor.
Now EdNovo is rocking in Mountain View with a team of a dozen or so teachers and engineers (funded in part through a $240K grant from the Ram Sriram Family Foundation). The team has tagged over 20,000 resources (think volcanoes and algebra) along with more than 1,200 classplans and "classbooks," Gooru-speak for curriculum-based playlists for learning. (One nifty feature: the team points to precise resources. Materials on "states of matter" include only the most relevant 30-second snippet of a longer science video). Some 300 users are currently trying out Gooru (including Oakland International High School, Milpitas Unified School District and FlipSchool). A broader release is planned over the next few months. Ask for an invitation here. Pram eschews the spotlight but here's EdSurge's prediction: telling your fav teachers about Gooru this year will be a better "teacher appreciation" gift than a ceramic mug.