Investigating Gooru

In a world of search engines, finding the best one for use in education can be a never ending battle.  Some just go with Google or Bing whereas others are in search of the ever elusive perfect solution.

So, when Gooru crossed my reading path this morning, I needed to investigate this one and see its advantages.  Still in Alpha development, it really grabs my interest.  Reading about it and the fact that it uses Open Educational Resources demands a serious look.

The link to get started was interesting.  I was thinking that http://www.gooru.com would make sense but the actual link is http://www.goorulearning.com/gooru/ which resolves to http://www.goorulearning.com/gooru/index.g#/home.  That’s quite a mouthful so you’ll have to have students click on a link in your classroom wiki to get the job done.

You can go ahead and use it right away but Gooru has a registration feature.  Once registered, you can start to curate the resources for your project.  I’ve got to check out the selection for "house".

As I find appropriate resources, I just drag them to the "My Resources" section where you start to accumulate the resources for your project.  The resources are placed into a notebook, accessible via a pullout menu from the right of the screen.

Working with Gooru, at first blush, is pretty easy…after a while.  Initially, I was thinking in the traditional manner.  Gooru goes beyond that.  It recognizes that you will find articles from numerous sources in your research and provides the tools to gather and curate them.  It’s like research searching techniques that we try to have students use (and often fail).

Once you understand this, it makes the concept of resource searching and gathering very fast and it does make a great deal of sense once you understand that.

To assist, there are already seeded quizzes and collections ready for you to use.  They are organized by US Common Core and California Curriculum Standards so your mileage may vary when using the product.

Gooru provides a very interesting and fresh approach to searching and resource gathering.  It’s not just another website to toss at students.  Successful use will come when the whole research process is brought to the classroom.  And that isn’t a bad idea.

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