OTTER: Online Dispute Resolution for Kids – Now on KICKSTARTER

From the Kickstarter website:

“Otter is an award-winning online dispute resolution (ODR) solution that includes an “automated mediator” and other dispute resolution tools to help kids resolve conflicts.

Conflicts are a huge problem for everyone, but kids are especially susceptible to unresolved conflicts because they usually don’t have the skills, time, or means to resolve their conflicts.

Conflicts can start out as something as simple as not saying “sorry” for accidentally bumping into someone, but even a small conflict, if ignored, can turn into a big problem like fighting or bullying.

Otter gives kids dispute resolution training and then gives them the means to resolve their conflicts.  It also uses technology to make conflict resolution efficient, so that it doesn’t waste time that should be spent on academic work.

While Otter was initially developed for elementary schools, we discovered that it can be used by any age group, even adults!

Otter is great for:

  • District and individual schools looking for a positive way for students to handle conflicts
  • Districts and individual schools looking for a uniform way to teach about bullying and offer training around dealing with problems in an appropriate way
  • Families (especially families with children) looking for a way to ensure that each member of the family feels heard
  • Families looking for a way to make sure that they are dealing with conflict instead of having the same arguments over and over
  • Families looking for a way to teach their children appropriate conflict resolution skills


Numerous studies have shown the emotional and financial benefits of resolving conflicts. Here are a few ways Otter can help:

  • Increase attendance- When students don’t feel happy at school, they are less likely to attend. Public schools depend on attendance for funding, and teachers need kids to be in class to learn.
  • Improve school culture- When conflicts are resolved, kids are happier. And when students know there is an efficient conflict resolution system in place, they feel supported and safe.
  • Save time- When teachers need to deal with small conflicts, they have less time to teach. By empowering students to resolve many of their smaller conflicts, teachers can spend time the way they planned.

Eventually, Otter will be able to be customized to be used as an ODR solution for conflicts at every level of education and in the work place.”

This project won the first Tech for Justice Hackathon held as part of  This is amazingly cool — let’s work together to get it funded!

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