Bill Gates talks education tech, Beyond Binary
Bill Gates has been taking online classes for years. Now, he thinks it’s time to make sure a whole lot more students do the same. Here’s a brief subsection of the article:
Q: We know that technology can really help people buy things or discover things, but to what extent can we use it to help teachers teach better?
Bill Gates: There’s many aspects here. One is that you can simply take the people who give the best lectures and record those lectures and make them available. Instead of asking, in music, hundreds or thousands of people to go and sing, you record the people who are very good. The very best are what people get.
This set of grants–the $20 million being announced [today] are postsecondary. We’ll have another round that is K-12 focused next year. In our K-12 work, we are doing quite a bit of work where you videotape teachers and not only assess good practice but then make those videos available so people can look at, OK, here’s where you made the concept interesting, here’s where you calmed down the classroom, here’s where you got the kid who was not paying attention…We’re doing a lot with video. That’s over in our “measuring effective teaching” set of grants.
They are using this panoramic camera that sits in the classroom and not only captures the teacher, but because it’s panoramic, it captures the students as well. You can see whether they are paying attention. The analysis of those video clips is very interesting and it’s far less disruptive to have that camera sitting there, because everyone just learns to ignore it, than having a bunch of adults coming in and out at various points in time.
What we are talking about here is putting interactive stuff and video online and getting a bunch of colleges to work together, measure the quality, and get to critical mass.