Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Disrupting the status quo: Innovating to support collaboration and personalization

August 28, 2014

Here at the Gates Foundation, our priority is to dismantle some of the biggest barriers to effective teaching and learning: teacher isolation, lack of time for professional learning, one-size-fits-all instruction.

The Common Core State Standards allow for unprecedented innovation in these areas. They create a consistency of expectations and understanding, which makes way for new types of collaboration. For the first time, teachers in California can co-create and share assignments and strategies with teachers in New York. Designers and innovators are now able to work with teachers to customize their tools to what teachers say they need, as opposed to addressing the demands of 50 different state systems.

Technology is not a synonym for innovation, but it has the power to enable and facilitate it. As the Teachers Know Best report tells us, technology in education is not quite where teachers and students need it to be for personalization and collaboration. But technologies such as Khan Academy have disrupted the status quo and innovators are working closely with teachers to design tools that connect both students and teachers to deeper content and new ways of learning independently and with their peers.

We are excited about the emerging innovations we are seeing from partners who are co-designing with teachers—innovations that will create new schooling experiences for students and new professional experiences for teachers.

Hear more about these innovations in this interview I did with Big Think about how teachers are using technology to support their students in new ways.

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