For a group of 120 of the brightest teachers in the country, the answer to that question is lock themselves in an Atlanta hotel for a different kind of hackathon. Rather than writing code, these teachers made the pilgrimage to Teachfest to develop over 2,000 video lessons that will be shared with their peers at Learnzillion.com.
The Gates Foundation supported the effort. And in a post announcing the release of the Teachfest content, Bill Gates shared his thoughts on what Learnzillion is up to:
This past summer, TeachFest brought together more than 120 teachers in Atlanta for the “ultimate study hall.” Working together, they created videotaped lessons in math, English, social studies and other subjects – all tied to the Common Core standards that have been adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia. Teachers can watch these free videos to get ideas for their own classes, use them with their students, or just study the presentation techniques to learn from these master-teachers who participated in the project.
The first of 2,000 lessons are going online this fall. It’s great that TeachFest and LearnZillion are providing these resources for free to teachers, especially as they adapt to the new Common Core standards.
As Bill points out, these video provide more than just content. They level the playing field for teachers throughout the country by showcasing content AND teaching techniques that can be applied to their own classrooms.
As investors in Learnzillion, our hope is that these videos will raise the bar for how this core curriculum is taught, and encourage teachers everywhere to think creatively about how they can deliver their lessons with maximum impact.
If you’re a teacher, I’d encourage you to check out what Learnzillion is up to.