The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this week launched Teachers Know Best, a new website for companies that want to know what educators are looking for in digital resources.
The site, which was announced at the NewSchools Venture Fund Summit in San Francisco, consolidates research the foundation has conducted with 3,000 teachers and 1,200 students, organizing it by subjects like “opportunities,” “product preferences,” and “reports.”
More than 500 digital resources are listed, with information about:
- What the product does
- Its ranking in the survey
- The most frequently identified student benefit, according to teachers, and
- What students identified most often about the product’s benefit to them.
Site visitors can filter these selections according to the “primary device” the product is used on, such as “PC/laptops with software,” “mobile,” or “whiteboard,” and by who most often buys the product, such as “school/district pays,” “teacher pays,” or “free.”
The four most important gaps in current product offerings, according to the foundation’s research, are:
- Elementary language arts (ELA)
- Middle school social studies
- High school math, and
- All levels of science.
Ed-tech entrepereneurs can also find RFPs for Gates-funded courseware challenges and other opportunities on the site.
Current RFPs include a $6 million literacy courseware challenge, which will make awards for $25,000 to $500,000 for digital resources focused on mastery of literacy skills for writing, writing to read, and writing to learn in grades 4 to 8, and an RFP for creating school networks for evaluating and improving the efficacy of digital courseware.
(Education Week receives grant funding from the Gates foundation to support its coverage of efforts to implement college- and career-ready standards, though the newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of that work.)
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Images: Screen captures from the Teachers Know Best website.