Bill Gates hopped on Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" this week to field questions about, well, everything from how to drink "poop water" to how he feels about his dogs (his family has two!) to education. On a more serious note, Gates and his foundation cofounder, Melinda, released their annual letter. Here are a couple of excerpts relevant to education:
"What do you think is the hardest challenge that the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation is currently facing?"
We have some tough scientific challenges like an HIV cure.
However the toughest thing is helping teachers learn from the best teachers. There are great teachers and the kids who get them are lucky. We should be able to spread those skills but the current system doesn't do it very well.
There is one thing software will never do: replace teachers. Even the most self-motivated student needs guidance and support. But software can play a crucial role, for example by connecting teachers to each other.
Our foundation gives more money to education than to any other cause in the United States because it's the best lever we've seen for giving every child in America a chance to make the most of their lives.
Gates also described in the letter how the foundation is launching a new program called globalcitizen.org. The idea, they write, is to: "...give global citizens a way to lend their voice, urging governments, companies, and nonprofits to make these issues a priority.
"you can sign up at globalcitizen.org. You will be able to get updates on how you can help, share what you’re learning, and connect with other people and organizations who care about similar issues."
And for trivia fans: the Gates' two dogs are named Oreo and Nilla. And while Gates does "really like them," he's still resisting getting dog number three. And yes, he's rooting for the Seahawks this weekend.