OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Best of both worlds (Humans + Internet)

Enable teachers to focus on teaching and the internet to instruct, assess, empower communications and amplify efficient workflows.

Photo of Brett Gentry
7 3

Written by

I am a.....

  • Teacher
  • Parent/Caregiver
  • Student
  • Experiential Distance Learning Product Designer and Program Manager 16+ years

Tell us about your idea


Recently, teachers have been challenged with less student interaction, digital curriculum development, and new workflows. Students & parents are suffering from it. Collectively we can make learning better than before the crisis.


Teachers are human beings and exceptional at working with other human beings. 

The Internet enables us to learn, communicate and collaborate at a distance. 

Distance Learning Content (DLC) is comprehensive and effective.


There are 3 million teachers in the US building effectively 13, K-12 curriculums. The Internet alone is a poor substitute for teachers. DLC is largely not curriculum-focused, disparate, and ranges in quality, cost, & features.


Create pure, open & crowd-sourced, DLC curriculums that enable comprehensive student and teacher workflows, from subject-to-subject, continually evaluating student knowledge, with remediation and assessment. 

Teachers focus on people, software focuses on workflows, students gain agency over their education, and we are ALL better off than before.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

A classroom full of 25+ students means the teacher is often very distracted, has to teach to the lowest common denominator, and often only spends quality time with the most vocal students. Assuming the distance learning curriculum is engaging enough to keep student's attention, and dynamically adjusts to the child's level of knowledge, students will actually learn faster and the teacher will have more time for personal assistance. As a world, we could be learning faster & more effectively.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

We have 3 children that we are effectively homeschooling right now due to the inefficiencies with the rapidly assembled distance curriculum.  Not everyone is lucky enough to have the time to help their children and this distance learning situation IMO will continue through 2021.  The inequality of education will become ever wider unless we can free up teachers to do what they do best, by leveraging the strengths of the internet and edtech content.   

I have an array of experience from being one of the many product design father's of Microsoft's Official Distance Learning for their global certification training, to being a 6th-12th grader teacher.  The content and technology are out there.  It just needs to be combined in effective and efficient workflows that allow students to be independent and teachers the time to teach.  Now is the moment.

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

Bay Area, California


Join the conversation:

Photo of Christopher Wright

Brett, this idea cuts right to the core opportunity before us in edtech. With COVID, it's as if the tide has gone out on all aspects of the edtech world thus revealing its limitations, inequities, and missing pieces. We need to get moving toward an optimized edtech future. You've identified key needs — optimized teacher/student connections and optimized workflow to make that possible — all leading to optimized learning — learning that consistently meets each child's individual needs. So, count me in! And you can count on my nonprofit's freely accessible edtech — core STEM content accessible in 95 languages.

Photo of Brett Gentry

Thank you Christopher! Your support means so much and from what I've seen of your product so far I think it's wonderful!

View all comments