Checking back with Amplify

Here’s an update to one of the EdTech companies I’m following – Amplify

Who is Amplify?
Education technology think tank. Data-driven power house. Formally known as Wireless Generation. A Brooklyn-based subsidiary of News Corp., Amplify is ahead of the game with their educational games, tablets, CC curriculum and assessments.

The need.
Why all this buzz of technology changing education? Using technology to enhance the classroom experience; those old Apple II’s from the seventies to overhead projectors and SMART boards is nothing new. But now we have Google Glass. We have UX developers thinking about accessibility and designing software addressing how people learn best. I’d say, the last ten years alone has drastically shifted education in a positive way.                                                                                                          

Education policy, standards and reform have made an impact not only in the classroom, but on the state and federal level too. The FCC is redesigning the E-rate bill, providing funding to schools trying to connect to the Internet. Which means…this can ‘enormously accelerate the deployment of tablets and other digital tools into classrooms.’

The tablet.
A breakthrough in the market, Amplify is the first company of its kind  to offer its own tablet with its own educational platform. But don’t get your undies in a bunch, the tablet is only deployed as a pilot program to a few select school districts around the US. Soon the tablet might be stocked on the shelves next to the iPads, Surface, Galaxy, and Kindles. And you could walk in to Best Buy expecting to buy a family-friendly Android tablet and leave with an Amplify. I predict in the coming years (or maybe December 2013) other companies like Pearson and McGraw Hill will follow suit and offer their own mobile devices.

MOOCs, not just for Higher Ed.
The three leading MOOC providers are EdX, Coursera and Udacity; and only EdX at the moment is offering classes to high school students. Amplify has also began offering MOOCs to AP computer science students looking to score on the College Board’s test. Now that’s a way for MOOCs not to destroy the name of our invaluable American education.

The mastermind.
Joel Klein, CEO said this about education technology, “We think that for education to really be affected by technology in a positive transformative way, the technology is going to have to learn more about teaching and learning.”

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