Amplify has announced the launch of a 10 inch Android tablet designed specifically for the student community. Amplify is the education sector of the Robert Mudroch owned News Corps, and the device will act as the perfect platform to extend its student oriented services at the K-12 level. The tablet is being heralded as a device that will carry forward the technological leap the educational sector is witnessing and is being considered an absolute necessity towards creating the best learning environment. Amplify offers what it prefers to call “blended learning,” a term coined to signify the perfect cocktail of traditional and tech based teaching method that has been created by former teachers.
“If we didn’t see a dramatic technological change, we were not going to be able to move this country forward,” is how Joel I. Klein, the chief executive at Amplify and a former chancellor of New York schools, justifies the inclusion of tech based teaching methods.
Coming back to the tablet, it will cost $300 in its Wi-Fi only state, while the 4G LTE compatible models have been priced $350. A two year subscription of the educational service that Amplify offers will cost an extra $100. The bezels are done up in bright orange, perhaps a bit of an unusual color choice for a tablet that is not aimed at children. That said, the tablet does look good with its simple screen layout. However, the mischievous be fore-warned. The tablet has enough surveillance capabilities built-in to track down wandering eyes with an “eyes on teacher” prompt popping up to ensure students stay focused on what the teacher is saying. Amplify has also identified the ample scope that educational games provides to teach students a few good tricks or tips. Towards this, the tablet also allows for some game playing as well, though only for outside the class.
While all of the above does sound good, what could hamper large scale adoption of the Amplify tablet is its price. Klien believes funds via Education Department’s Race to the Top grant program could come in handy here. It will be interesting to see if that is how things work out.
Sovan Mandal is the senior tablet and tech corespondent for goodereader.com. He brings a international approach to news that is not just applicable to the North American market, but also Asia, India, Europe and others. Sovy brings his own writing flavor to the website and is interested in Science Fiction, Technology and Writing. Any questions, send an email