Company watchers have been waiting to see what former Justice Department anti-trust chief and New York City schools chancellor Joel Klein will do at News Corp — when he isn’t helping Rupert Murdoch to manage his UK scandals. The partial answer, announced this morning, is a collaboration with AT&T to offer digital products for K-12 teachers, students and their parents. Although short on details, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega says they “plan to bring to market a 4G mobile tablet-based experience that we believe will significantly enhance teaching and learning.” Beginning in the upcoming school year, the companies say, AT&T will “provide 4G tablets, device management and technical services, and connectivity over the AT&T Wi-Fi network and AT&T 4G network.”
As for the the News Corp unit under Klein: It has been named Amplify, and will go with the publishing assets next year when they are spun off into an new entity separate from the entertainment properties. News Corp says Amplify will focus on three areas: Amplify Insight will create tools that enable teachers to “differentiate instruction and adapt curricula to meet individual students’ needs.” Amplify Learning will offer “classroom-based products [that] combine interactive, rich experiences with rigorous analytics that align to the Common Core State Standards, all driven by adaptive technologies that respond to individual students’ needs as they evolve.” And Amplify Access will provide “a tablet-based platform, which bundles curricular and extracurricular content with sophisticated analytic capabilities and 4G connectivity to facilitate personalized instruction and enable anywhere, anytime learning.” The company also just launched a web site that is says will be “dedicated to meaningful conversations about teaching and learning.”
Here’s the News Corp release:
NEW YORK, July 23, 2012 – Today, News Corporation unveiled the brand and business of its Education Division. Amplify is dedicated to reimagining K-12 education by creating digital products and services that empower students, teachers and parents in new ways. Amplify will enhance the potential of students with new curricular experiences, support teachers with new instructional tools and engage parents through extended learning opportunities. Amplify will introduce these unique and pioneering offerings in collaboration with AT&T.
“It is our aim to amplify the power of digital innovation to transform teaching and learning and to help schools deliver fundamentally better experiences and results,” said Joel Klein, CEO of Amplify. “Amplify will introduce new products in a thoughtful way, so that technology can finally live up to its promise to advance learning and augment teaching for students, teachers and parents everywhere. A prosperous economy and an equitable society require that all young people have the chance to succeed and excel, and we’re excited about the potential of our products to help achieve that goal.”
“Together, we plan to bring to market a 4G mobile tablet-based experience that we believe will significantly enhance teaching and learning for grades K-12,” said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility. “We share Amplify’s commitment to education because we believe it is one of the most important things we can do for our company, our communities and our country.”
Bringing Next Generation Analytics, Curriculum and Distribution To Schools
Amplify is organized around three key areas of business that will lift student achievement and teacher fulfillment through 21st century products and services:
• Amplify Insight. Amplify focuses on educational analytics and formative assessment through Wireless Generation, an Amplify company that makes mobile, digital assessment and instructional intervention tools for teachers in order to support K-12 classroom learning. For more than a decade, Wireless Generation has put these innovative technologies in the hands of educators. Today, it serves over 200,000 teachers and over three million students, in all 50 states. Its products and services help teachers and administrators assess learning progress throughout the year, differentiate instruction and adapt curricula to meet individual students’ needs.
• Amplify Learning. Amplify is creating new digital curricula that reinvent teaching and learning, beginning with English Language Arts, Science and Math. These classroom-based products combine interactive, rich experiences with rigorous analytics that align to the Common Core State Standards, all driven by adaptive technologies that respond to individual students’ needs as they evolve. These new learning experiences are being developed by a team at Wireless Generation, together with some leading partners such as the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley and Lapham’s Quarterly.
• Amplify Access. Amplify is developing new distribution and delivery mechanisms that bring digital learning experiences into the classroom and extend them beyond the school day – giving teachers, students and parents a new level of access to educational resources. In collaboration with AT&T, we will offer a tablet-based platform, which bundles curricular and extracurricular content with sophisticated analytic capabilities and 4G connectivity to facilitate personalized instruction and enable anywhere, anytime learning.
Amplify and AT&T will begin to introduce these new curriculum and platform products through pilots in U.S. schools across the country over the course of the 2012-2013 school year. During this pilot phase, AT&T will provide 4G tablets, device management and technical services, and connectivity over the AT&T Wi-Fi network and AT&T 4G network, which is the nation’s largest.* The story of Amplify’s mission can be found here, and early glimpses of Amplify’s products can be seen here.
Creating Meaningful Conversation and Commentary in Digital Education
In addition, Amplify announced the launch of http://www.amplify.com, a unique new digital forum dedicated to meaningful conversations about teaching and learning. Amplify.com spotlights innovative people and ideas, hosts discussions on the latest topics in education and technology, and aggregates outstanding content on critical issues in education from across the Web.
“I’m proud of the work we’ve done over the past 18 months to make today’s launch possible,” said Klein. “Now I look forward to our next phase – to introducing our game-changing products and ushering in a new age of teaching and learning in K-12 education. I hope you’ll stay tuned to http://www.amplify.com as we reveal more details about our products, pilots and partners over the next several months.”