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Amplify educational tablet. The Amplify tablet provides students and teachers with a mobile computing solution to better serve their educational needs. (via Amplify)

 

As we continue our trek into a highly evolved, technological world, it is only expected that educational methods begin to follow suit to provide students with the highest quality of learning available. Leaving mundane chalkboards usage and straight vehement lecturing behind, certain colleges are already beginning this change by providing students with mobile computing solutions that link the classroom together for an interactive learning experience. Now, the former News Corp branded company now known as Amplify has unveiled the first open-source tablet based learning platform specifically designed to “amplify” the learning experience in K-12 classrooms all around.

 

Amplify, headquartered in New York City, is a digital education led company focused on creating products and services that transform the way teachers and students interact in a learning environment. Their instructional tools, data analytics, and assessment solutions have already helped more than 200,000 educators and 3 million students in the United States. This time around, they are packaging their next-gen digital curriculum and assessment tools in an Android tablet for teachers and students alike.

 

The Amplify tablet’s interface is organized completely around the way a student would most benefit from their in-school curriculum and out-of-school interests. The simple, color-coded, and very google-esque design allows students to easily maneuver through their digital class notebooks and access pre-loaded apps such as Encyclopedia Britannica, Merriam Webster’s Dictionary, Google Apps for Educations, Desmos graphing calculator, and several other learning tools.

 

On the teacher side, the tablet functions much the same but also provides educators with classroom management tools that help with lesson planning, quiz preparation, assigning homework, and sharing media files. A teacher can even use the tablet to load up, say for example, Khan Academy videos for students to watch and subsequently poll the students on their level of understanding. The tablet’s open platform also allows access to millions of additional content pieces that fall under the Common Core standards.

 

The tablet’s hardware embodies an Android tablet similar to the ASUS Transformer Pad TF300TL. Equipped with a 10-inch screen, an NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core CPU & 12-core GPU, a back-facing CMOS illuminated 5MP camera, the latest Android Jelly Bean OS, and a lithium-polymer battery - students and teachers are getting a high-end educational platform.

 

The downside (likewise with most new technologies) is that Amplify’s tablet is a bit pricey. The introductory model equipped with Wi-fi is priced at $299 with a required 2-year subscription for Amplify’s services at $99 per year. Schools can also opt for a higher-end model, the Amplify Tablet Plus that includes 4G LTE connectivity, for $349 plus an additional 2-year, $179 per year subscription. Tablets purchased by June 30th will be set ready to go at the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

 

The technology is a promising testament to how important education is to the continual development of our world. Let’s hope those prices are not too high to keep educators from investing in educational tools that are designed to better serve our socio economic growth.

 

A question lingers, are tablets the best tool for education?

 

C

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