News Corp, Home of Fox News and one of the world’s most powerful media entities, has announced its long-awaited plans to disrupt education. Former New York City education chancellor and CEO of Amplify, News Corp’s new k-12 education division, will attack education reform through technology, with three specific strategies: assessment via mobile tools, curriculum design, and the online distribution of resources via AT&T-powered tablets. “The strategy of Amplify is to fundamentally change the way we think about delivering education in the K-12 space,” says Klein, who will be revealing more information about on the ambitious project at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, September 8-12.
While details are still scant, we did find one video in the Amplify website that gives a hint at what the vision is: a tablet that gives students a fully-customized learning experience, from the moment they arrive in class, complete with a proprietary developed curriculum that has a heavy emphasis on interactive and visual learning (check it out below):
Amplify has also partnered with Wireless Generation, an education firm that builds mobile assessment technology, so that teachers can evaluate students on-the-fly (video below). Klein couldn’t immediately reference any supportive peer-reviewed research on the impact of mobile assessment, but did note that Amplify plans to put significant resources into the development of nascent technologies. Wireless Generation tells us via email that there are currently two studies “underway,” one by the Department of Education’s research arm, the Institute for Education Science, and another by the University of Michigan. “Quite frankly, the research reflects the state of the art, and I think we’re going to change the state of the art,” which is a good indication of just how comprehensive Amplify aims to be with their product development.
The announcement left many more questions than answers. There’s a good possibility Amplify has the power to become a major education player, simply by virtue of its significant resources. Join us in San Francisco to learn more about this potentially disruptive force in education.