Just moments ago at SXSWedu, the edtech startup Amplify unveiled a new tablet. You may be thinking ‘why do we need another tablet – there are already too many!’ You’re not wrong. But there are some notable features that are pretty interesting. Basically, the Amplify tablet is specifically built for classrooms. Here are the bullet points to know about:
- The teacher has the ability to monitor everything happening on the rest of the tablets in the classroom. A teacher can conduct lessons with a small group or the entire class right from his or her own tablet. The main teacher tablet can do screen-sharing so students can see exactly what the teacher is looking at … when he or she is looking at it.
- There is a ‘teacher dashboard’ that lets teachers conduct instant polls, prompts students to raise their virtual hands, and more.
- There’s a new tool that lets the teacher send out an ‘eyes on teacher’ announcement where all devices tell the student to look up at the teacher.
- The tablet costs $299 for the Wi-Fi version and is $349 for the Wi-Fi + 4G model. There’s a little more though. Each tablet requires a 2-year contract much like a cell phone plan. Those plans run $99 per year (Wi-Fi) to $179 per year (4G model).
- The tablet features content from Khan Academy, CK-12, Google Apps, EverFi and Desmos, and gives teachers the ability to monitor how students use the device.
- Amplify and others are hoping the tablet gets students actually creating rather than consuming. Personally, I have idea if this tablet accomplishes that but feel this idea is the future of education as we advance toward a ‘maker’ movement and students start showing even more willingness to get their hands dirty (digitally or in-person). It’ll be interesting to see how this Amplify tablet does in terms of sales and adoption in the education world.
- A bit about Amplify from our friends at Education Dive: Amplify Education Inc. was formed following the purchase of education start-up Wireless Generation by News Corp., and its CEO is former New York Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.