Amplify unveils first-of-its-kind tablet for the K-12 classroom

NYC based Amplify, the startup that says its aim is to “reimagine K-12 education by creating digital products and services” and is led by former NYC schools chancellor Joel Klein, took its opportunity at SXSWedu to unveil the first, open tablet-based learning platform designed specifically for K-12 education. The platform runs on a 10-inch Android tablet and offers states, districts and schools a one-to-one personalized learning solution that includes customer care, professional development and school-level device management. The Amplify Tablet is pre-loaded with basic reference content and tools including: Encyclopaedia Britannica Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Google Apps for Education, Desmos graphing calculator, EverFi’s digital literacy curriculum, Project Noah science tools, Common Sense Media and other education-specific tools. For teachers, the tablet comes packed with a host of  instructional tools to help plan lessons, prepare quizzes, send assignments, share multimedia resources and easily manage all of their students’ devices.

“We want to transform the way teachers teach and students learn,” said Amplify CEO Joel Klein in a prepared statement. “Technology has revolutionized the world, but not the classroom. Our hope is that this tablet will help change that.”

The Amplify Tablet comes at an introductory price of $299 for the device when purchased with a 2-year subscription at $99 per year. The subscription includes software designed for teaching and learning, pre-loaded with the content and reference tools noted above, customer care, professional development and school-level device management.

“This is more than just a tablet. It’s a complete learning solution organized around the school day,” said Stephen Smyth, President of Amplify’s Access division. “We believe it’s both more affordable and more impactful than just about any other product in the education technology market.”

In addition to the Wi-Fi model, school districts can opt to provide students with the Amplify Tablet Plus, which includes a 4G data plan. The Amplify Tablet Plus is priced at an introductory offer of $349 for the device when purchased with a 2-year subscription at $179 per year. The subscription includes everything in the Amplify Tablet and 4G LTE connectivity, smart data management tools and more.

The Amplify Tablet and related services are being piloted this year in school districts across the country in collaboration with AT&T. Tablets purchased by June 30th will be ready for use in classrooms in time for the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

“Building a strong economy and a strong country starts with education. Right now our students are lagging behind the rest of the world, and we’ve got to work faster than ever to catch up. That will require both the best teachers and the best technology,” Klein said.

Check out Amplify here.