Does Amazon’s Edtech Strategy Involve $50 Tablets?

AMAZON WILL RELEASE A $50 TABLET FOR THE HOLIDAYS. And already, the media is panning it. The company’s track record with devices have been mixed; the Fire smartphone has flopped, while Kindle tablet sales made up less than 1% of all tablets sold in the US in Q2 2015, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Low-price tablets have struggled to a foothold in any market, let alone education. (Remember those $50 Aakash tablets in India?) Chromebooks found their way into schools with a low price point, but it came with productivity tools, educational apps and device management features. There are no details yet about the range of features available on these upcoming tablets.

Are devices part of Amazon’s play in education? The company has been quietly building an education team after it acquired digital math startup, TenMarks in 2013. It claims its content management tool, Whispercast, is used by more than half of the biggest US school districts. And it was close to closing a $30 million contract with the NYC Department of Education to build a digital storefront before the deal was scrapped over accessibility concerns.

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