Joel Klein, News Corp. unveils its education brand, Amplify

AMPLIFY THIS: On Monday, News Corps.' Joel Klein began to lay out some of the projects and timetables for the company's education division, under the catchy brand, Amplify.

The work focuses on three areas: assessments and analytics (working in close conjunction with Wireless Generation, now an "Amplify company"), a new curriculum for English, math and science, and a partnership with AT&T that will provide tablets and wireless support for pilot schools in 2012-2013. 

"This is just the first chapter of a longer story," promises Diana Rhoten, chief strategy officer for Amplify.

Amplify is building a wide collection of partnerships to carry out all three of these programs. For instance, the Lawrence Hall of Science and Lapham’s Quarterly are two partners working with Amplify to create 180 days' worth of curriculum in English Language Arts, Science and Math, aligned to the Common Core standards. (The curriculum will be developed over the course of the year. Although Rhoten declined to say what grades, an Amplify video suggests the efforts target middle school students.)

In addition to building its own content, Amplify will also curate work done by others, Rhoten said. Ultimately the curriculum and hardware will be "modular," giving schools the option of picking the pieces they want.

It's a huge effort; a New York Times piece quotes Klein saying News Corp. spent $72 million in the last fiscal year on developing and licensing costs for Amplify.

More details will be announced as the pilot schools are rolled out in September--or when Klein speaks at TechCrunch Disrupt conference, slated for Sept. 8-12 in San Francisco.

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