News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News and the Fox television network, will enter the education market this fall with a tablet-based curriculum, and its own Android-based 10-inch tablet aimed squarely at competing with Apple’s iPad.
November will see Amplify, News Corp.’s nascent education division, rolling out both its own curriculum for existing tablets and a 10-inch, Android-powered tablet for K-12 students. A New York Times piece on the News Corp. tablet says the company will be selling it for between $299 and $349 per unit. Schools will also have the option of purchasing a $99 per year subscription to Amplify curriculum elements for each device.
While News Corp. has cooperated with Apple in the past, with $0.99 rentals of television episodes and the ill-fated iPad-only news magazine “The Daily,” the new tablet offering will put them squarely head-to-head in the education market.
The growth of tablet based computing in the educational market has led to multiple companies joining the race for educational gold. Apple has been pushing its iPad as a replacement for PCs in the schoolroom.
The specs page for the Amplify tablet lists it as “similar to ASUS Transformer Pad TF300TL.” The device sports a 10-inch display, powered by a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core CPU, and it has a 5MP auto-focus camera with back-illuminated CMOS sensor. It runs Androids Jelly Bean OS.
The Amplify Tablet is designed for “blended learning,” which “mixes technology with old-fashioned teaching.” The device will be initially targeted at middle-school students, and the device is designed so that school systems will be able to give the device to students to take home each evening.