The Amplify Tablet: A Device Custom Made For Teachers And Students

Jeff Dunn, CC BY-NC-SA, Mar 06, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Did the world need "a device custom made for teachers and students?" I don't know, but it now has one, courtesy the the edtech startup Amplify(which naturally launched at SXSW). From my admittedly distance perspective, the designers have confused "education" with "command and control":

  • The teacher has the ability to monitor everything happening on the rest of the tablets in the classroom.
  • the ability for a teacher to send out an ‘eyes on teacher’ announcement where all devices tell the student to look up at the teacher.

As Joel Klein writes in the announcement, "We are changing the very meaning of education by leading the way in data-driven assessment... It comes packed with classroom management and organization tools, basic reference material, and access to millions of multimedia resources aligned to the Common Core State Standards."

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