Teachers from around the country invited to shape the future of
Amazon Inspire; a new, free service to support learning and teaching in
the digital classroom
Amazon Inspire will help teachers discover and share free, quality
digital educational resources
States, school districts and publishers join Amazon on a new journey
to make free, quality digital resources easily discoverable for teachers
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 27, 2016--
(NASDAQ: AMZN)—Today at ISTE 2016, Amazon announced Amazon Inspire, a
free service for the search, discovery and distribution of digital
educational resources. Developed in support of the company’s commitment
to making digital classrooms a reality, Amazon Inspire, with its rich
features such as search, discovery and peer reviews, will provide
educators—regardless of funding or location—access to upload and share
free digital teaching resources. The company is inviting educators to
shape the evolution of this innovative service to best serve teachers as
part of Amazon’s support of the U.S.
Department of Education’s #GoOpen initiative.
"To truly transform learning in our schools and ensure educational
equity for all students—regardless of grade level or zip code—it is
crucial that we put high quality, open educational resources at
teachers’ fingertips,” said Joseph South, director for the Office of
Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. “The leadership of
states, districts and innovative platform providers is critical for
setting a vision and creating an open ecosystem where educators and
students can access the tools, content and expertise necessary to thrive
in a connected world."
“Amazon joins educators from around the country in recognizing the power
of digital learning to transform the classroom, by creating a
personalized, engaging learning environment for all students,” said
Rohit Agarwal, General Manager of Amazon K-12 Education. “However, we
also know that making that promise a reality is a time consuming
proposition and teachers tell us that they spend upwards of 12 hours a
week searching for and curating resources for classroom instruction,
placing a high degree of trust in resources shared by their peers. With
Amazon Inspire, we aim to quickly and easily put the best and most
trusted digital resources at teachers’ fingertips, saving them valuable
time that can be devoted to what they do best and enjoy most—teaching.”
Amazon Inspire is in the beta stage and is ready for teachers to use and
provide feedback to help shape the future of K-12 education.
Amazon Inspire Features
Smart search — With smart search, teachers can explore resources by
grade level, standard or even from a particular district. Educators
can filter search results using more than 10 criteria to find great
resources that best fit their needs.
Collections — Educators can group resources into collections. They can
describe the collection, curate the resources in it, recommend an
order for going through the resources and share the collection with
Simple upload — Amazon Inspire offers an easy to use and intuitive
upload interface. Educators can drag and drop files they want to
share, add basic metadata such as title, description, grade and
subject, and publish the content on the service, all in a few minutes.
Customer reviews — Teachers can rate and review resources on Amazon
Inspire, helping their colleagues around the country select the best
resources for their needs.
Accessibility support — Amazon Inspire has built in accessibility
features. For example, educators can navigate Amazon Inspire using
popular screen readers and users are also able to indicate the
accessibility features of resources they upload.
“We’re mentors, facilitators, coaches, listeners, and learners,” said
Michael Buist, a teacher at Knox Gifted Academy in Chandler, Arizona.
“We’re Sherpas. And if it’s our job to get our students to the top of
the mountain, we also need help. We need inspiration and resources.
Amazon Inspire is that place to not only share, but learn from each
other and enhance our craft.”
With the growing support of states, school districts and contributing
publishers, Amazon Inspire aims to provide educators with the largest
selection of free and open educational resources to improve instruction
and student learning outcomes.
New York’s Mineola Public Schools is among the first school districts in
the country to join the Amazon Inspire service. Superintendent Michael
Nagler said, “Mineola is proud to contribute content to the Amazon
Inspire service. We believe the future of public education in a digital
world is the ability to easily find engaging content for students. As
more teachers share content on Amazon Inspire, other teachers will find
high quality, highly successful classroom materials. That is a victory
for every child.”
Another early contributor to Amazon Inspire is Tulare County Office of
Education in Visalia, California, which serves more than 100,000
students in 43 school districts. Superintendent of Schools Jim Vidak
said, “We’re delighted that Amazon has provided a service for our
talented curriculum staff to distribute nationwide the quality resources
they carefully vetted or created for teachers. We look forward to
further growing and sharing open educational resources as the result of
the collaborations that emerge on Amazon Inspire.”
In addition to teachers sharing innovative instructional resources on
Amazon Inspire, publishers and other content developers are contributing
digital educational resources to the service. One contributor is the
Newseum in Washington, D.C. "Too many teachers struggle with time and
budget constraints to get high quality content for their students,” said
Barbara McCormack, Vice President of Education. “By collaborating with
Amazon, we can take an open access approach to scale quickly, ensuring
teachers and students get the resources they need to succeed in the
classroom and beyond.”
The U.S. Department of Education is also providing resources to Amazon
Inspire from College
Scorecard, its collection of critical information for making smart
choices about which college to attend. Teachers will be able to use
those resources to help students get the right information in the
clearest way as they make the decision about their future education.
Another example of an Amazon Inspire contributor is the Folger
Shakespeare Library. This year, as students celebrate the 400th
anniversary of Shakespeare’s life, Amazon Inspire has more than 100
teaching resources from the library available with an additional 2,000
to be added by back to school. These resources link directly to
classroom instruction about Shakespeare’s plays and the world that
shaped them, including the Folger Editions, which are the number one
Shakespeare text used in American classrooms today.
Amazon is also supported in this initiative by early adopter states,
Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts and Vermont, early adopter school
districts, including Avonworth School District, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania; Cajon Valley Union School District, El Cajon, California;
Liberty Public Schools, Missouri; Metro Nashville Public Schools;
Tullahoma City Schools, Tennessee; and Virginia Beach City Public
Schools; and other contributing publishers, such as EdLeader21 and the
Buck Institute for Education, who committed to openly sharing their
original and curated digital educational resources for the benefit of
K-12 instruction across the country.
Amazon first announced its commitment to the OER movement in October
2015 when the U.S. Department of Education launched its #GoOpen
campaign. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is providing a multi-year
infrastructure and developer support for the Department of Education’s Learning
Registry, an open database where content creators and educators can
share information about digital educational resources, ensuring that it
remains robust and freely available for all 15,000 U.S. school districts
in our country.
Educators across the United States are invited to learn more about or
join the Amazon Inspire beta at www.amazoninspire.com.
About Amazon K-12 Education
Amazon Education’s mission is to improve learning outcomes with
solutions that help teachers focus on what they do best—teach, engage
and motivate students to learn. Products include rigorous content and
curriculum resources for differentiated instruction and personalized
learning, and a learning resource service that specifically supports the
discovery, curation, creation, and distribution of digital education
resources for every educator across the country.
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than
competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational
excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping,
personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle
Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa
are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon. For more
information, visit www.amazon.com/about.
View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160627005475/en/
Source: Amazon.com, Inc.
Media Hotline, 206-266-7180