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Amazon is expanding its services into education

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Last summer Amazon launched a new service. Amazon Inspire, still in its beta stage, is focused on an entirely new industry. ”What is that industry?”, you might ask. It’s education. The billion dollar company has been developing a teacher friendly resource in hopes to become an essential tool for educators.

According to International Data Corporation, a market research firm, American schools spent $4.9 billion last year on tablets, laptops, and desktops. Technology in the classroom has outgrown being a trend and is now a vital component to learning in the 21st century. Administrators are pushing for more integration of technology into their schools and are expecting their teachers to do the same. Technology has become as integrated into education as pen and paper. Children of today grow up playing with their parents’ smartphones and tablets. At a very young age they instinctively understand how to use them.

These digital natives come to expect education in the classroom whenever applicable to learning. The mass spending on computers, software, and other educational technology has steadily risen every year. Amazon is now trying to do its part in helping educate the nation’s children and aiding teachers by providing them with the tools they need to do so.

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Amazon Inspire will be Amazon’s exploration into the field of education. Inspire is designed to be an educational search engine, one that Amazon claims requires little to no training to use. Teachers can search for videos, lesson plans, activities, games, assignments, writing exercises etc. With the help of Inspire’s smart-search feature, teachers can search its contents while using filters like grade level, specific standard, and more.

Amazon’s goal is to amass a large collection of online resources that teachers will be able to utilize for their classrooms and minimize the time it takes to look for supplemental material. Currently, Amazon estimates that teachers spend at least twelve hours a week searching for course materials. Amazon Inspire is determined to lessen that time.

Dan Calabrese

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