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News Corporation Forms New Brand for Education Division

Reader Comment: Great. Another mega corporation (and a suspect one) too suck more public moneys out of the already strained public school systems

Reminder Wireless Generation currently brings DIBELS to kindergartners and primary graders.

Warning: Read the press release at your own risk. Joel Klein's statements are over the top. Way over the top.

By Amy Chozick

The News Corporation said on Monday that its education division would operate under a newly formed brand called Amplify.

In partnership with AT&T, the division will offer digital learning tools to kindergarten through grade 12 students, part of the media company's strategy to tap into the multibillion-dollar public education market.

The announcement is part of a larger restructuring by the News Corporation as it prepares to split into two separate publicly traded corporations. The education division, led by the former New York City schools chancellor Joel I. Klein, will join News Corporation's newspapers and its HarperCollins book division in a newly formed publishing company. The more lucrative entertainment assets, like cable channels and movies and television, will form another, larger company.

Amplify will begin piloting its digital learning tools in the 2012-13 school year, News Corporation said. AT&T will provide 4G tablets, Wi-Fi service and technical assistance.

In separate moves, News Corporation also announced changes to its senior leadership in the entertainment division. Peter Rice, the chairman of entertainment for the Fox Networks Group, is adding the title of chief executive. He will be in charge of all programming and operations including sports, which David Hill took over in 1999 and built into one of the most successful sports operations in media. Mr. Hill is being promoted to senior executive vice president, with responsibilities that include programming, digital initiatives and opportunities overseas.

Mr. Klein is making the transition back to his role building the company's education division from his role as one of Rupert Murdochâs closest advisers dealing with the British phone hacking scandal.

"We've been planning this for quite a while," Mr. Klein said in an interview. "But the fact is I am here full time, and I think we wanted to make sure the announcement coincides with that so people know I'm doing this full time."

The News Corporation first got into the education business in 2010 when it paid $360 million for a 90 percent stake in Wireless Generation, a company based in Brooklyn that builds education software, assessment tools for teachers and data systems that help measure childrenâs performance and customize lessons.

Amplify will include Wireless Generation, but also expand on its core mission of data-driven tools, Mr. Klein said. He divides the education unit into three divisions: Amplify Insight, which is focused on educational analytics; Amplify Learning which focuses on curriculums in English, science and math; and Amplify Access, which would develop new delivery systems to bring digital learning into classrooms.

"This is not about digitizing textbooks," Mr. Klein said. "The question is what comes across those new platforms, and if itâs the same old, it isn't going to work."

Among educators, digital learning tools are a contentious issue. Many teachers see them as a way to make classes larger, add an extra burden to the job or cut down on teachersâ jobs altogether. Mr. Klein said Amplifyâs approach was âabout empowering teachers.â

He added, âIâm candid that if this isnât embraced by teachers in America, it wonât work.â

Press Release

News Corporation Unveils Amplify to Bring Digital Innovation to K-12 Education
Focus is on Analytics, Curriculum and Distribution

July 23, 2012

As Part of this New Business, Amplify will Collaborate with AT&T to Bring a Breakthrough, 4G Mobile Tablet-Based Platform to Market

NEW YORK, July 23, 2012 â Today, News Corporation unveiled the brand and business of its Education Division. Amplify is dedicated to reimagining K-12 education by creating digital products and services that empower students, teachers and parents in new ways. Amplify will enhance the potential of students with new curricular experiences, support teachers with new instructional tools and engage parents through extended learning opportunities. Amplify will introduce these unique and pioneering offerings in collaboration with AT&T.

"It is our aim to amplify the power of digital innovation to transform teaching and learning and to help schools deliver fundamentally better experiences and results," said Joel Klein, CEO of Amplify. "Amplify will introduce new products in a thoughtful way, so that technology can finally live up to its promise to advance learning and augment teaching for students, teachers and parents everywhere. A prosperous economy and an equitable society require that all young people have the chance to succeed and excel, and we're excited about the potential of our products to help achieve that goal."

"Together, we plan to bring to market a 4G mobile tablet-based experience that we believe will significantly enhance teaching and learning for grades K-12," said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility. "We share Amplify's commitment to education because we believe it is one of the most important things we can do for our company, our communities and our country."

Bringing Next Generation Analytics, Curriculum and Distribution To Schools

Amplify is organized around three key areas of business that will lift student achievement and teacher fulfillment through 21st century products and services:

Amplify Insight. Amplify focuses on educational analytics and formative assessment through Wireless Generation, an Amplify company that makes mobile, digital assessment and instructional intervention tools for teachers in order to support K-12 classroom learning. For more than a decade, Wireless Generation has put these innovative technologies in the hands of educators. Today, it serves over 200,000 teachers and over three million students, in all 50 states. Its products and services help teachers and administrators assess learning progress throughout the year, differentiate instruction and adapt curricula to meet individual students' needs.
Amplify Learning. Amplify is creating new digital curricula that reinvent teaching and learning, beginning with English Language Arts, Science and Math. These classroom-based products combine interactive, rich experiences with rigorous analytics that align to the Common Core State Standards, all driven by adaptive technologies that respond to individual students' needs as they evolve. These new learning experiences are being developed by a team at Wireless Generation, together with some leading partners such as the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley and Lapham's Quarterly.
Amplify Access. Amplify is developing new distribution and delivery mechanisms that bring digital learning experiences into the classroom and extend them beyond the school day â giving teachers, students and parents a new level of access to educational resources. In collaboration with AT&T, we will offer a tablet-based platform, which bundles curricular and extracurricular content with sophisticated analytic capabilities and 4G connectivity to facilitate personalized instruction and enable anywhere, anytime learning.

Amplify and AT&T will begin to introduce these new curriculum and platform products through pilots in U.S. schools across the country over the course of the 2012-2013 school year. During this pilot phase, AT&T will provide 4G tablets, device management and technical services, and connectivity over the AT&T Wi-Fi network and AT&T 4G network, which is the nation's largest.*

The story of Amplify's mission can be found here, and early glimpses of Amplify's products can be seen here.

Creating Meaningful Conversation and Commentary in Digital Education

In addition, Amplify announced the launch of www.amplify.com, a unique new digital forum dedicated to meaningful conversations about teaching and learning. Amplify.com spotlights innovative people and ideas, hosts discussions on the latest topics in education and technology, and aggregates outstanding content on critical issues in education from across the Web.

"I'm proud of the work we've done over the past 18 months to make today's launch possible," said Klein. "Now I look forward to our next phase â to introducing our game-changing products and ushering in a new age of teaching and learning in K-12 education. I hope you'll stay tuned to www.amplify.com as we reveal more details about our products, pilots and partners over the next several months."

About Amplify

Amplify is a new business dedicated to reimagining K-12 education by creating digital products and services that empower teachers, students and parents in new ways. Amplify is focused on transforming teaching and learning by creating and scaling digital innovations in three areas: analytics and assessment, content and curriculum and distribution and delivery. More information about Amplify can be found at www.amplify.com.

About Wireless Generation

Wireless Generation, a part of Amplify, is an education company that harnesses technology to help teachers teach with excellence. Founded in 2000, the company serves the K-12 education market and develops digital assessment and analysis tools, personalized curriculum, and large-scale educational data systems, as well as offers professional development to support teachers' expertise, and instructional improvement services to schools nationwide. Wireless Generation's innovative tools benefit more than 200,000 educators and 3 million children in schools and districts in all 50 states. More information is available at www.wirelessgeneration.com.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates â AT&T operating companies â are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.
Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com. More information about AT&T in Education is available at www.att.com/education-news.

*4G speeds not available everywhere. Learn more at att.com/network.

— Amy Chozick and Press Release
New York Times Media Decoder blog and News Corp





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