News Corp. launches tablet for schools

(Photo: Amplify Education Inc.)A student uses an Amplify tablet in a promotional video.

A News Corp education division has launched a tablet specifically designed for helping teachers and students interact and learn in classrooms from kindergarten through high school.

The 10-inch tablet, which can be ordered in-time for the 2013-2014 school year in the U.S., was unveiled on Tuesday by Amplify Education Inc. at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, Texas.

The tablet has an 8.5 hour battery life and runs the latest version of Google's Android operating system. It comes loaded with basic reference materials including an encyclopedia, dictionary, education productivity software, a graphing calculator, and a literary curriculum, among others.

"Technology has revolutionized the world, but not the classroom," said Amplify CEO Joel Klein in a statement. "Our hope is that this tablet will help change that."

Stephen Smyth, an executive with the company cited the tablet's price and impact as distinguishing factors for the device in the educational market.

A demonstration video of the tablet shows how teachers can call the class to order using the tablet and assign tasks during a class period.

Students can perform searches for terms and topics, while teachers can provide quick online polls for related subjects, online quizzes, send assignments and share multimedia resources.

The device also includes web-filtering software for "age-appropriate learning."

A Wi-Fi enabled tablet is priced at $299 with a 2-year subscription of $99 per year. An upgraded tablet with 4G LTE phone connectivity and additional tools is priced at $349 with a 2-year subscription at $179 per year.

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