Is Amazon a Sleeping Giant for Education Technology? Or one of its biggest failures that have not been adequately reported?
These are questions that have different answers, especially in 2018. But now the answer seems to be yes. All over.
As a person living in the Amazon City headquarters and working in the technology of education as an analyst and analyst, I saw that Amazon is inevitable. Its indirect impact on education is huge: as a source for parents and teachers to buy classroom supplies, as a distributor of e-books and e-readers, as a fundraising tool for school-related nonprofit organizations through the AmazonSmile program, and even as a website in Amazon. Through the cloud.
It is, at least metaphorically, everywhere in education.
But what is surprising is how Amazon is inconsistent and even unwise when it comes to dealing directly with teachers and students with technology to learn. It seems as though the company does not realize that the memories of educators, like the careers of students, are long.
The latest Amazon errors are the sudden, and still unexplained, mystery of TenMarks, a startup sport program that was purchased in 2013 and announced in 2018 that it will close the following year, leading to many frustrated Twitter teachers. This was preceded by the Amazon Inspire Forever website, an educational resource exchange launched in 2016, but started straight in the knees after that, when a handful of copyrighted material was found. A year later, the company also lost its general manager of education from kindergarten to 12 years, which came to Amazon through the acquisition of TenMarks.
Things are very bad, Amazon, did not appear in the showroom at the overwhelming and influential ISTE conference in Chicago this year, having participated in a huge booth and existed only two years ago when it inspired the launch.
However, there is a lot – as the school counselor may say – potential.
Public education, especially kindergarten to 12th grade education, may simply be a weak thing for Amazon's otherwise successful approach to self-service on a large scale. Schools, schools, and teachers need a lot of technology-related stuff when it comes to technology. This is neither good nor bad by nature; it's just. It is very understandable when children and their brains are at risk.
Direct transition to K-12 parents appears to be more in line with Amazon's retail approach, with products such as the Amazon Rapids Kids Reading application (Think of as a Kindle multimedia application for kids), Echo Dot Kids Edition, or even Alexa Third parties such as Bamboo Learning, its music products and mathematics education.
But there are indications that as Amazon improves better on what it does well – outside retail and digital goods – 2019 may be the year in which K-12's role is strengthened and takes a relatively stable place in the classroom alongside other technical titans Such as Microsoft, Google, and Apple.
What he does well is providing cloud services.
It already sells cloud computing services not only to companies, but to educational institutions at the district and campus level. She already had a free AWS Educate program to help students (and teachers) learn about cloud computing and technology skills. So when Amazon announced Amazon's future skills initiative in late 2018, I was not surprised. It was simply a logical next step.
Now, Amazon seems to want everyone to see "AFE" – focusing on teaching computer science to underserved communities – just as a charity effort, not an education technology initiative. (I know, when I wrote about it, I received a phone call from the PR representative of style but constantly urging me to rephrase my story.) I did not do that.) But AFE is about STEM and computer science. It is an education about the most widespread techniques and recent criticisms.
Having an AFE associated with edtech is not bad. This may indicate, in 2019, that the Amazon region has found its good place when it comes to its efforts to teach K-12.
You may not be better connected with the old Amazon.com online retailer. Instead, it may be better linked with its other major works that support and allow the existence of this site: Amazon Web Services, Cloud.
(Editor's note: A copy of this analysis appeared on the EdSurge Education News site.)