News Corp. will be announcing a 10-inch Android tablet designed for K12 schools Wednesday at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, Texas according to the New York Times. Led by former chancellor of New York City schools Joel Klein, News Corp.'s Amplify division is aiming to make headway with Android into the school system, and their first offering is an ASUS built tablet, an entire curriculum, and the infrastructure to support it all.
The tablet uses what Amplify is calling a “blended learning” model that combines new technology with current teaching methods. When a student starts to drift away from the prepared lesson, they will be warned with a pop-up advising them to put their "eyes on teacher". In addition, students will be able to take their tablet home each night, and use it to play educational games.
A tablet running the special software, training, and customer care options starts at $299, with a two-year subscription for an additional $99 yearly. For students without Internet access at their homes, a premium model will be available with a 4G data plan at $349.
The pricing is reasonable, and it appears that News Corp. is serious about providing support. It's nice to see Android move into a space once dominated by Apple and Microsoft, and we wish everyone involved the best of luck.