What Does Amazon Inspire Mean for Education?
Collaboration comes naturally to teachers, but creating, sharing and tracking down resources still takes time.
That’s the problem Amazon set out to solve with its June 27 beta release of the Amazon Inspire, an online hub where teachers can upload, share and review free digital learning material.
“With Amazon Inspire, we aim to quickly and easily put the best and most trusted digital resources at teachers’ fingertips, saving them valuable time that can be devoted to what they do best and enjoy most — teaching,” said Rohit Agarwal, general manager of Amazon K–12 Education, in a press release.
While the platform isn’t the first of its kind, Amazon plans to make it the largest, offering more than 2,000 pieces of content from Folger Shakespeare Library; primary sources and interactive tools from the NewseumED service; and the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard.
Amazon Inspire beta also features countless open educational resources (OER) from individual teachers and school districts, although EdSurge reports that districts can choose to restrict who sees their educators’ content.
Amazon’s arrival in the OER marketplace reflects recent trends in education, where the use of free content has become more commonplace: According to the Consortium for School Networking’s fourth K–12 IT Leadership Survey Report, 45 percent of survey respondents expect OER to account for at least half of their digital content in the next three years.