Amplify, a Brooklyn-based ed-tech company owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., has signed a contract with North Carolina’s Guilford County Schools to provide more than 20,000 tablet computers for students and teachers in what the company calls one of the largest rollouts of education tablets to date.
Amplify will provide 21,215 tablets to 24 GCS middle schools for the upcoming school year, according to a news release from the company. The devices come pre-loaded with instructional content and mobile device management software.
District officials have said they plan to use about $16.4 million of a $30 million federal Race to the Top grant to cover the costs of the tablets and content.
There has been some controversy over the agreement because of GCS Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green’s ties to an executive of Amplify Education.
Green was the deputy of Peter Gorman, who now is Amplify’s executive vice president for education services, when both worked in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools. Gorman was that district’s superintendent from 2006-11. Green worked in the district until 2008, when he left to take the top job in Guilford County.
(Next page: More details about the contract, and what it includes)