News Corp. to launch tablet-based education pilot

In collaboration with AT&T, the company will offer a tablet-based platform that bundles curricular content with sophisticated analytic capabilities and 4G connectivity to facilitate personalized instruction.

In a further expansion into the ed-tech market, News Corp.—Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate that owns FOX News and the Wall Street Journal, among other properties—on July 23 unveiled its new K-12 education business, called Amplify, and said it was partnering with AT&T to fund a pilot project that aims to put tablet computers in students’ hands in the coming school year.

AT&T will provide tablet computers that work on its 4G and Wi-Fi networks. None of the schools selected to participate will have to pay for the program. The company did not say which schools would take part or how they’d be selected.

The idea is to put tablet computers into the hands of students for use at school and at home. The system tracks their progress and is meant to tailor lessons to each student’s level.…Read More

New York spikes education software deal with Wireless Generation

Wireless Generation was to get $27 million of the state’s $700 million in federal Race to the Top money.

New York’s comptroller has spiked a $27 million contract with an education software firm owned by Rupert Murdoch because of the media mogul’s phone hacking scandal in Great Britain.

The New York Daily News reports that state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli last week rejected a state Education Department contract with Wireless Generation, a News Corp. affiliate.

Wireless Generation was to get $27 million of the state’s $700 million in federal Race to the Top money to develop software that would track students’ test scores.…Read More

News Corp. jumps into ed-tech field

Analysts wonder if News Corp. hopes to harness the mobile assessment field.

News Corp., which recently hired outgoing New York City Public Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, has reached a deal to buy educational technology firm Wireless Generation for $360 million in cash in what observers see as the first of many moves into the ed-tech market for Rupert Murdoch’s media giant.

News Corp., which owns the controversial Fox News cable network, is buying a 90-percent stake in Wireless Generation, while founder and CEO Larry Berger, Chief Operating Officer Josh Reibel, and Chief Product Officer Laurence Holt will split the remaining 10 percent and will continue to manage the company.

Privately held Wireless Generation, which is based in Brooklyn, N.Y., provides mobile and web software, data systems, and professional services that enable teachers to use data to assess student progress and deliver individualized instruction. It was launched in 2000 and counts more than 200,000 teachers and 3 million students across the country as users, News Corp. said.…Read More

News Corp. buys education technology company

News Corp. said that it had agreed to acquire 90 percent of education technology company Wireless Generation for 360 million dollars in cash, reports the AFP.

“Wireless Generation is at the forefront of individualized, technology-based learning that is poised to revolutionize public education for a new generation of students,” News Corp. chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch said.

Education of children aged five through 18 is a “500-billion-dollar sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching,” he said in a statement……Read More