Opening Education with Amazon Inspire

Expanding its reach with Amazon Inspire, the tech giant is making proven teaching tools and resources shareable in a snap.

During the first half of the year, Amazon has expanded in the e-commerce segment, but also the online education area. Joining other sites that offer free, online education resources, the company recently relaunched its Amazon Inspire Beta site, an OER (open educational resource) that promises to decrease the time teachers spend gathering lessons and materials, thereby increasing the amount of time educators have to teach.

With Amazon Education’s other services, TenMarks a program featuring web-based math curriculum and Whispercast, a content management and distribution platform, Inspire adds options for teachers to interact with each other and collect peer-reviewed content across different subjects.

How does it work?

Amazon InspireThe first step toward using Inspire is to register for an Amazon account, or use an existing login. Amazon Inspire doesn’t require teachers to create a new account, but registering a separate login is possible for teachers who want to completely separate their professional lives from personal shopping habits. The tools found through Amazon Inspire allow teachers to search for, review, and grade educational tools, such as documents, images, online resources, and videos.

Though Amazon Inspire remains in its beta stage, it’s ready to share with teachers its library of content for use with K-12 students in math, science, English language arts, social studies, the arts, world languages, health and physical education, and career and technical education. Since the relaunch, Amazon has yet to allow users to publish their own content, but the company assures members that the feature is “coming soon.”

Where is it going?

In its beta phase, Amazon Inspire provides a library that includes thousands of STEM materials, covering math content in calculus, counting & patterns, data, statistics & probability, and geometry. Science instruction is available in astronomy, biology, chemistry, and Earth. Once all users are able to publish content, the library will continue to expand, providing more opportunities for teachers to build and share enriching lesson plans and teaching methods.

While Amazon Inspire is focused on launching the publishing tool within the program, the company also recognizes the need for quality content that meets the guidelines for education throughout the country. Though the site currently meets Common Core State Standards for math and ELA, Next Generation Science Standards, Virginia Standards of Learning, and Florida State Standards, Amazon Inspire will eventually align to more state standards.

In addition to Amazon Inspire, you can connect with peers and keep an ear to the ground in education by fully utilizing social media groups for teachers, such as those found on LinkedIn. As the world continues to shrink through opportunities created by technology, the potential for teachers to utilize innovation in the classroom will grow.

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Dorothy Crouch is a California-based writer who has covered many topics such as financial technology, travel and the pet-goods industry. Born and raised in New York City, she pursued her undergraduate degree at Hunter College and an M.S., Publishing degree through Pace University. Combining her love of learning and curiosity of the world, Dorothy studied abroad at Dublin, Ireland’s Trinity College, igniting a passion for travel. Dorothy’s thirst for knowledge and love of learning has led her to travel the world and pursue higher learning, including scuba certification. A lifelong animal lover, Dorothy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, their fish and two lovable, spoiled dogs.

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