Amazon Raises Profile in Education with TenMarks Acquisition

From Electronic Education Report, October 28, 2013

Amazon’s (Seattle) October agreement to purchase TenMarks (Burlingame, CA), a provider of web-based K-12 math programs, is seen as a signal from the retail giant that it will be looking to sell more education content and apps and will try to make Kindles a more attractive option for schools seeking tablet computer devices.

“Amazon and TenMarks intend to develop rich educational content and applications, across multiple platforms, that we think teachers, parents and students will love,” said Dave Limp, vice president Amazon Kindle.

Amazon has been pushing Kindles into the education market by offering a textbook rental program to appeal to students in higher education and by launching Whispercast, a free online tool developed to help K-12 school districts manage a Kindle implementation. Amazon also has been selling Kindles to school districts at bulk discounts and providing ways for them to purchase and distribute ebooks.

Last week, Amazon began shipping the Kindle Fire HDX, which features a 7” or 8.9” HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, two times more memory, and 11 hours of battery life, as well as a new Mayday button for in-device tech support.

What TenMarks Brings

TenMarks provides personalized online math instruction, assessment and practice. Material can be accessed via personal computer, Mac or any iPad/Android device and most often is used to reinforce concepts taught by teachers. Programs are being used by approximately 25,000 schools and 7,000 school districts.

TenMarks partnered with Academics Benchmarks to align its curriculum to Common Core and state standards.

A free version of the program allows teachers to create accounts for students in their classes and includes basic reporting functions. A premium account, with pricing beginning about $10 per student, enables teachers to build individualized content lists for students with automated assignment features and integrates data from standardized tests.

The premium version also includes training webinars for teachers, although the system was developed to require minimal training and tech support.•