Amazon Inspire crowdsources resources for educators

In this Internet age, a lot of information flows freely on the Web, but not all of them are reliable or even factually correct. A whole market, led by the likes of Coursera and Udacity, have sprung up to give a bit of formality to "online education." Now Amazon is jumping in with its new Amazon Inspire platform, but with a very different twist. Instead of catering to students looking online instruction, Inspire practically crowdsources educational materials and resources that other teachers and educators can use and customize for their particular use cases.

Teachers reveal to Amazon that they spend 12 hours a week scouring for resources to use in their classes, and that, more often than not, they favor those that come from their peers and fellows in the field. Sensing an opportunity, Amazon created Amazon Inspire to give these educators a single place to share and use those materials to not only help make their lives easier but also improve the quality of education, especially for K-12 programs.

Looking almost like Amazon's online store for other products, Inspire helps teachers easily upload and search for resources, sorted by various criteria, like grade level, skill requirements, and whatnot. And indeed like Amazon's regular catalogs, these materials can be rated and reviewed, which could help weed out sub par materials or help other teachers improve their collections.

Unlike online "universities" like Coursera or Udacity, Amazon Inspire's contents are not gated behind paywalls. It's completely free and, in true Amazon fashion, the retailer intends to profit instead from indirect business, like the use of AWS for schools, Whispercast, Kindle direct publishing, and Amazon's other roster of services.

SOURCE: Amazon Inspire