Good news for Kindle owners that have children who suck at math: Amazon announced today that it’s purchased education startup TenMarks. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
TenMarks allows you to create engaging curriculum to help teach students math. It provides students with helpful hints if they’re struggling as well as video tutorials. TenMarks also gives teachers and parents data about how those students are performing to help adjust the curriculum to be more effective. The service is used by thousands of schools across the country, and can be accessed via Amazon’s line of Kindle Fire tablets.
Why would Amazon need a tool to make math lessons? Well, math curriculum — whether it be digital or found in a textbook — is essentially just another form of content. And the textbook publishing industry generates over $5 billion per year from lower educational material (Kindergarten to 12th grade) alone — making it a very lucrative opportunity for Amazon to make money.
That said, Amazon likely wants to broaden the scope of its digital media business by getting into education content. It also probably wants to make its Kindle platform more attractive to public school boards, who are increasingly using annual budgets to buy tablets for its students.
But Amazon isn’t the only company going after classrooms. Some school boards have opted to go with Apple iPads rather than the less expensive Kindle Fire tablets. Apple, which now sells a lower priced iPad Mini — also provides some teaching tools such as its iTunes University service and textbook publishing tool for iBooks.