Amazon, a large internet-based retailer, recently launched Amazon Inspire. The website provides an online marketplace for educators around the world, but with one key difference: all of its products are free.
Marketed towards K-12 educators around the world, Amazon Inspire has tens of thousands of free online resources, such as lesson plans and apps available for download. Educators around the world can browse the site by subject matter or grade level, and teachers can download and edit lesson plans to better fit their own personalized courses.
Other features of Amazon Inspire that distinguish it from other educational resource databases include:
- Collections, which allow educators to group resources on the Amazon Inspire site. These collections can then be shared with other teachers on the site, so everyone has easy access to similar information.
- An intuitive upload system, wherein it’s easy to drag and drop files on the site, as well as add content to the site to share with fellow teachers.
- Teachers can also rate and review resources on Amazon Inspire, helping their colleagues select the best resources for their needs.
Earlier in 2016, Amazon also signed a multi-million dollar deal with New York City public schools to help provide more digital books to the schools’ students. This agreement indicates how Amazon is no stranger to the power of funding education and programs that will contribute to making education more accessible to all students and teachers, regardless of location.
These free resources will help teachers in a multitude of ways. Not only will Amazon’s provisions help educators transition into an ever-more digital age of teaching, but they will do so without having to pay an exorbitant amount of money or spend ludicrous amounts of time searching Google for free scholarly resources.
However, since Amazon Inspire is an online resource, countries with limited or no Internet cannot benefit from its resources. While Amazon Inspire is a great site, it is important to remember that not all countries are as privileged to have nationwide Internet coverage as the United States. There is great potential in this field to not only connect more teachers to students but to connect and educate more people globally.
– Bayley McComb