by Travis Andrews
News Corp plans to cash in on education with custom-made tablets and curricula. But what's the financial curve, and what does the corporation stand to gain?
"Even so, News Corp.’s $540 million investment shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. We seem to be on the precipice of one of the biggest changes education has seen since Socrates coined his method. The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the country, just awardedApple a $30 million contract. For $678 apiece, every student will have an iPad. Meanwhile, Florida is rushing to meet a new statewide standard requiring half of all classroom instruction to use digital materials, by fall 2015.
"Textbook and curriculum creation is a $7.8 billion industry that, until now, Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have mostly controlled. But once 45 states adopted the Common Core State Standards Initiative, it opened the door for companies like News Corp.
"Common Core offers a countrywide set of mathematic and English language arts educational standards, effectively making curriculum creation easier. Instead of developing for each individual market, one size fits (almost) all.
"Potential financial boons like this don't come around often.
"Add in a tablet computer, class management tools and educational video games, and News Corp.'s gamble isn't such a longshot."