MWC 2012: Samsung Announces Learning Hub For Students

New educational platform will rival Apple’s recently revamped iTunes U

Samsung is set to unveil a direct rival to Apple’s iTunes U educational service at this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

Samsung’s Learning Hub will offer 6000 textbooks and videos from 30 different education providers around the world, according to a Google-translated Korean  press release.

Samsung goes to school

The platform is designed for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9 and will feature automatic scoring, a note-taking tool, and learning management capabilities, offering a wholly interactive learning experience. Samsung says that the Learning Hub will cater to everything from university students attending lectures to primary school children reading textbooks.

The company also expressed that it would look to expand the platform onto smartphones and would open the service up to small training companies and private operators, allowing them to create training content themselves.

Though the move promises to increase Samsung’s tablet appeal in an educational setting, Apple’s pre-existing dominance in the market will be difficult to fight against.

Earlier this year, Apple launched a revamped version of iTunes U, its free app which allows educators to distribute materials, deliver lectures and create presentations in a classroom setting. Combined with the company’s iBooks 2 announcement, which added a multitude of textbooks to their market, Apple seems likely to remain the leading provider of tablet educational services for some time.

At the time Gene Munster, an analyst with Piper Jaffray, said that Apple’s push “could add upside to our iPad [estimate] of 66 [million units] in [calendar year 2013] and beyond as schools begin to adopt next-gen learning technology over the next 2-5 years”. Samsung’s ‘real classroom’ experience at MWC 2012 will need to be pitch perfect to potentially attract iTunes U’s users and authors to the Learning Hub platform.

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