AWS Public Sector Blog

Recapping the top announcements for K12 education from AWS re:Invent 2023

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) made more than 140 announcements at re:Invent 2023. In this blog post, we’ll take key announcements from re:Invent and apply them to relevant K12 education use cases. From generative artificial intelligence (AI) to cost optimization, AWS can support your school, district, or educational service agency and enhance both the classroom and administrative experience. 

Take advantage of generative AI

2023 was a big year for generative AI at AWS. Many schools and educational service agencies are exploring generative AI to customize curriculum, augment student learning, and power school chatbots.

Amazon Q, in preview, is a generative AI-powered assistant. Schools can leverage Amazon Q to have conversations with parents and students, solve problems, generate content, and take actions using data from their own information repositories and systems. By leveraging Amazon Q with services like Amazon QuickSight, a unified business intelligence (BI) service, you can simplify data exploration with generative BI capabilities. With QuickSight Q, in preview, users can generate executive summaries, suggest sample questions and answers, and generate data stories using the tool’s natural language interface.

Amazon Bedrock is a fully managed service offering a choice of high-performing foundation models (FMs) to build generative AI applications. Schools can now leverage Guardrails for Amazon Bedrock, in preview, to define a set of denied topics that may be undesirable or harmful within the context of their application for students. Using Knowledge Bases for Amazon Bedrock, schools can connect FMs to internal school data from sources like document repositories, student information systems, and learning management systems for Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG). PartyRock, an Amazon Bedrock Playground, allows students to create apps in a hands-on, generative AI app-building playground.

Amazon Lex is a fully managed AI service with natural language models to design, build, test, and deploy custom chatbots in applications. The Descriptive Bot Builder allows users to leverage Amazon Bedrock FMs to quickly create a fully functional bot in minutes. Utterance generation allows users to quickly generate utterances and associate them with intents. QnAIntent (preview) can be used to securely connect FMs to school data systems for RAG so chatbots can provide student-relevant information. These new features can be used by schools to quickly add chatbots on their website for conversational access to information for students, parents, and staff.

Amazon CodeWhisperer is an AI-powered tool that generates real-time code in your integrated development environment (IDE) and command line. This can be used by IT staff or by students in the classroom to augment coding with natural language. Learn more about the new enhancements to Amazon CodeWhisperer. 

Simplify end user compute management with Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client

Many schools look to replace physical computer labs with virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) options like Amazon AppStream 2.0 and the Amazon WorkSpaces Family, particularly for resource-intensive applications commonly used in career and technical education or science, technology, engineering, and math courses. Schools can now use Amazon WorkSpaces Thin Client to provide cost-effective, secure, and simple-to-manage access to AppStream 2.0, WorkSpaces, and WorkSpaces Web.

Amazon EventBridge now supports partner integrations with Adobe and Stripe

Amazon EventBridge is a serverless integration service that enables you to create highly scalable event-driven applications by routing events between your own applications, third-party software as a service (SaaS) applications, and AWS services.

Many K12 institutions use Adobe Creative Cloud and Stripe payment platform. Now, developers can stream Adobe product events directly to EventBridge, which further routes to more than 20 AWS services, making it easier to build event-driven architectures. By leveraging these integrations, you can spend less time writing integration code and build features and workflows faster.

Observe your applications with Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals

Amazon CloudWatch Application Signals (preview) is a new capability that makes it simple to automatically instrument and operate your school’s applications on AWS. You can track application performance against your most important business objectives without the undifferentiated heavy lifting of manual instrumentation, metrics computations, and root cause correlation. Using Application Signals you can automatically collect metrics and traces from your applications, create and monitor service-level objectives (SLOs), and see visual representation of your applications, dependencies, and their connectivity.

myApplications: One place to view and manage your applications on AWS

AWS announced general availability of myApplications, a new experience in the AWS Management Console that makes it easier to manage and monitor the cost, health, security posture, and performance of the applications you host on AWS. With an at-a-glance view of key application metrics such as cost, performance, and security findings, you can debug operational issues and optimize your applications. You can also act on specific application resources with one click from the application dashboard using the corresponding AWS services, such as AWS Cost Explorer, AWS Security Hub, and Application Signals.

AWS Mainframe Modernization Application Testing

Some schools still rely on mainframes for critical applications. AWS Mainframe Modernization helps you modernize, migrate, run, test, and operate these mainframe applications. AWS Mainframe Modernization Application Testing (preview) automates functional equivalence testing of mainframe applications being modernized with the AWS Cloud.

Introducing Cost Optimization Hub

AWS announced Cost Optimization Hub, a new AWS Billing and Cost Management feature that helps you consolidate and prioritize cost optimization recommendations so that you can get the most out of your AWS spend. You can use Cost Optimization Hub to identify, filter, and aggregate AWS cost optimization recommendations across your AWS accounts and AWS Regions. It makes recommendations on resource rightsizing, idle resource deletion, Savings Plans, and Reserved Instances. With a single dashboard, you avoid having to go to multiple AWS products to identify cost optimization opportunities.

New features to power education data analytics

Amazon Redshift powers data driven decisions for tens of thousands of customers every day with a fully managed, AI-powered cloud data warehouse that delivers the best price-performance for your analytics workloads. Zero-ETL is a set of integrations that eliminates the need to build extract, transform, and load (ETL) data pipelines. Zero-ETL integrations with AWS Databases and Amazon Redshift enable you to access data in place using federated queries or ingest it into Amazon Redshift with a fully managed solution.

New and improved Amazon SageMaker Studio

Amazon SageMaker Studio in a web-based interface for end-to-end machine learning (ML) development. SageMaker Studio offers a suite of IDEs, including Code Editor based on Code-OSS (Visual Studio Code – Open Source), improved and faster JupyterLab, and RStudio. ML practitioners can choose their preferred IDE to accelerate ML development. For example, a data scientist could use JupyterLab and training jobs in SageMaker Studio to explore data and tune models, while an ML operations engineer could choose the Code Editor and the pipelines tool to deploy and monitor models in production. With SageMaker Studio, you can quickly experiment with applying ML to your own K12 data for a variety of use cases. Read more about the new and improved Amazon SageMaker Studio.

Learn more

Read the Top announcements of AWS re:Invent 2023 blog post for more information on announcements across analytics, databases, security, generative AI, ML, and more. Finally, learn more about how AWS can help your school or district at the K12 and Primary Education hub, or contact an AWS public sector representative with any questions.

Dinesh Boddula

Dinesh Boddula

Dinesh is a solutions architect with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for worldwide public sector (WWPS) and passionate about cloud technologies. Outside of work, he is interested in photography, exploring different places, and playing volleyball and ping pong.

David Lee

David Lee

David is a solutions architect on the higher education team at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Over the past three years, David has helped local governments, school districts, and universities on their cloud journeys. Based out of Dallas, David loves traveling to foreign countries, playing video games, and cooking.