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Amazon’s Whispercast Now Used in More Than 130 of the 250 Largest School Districts and 24 of the 30 Largest Universities in the U.S.

New features and enhancements—including tiered administration, group management, and premium customer support—make it easier for organizations to use Whispercast at-scale

Whispercast supports devices using the free Kindle reading app, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, Android tablets and phones, Chromebooks, Macs, and PCs

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 28, 2015-- Today, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) launched Whispercast 3.0, an update to its free, self-service platform for organizations to easily discover, procure, manage and distribute digital content to nearly any device. Since launch, Whispercast has been adopted by more than 130 of the 250 largest school districts in the U.S., including Cypress-Fairbanks ISD and Prince William County Public Schools. Over 2,400 higher education organizations—including 24 of the 30 largest in the U.S.—also use Whispercast, including The University of Texas at Austin, Santa Barbara Business College, and Seton Hall University.

Whispercast distributes eBooks, eTextbooks, apps, documents, and eTextbook rentals to hundreds or thousands of devices already deployed in schools, including Kindle e-readers, Fire tablets, iOS, Android, Chromebooks, Macs, and PCs.

“Amazon launched Whispercast to help make it stress-free for organizations of any size to easily and quickly deliver digital content, in addition to helping manage fleets of devices—and we’re excited so many schools have chosen to adopt Whispercast over the years,” said Rohit Agarwal, General Manager, Amazon Education. “These customers have given great feedback to inform our roadmap, and many of the features are rolling out today with Whispercast 3.0, including tiered administration and group management, an easier-to-use UI, added payment options and premium customer support.”

With Whispercast 3.0, Amazon launches a number of new features to make it easier for education institutions to transition to digital learning, and scale their deployment of technology for every student. The features include:

  • Tiered Administration and Group Management – Whispercast administrators now have more control to easily setup organizational hierarchies and permissions, enabling scalable, centralized or delegated control—as well as organize into structures that make the most sense, whether classes, grades, groups, or other.
  • Digital Transition ServicesAmazon will now offer Digital Transition Services tailored for K-12 and higher education organizations with named service representatives to assist with onboarding and implementations at-scale, based on best practices.
  • Easier-to-Use Interface – The updated design includes a new step-by-step setup wizard, making it possible for educators to create groups, add and move users, procure digital content and distribute to their organization, without requiring technology training.
  • New Purchasing Options – Whispercast is expanding the payment methods accepted to procure digital content with purchase orders and purchase cards, in addition to credit and gift cards.

“As a long-time customer of Whispercast, we were excited to test out the new features early,” said AJ Phillips, Supervisor of Instructional Technology Director at Prince Williams County Public Schools. “The updated user interface and tiered administration has made it easier than ever to onboard staff using the tool—we have more teachers now using it and they are able to add user groups and individuals more quickly and distribute content in minutes.”

“Supporting an accelerated Ed.D. program of K-12 school administrators from across the country has its logistical challenges, but Amazon Whispercast enabled us to instantly distribute digital textbooks and course materials to all students simultaneously,” said Jan Furman, Ed.D., Program Director at Seton Hall University. “Whispercast removes logistical concerns associated with traditional course material distribution. The benefits from both the student and program operations perspectives are tremendous.”

“Our team evaluated several options when researching how to digitally engage our students,” said Matthew Johnston, President of Santa Barbara Business College. “Without a doubt, Amazon’s Whispercast solution and device selection aligned best experientially and financially with our requirements and student needs.”

With Whispercast, educational institutions can access the Kindle Store's unmatched collection of over 3 million books, textbooks, newspapers, and magazines, from thousands of publishers. The selection includes over 6,000 standards-aligned titles from National Geographic, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Scholastic, Lerner Publishing Group, Cherry Lake Publishing, Sleeping Bear Press and Harper Collins, including leveled readers, chapter books and literature classics. Institutions using Whispercast also have access to the Amazon Appstore with over 400,000 apps, including popular education apps like Duolingo: Learn Languages Free, BrainPop, PBS Kids, Starfall and Quizlet.

Whispercast also makes it easy for educational institutions to manage fleets of devices—organizations that have deployed Amazon devices can register and seamlessly manage the settings on all their devices using Whispercast, including adding password protection, centrally configuring wireless connectivity to their organizations’ private networks and restricting individual purchases.

To learn more about Whispercast, visit http://whispercast.amazon.com.

About Amazon

Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.

Source: Amazon.com

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