So Amazon wants to make sure schools give Amazon Kindles a second look. Up until now, at least with the purchasing of content, Amazon played second fiddle to Apple and Barnes and Noble in the way they could setup devices to purchase content. Now, though, they want to make sure they get a piece of the action in introducing their Whispercast.
It definitely provides some good features. For starters you can centrally manage your Kindles. Barnes and Nobles centrally manages, but they do the managing. It appears Amazon gives you a webpage to do this from. Similar to what we’re looking for with the Chromebooks on the Google Apps for Education dashboard. It will then allow you to configure all of them, saving time from doing one at a time, including sending your wifi settings. If you use your own connectivity, then obviously you will be able to use your own filtering software. Do you send them home though? With Whispercast you can block things like Facebook and Twitter or allow them. And then of course you can manage the Amazon content, which is really what you (and Amazon!) want from the deal. Any easy way to purchase content for multiple devices and keep track of it.
From my role with 15 schools and 8,600 students to manage, the more ways we can centrally manage our devices, the better. Amazon knows it needs to get competitive to the Apple and Google offerings, and with more and more MDMs (mobile device managers) and Windows 8 coming, the time is now.