Let’s see… where is a place with a captive audience that will always involve reading books, paper or otherwise, that will also need to keep updating its tools as the years go by? Oh yes, schools. They’re quite an attractive market for the makers of tablet and e-readers, and now Amazon is making a big push to make sure Kindles are the technology of choice in schools.
Apple and its iPad already have a foothold in education and have been doing well, so Amazon has its work cut out for it. It’s been testing Kindles with hundreds of children from kindergarten through 12th grade in recent years. It’s a good deal for schools, too, as Amazon has sold the devices at a bulk discount, reports Reuters.
The company announced its new education initiative today, dubbed Whispercast. It’ll be a service that will allow schools to manage all the Kindles being used in the system from one online spot. Administrators and teachers will be able to tailor each Kindle to the grade level of the student using it, and block distractions such as web browsing and Facebook. Oh yeah, and purchasing — otherwise the school’s budget for books would likely be drained in a jiffy.
It’s a smart move for Amazon, as it will get Kindles into kids’ hands early and we all know who kids turn out to be — adults with buying power.
“We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to own a Kindle device. Any time we can make that easier, we do that,” said Jay Marine, vice president of Kindle product management. “And we have a particular mission to increase reading, especially among kids.”
Right, it’ll also be good to educate the children, of course. But those kids will be telling their parents all about using Kindles and likely start asking to use a Kindle for things like music and games as well. That’s the hope on Amazon’s side, at least.