Amazon’s venture into the education field is starting to pay off. Since the company launched Whispercast – a free service that lets schools distribute e-textbooks, apps and study materials to school computers and tablets – in 2012, the service has expanded to thousands of schools. In an announcement on Tuesday, Amazon stated that Whispercast is now used in over 130 of the largest 250 school districts in the United States, and more than 2,400 colleges and universities.
In hopes of further expanding their service, Amazon launched an updated version of Whispercast on Tuesday. The new update gives professors and teachers more freedom to share and purchase classroom materials. Expert guidance will now be available to districts that use Whispercast.
While other companies, like Apple and Google, are vying to break into the education field, Amazon has excelled with Whispercast. The service allows purchased or rented e-textbooks and other materials to be distributed to students through the school’s devices, including Amazon’s own Fire tablets and Kindle readers. The service is compatible with PCs, Chromebooks, Macs and other devices running either Android or iOS. However, schools that choose to use Amazon’s devices will have greater control over device settings, including the blocking of Facebook and web browsers.