Noel Erskine, Technology Coordinator Norris Schools

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Amazon's Wispercast for schools -My how-to-guide.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Amazon released Whispercast several weeks ago, and I am finally getting time to play around with it. I had signed up our Amazon ebook account with this service, but had not gotten around to looking at the service in detail. I wondered how the school in Florida was managing their Kindle devices in their 1-to-1 deployment last year, and now I know.  I am guessing they were a beta-test site for Amazon.  This service would allow you to easily manage textbooks and documents deployed in a 1-to-1 Kindle deployment in a school district.

With personal Kindle devices, you can purchase a book and have it on up to 6 devices. (Depending on the Author.)  With Whispercast, you purchase a book for every device.  Devices can be grouped together, so if you had 500 Kindles  but 100 Kindles were grouped together in the Whispercast console for the 9th grade, you could purchase 100 books for those devices. Once that book was applied to that device, you can not collect the book and use it on another device. (You could deregister the kindle, thus freeing up that book.)

Direct from Kindle:
If your Kindles are already registered but they are not appearing in your account under Devices, we can help you add them to Whispercast. Just email us the name, email address, and kindle serial number for each account to whispercast-support@amazon.com.

If you have Kindles that are not currently registered, you must register them to an existing Amazon.com account, or create a new Amazon.com account for each one in order to receive content via Whispercast. To add them to your Whispercast account and distribute content, go to whispercast.amazon.com/accounts and click Add User to register them to your users.

More information is available on our help page: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200894470

If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to call us directly at 1-800-369-5661. We are available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday.

Some important notes about Whispercast:

  • It's not a book checkout system.  Ebooks can not be purchased and checked in and out to devices.  If you need this service, they recommend contacting OverDrive, which is often used by public libraries.
  • If you have purchased Kindles and want them to become a part of your Whispercast service, you can deregister the Kindle device and then have Amazon register it with your Whispercast account. (See section below)
  • When you purchase new Kindle devices direct from Amazon they will be registered automatically to your Whispercast service.
  • Books assigned to a Kindle can not be un-assigned and then checked out to another Kindle.  The only way to remove books registered to a Kindle is to deregister the device.
  • Documents can be uploaded and distributed along with ebooks. This is a great new feature! Accepted file types are: .pdf; .mobi; .txt; .rtf; .doc; .docx
Using Whispercast with Other Devices or Kindle Reading Applications (Taken from the Whispercast help page.)

If you don't have Kindle devices, you can also use Whispercast to distribute content to free Kindle reading applications on other non-Kindle devices. To distribute content to Kindle reading applications, create or add user accounts as you would for Kindle devices, but do not assign a device to the users. Users can access content sent to their accounts via Whispercast in the Archive folder in their reading applications.


How to register/deregister Kindles:
From Amazon.com, you can register or deregister via the Manage Your Kindle page (http://www.amazon.com/myk).

From your Kindle, select Home > Menu > Settings > Register or Deregister.





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