I have been waiting for this ever since I began supporting the use of mobile devices in the classroom 4 years ago. I have always believed that the only company with the clout and wherewithal to change the broken educational content purchasing model is Amazon. Well, after a recent meeting with employees in the Kindle Education division, I can say with confidence that the game is changing.
There are two reasons for my excitement. The first is that Amazon is negotiating contracts with publishers so that schools can apply their traditional print purchase model to electronic content. What this means is districts will be able to redistribute the same licenses to different students year after year. You know, just like the way schools have traditionally assigned textbooks to students as they advance through the system.
The second reason is WhisperCast. Not to be confused with WhisperSync (the technology that enables you to pick up where you left off reading on different devices), WhisperCast is a digital platform similar to a mobile device management tool (MDM) that allows institutions to purchase and distribute digital content in bulk. Originally created by Amazon for internal use by a private company, Amazon is making it available to schools for free. While still in its infancy, they are committed to improving it with enhancements such as Active Directory integration.
At long last, the electronic content revolution can finally begin in earnest in education.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree that Amazon is perhaps the only company with the clout to disrupt the education publishing industry?