via Technology Tidbits by Twyla Felty
The name “Whispercast” almost seems like a secret, but I’d like to give a shout-out to this free online tool from Amazon! Whispercast was designed to manage Kindles in order for eBooks to be “pushed” to end-users in an organization . In short, it is the “Apple Configurator” for Kindle. However, Whispercast can be used at a much more basic level to make free eBooks readily available for students at absolutely no cost. All you need are devices that have the Kindle app and a little time for set up.
- Create a Whispercast account
- Add multiple users to the account by downloading a simple template & creating a batch upload***
- Spreadsheet only needs: student email, student “name”, and password
- “Purchase” free eBooks
- Select the users for those eBooks
- Students log into the Kindle app using their new school Amazon accounts to access the eBooks!
I only plan to use Whispercast for free eBooks right now. Even if I had the money to purchase books for students, there doesn’t seem to be a way to “reclaim” purchased titles for future use, making this an expensive process. I will have to do more research before moving toward monetary eBook purchases.
Since summer is almost here, it is the perfect time to try Whispercast!
This would be a great way to encourage school-wide summer reading! Push out books to students through Whispercast and create a blog, wiki or even a Facebook page for a summer book club. With the Kindle app available for Android, iOS and computers, there is no excuse not to have kids reading all summer long!!
This would be a great way to manage AP summer reading as well. Since these courses often involve the great literature classics, there are oodles of free titles readily available.
Whispercast would also be great for administrators too. In fact, this would be the best place to try and spend real money for eBooks. The district could purchase an eBook, and school leaders and teachers could have a book study for professional development and share thoughts or questions through back-channel sites such as Today’s Meet.
***I made a mistake in adding students, so don’t do this!!
In most “batch uploads”, if there is an error or partial upload, I just delete the entire upload and start fresh. It usually works….really!
Once you upload your student accounts to Whispercast, DON’T DELETE!!
It does warn you, of course, but the accounts aren’t actually deleted. They are now “real” Amazon accounts. You lose control of those student emails and can no longer use them to create an accounts for those students. Luckily for me, Whispercast has great support and fixed this for me!
Also, I had to ask permission to add all 350 or so names. Also easily done through Whispercast support.