Amazon.com Inc announced an initiative on Wednesday to get its Kindle e-readers and tablet computers into schools, entering a market that has been particularly successful for rival Apple Inc and its iPad device.
Amazon said it has been testing Kindles in recent years with hundreds of kindergarten through 12th grade schools in the United States, selling the devices at bulk discounts and helping them purchase and distribute e-books to students.
On Wednesday, the company unveiled Whispercast, a service that lets schools manage fleets of Kindle devices from one online location.
Administrators and teachers can set up user accounts for each student and arrange them into one or more groups, such as a specific class or grade level. They can also set limits on what students can do with the devices, such as blocking Facebook and web browsing and disabling purchasing, Amazon said.