In a victory for education across language barriers and distance, Amazon and the Brazilian Ministry of Education announced today that the Whispercast technology that makes ebooks magically appear on consumers’ devices will now deliver textbooks to hundreds of thousands of teachers across Brazil. Due in part to the efforts of the National Fund for Educational Development (FNDE), this partnership will bring a catalog of more than 200 different titles to the 600,000 government distributed teacher tablets in the country.
“We are pleased that Whispercast is one of the foundation technologies for this innovative program. Amazon working with FNDE enhanced Whispercast, which has been used by thousands of schools in the U.S., to meet the needs of the teachers and administrators in Brazil. We are very enthusiastic in helping to bring new technologies that will help the education segment in Brazil,” said Alex Szapiro, Country Manager, Amazon.com.br. “We hope to work with FNDE on the rollout to reach students and teachers in all grades with the goal of improving education in Brazil.”
According to a statement on the partnership, “Teachers using the free Kindle Reading App are able to read, highlight, make notes and reference the dictionary directly in the textbooks, even when the tablets are not connected to the Internet. To date, more than 40M eTextbooks have been delivered.”
All-digital classrooms have been slow to become a reality all over the world, but initiatives such as the FNDE and programs that are aimed at distributing cost-effective tablets instead of quickly obsolete and highly damage-susceptible print editions are making the digital classroom an even more likely reality.