The Amazon FreeTime, a subscription service that offers kid-friendly books,apps,games and videos, has rolled out a feature which is called Discussion Cards which helps the parents in a better understanding of the content their child is reading, viewing or playing. The Discussion Cards feature is a part of the new Parent Dashboard that also includes activity reports and all the other insights into how the child has been using their device.
The idea of the Discussion Cards is to help the parents now have more productive conversations with their child about whatever it is the child is engaging with at the time. Also, you would be amazed to know that the cards may also suggest ways to connect that digital behavior to real life.
Let’s say For example, if the child has been viewing a National Geographic video like “Cats vs. Fox,” the Discussion Card might prompt the parents to ask questions related to it, like “which pet do you like the most and why?” or it may also suggest that the family can go volunteer at a shelter together.
Also, just to let you know, the cards are written by Amazon’s Content Editors and cover many of the educational apps, books, videos and games inside FreeTime, and also some of the more popular titles often being added to FreeTime by different parents.
At the launch, Amazon said that there are thousands of cards already available, and more would be added daily.
Parents are now able to access the cards in the FreeTime’s Parent Dashboard, which is where they also see a daily activity report of their child’s device use. This also includes what books were read, videos watched, apps or games played, and websites visited. Isn’t it amazing that it also shows how much time was spent on a given title and how that may have changed over the course of a few days.
This information also helps to inform the parents on how to configure their child’s FreeTime profile, where a parent can adjust screen time, time limits and daily education goals. But more importantly, it allows the parent to track his/her child’s changing interests over the period of time with different types of content and also individual titles.
To some it might seem a little weird (or even creepy) that a parent needs to rely on a software to know what his/her child is interested in, but now with the change in digital platforms the parents have visibility into their kids’ lives. Now instead of those dog-eared books on nightstands or board games or toys that used to be scattered around the room, kids now turn to e-books, apps and digital games. And now with their nose buried in their tablets, how do you expect a parent to be always aware what the kids are up to.
The idea is not new, many kids’ app makers have already included this technology into their own games and apps, and it has always been a standard feature in any third-party internet control software as well.
Well, out of the OS makers – Google, Apple and Amazon – it is quite interesting to see that it is Amazon that has so far shown interest in managing kids’ digital lives,