Kindle FreeTime Gets New Education Features

IT Management

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More and more kids these days are making the switch from TVs and video games to consuming everything on tablets. While tablets are great, the personal nature of the device also makes it harder for parents to make sure their children are fulfilling their obligations before they start to play games or watch TV shows on Netflix. That's where Amazon FreeTime comes in.

Amazon announced that its FreeTime app - an app that allows parents to control when and how their children use a Kindle Fire device - will soon be getting an educational shot in the arm. This update will allow parents to set educational goals that their children must complete before they're allowed to play games or use other entertainment apps on the device.

“Kindle Fire is already the best tablet for kids and families—and now we’re making it even better,” said Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “We know kids spend a lot of time every day looking at screens, and we’re excited to add new tools that help parents make this time more educational. Parents can use features like ‘Learn First’ to ensure study comes before play and set daily educational goals for reading and learning. If you subscribe to FreeTime Unlimited, your kids will enjoy thousands of new educational books, apps, games and videos.”

Of course, edutainment doesn't mean what it used to mean. Amazon wants parents to know that there's plenty of content available in Kindle FreeTime that will make kids want to learn. Here's what you will find:

  • Thousands of common core-aligned leveled readers and supplemental readers are coming to Kindle FreeTime Unlimited and the Kindle Store—most of these books will be available for the first time digitally. Hundreds of these titles will be available in time for Christmas, with the rest coming early next year, from trusted educational publishers like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Starwalk Kids Media LLC, The Child’s World, Sleeping Bear Press, Lerner Publishing, and Cherry Lake Publishing.
  • Kid-friendly educational apps such as Team Umizoomi Math, Super Why!, Stack the States, Curious George at the Zoo, Elmo Loves 123’s, Write the Alphabet, Kids Learn To Read and more.
  • Award-winning and engaging educational apps from BrainPOP and Agnitus.
  • Over 2,000 educational TV Shows and Movies from well recognized educational content providers including Sesame Street, PBS, Reading Rainbow and BabyFirst TV.
  • Beginning level foreign language video learning programs for Spanish, French, Chinese and more from Little Pim.
  • Alongside all of the educational content, FreeTime will also be updated with two new features to make sure your kids are using the Kindle when you want them to:

  • Bedtime: No more cartoons in the middle of the night—set a Bedtime so FreeTime only works the time of day you choose—for example, between 8 am and 8 pm.
  • Weekend and Weekday Time Limits: All days of the week aren’t created equal—configure educational goals and screen time limits differently for weekends and weekdays.
  • On a final note, Amazon says that parents will soon be able to check out an eBook from a public library and then make it available to their children in FreeTime. Prime members who use the Kindle Owners' Lending Library will be able to do the same.

    If you want to learn more about FreeTime, check out Amazon's landing page.

    [Image: Amazon]