Amazon Kindle Freetime is free software that is built into their Kindle Fire line of tablets. It allows parents to configure the amount of time their child can access the internet, read books, play games or watch movies. A new update is being pushed out today that gives new functionality for educational goals.
The educational goals system will allow parents to increase the allocated time their child can spend on leisure activity after meeting specific criteria. These could include time spent reading or, for preschoolers not yet able to read, it could mean only allowing access to parent-approved educational apps.
One of the main aspects of the educational system is being called “Learn First.” The premise is that until specific goals are met it removes non-educational content from the child’s FreeTime library. Everything in FreeTime Unlimited—plus the top 10,000 most popular kids’ books, videos, and apps on Amazon—has been categorized as education or entertainment, so when a parent sets goals for Learn First, the work of identifying which content is educational vs. entertainment has already been done for them.
“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,” explains Peter Larsen, Vice President, Amazon Kindle, in a statement this morning about the updated software. “Parents can use features like ‘Learn First’ to ensure study comes before play and set daily educational goals for reading and learning,” he says.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.