Many parents are often worried about what their kids watch on the Internet, and thus, they want something that can help them keep an eye on their activities. The wait seems to be over now, as Amazon has launched new features for its FreeTime kids’ apps called Parent Dashboard and Discussion Cards.
What are the Parent Dashboard and Discussion Cards?
Amazon’s Parent Dashboard limits and monitors what a child is doing on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. For each child you add to your Amazon FreeTime account, the dashboard records the time spent in four different categories: Books, Videos, Apps and Web. In the dashboard, the reports are shown in colorful pie charts. Clicking on them will show the time spent per day in that category and details of every book read, game played, or video watched.
Previously, the company allowed FreeTime users to set limits for specific activities, but there was no way to see the amount of time spent on different apps. Amazon’s dashboard is similar to what Google’s Family Link app does, detailing how much time has been spent on the device and what apps were used. However, there is one feature that sets Amazon’s Parent Dashboard apart from other similar services, and that is Discussion Cards.
In the Parent Dashboard, when you view the book-by-book or app-by-app breakdown of what your child has been up to, you will find conversation bubbles next to some of the titles. They are a rundown of what your child was doing in the app, with questions that you may ask the child about the book, app, video or website.
These Discussion Cards could help you ensure that the child actually did what he/she was supposed to. They also keep you updated on what your child is interested in currently. These cards, written by Amazon Content Editors, are designed to encourage dialogue about apps and content, the company says. The Discussion Cards also offer suggestions on how to get involved with the child and game outside the app.
“If a parent finds that their child has a real interest in what they read or viewed, they can suggest doing something together as a family to help deepen their experience and build on their interest,” Amazon says.
How the new features help Amazon and parents
With Parent Dashboard and Discussion Cards, the e-commerce giant hopes to get mom, dad and the kids to spent more time on its websites and services. The new service could encourage users to upgrade to the paid version of FreeTime called FreeTime Unlimited, notes CNET. This version, which costs $3, offers selected books, apps and games based on age groups.
“I would love to see parents engaging more with their kids, using this information to further customize their child’s experience in [FreeTime] to make the product better for kids,” said Amazon’s kids and family director, Kurt Beidler.
Amazon’s latest tools are surely a good way to help parents get more involved in their kids’ digital worlds and keep track of what they are spending their time on.