Amazon today announced the launch of a new feature dubbed Discussion Cards. While this is a new feature, it is technically an extension of the company's already available FreeTime platform. FreeTime is designed to offer a more child-friendly environment when it comes to the types of apps, books, and games, that a child can encounter when using one of Amazon's Fire-branded devices. Discussion cards on the other hand, are designed for adults and in particular, the parents of children who use FreeTime.
In the simplest of terms, Discussion cards act as a means to offer parents a greater insight into the type of content that their children are engaging with through FreeTime. The name, Discussion Cards, draws on the fact that in receipt of that greater insight, parents will then be able to discuss and engage with their children on the content they are interested in. To coincide with the launch of Discussion Cards, Amazon has also confirmed the launch of a new ‘Parent Dashboard.’ This is a mobile optimized website where parents will be able to check Discussion Cards, as well as glean an overall idea of what their children are using their tablets for, including a more detailed breakdown of how time with the FreeTime-enabled device is being spent. The new Parent Dashboard is now available and can be found at http://parents.amazon.com.
Back to the Discussion Cards and through these cards parents will effectively be able to take a sneak peak at content available to their children, by way of a brief summary of the app/book/game, as well as some questions that the parent can in turn use as a talking point when further discussing the app/book/game with their children. From the examples provided by Amazon, some of the questions are specifically designed with a learning aspect in mind. So as well as generally igniting conversation, the questions will also provide insight into what the child has learned and can even, act as an additional prompt for further learning or activities based around the content of the app/book/game. At present, Amazon notes that “thousands” of Discussion Cards are already available for the company's most popular titles, and more will be added on a daily basis.