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The Amazon Rapids App Gets Kids Reading—But It Can’t Replace Books

November 3, 2016
in Kids

Can Amazon’s new app help kids develop a lifelong love of reading? Seems like it couldn’t hurt, especially since we’re talking about an educational app. But the consensus among experts is that increased screen time alone is harmful for children after a certain point. The question is how to make sure kids don’t spend so much time in the app that the educational benefits become irrelevant. The new app is called Amazon Rapids. Aimed at seven to 12-year-olds, the stories unfold with a series of chat bubbles—two chickens discussing whether they should cross the road or an alien accidentally sending a note to an earthling kid about his plans to invade the planet. For $2.99 a month, the app offers “hundreds” of these stories, and it will add “dozens” more each month. “We already know that kids love to play and message with friends and family using mobile devices,” says Michael Robinson, director of consumer products for Amazon Education. “So we wanted to see what authors and illustrators could create with an app that made it easy to tell stories this way.” Kids can control the pace...

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