Amazon Rapids app targets young readers for improved literacy

Kindle Amazon Rapids app

This mobile application is geared toward kids aged 7 through 12 years old and is meant to encourage reading.

The Amazon Rapids app has now been released in the hopes of appealing to kids aged 7 through 12 years old. The goal of the new mobile app is to draw the attention of kids who are hooked on mobile devices. The online marketplace believes that in changing the format of the ebooks, they can become more appealing and encourage more reading among kids in this age group.

For instance, a dialogue held between two characters will be presented more like a messenger chat thread.

The Amazon Rapids app will cost an affordable $2.99 per month and offers interactive stories. These tales have been formatted in a way that may be more familiar – and therefore appealing – to kids who are used to using smartphones and tablets. The dialogues among characters look like a chat thread, which kids have seen in texts or messenger applications.

This is Amazon’s latest step into the education ecosystem. This year, the online marketplace won a massive contract between itself and schools in New York City. This made it possible for Amazon to provide ebooks to the school system through a dedicated marketplace. In June, another educational service became available for teachers. This option made it possible for them to search for and find lesson plans as well as helpful support materials.

The Amazon Rapids app will provide kids with 500 to 700 word stories for short spans of reading.

Kindle Amazon Rapids appThe young reader is able to control the entire ereading experience. For example, tapping the screen when Amazon Rapids is running will alter the pace at which the child reads the story. Moreover, the child can also opt to have the app read along with him or her.

Amazon Education director of consumer products, Michael Robinson, explained that “We provide support for independent reading.” In this way, kids are able to read on their own but receive the assistance they need in areas where they struggle.

For instance, when a child doesn’t recognize a word, he or she has the option to hold a finger over the word on the screen. This provides a definition function so the child can learn the new word without having to look it up.

Robinson stated that the Amazon Rapids app already offers “hundreds of stories.” He also pointed out that there are going to be “dozens more added monthly.” The story writers and artists will be chosen by Amazon. The mobile app is currently available for Amazon Fire, Android and iOS devices.

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