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Bite Sized Learning Games

Eric Klopfer
Sometimes a snack is just the right sized meal. It can hold you (or your child) over until that next meal and often will make your child (or you) better behaved in the interim. Of course, not all snacks are created equal. A candy snack can hit the spot sometimes, but more often a healthy snack satisfies that craving while maintaining nutritional value.

Sometimes learning, like eating, can also be beneficial in snack-sized doses. These aren’t replacements for full-sized learning experience, but they can be a great supplement to those experiences.

For adults, these shorter learning experiences are becoming more commonly delivered on smartphones and tablets so that we can do a little learning on the train on the way to work, while waiting in the lobby for an appointment or even when stuck in a long line.

For me this mode of learning has provided an onramp to learning Spanish. I rarely have the time to sit down for an hour and practice, but I often have five minutes that I’m looking to fill in one of the above mentioned scenarios. I can take out my smartphone and do some learning, often in a fun-filled way. It gives me frequent practice.

I’ve even designed learning games for high school students with this idea of short and frequent game play as the foundation. High school students now often have smartphones themselves, and they embrace this style of learning and playing as well. Even when faced with the opportunity to go on social networking or video sites, they chose to play educational games in those short bits of time throughout their days.

Now younger kids have that same opportunity. As I’ve said previously, it isn’t always a good idea to hand off your highly prized smartphone into their sticky fingers. But there are devices like the MobiGo® and InnoTab® products, which can put that same style of learning and play into your kids’ hands through a safe and age-appropriate device. These devices are durable, mobile and made for those sticky fingers.

There have been many times when one of these devices has saved a shopping trip, car ride or visit to the doctor’s office from being a total disaster. But it isn’t that these learning game experiences are solely filling empty time. I actually see it the other way around. Those times are the opportunity to play games, and learn whether it be for 3 minutes or 30 minutes. It is that healthy snack that helps kids happily make it through to the other side.
Meet VTech's Expert Panel
Deborah Sharp Libby
Early Childhood Language and Reading Expert
Eric Klopfer
Platform Learning Expert
Lise Eliot
Early Childhood Mental Development Expert
Carla C. Johnson
Science and STEM Expert
Francis (Skip) Fennell
Mathematics Expert