Now You Can Learn a Language While You Wait For WiFi

The busyness of daily life makes it difficult to find time for informal learning. Yet, there are numerous moments in a day that are typically wasted due to waiting, such as waiting for the elevator to arrive, wifi to connect, or an instant message to arrive. With that in mind, the MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has come up with an idea to help us make the most of these “micro-moments”. Researchers from CSAIL have developed a series of apps called WaitSuite that opens up new possibilities for "micro-learning," leveraging idle moments like when you're waiting to connect to WiFi or refresh your email.

WaitSuite aims to leverage moments when a person wouldn’t otherwise be doing anything — a practice that its developers call “wait-learning.” WaitSuite covers five common daily tasks: waiting for WiFi to connect (“WiFiLearner”), emails to push through, instant messages to be received (“WaitChatter”), an elevator to come (“ElevatorLearner”), or content on your phone to load. 

“With stand-alone apps, it can be inconvenient to have to separately open them up to do a learning task,” explains MIT PhD student Carrie Cai in MIT News website. “WaitSuite is embedded directly into your existing tasks, so that you can easily learn without leaving what you were already doing.”

Though the team used WaitSuite to teach vocabulary, it could also be used for learning things like math, medical terms, or legal jargon. The team even picture having the app remind users to practice mindfulness to avoid reaching for our phones in moments of impatience, boredom, or frustration.

Source: MIT News