How One Kids’ App Turns Playtime into Learning Time

Brainfeed is a new educational kids app that offers a curated selection of great videos on science, nature, the arts, and more. Developed by Mark Hoffman, Brainfeed was envisioned as an opportunity for teaching his two middle school-age children. Hoffman has been a filmmaker for many years, producing such award-winning documentaries as “The Tale of An Phuc House,” a serious film about the effects of Agent Orange on the lives of the Vietnamese people.

I had a chance to interview Hoffman to learn more about how he became interested in developing this great new resource. Hoffman describes himself as a visual learner who has collected videos and documentaries for many years. He and his family have travelled the globe for his work and he was inspired by his children’s self-directed learning through videos. Recently, Hoffman decided to bring his family back to the US and work on developing the Brainfeed app. I talked with him about my concerns with the amount of time children spend in front of screens. While he is a strong advocate of video and visual learning, he expressed his own concerns about the overuse of digital entertainment.

Hoffman is hopeful that Brainfeed‘s content will make the most of children’s digital playtime, inspiring a range of other interests that will make children more likely to go out into nature, develop an interest in animals or sea life, or want to travel the world. Brainfeed videos are hand-selected by a team of expert educators for children ages seven and up, and are chosen to grab the attention of teens and adults as well. Hoffman’s expertise as a film producer ensures that Brainfeed‘s videos are engaging and high-quality. Hoffman also sees Brainfeed videos as a great opportunity for “joint media engagement,” wherein he can spend time with his children while they learn and have fun at the same time.

In my work as a clinical psychologist, I see many children who are very curious about their world and want to know “everything” but struggle with reading and traditional lecture-based classroom education. For children who are visual learners, who don’t necessarily like to read, or who just simply enjoy playing on YouTube, Brainfeed is a great way to engage them in learning about their world. Parents and educators can be assured that Brainfeed videos are appropriate for kids to view and represent an opportunity to expand a child’s knowledge and interests.

To learn more about Brainfeed and how you can make the most of this app to help build executive functioning skills in your child, check out our Brainfeed playbook.

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