Wait-learning refers to learning that takes place while a person is awaiting the completion of some other task, for example, learn some new words while waiting for the elevator.
The average person spends 10 to 15 minutes a day waiting for texts and instant-message (IM) replies, according to an analysis by Carrie Cai, a PhD student at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL).
What if you could be more productive during those idle moments? Cai is on the case.
A CSAIL team led by Cai recently developed "WaitChatter," a Google Chat extension that delivers foreign-language vocab quizzes right to your chatbox any time the system detects that you are waiting for an instant message.
"Given all the time that is wasted due to waiting, we wanted to explore how to use these moments as opportunities for learning," says Cai, who presented a related paper at the Association of Computing Machinery's Computer Human Interaction Conference (CHI 2015) in Seoul in April. "This integrated approach, which we call 'wait-learning', is far less likely to be perceived as time-consuming or intrusive compared to using a separate learning app."
Carrie Cai表示：“我们想要把那些等待的时间充分利用起来，让大家有更多学习的时间。我们把这种组合的学习方式称为‘边等边学’，这种学习方式不怎么耗费时间，与其他独立的学习应用相比，使用起来也不繁琐。今年4月，Carrie Cai在计算机协会在首尔举办的人机交互大会上宣读了与该项目有关的论文。
"People who say they want to learn a language often try an app like Duolingo and end up feeling that they have to 'make time' or invest extra effort for it," she says. "Users generally don't want to have to close a window or switch apps, which means it's important to incorporate the learning tool right into the programs they use."