An Interview With Lingokids’ Pedro Bernar

An Interview With Lingokids’ Pedro Bernar

If you know kids' content, you know the name “Lingokids.” Ranked as the #1 kids’ app in 95 countries, Lingokids has 3 million users in the U.S. alone. With the launch of the Miko 3 Lingokids Pocket Edition, our community is joining the app’s growing global fan base — and we couldn’t be more excited.

To celebrate the Miko x Lingokids collaboration, we sat down with Pedro Bernar, head of partnerships and content distribution, for a conversation about all things kids’ tech. Read on for insights on playful learning, digital safety and the future of playtime engagement.

Miko:  To help the Miko Family get to know Lingokids, we’d love to start at the beginning. What was the inspiration for launching your brand? 

Lingokids:  Lingokids is a Playlearning™ app that enables children ages two to eight to expand their vocabulary, improve literacy skills and also develop very important social and emotional learning skills in a fun, safe, ad-free environment. These emotional learning skills include things like creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking.

Our brand’s story starts in 2016 in Spain. Our founder, Cristobal Viedma, wanted to find an app to teach English to his niece. He really didn't find anything that he liked, so he started developing the app himself.

What started as an app to teach kids to learn English now provides completely customized lesson plans featuring more than 700 activities like video lessons, worksheets, games, audiobooks, and fun, educational songs and chants. Kids get to learn topics used in everyday conversations — like words, colors, numbers, animals and fruit — along with 21st Century skills like creativity, caring for the environment, collaboration and empathy. In the past five years, we’ve connected with 45 million families in 190 countries, which speaks to the need for this type of educational experience.

Miko:  Amid all this growth and expansion, what has been Lingokids’ guiding philosophy? What makes your app’s learning experience different from what else is available to U.S. families today? 

Lingokids:  Lingokids’ mission is simple: We want to help parents raise amazing kids through technology, breaking down learning barriers and creating equal learning opportunities for children around the world. We do this through our Playlearning approach.

Miko:  That philosophy aligns with our approach at Miko. We’re constantly creating experiences that help kids engage in playful learning.

Lingokids:  Yes, we’re firm believers that kids learn best through play. If kids are having fun while they learn, they are better able to develop the skills I mentioned earlier: creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication. Everything that we produce follows this Playlearning approach. It’s also reinforced by our creative team, which is led by Guillermo García Carsi. You might know him because he created the very well-known brand Pocoyo.

Along with Playlearning, the other element that makes Lingokids different is that we offer an extremely safe environment for kids. We are ad-free. So, of course, this offers complete peace of mind for parents. What I like most is the fact that we’re able to give kids full control of their learning experience within Lingokids. This empowers kids to make their own choices in how they want to learn.

Miko:  How can parents give their kids the freedom to explore technology without compromising their safety? I’d love for you to provide some tips or advice for parents as they seek out playful learning experiences for their kids.

Lingokids:  First of all, technology has become more ingrained in our lives than ever. At the end of the 2021 school year, we surveyed parents and found out that almost 70% of them relied on early-learning apps such as Lingokids to help children keep up with their studies. One of the most important tips I hear from Dr. Suzanne Barchers, an education and online safety expert on the Lingokids Education Board, is to discuss online safety and healthy screen time with your kids from an early age. We feel that it's never too early to have this conversation. 

It might seem obvious to avoid apps that show ads to your kids, but this is very important. Parents should also be wary of apps that allow kids to click outside of the app experience itself because this could enable them to access inappropriate content. Parents can also stay close by while their child is using a device: observing and engaging with their child, and even playing with them, so that they know what their child is doing with the technology. 

And finally, although passive screen time can be beneficial, we have found that learning through gaming speeds up a child’s whole development process. Look for interactive content from brands that come recommended by people you know. Trust is a key element in all this.

Miko:  It sounds like your survey findings align with the research we’ve been seeing, which has found a significant increase in tech use among kids during the pandemic.

That trend is only expected to continue, and we’re very interested in how AI can transform playtime into a fully immersive experience that’s also safe for kids. What are some things that excite Lingokids about the future of kids’ content?

Lingokids:  There are so many trends nowadays. But I think if I were to highlight one, it would be personalization. We believe this is the next big thing in the kids' industry. 

We already know that each child learns at a different pace and has a different learning style. We’re building a proprietary system that recommends the best learning games and activities for a child depending on their interest, age, how they’re behaving, completion rates and the skills that they need to reinforce. This is one way that we’re envisioning the future. 

A second trend isn’t so much about technology, but more about how we're going to help kids learn emotional intelligence, empathy, critical thinking and other social skills. These skills are needed more than ever, but they’re very difficult to teach. So we’re putting a lot of effort into making sure that we find new forms of content and new ways to help children learn these skills, which are so necessary for the future.

Miko:  Emotional intelligence has always been a huge focus for Miko, especially given AI’s potential for helping kids form emotional connections during play. How do you feel that robotics and AI enhance the Lingokids experience? 

Lingokids:  Our customer support team is always sharing stories about how kids are engaging with the Lingokids app. For instance, parents from Uganda were recently describing how the content helped their toddler be more active in reading letters and also even completing simple tasks. There are so many stories like this from families around the world, and engagement is the common thread. With Miko, we can give families a new way of interacting with our content. It has the potential to tailor the experience to the child’s emotions, which is really important.

I see a lot of synergy between Lingokids and Miko. We’re both innovative companies that are constantly looking for new ways to help prepare the future leaders of our world and to give kids the best content. Parenting is harder than ever, and we just want to do anything that helps families spend more time together and learn and have fun. 

The Miko 3 Lingokids Pocket Edition provides video lessons, audiobooks and other content spanning 60+ foundational topics. Ready to start exploring? Simply tap the “Max” tab on your Miko 3 or  visit this link in your Miko Parent app.

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