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Fascinating facts about Michael Wood inventor of LeapFrog  in 1995.

Michael C. Wood
AT A GLANCE:
Michael Wood, University of California, Berkeley MBA 79, is the founder, CEO, president, and chairman of LeapFrog Enterprises. Wood started the company in 1995 after developing the patented Phonics Letters and Phonics Desk products. In addition to his MBA he holds a BA at Stanford University and a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
THE STORY
RELATED INFO
BOOKS
VIDEOS
WEB SITES
WHERE TO FIND
Inventor: Michael C. Wood
Michael Wood photo courtesy Stanford University
Criteria; First to invent. First to patent. First practical. Entrepreneur.
   
   
   
Invention: Phonics Learning System in 1995
 Phonics Learning  System photo courtesy LeapFrog
Function: noun / interactive learning device
Definition: A device that blends phonics with microelectronics and a healthy dose of interactive, multi-sensory fun to help pre- and early readers develop solid language and reading skills.
Patent: 5,188,533 (US) issued February 23, 1993
Milestones:

CAPS: Wood, Michael C. Wood, LeapFrog, ARY, phonics, phonics desk, phonics learning system,  SIP, history, biography, inventor, invention.

The Story:
The Phonics Learning System
from LeapFrog is a patented approach to teaching reading skills that blends phonics, the time-tested teaching method, with microelectronics and a healthy dose of interactive, multi-sensory fun to help pre- and early readers develop solid language and reading skills.

The idea for LeapFrog and its innovative Phonics Learning System product evolved from an impromptu parent-child learning session on a living room floor. The inventor and company founder Michael Wood, an attorney who specialized in high technology law, was trying to teach his 2 1/2-year old son that the letters in his wooden alphabet puzzle make phonetic sounds which can be combined to form words. When Wood was unable to find anything on the market which associated letters with the phonetic sounds they make, he began the process of creating a product that would help children learn to read through phonics.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
History of Toys   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Dr. Toy's Smart Play : How To Raise A Child With a High PQ (Play Quotient)
by Stevanne Auerbach, Dr. Toy / Paperback: 288 pages / St. Martin's Griffin; (January 15, 1998)
Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., more affectionately known as Dr. Toy has dedicated a lifetime to the importance of play and gives you specific advice on which toys to buy and what kind of games to play to emplower your child's overall development.
Toys!: Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson, Laurie Keller  / Hardcover - 128 pages (2000) / Henry Holt & Company
The quirky tales behind more than two dozen novelties, gadgets and games, from seesaws to Silly Putty and toy soldiers to Trivial Pursuit.

ON THE SCREEN:
The History of Toys and Games  
DVD / 1 Volume Set / 100 Minutes / The History Channel / Less than $30.00
As long as there have been children, there have been toys. And from wooden tops to virtual reality, America has always taken its playthings pretty seriously. Hear the fascinating stories of the young-at-heart inventors who created some of the most famous games and toys of all time, and meet the people who play for a living, trying to anticipate what kids will fall for next holiday season.


ON THE WEB:

LeapFrog the Company
LeapFrog is a leading designer, developer and marketer of innovative, technology-based educational products and related proprietary content. LeapFrog is 100% focused on developing products that will provide the most engaging, effective learning experience - for all ages, in school or home, around the world. We put learning first - a philosophy that distinguishes us from our competitors and fuels the entire company.
LeapFrog's First Product
Frequently asked questions about the Phonics Learning System (TM), LeapFrog's unique electronic teaching aid. Q&A by Dr. Toy
Michael Wood Departs LeapFrog
Michael Wood this month resigned as chief vision and creative officer and vice chairman and member of the board of directors at LeapFrog Enterprises (Emeryville, Calif.), the educational toy and instructional software company that he founded almost 10 years ago.
LeapFrog Enterprises
Company information from Hoover's Inc. database.

WHERE TO FIND:
Leapster Multimedia Learning System    from The Great Idea Finder
 

Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type. This page revised July 18, 2006.
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