Edutainment: The Way Forward In Education?

Learning has traditionally been associated with lengthy lectures, lots of paper work and long hours of reading. But with Edutainment, all that is set to change. Or is it?

ver the last two decades, technology has transformed the way humans live and work, especially kids, who have been exposed to the digital world from the word go.In today’s era of IOT gadgets and artificial intelligence backed devices, the combination of entertainment and education is breaking the myth that learning cannot be fun. A number of advantages can be attained by using technology the right way and by employing modern entertainment devices such as radio, TV, books, films, games, websites, and mobile apps for improved learning experience. 

A recent study done by British Journal of Educational Technology has proved that using entertainment devices is an easy way of drawing in the curiosity of students towards boring educational concepts. Use of edtech for better learning and teaching experience is no longer a choice, so if you still believe that imposing technology will distract students from learning, you should reconsider your opinion.

What Is “Edutainment”?

So far technology has been changing education by using LMS and E-learning platforms, but experts are now working on a whole new industry called “edutainment”. The word is result of merging of two money-spinning industries, education (expected to reach approximately $2,040 billion by 2026) and entertainment (expected to reach approximately $2.2 trillion by 2021). In simple words we can say that any media or gadget that combines entertainment and education with the intent to make education an enjoyable experience falls under edutainment industry. Edutainment industry throughout the world is continuously creating interactive digital media examples by blending entertainment and educational instructions. 

Plenty of good work is already available in edutainment sector where experts have produced videos, games, applications, and other digital material to entice today’s tech hungry student. 

Types Of Edutainment:

Edutainment content has various forms, but due to massive intellectual and capital investment in this industry, new forms keep on emerging. Here is a list of examples 

Traditional examples of Edutainment:

  • Exhibitions
  • Museums 
  • Zoos 
  • Botanical gardens
  • Science labs
  • Activity books
  • Maps
  • Charts

Digital examples of Edutainment:

  • Movies
  • Television shows
  • Radio shows
  • Virtual reality educational apps
  • Augmented reality educational apps
  • PC games
  • Educational mobile applications
  • Clickable image maps
  • E-Books

Benefits of edutainment:

Edutainment not only boosts personalized learning, but also augments creativity in students. With fun visualizations, we can transform our conventional classrooms into a place where learners can understand challenging theoretical subjects while having fun. 

With edutainment, we can leave a quick impact on world environmental goals by using less paper in classrooms without compromising experimental learning. Edutainment emphasizes on game-based learning and collaborative teaching to prepare students for the digital culture that is already upon us. Another great benefit of implementing edutainment in classrooms is that it allows you to experiment more in pedagogy and this eventually leads to a clear picture of students’ progress in real time. In short it’s a good idea to start implementing edutainment as a tool from today, as technology will be a life skill in the future. 

Disadvantages of Edutainment:

As edutainment comprehensively emphasizes on screens and gadgets, chances of negative impact on children’s growth are always present. According to Susan Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, digital devices can distract students from learning. Apart from the risk of misuse, developing edutainment games, apps, TV shows, e-books and videos itself is an expensive thing and requires high level efforts from content writers, designers, and developers. There is also a risk that massive use of edutainment tools can harm students ability to verbally communicate or can disconnect them from social interactions.

CONCLUSION:

Good teacher-student relationship is the key to education and edutainment is focusing on strengthening that relationship. Edutainment is a tool that can only assist students and teachers to face the challenges of today’s hyper-connected world. Working on edutainment tools can be frustrating and time-consuming, but they are bringing more collaborative learning environment in classrooms to breed the new experiences, new discoveries, and new ways of learning and teaching.