Edutainment: its potential and challenges

Edutainment: The Joy of Learning

Duing the early years of childhood, the play-way method for learning is universally used. Childhood learning is full of songs, stories, games, riddles, drawing and other activities that engage, entertain and instil learning. But for some non-obvious reason, as one gets beyond elementary school to secondary or senior secondary school learning is seen as ‘ serious’ stuff called education. And fun, joy, entertainment which was an integral part of learning so far is seen almost as the antipode of education.
In recent times, especially with the recent developments in technology, educational entertainment (also referred to by the portmanteau “edutainment”, which is education + entertainment ) is any entertainment content that is designed to educate as well as to entertain. Content with a high degree of both educational and entertainment value is known as edutainment. There also exists content that is primarily educational but has incidental entertainment value. Finally, there is content that is mostly entertaining but can be seen to have some educational value.
Edutainment can be seen as the intersection in a Venn diagram of the 2 sets of ‘education’ and ‘ entertainment’. But that to me seems constricting. Another possible view could be that each of the two dimensions of education and entertainment augments all learning events.

But fast forwarding to present times where the learners being to the touch-screen generation and have very short attention spans like the tweets, edutainment seems to be the new pedagogical model promoting active social learning. When Angry Birds meets Algebra in Dragon Box for Mathematics or Motion Maths say. And if we consider knowing as going beyond mere memorising or solving text book problems that have been earlier solved centuries ago, to creating new solutions to real problems then this new form of pedagogy has unlimited potential.
So using Raspberry Pi with its support community or 3D printing with its vast community in ‘ thingiverse ‘ and ‘ instructables’ gives great opportunities. Add to it the immense creativity unleashed by the potential of making Apps either with SDKs like Ellipse or non-programming tools like AppInventor, we have a new way of creating motivated and active learners, rather than bored passive learners in he usual classrooms.

Edutainment must be used to promote active and engaged learning. It can be a means of transforming all learners into smarter learners, empowering all teachers to become RockStar teachers and enabling all parents to be inspiring learning facilitators.

The Horizon reports that monitor the impact of the technologies have for the last few years predicted the rise of Gamification of learning as an important trend for the future. The epistemic value of games is one of the important areas of educational exploration, and we need expertise and research to guide the field by building scales, rubrics, benchmarks and checklists for measuring up and choosing amongst the vast possibilities of edutainment products.

About mmpant

Prof. M.M.Pant has a Ph.D in Computational Physics, along with a Professional Law Degree, and has been a practitioner in the fields of Law, IT enabled education and IT implementation. Drawing upon his experience in world class international institutions and having taught in various modes of Face-to-Face, Distance Learning and Technology Enhanced Training, Prof. Pant is now exploring the nature of institutions which will be successors to the IITs, which represented the 1960s, IIMs, which represented the 1970 and Open Universities which were the rage of 1980s & 90s. He believes that the convergence between various media and technologies would fundamentally alter the way learning would be created, packaged, and delivered to learners. His current activities are all directed toward actual implementation of these new age educational initiatives that transform education in the post Internet post WTO era.. Prof. Pant, has been a Former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and has been on the faculty of IIT – Kanpur (the premier Engineering institution in India), MLNR Engineering College and Faculty & Visiting Professor - University of Western Ontario-Canada. He has been visiting scientist to research centers in Italy, England, Germany & Sweden and has delivered international lectures with about 80 papers published. During his association of almost 15 years with the IGNOU, Prof. Pant has served as the Director Computing and has been the Member of All Bodies (i.e. School boards, Academic council, Planning board, Finance committee and the Board of management). With his interest in Law, backed with practice of Law in a High Court, and his basic training in Science and IT, Prof. Pant has been particularly interested in the Cyber Law, Patent & trade mark issues, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) issues etc. and has been involved with many activities, conferences on “Law & IT” Prof. Pant is presently; • Advisor to Media Lab Asia - Chairman of working group on ICT for Education, chairman of PRSG handling projects on ICT for education. • Lead Consultant for an ADB funded project for ICT in Basic Education in Uzbekistan • Member of the drafting Group for India’s National Policy on ICT in education • Chairman of the group creating books for class 11 and 12 students on ‘Computers and Communication Technology’ appointed by the NCERT • Preparing a ‘Theme Paper” for the NCTE in the area of ICT and Teacher Training • Advisor and mentor to several leading Indian and Multi-national Companies in the area of education. Prof. Pant has in the recent past been ; • Member – Board of Management – I I T, Delhi for 6 years (two consecutive terms) • One-man committee to create the Project Report & Legislation for Delhi IT-enabled Open University • Advisor to the Delhi Government on Asian Network of Major Cities Project (ANMC-21) distance learning project in association with Tokyo Metropolitan Government. • Chairman Board of Studies, All India Management Association With his mission to create and implement new business opportunities in the area of e-learning & learning facilitation, Prof. Pant has promoted Planet EDU Pvt. Ltd., as its Founder & Chairman, along with a team of highly experienced and skilled professionals from Education & Training, Operations, IT and Finance.
This entry was posted in new education models, teaching with technology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s