Edutainment

Herbert Marcuse once said: “Entertainment and learning are not opposites; entertainment may be the most effective mode of learning.” This ushers in the next round of our Valuetainment series.

Let us help you ease into your weekend by elaborating the concept of edutainment. It has a lot in common with infotainment, referring to entertaining ways to convey information. Either form implies the need to do and experience something meaningful in addition to having a good time. 

The small difference being that the offer involves not just an accumulation of knowledge, but specifically its contextualisation and classification. Moreover, a close connection with the subject of greentertainment previously discussed comes into play. Here as elsewhere, the gamification trend plays a major role here. 

Acquiring knowledge through play has not been sufficiently promoted by most institutions, according to the authors of the trend survey. Entertainification and gamification could also be used in the further development of team learning in contradistinction to the current system, which encourages competition rather than cooperation. A model project conducted at schools in Berlin shows “that computer games represent an important building block in tomorrow’s educational policy.” Educational science teaches us that we remember stories better than figures, dates and facts, and that we have an easier time learning when we are having fun. 

Visual and auditory entertainment helps us identify with people and empathise with situations. Especially in times of crisis and armed conflict, social media attain a fact-finding function, among other channels. People in Ukraine, for instance, can upload images and videos to convey a realistic sense of the exceptional facts on the ground. It is a great way to reach as many people as possible. Digital learning platforms or providers of video telephony have been offering many options for ongoing education and mutual exchange.

Podcasts on current events in the national and international arena are prime examples for useful edutainment and have been widely embraced as a central entertainment sub-genre. Similarly, YouTube explainers that combine animations with simple narratives are an excellent way to break natural science, political and philosophical topics down into easy-to-understand discourse.

In short, edutainment is a highly welcome form of entertainment that may also be meaningfully employed to convey serious and/or educational contents within the framework of digitisation and valuetainment.

Yes, education can and should be fun!

Have a great weekend, and see you soon, friends!

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