Edutainment Solutions for Real World Problems

2 Sep

We understand that education can be good for us; yet, we don’t always see the value of entertainment.  We assume on some occasions it will keep our attention, sometimes make us think, yet so many other times we primarily hope it will just help us relax.  As much as we may appreciate any of these outcomes many are using entertainment to tackle real world problems.  Yes, supposedly mindless entertainment can have some useful effects but for some reason we believe entertainment will be even more constructive when it is used in an educational setting.  Not a new word, the definition of a “mash-up” of the two words edutainment is defined as:

“Edutainment: Entertainment (as by games, films, or shows) that is designed to be educational ” http://www.merriam-webster.com

Here are some examples of these educational forms at work yet let us also review the problems this work frequently responds to.

Problem #1: If math comprehension wasn’t a difficult enough challenge for some, many children of recent immigrants have to overcome doing it while learning a second language.  What educational program can make this challenge easier to overcome?

According to Psychology Today

Matthew Peterson is an extremely smart person who as a child struggled with dyslexia and the way he was taught in the traditional school system—a system that focuses on words and numbers.

He overcame his early struggle to go on to earn undergraduate degrees in biology, electrical engineering, and Chinese language and literature and a doctorate in neuroscience. He is currently the chief technical officer and senior scientist at the MIND Research Institute.” [1]

Diminishing the U.S. based foreign language aspect of math instruction Peterson has helped reduce a common obstacle for learning. One of the online e-learning solutions he helped develop was “teaching-without-words” instructional software [2].

Problem #2: Ex-offenders sometimes have trouble re-entering civil society after completing mandatory prison terms. Barred from receiving student loans to go to college some find themselves frustrated because businesses are sometimes wary of hiring people with troubled pasts. What educational programs could diminish this inequality in corporal punishment?

Training is sometimes perceived as a solution for challenging social conditions.  But it still takes innovative and thoughtful professionals to make these opportunities available.  Wealth and family finance management professional Jerry Kemp of Kemp and Associates is just that kind of professional.

Influenced by Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow Law” Jerry and other co-founders created “Texto Online Silent Auctions.”  Offering the incentive of profit sharing agreements, Kemp has hired and trained many ex-offenders to promote, manage and collect material to sell for the online auction site.

What’s the entertainment tie in?

So far many of the items sold on line happen to be sports and entertainment memorabilia.  Expect that a Texto office will be raised in Hollywood or in a location near you in the very near future.

http://tvnservices.com/

Problem #3: Unlike the past, today students expect digital media in all their communications activities?  Unfortunately so many traditional educational opportunities rely on old media like books, handouts, and blackboards to help students learn.  What educational programs can bring educational lessons into the present?

Predicting a number of future educational trends, Noodle .org predicted that (GBL) or game based learning is likely to acquire far more fans than in the recent past [4].  If for no other reason student attention needs to be focused to grasp difficult subjects [5].  Designing for a range of different game systems, researchers, and innovators in this educational media point a wide variety of media paths to promote student learning.

Growing in number, there may be as many educational opportunities as there are entertainment options; we may one day see our entertainment vehicles as useful as our local schools and universities.  A sure advancement over previously isolated environments of training, instruction, and entertainment, this sharing trend may multiply many of the benefits in the areas of interpersonal improvement, advancement and exploration as well.

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Essential references:

[1] http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/finding-the-next-einstein/201210/teaching-without-words

[2] http://www.mindresearch.net

[3] http://www.bloomingtononline.net/directory/listing/Financial-Services/Kemp-&-Associates-/-TexTo-Silent-Auction-Systems/3440

[4] http://www.policymic.com/articles/21832/top-5-education-trends-in-2013

[5] http://tracyschiffmann.com/2010/09/14/gaining-attention-with-gagne/

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39 Responses to “Edutainment Solutions for Real World Problems”

  1. Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:07 PM #

    Hi Everyone!

    CR-Great article.

    Why was GBL not so popular when they first introduced this to consumers?

    • Com1c Relief September 3, 2013 at 7:12 PM #

      Thanks OB. I’m not sure it wasn’t popular; I just don’t think people were sure it was serious or had a practical dimension.

      • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:14 PM #

        I’m sorry popular was the wrong word. I should have said likable.

        • ComicRelief September 3, 2013 at 7:26 PM #

          We’ll you know when you discussing something unfamiliar, doubt may be the first reaction.

          Let’s not forget I was working within an expected word count; I did not bother discussing how (in a school situation) performance would be graded, students would be tested or teachers would be evaluated.

          • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:30 PM #

            Gotcha! Thanks for clarifying.

  2. ComicRelief September 3, 2013 at 7:10 PM #

    Following OB’s lead, form a prior article I’m going to start asking some questions;

    In some environments schools seem to believe students prove themselves by demonstrating the degree to which the student will bend to learn. Most of the examples presented in this article seem to put emphasis on the flexibility of instructors. Which emphasis are you the most comfortable with?

    • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:12 PM #

      Great Q: Hmm! U said: “Most of the examples presented in this article seem to put emphasis on the flexibility of instructors.” I like the later because it allow students to learn at their own pace.

      • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:13 PM #

        In other words it allows for greater diversity.

      • littlebells September 3, 2013 at 8:06 PM #

        One of the many reasons why I home school. I think it’s a little of both though. If a student really wants to learn, they put forth the effort. it is then you need a teacher who is willing to deviate from a strict pacing schedule and use that “learning window”. That’s when kids learn the most. I love that we have the freedom to do our basic curriculum, but if either of my kids bring up a topic they piques their interest, we stop and learn about it until they feel they’ve learned what they wanted.

        • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:12 PM #

          “I love that we have the freedom to do our basic curriculum, but if either of my kids bring up a topic they piques their interest, we stop and learn about it until they feel they’ve learned what they wanted.”

          That sounds great LB!

  3. Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:21 PM #

    CR- What inspired u to write about this topic?

    • ComicRelief September 3, 2013 at 7:42 PM #

      You ask yourself how many ways might popular entertainment media
      inspire you to learn, when my research was done this article was ready
      to post.

      • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:48 PM #

        So what are u saying exactly? The article wrote itself?

        • ComicRelief September 3, 2013 at 7:59 PM #

          Not exactly, I’ve been working on posting this for months.

          • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:01 PM #

            Ah! Gotcha!

      • littlebells September 3, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

        what do you think of all the different methods of learning, CR: ipads, leap frog, online computer games?

        Also what films have you found that fit the “edutainment” model?

        • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:48 PM #

          I will answer this one until CR finishes writing his response to u LB.

          I don’t have a problem with kids using ipads, leap frog etc.. As long as they are introduced and taught traditional methods as well. Diversity is key.

          • littlebells September 3, 2013 at 10:43 PM #

            “As long as they are introduced and taught traditional methods as well.”

            THAT IS KEY! Unfortunately, many parents are relying solely on electronics. This is a huge disservice imo because it limits kids’ creativity. As much as I am for the drawing program for kids on the ipad, I still prefer my kids doing their own work with crayon and paper.

  4. Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:29 PM #

    CR-

    I really like the teaching without words concept talked about in the video in your article.

    What do u think about teaching without words or visual teaching?

    • ComicRelief September 3, 2013 at 8:08 PM #

      I think it’s fantastic, but in terms of the article, I’m impressed that innovative education seems to follow trying to benefit the least of us rather than the best.

  5. littlebells September 3, 2013 at 7:44 PM #

    Hi everyone! Gonna get caught up. 🙂

    • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:45 PM #

      Hi LB! 🙂

      • ComicRelief September 3, 2013 at 7:52 PM #

        Hi LB.

  6. Open Book September 3, 2013 at 7:50 PM #

    LB- Given your teaching background what do u think about teaching without words? Would u use it GBL?

    • littlebells September 3, 2013 at 8:15 PM #

      OB,

      I haven’t listened to the whole video yet, but I think GBL is a great idea. Each person has a different way of learning. Some are kinetic learners. Some do better using their auditory skills. Some prefer reading. And some are visual. It’s finding what works for your child/student. I use all methods of learning with my kids. Especially if I see them struggling. I will switch a method of teaching and bam! We find something that works. Kids, like adults, also need variety. PLUS most people enjoy games and are more apt to learn if they are doing it in a way they enjoy.

      • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:39 PM #

        “……Especially if I see them struggling. I will switch a method of teaching and bam! We find something that works. Kids, like adults, also need variety. PLUS most people enjoy games and are more apt to learn if they are doing it in a way they enjoy.”

        I think also games can take the anxiety away for kids who feel overwhelmed if they are shy in a group situation. IMO!

  7. littlebells September 3, 2013 at 8:01 PM #

    While reading this article (great btw!), it made me think of two shows in my youth that really helped me understand science and math:

    (Unfortunately it only ran 3 seasons)

    (Seriously this helped me with Roman numerals and made it fun)

    • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:09 PM #

      How cute! This is great. The second one uses a lot of visual repetition.

      • littlebells September 3, 2013 at 8:16 PM #

        And see it was the theatrics that got my attention so I learned roman numerals!

        • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:18 PM #

          I can see it being very helpful. Seriously!

    • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:16 PM #

      My favorite Schoolhouse Rock.

      • littlebells September 3, 2013 at 8:17 PM #

        LOVED SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK! And it’s been proven that music helps one learn and remember better. 😉

        • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:19 PM #

          Yep! I remember the lyrics to that song to this day! Hahaha!

          • ComicRelief September 3, 2013 at 8:33 PM #

            This is what children who grew up around Washington DC think is entertainment. Obviously I thought School House Rock was miraculous.

            • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:35 PM #

              Hmm! I sense a little sarcasm CR. LOL! Still I love! love this song too.

  8. ComicRelief September 3, 2013 at 8:20 PM #

    “…Unfortunately it only ran 3 seasons…”
    Not that I’ve seen every educational program in the world, but in the very beginning I thought we were watching the Electric Company.

    The second video was very funny; I can see why you have held on to the memory of that program.

  9. ComicRelief September 3, 2013 at 8:44 PM #

    Sorry for being so slow yet thanks everyone for coming. I will attempt to catch up soon, and I will talk to both of you later.

    • Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:48 PM #

      No problem CR!

  10. Open Book September 3, 2013 at 8:49 PM #

    Everyone!

    I’m going to go as well. Goodnight!

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