Initial Reflection on Edutainment
My initial thoughts about edutainment is that the purpose of the edutainment activity is critical. If the purpose of a specific activity is simply to keep kids busy or entertained, then the critique of edutainment is very valid. I was encouraged in the Maushak, Chen & Lai (2001) paper that an important consideration of edutainment is to encourage motivation. This can help students learn and retain more because they are engaged and motivated to learn.As a librarian teaching college students who often consider research skills ‘boring’, edutainment can have a greater impact if it does in fact increase students’ motivation to learn these critical information literacy skills.
I liked the terminology in the Shields (2003) that edutainment can be thought of as “stealth learning”. Their suggestion to include Bloom’s Taxomony for edutainment activities is a very good way to consider the educational value of the edutainment activity.
The articles authored by the Family Entertainment Centers (2011) made me realize how entwined for-profit companies are in the edutainment industry. It is imperative for educators to consider the for-profit bias and how that might affect the education content. As an educator, I think it is important to search for non-profit quality edutainment content whenever appropriate.