The Indian education sector is amongst the largest in the world, with more than 1.4 million schools and over 850 universities. This network is growing rapidly with rising income levels and growing demand for quality education. And just as the formal education sector is on an upward trajectory, so is non-formal education. So, let’s know more about, “Edutainment: Learning Beyond The Book”.
It is reported that India’s informal education market is one of the largest in the world, with over 200 million kids. For the uninitiated, informal education includes pre-primary, coaching classes, vocational education and multimedia-based edutainment.
The future of education is ‘edutainment’. A blend of education and entertainment, this is a medium that makes learning fun and interactive.
From conventional teaching to 4D theatres to virtual reality boards, there is a paradigm shift in the way knowledge is being disseminated.
Why edutainment is a step in the right direction
Edutainment, say experts, brings together education and entertainment in such a manner that gamified learning through animation becomes engaging and at the same time, increases productivity.
The idea is to make learning fun, in a way that the child’s entertainment quotient doesn’t take a hit while the intelligence quotient increases.
Today, the attention span of children is going down at an alarming rate, especially due to the overload of content. From reading text to watching videos, the attention span has come down to less than 8 seconds from 12 seconds in 2000, according to recent studies.
For education professionals, it is a challenge to deliver effective communication within this short span. Therefore, edutainment helps students learn while playing, making this a skill-based format.
“When we started our company in 2017, before deciding on the name of the company we decided on our mission – to forever evolve, and educate and entertain in the process. Thus, we named it ‘Evolving Edutainment’. The idea was to use various media formats to push innovative educational content. One of the brands we own is ‘QryptiQ’, a quizzing company through which we host quizzes, conduct knowledge workshops and build online quizzes that serve corporates, schools, colleges, TV channels and Trivia apps. The response we have received over the years makes us believe even more in the idea of using entertainment to educate is a far more effective method than any other,” shared Ankit Anand, Director – Qryptiq, with TBC.
The success stories
An increasing number of edutainment firms are providing experiential learning using emerging technologies like robotics, drones, and virtual reality.
SP Robotic Works, a robotic edutainment company, utilises robots to teach children all kinds of subjects. From basic skills to how a battery works, to even programming on Python, everything is covered.
That’s not all – teaching is done through competitions like programming a robot to win a race. In the end, kids might not be able to explain in an articulate manner, but they know how to programme on Python!
Co-founded in 2012 by Sneha Priya and Pranavan Santhanakrishnan, SP Robotic Works, a specialised edutainment company for students from age 7 to 17, also introduced DRONES, a course that teaches coding to children through drones, across its 80 branches across India.
GreyKernel has built an exclusive VR platform that serves high-quality edutainment content to masses. IRA VR is the only platform globally serving on-demand 360 videos & VR games under one single app.
The core team at GreyKernel consists of Abhishek Gupta, who has had over seven years of experience in technology management, Pranshul Chandhok, a video game developer and Sushim Gupta, an IIM Calcutta and IIT Delhi graduate with five years of sales experience.
Another player in this space, PlayShifu provides educational play experiences through AR. The company offers a range of immersive, educational toys for kids ages 2-12 years. Through these toys, kids are able to develop their motor skills, critical thinking, math, engineering, and geography, to name a few.
‘As parents, the founders wanted to embrace technology as part of their children’s development. They set out with the vision to make screen time meaningful, not mindless, through a ‘physical and digital’, or as we like to say, ‘phygital’ experience.(India Today).
Voot Kids, a prominent player in the market, offers learning in a safe and curated environment. The platform hosts India’s largest collection of videos, toons and popular characters, brought on the platform from India and across the world. Since its launch in November 2019, Voot Kids has seen over 2 million downloads.
While edutainment is growing in popularity, parents still fear that their kids will get addicted to the phones or other gadgets. ConveGenius, which provides edutainment through its Personalised and Adaptive Learning Labs, has a solution. ConveGenius’s app has a restrictive child control environment, where the application takes over the control of the Android layer and only showcases apps allowed by parents.
A Different take
Advisor-Education, Vivritti Discovery Centre and Founder – College Launch Pad, Nishchint Chawla, shared with TBC, “Entertainment should always lead to education. As children the process of discovery always happens through play. Play is how children discover and learn be it along with others or by themselves. Nowadays the concept of edutainment has become unidimensional as we only associate entertainment as consuming media. Entertainment can also be through interaction and in the case of children through play.”
Vivritti Discovery Centre offers programs for different age groups, from 4-15+ that reinforce learning through play.
Key Takeaways on Edutainment: Learning Beyond The Book
According to Harvard research, “Early experiences affect the development of brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behaviour, and health. In the first few years of life, more than 1 million new neural connections form every second.
Every new experience introduced to a child is understood and grasped much faster. And the same happens when we introduce them to technology.” Edutainment is a great space that helps children learn beyond the books. The only challenge is to moderate the time – it’s more important to take over technology than allow technology to take over you!
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