By Prerna Jhunjhunwala, Founder, Creative Galileo
Education has undergone a sea change in the last five years. Children between the ages of three and eight years are instinctively tuned to use technology effortlessly. Combining education and entertainment is the most effective means to leverage young kids’ unique curiosity for their overall development.
Indian children have tremendous exposure to app-based education. After the pandemic-induced lockdown, the usage of apps and computers has increased in cities and villages alike. Innovative e-learning apps bring tremendous advantages such as providing quality interaction, reducing the need for rote memorization, 24 x 7 availability, fostering systematic learning activity, and bridging communication gaps between parents and teachers.
The Universe of Learning: Changed Forever
The role of entertainment in teaching has always been unmistakable. Through music, drama, songs, and nursery rhymes, we have transferred material knowledge and moral values to generations across centuries.
Today, entertainment in education stands redefined through apps ubiquitously available on Android and iOS devices. The technology-led learn-having-fun strategy is thoroughly engaging and immersive. It encourages children to spend more time learning and leaves them craving for more.
Learning is no longer limited to classroom sessions. Children are already familiar with mobile phones, video games and digital culture. Therefore, introducing them to an e-learning app is the most appropriate way to reinforce concepts while having fun.
Children of the impressionable ages from three years onwards love to discover things on their own. It makes sense to acquire mental and physical skills by presenting virtual stories, quizzes, can-do-it videos, and games to explore their world. This age-specific, child-sensitive strategy brings in higher confidence to face challenges in society as they learn to collaborate and achieve goals. One critical aspect to keep in mind is that the content must be safe for children to remain unsupervised while using the apps.
Kids have a fertile imagination. With creative learning, we can boost their cognitive skills. Children seem to understand visual data more than long grey text. In an interactive game experience, they recognize words and concepts through games. They easily recall and emulate the characters that they interact with on the apps.
This makes boring lessons easy and fun. Kids remember the words, numbers, plants, animals, shapes, and figures along with the essence of the story. They place each of these in the natural setting and relate to them in the real world. The use of elements such as images, sounds, and animations helps target the senses better and stimulates diverse types of learning among kids.
Learning apps serve as a crucial element of reinforcement for little minds to absorb knowledge. Compelling storytelling eliminates the burden of serious studies and helps to build easy recall. Entertainment apps have the power and versatility to create a fun learning experience.
Games like chess and robotics may sound like adult intellectual games, but we have seen kids pick up such complex games and activities with ease. Likewise, constructive thinking, problem-solving, pattern recognition, retention, and curiosity are just some of the facets of brain development that get a great push through edutainment.
Technology-enabled learning disrupts the traditional sage-on-the-stage role of the teacher. It takes it closer to the oft-touted facilitator’ role in its real sense, many decades after the term found its way into the jargon of pedagogical philosophy. The ‘Connected World’ allows for technology-mediated globalization of education where governments, private players, and societies try to reconcile the blurred borders of entertainment and education. From music, drama, songs, and nursery rhymes, we have travelled far into the domains of virtual reality and augmented reality.
We still struggle to resolve the long-standing ‘education is not fun enough—entertainment is not serious enough’ debates. However, edutainment asserts itself as a profound enabler of learning. The versatile mobile and web apps can weave learning and gaming seamlessly into a single fabric on the warp and weft enabled by digital technology. Game developers, teachers, and students together create content and experiences. Collaborative creation and collaborative consumption have become native to the new paradigm of gaming and learning, like never before.
True globalization is in the offing. Digital technology facilitates the new edutainment model that makes learning fun and is the true leveller of all socio-economic barriers. It makes learning accessible to all.