Educational entertainment

Edutainment ( sometimes Germanized " fun learning") is a portmanteau composed of the words education (Education) and entertainment (entertainment) and a concept of electronic transfer of knowledge, in which the contents are playful and at the same time also gives entertaining referred, . Fun learning can be integrated among other television programs, Computer-/Videospiele or other multimedia software systems.

By combining education and entertainment motivation to learn is to be increased and learning more efficient and more successful. Edutainment can also be used to direct the focus on specific social, social or health issues.

  • 3.1 Advantages
  • 3.2 disadvantages



Traditional forms of learning, mostly frontal teaching with or without text bonded materials, are always viewed children and adolescents as work and effort. This compares to a media world where entertainment and fun are important, but learning plays no important role. Edutainment tries to successfully combining both aspects. Playful and entertaining methods are used to make learning faster, more efficient and more successful. Various studies show that interest, motivation and fun are key prerequisites for successful learning. With the delivery of content through integration entertaining methods, the joy is to increase learning. The relationship between learning on the one hand, and games and entertainment on the other hand can be very different in edutainment. However, none of the two aspects can be very stand in the foreground.


The distinction between edutainment, learning programs and games is due to flowing transitions very difficult and ambiguous. Learning programs teach school or factual. The knowledge is in the foreground and defined learning objectives. In contrast Edutainmentprogramme present more cross-thematic knowledge. Play and have fun take a greater priority.

Various forms

Depending on how strong either playful or learning-oriented accents, Edutainmentprogramme can be further subdivided:

  • Teach- Tale - tainment: teaching or narrative -oriented products with an entertaining character. Learning content in a playful and narrative type presented (for example, audio cassettes, electronic picture books ).
  • Tool -tainment: Programs that serve as a "tool " and support the learners in their own creative design
  • Skill -tainment: fun games to promote general knowledge and skills (for example, strategy or tactics games)
  • Simtainment: Simulation programs for the representation of complex scientific processes, for purposes of simplicity and explanation of relevant content (eg, simulation of a volcanic eruption on the computer)
  • Infotainment: Entertaining providing educational content with nonfiction character (for example, on topics such as dinosaurs, or knight )


New media increasingly shape the daily lives of people. When used properly, the characteristics of the new media can expand or replace existing forms of communication. Computer Software in edutainment is usually designed as a hypertext. The transfer of knowledge is thus not linear, in contrast to learning with text-related materials. The learner can move freely within the program and select their own learning sequence. Edutainmentprogramme usually include also multimedia applications. Thus, various texts, graphics, animation, audio and video can be included and combined. Another feature is the high degree of interactivity. The learner can take the case of computer software and influence on the events themselves creatively. He is active and playful integrated into the knowledge transfer.

Pros and Cons


Children and adolescents usually have little joy in a normal educational software. Due to their characteristics can therefore Edutainmentprogramme offer a number of advantages:

The hypertext structure allows an individual access and use of the offered information. Learning thus becomes a self-organized, intellectual process. One can choose the pace and sequence of learning freely and autonomously developed a theme. So a lot of freedom to explore correlations be created and simultaneously promoted experimentation and reflection. By combining the practice phases with playful elements, the motivation is increased for automatically learning. Activity and creativity learning and media literacy. The integration of multimedia aspects allows the response of different channels of perception, which facilitates the assimilation and retention. Through a playful commentary and a contextual feedback takes place immediately an error control.


In addition to these advantages, the possible negative effects in edutainment must be considered.

Often, the knowledge presented in edutainment is in no context to educational justified educational content. The knowledge content sold as educational is usually only half-knowledge. Disadvantages for the learning process can occur if the relationship between entertainment and education is not balanced. The danger is that the entertainment media determined and information and educational aspects are neglected. The act of playing should not be too dominant in the concepts, if at the same time learning the edge aspect. Often, the learning effort is being played down in edutainment. Despite game and fun it has to come to a confrontation and cognitive processing of the presented knowledge. This aspect is often too little attention.

Edutainment on TV

For the first time, the term edutainment emerged in the context of pre-school programs for children on television in the 60s in the United States. Even then, television was a mass medium for the purpose of entertainment, but also in children. Sesame Street was one of the first attempts to conceive children's programs, where the entertainment is associated with the learning aspect. With fun characters and entertaining stories children numbers, orders of magnitude, or the alphabet should learn. The series achieved high popularity in the U.S. and in Germany in children. However, the hoped-for success in learning not began. The 1971 development program with the mouse is considered to be children's program, which combines " laughter " with " Non-Fiction ". Entertaining cartoons are interspersed with informative articles that explain certain phenomena. In the children's program dandelion single question positions are part of an overall story. The moderator shall be an entertaining way with the theme apart and looking for answers. The result is a mixture of curiosity and wit. A more recent program offer represents the broadcast Teletubbies, a television series for young children, dar. Again, the instructional topics are usually experienced directly in an entertaining story of kindergarten children involved.

Even in the adult sector, the knowledge transfer is enhanced combined with entertainment. Quiz and knowledge shipments reach wide audiences. Soap operas can also include elements from the edutainment and aim to share specific content to the audience.

Social aspect

Entertainment on television can build targeted in the sense of education information and knowledge elements. Above all broadcasting formats such as soap operas that are seen by the lower social classes and adolescents represent a suitable transport medium to convey social messages or developments. For example, health issues such as HIV, cancer, as well as social problems such as violence and unemployment, are taken up in the plot. This special topics will be moved medially into the consciousness of society. In developing countries such formats are used to support literacy measures or political or professional knowledge. In industrialized countries, young people can be reached with issues that can not be treated sufficiently for the school.