How playing helps learning outcomes and why gamification will continue to be important in the development of educational programmes.
“Edutainment” is a portmanteau of “education” and “entertainment”. Edutainment is becoming more and more popular as a teaching method. There is nothing more natural for children than learning about the world through playing – education gurus were recommending it before the age of computers. But the advent of technology has given the approach of “learning through entertainment” unlimited possibilities.
Gamification is the main component of edutainment. It implies the use of game elements and game design techniques in non-game contexts. According to Cristina Muntean, one of the experts in gamification, it helps to achieve mastery, autonomy and the sense of belonging by awarding players with extrinsic rewards like points, frames or trophies. In the gamified learning environment, the students are more engaged and eager to learn because they are highly motivated to earn these rewards.
The gaming universe — the future of schools
Generation Z and Alpha children have been nicknamed “screenagers” because of their love of electronic gadgets. The methods used in gamification help to ensure that children are fully engaged in the learning process. This ensures learning and continued interest in the topic being taught. It is one thing to listen to arguments about, say, the deeds of Oliver Cromwell, and quite another to go and visit him using 3D technology to discuss everything “in person”.
Novakid online English platform for children aged 4 to -12, has been developing its edutainment methods for over a year now. Earlier this year we announced the launch of the Novakid Game World (NGW), where the educational process is integrated into the virtual world of the Novakid Magic Academy.
The subject matter of the lessons revolves around the lives of the characters from the Magic Academy. During the lessons, the child and the teacher enter this world, using games to help the learning process. Students can expect:Meeting their favorite characters in each lesson:
- The teaching includes references to the storyline and the lesson content echoes the characters’ adventures, including learning to live on an alien planet, meeting Android Marty and much more.
- Mini-games in a wide variety of formats: In multiplayer mode, children are more active, because they like playing together and competing against one another to achieve goals and earn rewards.
- Comics – an edutainment learning format unlike traditional formats. The children follow the adventures of their favorite characters, empathize with them and learn how they manage different challenges. At the same time, they increase their vocabulary.
- Reward system – by earning stars, trophies and frames, students develop their extrinsic motivation to learn a foreign language. As the process itself is engaging, the intrinsic motivation is also being stimulated.
Full immersion is the best way to learn
The digital revolution in education has made it possible to cater to children’s basic needs to play. In addition, edutainment methods help children to fully absorb information.
Various studies have shown that students who receive material passively take in only around 30% of what is said in the lesson (and that is only if they do not get distracted at all). Immersive activities with engagement in play allow learners to take in up to 90% of the material. Since they are more engaged, the learning outcomes are much better.
“Edutainment in the modern education system is becoming a way to attract and retain the child’s attention,” said Simon Andrew, developer of the educational gaming universe Novakid Game World and a Novakid English teacher. “When the child gets enjoyment out of the learning process itself, they want to continue and learn more.”
Finally, edutainment methods enable maximum personalisation of activities. During the games, the teacher assesses the child’s progress and can then suggest additional exercises and games depending on what element of the material needs improving and the time spent on particular materials.
Sign your child up for a free trial lesson and see for yourself how the world of educational gaming captivates children’s attention and how teachers use edutainment technology!