Edutainment: is learning at risk?

Okan Z.

BRITISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, vol.34, no.3, pp.255-264, 2003 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1111/1467-8535.00325
  • Page Numbers: pp.255-264


Since the early 1990s interest has surged in developing edutainment software, namely applications that possess the allure of electronic games while achieving educational goals. In the rush to adopt this new seemingly harmless technological fad, both educators and parents overlooked its long-term harmful effects. The aim of this article is to draw attention to these effects, particularly to the inflated expectation in the learners that the process of learning should always be colourful. and fun, and that they can acquire information without work and serious study. It argues that what is-essential is realizing that education is concerned with the development of cognitive structures and that educational technology is a medium, not a pedagogy that is useful in creating such learning environments. In this context, it may be time to examine critically the educational potential of edutainment software together with the advantages and disadvantages it might bring to the instructional process. The discussion begins, after a brief definition of edutainment, with an understanding of what technology and education entail. Then the discussion broadens to a critique of problems with edutainment drawing on the findings of educational psychology.