Welcome to Tuna Runa
The wikipedia defines edutainment as:
Edutainment (also educational entertainment or entertainment-education) is a form of entertainment designed to educate as well as to amuse. Edutainment typically seeks to instruct or socialize its audience by embedding lessons in some familiar form of entertainment: television programs, computer and video games, films, music, web sites, multimedia software, etc. There are also lessons that use edutainment as a basis for teaching in a more efficient and faster way (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edutainment).
Eduweb.com is a company based in St. Paul Minnesota specializing in the edutainment virtual learning environment. Eduwed's principal, David Schaller points to four key components to successful web design:
- Challenge - Fixed goals that are on interest to the user but promote feelings of competence in the user.
- Control - The power to control the environment and contribute to the choices to determine the outcome.
- Curiosity - Provide auditory and sensory effects that surprise and intrigue the user.
- Fantasy - Provide a metaphor of the material covered that enhances the learning experience.
Céline Arseneault, of Montreal Botanical Garden & École Polytechnique de Montréal and Jean-Marc Robert, of École Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada (2003) offer the best blend of actual design suggestions for the edutainment environment. Their findings paint children as extremely practical users. They found that children want a site be easy to navigate. Elements such as sound and animation should only be present as a clue to trigger to an interaction.
Although much of the above list may not directly apply to the day to day interaction with TR, the list offers ideas on how to create lesson plans that complement web design. The list also provides a structure for creating lessons objective that move beyond the virtual world.