Thursday, 27 March 2014

Kurt Penberg - A Parent’s Guide to Kid Edutainment and Personalization

With the advent of technology and its reach in every household, the life of every kid has changed too. While they are becoming adept to computing, there are many distractions which keep them away from real-world education. However, the launch of several edutainment and personalized websites has made learning for kids incredibly easy. Utilizing the computing techniques and personalization of traditional study materials, these portals induce a positive learning environment in kids.

Schools and mentors from across the world have started to advocate this new-age trend but the concept of edutainment is nothing new. Kurt Penberg has already seen location-based learning wherein students were taken to zoo, aquariums and field trips to get acquainted with nature and animals.

It has been now established in various researches that learning is effective when visually accompanied and aided. Apart from edutainment, the world of personalization is also taking kids’ learning world by storm. The interactive CD story books, personalized alarm clocks, personalized children music and personalized children gifts engage kids and involve them proactively. Since kids get excited and feel good that their name is in the story, they never lose their interest and feel happy about it. The personalization industry has given altogether a new dimension to learning through fun. While leisure serves no purpose other than recuperation and recreation, leisure and learning when combined, create synergy and interest.

Additionally, the kids never realize that they are learning in the process. When a personalized alarm clock sings a kid’s name to wake him up, little does he have time to notice that a habit of early rising is being developed in him. 

However, it has been observed that parents tend to either refuse to acknowledge the entire concept of edutainment or make it a complex notion which rather than simplifying learning for kids, confuse them.  There have been plenty of CDs and DVDs available in the market or at online portals in the name of learning through fun. The CDs would have abstract concept and mediated reality too difficult and dull to grasp for a kid. This also poses a serious question that why learning through fun should be limited to a computer screen? Why cannot it be personalized children music or personalized songs for kids, which they can hum along and learn?

Parents need to understand that learning is a fundamental part of childhood and it can be either negative or positive. According to a research, learning of kids starts from their fetus stage and whatever comes afterwards in their growing age influence the development of kids strongly. Kids are very impressionable. If their first impression of the study or computing comes across as dull or boring, they are going to shy away from education all their lives.

So, it is very important that parents and mentors provide them with right and age-appropriate as well as kid-friendly personalized children music and products. So, it is up to the parents to decide what face of edutainment they want to present to their kids and to which extent.  They can enhance the creative skills and technical knowledge of kids by offering them personalized children gifts or choose to take a step back with action-oriented video games or giving them a traditional toy and study material.

It is prime most for parents and teachers to involve kids in the learning and develop individuality as well as creativity in them. Choosing right edutainment partner and tools are significant. These can help create a strong base for not only pre-school but also in the years to come. 

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