Edutainment is a concept that has been around since 1970 according to Wikipedia. The idea is to keep people entertained whilst still imparting knowledge and to engage people and keep people interested by entertaining and educating them.

I’m sure we all remember some droning teacher from school trying to tell an old joke, edutainment has moved on from that.

And not only in the class room setting; Edutainment now exists in the E-Learning world as well. True, the L&D professionals who are standing up in front of a group need to engage and entertain as do colleagues in E-Learning and Blended learning.

I recently took a flight with Virgin, rather than the same old in flight briefing about safety and such like, they had an animation that was funny and entertaining, rather than reading my book as I would usually do, I found that I was actually watching the animation.

So Edutainment has some benefits to engagement but there is a fine line between educating and entertaining. For example at a BILD CPD event last year we had two speakers one was highly informative and spoke on the subject matter with a high depth and breadth of knowledge, however, had a mostly monotone voice and not entertaining at all. The other was the exact opposite, in so far as the speaker was “Content-lite” but could entertain an audience.

The irony is that the feedback was that the entertaining speaker was the better of the two.

Clearly the ideal L&D professional will be somewhere in between as no one wants to be dull, but there is no need to be a stand up comedian. Given that Edutainment now appears in E-Learning adds a new dimension to Edutainment.

For many Edutainment comes naturally, for some it won’t. However keep it simple, keep it light-hearted and you’ll Entertain and Educate.

Rich Wootten – Business Manager, British Institute for Learning & Development