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Edutainment meets brain development…for good and for bad

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In 1954, Walt Dis­ney was the first to envi­sion a new form of enter­tain­ment that meld­ed tra­di­tion­al fun and education—a form that he dubbed “edu­tain­ment.” By the lat­ter part of the 20th cen­tu­ry, this form had mor­phed into edu­ca­tion­al toys and games, a mul­ti-bil­lion-dol­lar indus­try that is pro­ject­ed to cap­ture a full 36 per­cent of the glob­al toy mar­ket share by 2022.

Nowhere is this trend more appar­ent than in the explo­sion of dig­i­tal apps: of the 2.2 mil­lion apps avail­able in the Apple Store, rough­ly 176,000—8.5 percent—are loose­ly des­ig­nat­ed as “ edu­ca­tion­al. ” Their growth con­tin­ues, with annu­al increas­es of 10 per­cent expect­ed through 2021. Whether called edu­tain­ment, edu­ca­tion­al toys, or the dig­i­tal learn­ing rev­o­lu­tion, this trend shares the implic­it phi­los­o­phy that mix­ing fun and learn­ing will offer a kind of “brain train­ing” that will enhance children’s think­ing and ampli­fy their learn­ing poten­tial.

But there are many ques­tions before us. What do man­u­fac­tur­ers and mar­keters mean when they des­ig­nate a prod­uct “edu­ca­tion­al?” Keep read­ing Brain Train­ing for Kids: Adding a Human Touch over at the Dana Foun­da­tion.

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Categories: Cognitive Neuroscience, Education & Lifelong Learning

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About SharpBrains

As seen in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, CNN, Reuters,  SharpBrains is an independent market research firm tracking how brain science can improve our health and our lives.

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