Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

What in the World Happened to Carmen Sandiego?


The mission of the Cooney Center is to advance children’s learning through digital media. Today it released a study report on the edutainment industry history and lessons learned.

What in the World Happened to Carmen Sandiego? The Edutainment Era: Debunking Myths and Sharing Lessons Learned

Developers and others in the video game industry often attribute the failure of the “edutainment” industry in the 1990’s either to a lack of market demand or the difficulty of creating great products. In reality neither of these assertions is correct. This case study debunks some of the misconceptions around what happened to edutainment in the ’90s, and shares lessons learned from one of the most important periods in the history of games and learning.

educational gameStarting from reviewing the early edutainment innovators and notable products, the review let us know that by the late ’80s the edutainment industry was pretty robust with numerous thriving publishers. In the ’90s, this industry continues to grow prosperously. The turn of the millennium represented the beginning of the end of the edutainment era. The industry that reaped almost a half a billion dollars in annual sales in 2000 plummeted to $152 million in less than 5 years. Download the full report to learn the reasons.

In the conclusion, the report debunks myths about why edutainment experienced such a drastic downfall. Although today’s publishers typically avoid educational titles in the consumer game space. The report pointed out there is still opportunity! Because we still have lessons learned from history …

  1. Success in Both the Consumer and Institutional Markets is Possible
  2. Games can be Fun and Educational
  3. There is Demand for Quality Learning Products

The explosion of educational apps and games for children is the latest indication that demand for high quality learning products exists. And hopefully we might see the edutainment market grows again.

 

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  1. Play and Learn Weekly – Oct.6th, 2012 | Classroom Aid

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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