A Bad Romance ….Gaga over Edutainment

Soomo Publishing’s take on suffrage….it’s such a Bad Romance


A year ago in Albuquerque as I was discussing the games and simulations we play in class at the annual TLC and one of my colleagues winced a little.

So I had to ask about the source of the boggle. In short her frustration was about what she called “edutainment.”  The idea that we may well be using engaging games and YouTube videos as a way to capture the attention and adoration of our students but not much more.

This got me thinking. Certainly I wouldn’t want to be accused of edutaining my students. I want the games and activities we play to provide a platform for their own intellectual development.  Alas I have been guilty, before, of showing the odd documentary as a way to pass time…. but it also got me thinking about intrinsic and extrinsic learners in our classes. (This was the impetus, incidentally, for my work with Amanda Rosen on student motivation and games)

This week, one of my favorite education companies in the world released a music video. (SOOMO Publishing)

It is a cover of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. But it has a particularly different kind of educational spin on it. Namely women’s suffrage….

Therefore in an effort to repent my edutainmentism…..and on this international day of the Woman I would like to offer this up as a distinctly marvelous example of an asset that is more than simply edutainment. The video, in short, produces so many questions that it almost immediately creates an intrinsic learner of someone who is just watching it for entertainment value.

Bravo SOOMO….

5 Replies to “A Bad Romance ….Gaga over Edutainment”

  1. I saw this video online as well. And. I. LOVED. It. I’ve been teaching U.S. History for over six years and I am quite certain that this video will make an appearance in any future class I teach. I think it sparks intrinsic desire to learn because it melds a wealth of historical symbolism with the cultural symbolism everyone already knows in the Gaga song. All learning is built by activating prior knowledge, by taking some piece of information in somebody’s head and attaching new pieces of information to it. Properly analyzed, this video could help to make one permanently familiar, and maybe, permanently interested in the history and politics of Women’s Suffrage. As to the charge of edutainment in general, this tool is no worse than any other. If it supplants real reading/ thinking/ learning than it has been misused, but no more so than a dry text book which has replaced critical document analysis, historical debate, and writing. So three cheers for edutainment, and the instructors who use it as a bridge to real scholarship.

    1. Here here Mr. Sodders! I always love a new set of eyes on a problem. I like the intution… that ideas and concepts are but potential nodes that are nearly infinitely linked in what we could conceive of as a 3 dimensional network space. then the potential for concepts to link and become intrinsically motivating is simply a matter of mapping a point in space to another. Sometimes you pick nearer nodes in order to assist in the jump in logic. The more advanced the student, the more they can auto-motivate. Worth a graphic I think yes? So does this make critcal thinking an examination of the node to node jump and the investigation of false links or perhaps analysis of the soundness of the linking? perhaps even the uncovering of tacit links? I’ll have to think more about that…. say more if you find the time!

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