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Education through animation...Brilliant!!!....

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Education through animation...Brilliant!!!....

Every morning,from 9 am to 12 pm my cousins will on the TV and watch Play House Disney Channel or Nick.Jr...Soo normally I'll be at school...But the few times i missed school, I will stay at home and be forced to take care of them...That means watching what they are watching.....

All of a sudden my cousin starts going "Uno, Dos, Tres" and stops....I did'n actually beleived what i was hearing, so i kept quiet....Then she shouts "Adante , Astrias". I was like "what the hell is she speaking".Then I looked at the TV and saw Dora The Explorer....Apparently she was speaking Spanish....

Suprisingly my cousin who can't even speak my mothertongue, Punjabi, and could speak a little bit of English, was actually speaking Spanish, a little bit, Yes, but Spanish nonetheless.I used to remember Barney and how he used to teach and all that...but I really never learned anything, just only love to sing his songs and thats all...

But when I saw the cartoons, Its Brilliant. Cartoons seems to attract the imagination of children somehow....The way i saw it, whatever they learned from it seems to be remembered.....I mean, LOOK, I have a spanish speaking cousin....How cool is that....She also knows a bit of French from Madaline....

The future of this Education/cartoon thing should be taken seriously, It can even affect the Education system....A world of 'TV Teaching'....Cool.....

Give your opinion on this thing and what might be the future of this.....

gamecon90's picture
Imagination is much more important then knowledge...

Imagination is much more important then knowledge...

Much of pre-school TV have a curriculum and aim to teach kids a wide variety of skills: language skills, problem solving, team work, understanding friends, family and feelings. Some do it better than others.

Sesame Street was just starting when I was little, but I was in elementary school when "School House Rock" started and I LOVED that. In fact I bought the DVD and my kids love it, too.

Keep in mind, the developers have teaching specialists on their team and often consult a child psychologist to make sure the shows teach what they say they'll teach. They also test groups of kids before the shows go on the air, so they're tweaked to be just right.

Dora and Blues Clues focus on interaction, where the kids respond, like counting in Spanish. Kids really respond to that, even if it gets a little tiresome for the parents.

There's a lot of debate about young children's TV. While it can certainly be effective, there's the question of how much is too much and are the kids missing out on person to person interaction. And then there's the merchandising and toys, toys, toys!

Also, with obesity being such a huge problem in many countries, are we teaching our kids to be couch potatoes at an early age?

I'm a middle of the roader - moderation in all things. But even in my house, I know the kids watch too much TV.

I agree the commercialism of some of the fare offered the kiddies is a bit much.

But the educational aspect can't be denied. I know I learned a lot from the " Schoolhouse Rock" series of cartoons. And I wasn't a kiddie when they came out.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Sesame Street has been doing this for decades.

Schoolhouse Rock Rocks!!!

Pat, you can buy the DVD! Our friend has it and, jeez, it was ALL good!

Good writing, good animation AND good music!
(it was amazing on how much I'd forgotten!)

Buy it for Christmas!


Maybe I'll ask Santa for it this Christmas, Splatman my little cavey friend. But I am afraid if I hear those songs again, I'll never get them out of my head. I can almost recite the one about how a bill becomes a law in my head right now.

I think they should re-air all the government ones shortly before elections, instead of campaign ads. Then maybe we'd have an informed electorate. And we wouldn't be subjected to all the nasty crap and stupid robotic phone calls that we get. And perhaps campaign financiing wouldn't be so important or expensive. Informed people could ask informed questions at debates and meetings and make up their own minds.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Yup! That one and...

"Conjunction Junction"!


Are they making any new ones?

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Are they making any new ones?

There were a handful of new ones done a few years ago. They came and went pretty much unnoticed.

And of course, there's this parody from the Daily Show folks from four years ago (fair warning - potentially offensive content). Funny, they didn't show it this time around AFAIK...

I'm just a bill, just a lonely old bill...:D

And of course, there's this parody from the Daily Show folks from four years ago

This Schoolhouse Rock parody (1998) is actually educational:

Good golly!

I do have to say, the 1998 parady was spot on!

Even the voice talents sound great!


Lynn Ahrends and, man sorry, I forget the guy's name, wrote all those songs. Lynn wrote the lyrics to the Broadway musical "A Christmas Story" as well.

VERY talented people involved in that show.

If you're over 30, you can recite the Preamble to the US Constitution, and if you're under 30, most likely you can't. And, if you're over 30... you sing it. Kinda like how little kids can't recite the alphabet without singing the song.

And I wonder why my daughter struggles with her multiplaction tables *smacks forehead*

I'm somewhere split down the middle. I know the Preamble, but only sing the few words up till Union.

But I have a dance for it. ;)


Thanks B'ini,You are right...As animators, its better for you all to know and understand this topic, as well as what might be the outcome of it.....

Well...i do seem to know this thing for a long time but never seem to know that kids actually learned something....Like i said, i sing, dance and play but never actuallly learn something.....Most of the times, when i see my cousins watching, they will rather choose a cartoon over barney....Cartoons seem to attract more of their interest compared to a giant purple dinosour...

Oh yeah, that picture you showed,harvey, I used to have that....Used to be my favaurite book....Can't remember there was a cartoon though.....

Imagination is much more important then knowledge...

It's amazing to me that Schoolhouse Rock made the impact it did. Being that they were public services freebies thrown in between commercials and network cartoons on Saturday mornings. I can't remember any of the commercials and just a few of the cartoons from the seventies. But then I was in my twenties when they first came on and just suffering through the cartoon fare on Saturdays because at that time we only had 3 tv stations, and some of the time I was trying to entertain my nephews who I spent a lot of time with when they were kids, because their mom and dad worked weekends so I looked after them.

What else do you do with kids early Saturday morning, when you are trying to get the laundry done and breakfast made. You sit them in front of the tube.

Now adays parents are even more busy with one thing and another. I sympathize. We did do active and interactive stuff the rest of the weekend. And I realize passive entertainment shouldn't be the end all or by all. But I think it's just this sort of technology that enabled the american worker to be more productive.

My brother and his wife were one of the first dual income families I had known until then. And they both had to work to make ends meet. The first energy crisis had hit and inflation was outrageous.

Babysitting the boys let me buy my books for college, and sometimes lunch.

Pat Hacker, Visit Scooter's World.

Schoolhouse Rock was just cool. Besides the great music, lyrics and animation, it tapped into what the kids were learning in school. Kids (and adults, too) get a kick out of knowing what they know. It's educational, but I think it was more reinforcement than instruction. My son really enjoyed the times tables because he already knew them. It's like playing Jeopardy, which is a whole lot more fun when you play along and get the answers right. Or maybe it just connected the dots for difficult concepts, like how our government works.

"Free to be you and me" was another great animated show from that time period. The emphasis was that kids were smart and deserved respect. Boy, even Charlie Brown was a SMART animation. I miss that.

Especially the teacher wa-wa-waaaaaaaaa.

>> Like i said, i sing, dance and play but never actuallly learn something.

You may not think you're learning, but you are. You learn the songs, you learn when to dance, when to listen, and you're learning to have fun. Remember, this is Pre-K. And Barney's a good lesson for us all, because that was LOW budget, but boy did the kids tap into it.

If you're over 30, you can recite the Preamble to the US Constitution, and if you're under 30, most likely you can't. And, if you're over 30... you sing it.

Dang - you're absolutely right! I haven't thought about that episode for years, but as soon as I started thinking of the preamble, the tune just popped back in my head like it was yesterday.

Freakin' pavlovian responses... :D

The future of this Education/cartoon thing should be taken seriously, It can even affect the Education system....A world of 'TV Teaching'....Cool.....

Once again, Gamecon sees something for the first time and assumes no one else knows about it. Next, Gamecon will discover America.

Animation has been used for news, education, and propaganda for about a hundred years.
One of the earliest applications was a series of animated army training films developed by John Randolph Bray for "The War to End All Wars."

The past, present, and future of children's educational animation is in direct-to-video discs and tapes, which have been around for decades.


In fairness to Gamecon, this new(ish) world of "edutainment" goes beyond animated story telling and interesting ways to learn the alphabet. It's in the classroom, it's on the computers in the classroom. It's on the internet and of course, it's on TV. This idea of "play to learn", which often features some form of animation is HOT at the moment.

Even though Sesame Street has been around for a long time (doing a fantastic job, too) I think in the past it's been somewhat frowned upon to plop your kid in front of the TV. Now, if it's "educational", it's acceptable.

And there in lies a HUGE problem for today's kids and parents.

We won't really know if it's good or bad to let technology (TV and computers) do the teaching. There's so much money to be made you can be sure the industries behind it, including animation, will say it's a good thing. I'm not so sure.

Is there a connection between poor attention skills and over stimulating children with too much information?

Is there a disconnect between what children know and what they emotionally understand?

There's definitely a connection between obesity and TV/Games (granted they aren't the sole cause).

Or, on the positive side, does this open up new ways of learning that should be promoted?

Are today's kids "different" by being plugged in at an early age?

There are no difinitive answers to any of these questions and even the experts can't agree. So I think it's a great topic of discussion since the target of so much of animation is children. I think it's something all animators should consider.

I LOVE the creation of DORA

As an educator, it appeased me to see animated television actually teaching children something besides how to burp, fart, and or treat their parents with disrespect.

Originators of DORA should be proud. Living in California, seeing the massive influx of Spanish-speaking families, it is a necessity to teach our students the basics of Spanish. Althugh the USA is primarily an English-speaking country, over here in California, we will soon be a Spanish speaking state. NO JOKE! Remember, by 2020, Mexicans and other South American immigrants will be the majority ethnic group here in California.

I encourage my 6th-graders to learn as much Spanish as they can ... ASAP!

I'm so glad this topic popped back up!

I came across a website and would love to hear what folks think about it! I admit, I'm very impressed with the content. This is an interactive website for teaching kids (perhaps those that are homeschooled) about art. This demo allows a viewer to tryout one of it's chapters - and lucky for us animators, it's about movement and stillness. (one can only hope the other chapters are just as engaging.)

I think it's a great refresher for those of us with an art school background and might answer some important questions regarding "how important is drawing."

Give it a go. It's free.
It was also a winner at FlashForward.
Not to mention an Award of Excellence in Technology and Learning.
AND it looks like it blends 3D with 2D in a successful way.

Wow, I didn't think that you can teach by animation. I thought it's all just entertainment only :P.