The folksong jukebox: Singing along for social change in rural india.

In designing digital literacy content for marginalized demographics, we need to garner local resources to structure engaging and meaningful media experiences. This paper examines the socio-cognitive implications of a novel edutainment product in rural India on learning, stemming from an e-development initiative funded by Hewlett-Packard. This product encapsulates a multiplicity of media forms: text, audio and visual, with social-awareness folk themes endemic to the locality. It uses the karaoke ‘same language subtitling’ feature that won the World Bank Development Marketplace Award in 2002 due to its simple yet innovative application that has proven to have an impact on reading skills. The product strives to combine cultural regeneration, value-based education, incidental literacy and language practice through entertainment. The paper investigates how this product addresses engagement and empowerment simultaneously, based on elements such as emotional appeal, multimodal stimulation, interactivity, contextual content and local representation. This is useful for practitioners and scholars interested in the design of novel edutainment content for international, underrepresented demographics.

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