Since the turn of the year, the students of Pearl Academy have been exposed to valuable industry insights through the ‘What’s Next’ events, held in February and March. The two events were – What’ Next Creative Spark and What’s Next in Digital Entertainment. These events aimed at educating students on spectrums such as how technology can be used to make a social impact, and how the future of entertainment is bound to change in this digital world.

One of the engrossing topics spoken about at the Creative Spark event was the prevalent usage and effects of social media in today’s day and age. Social Media has repeatedly been acclaimed for its capability of acting as a device for brands to engage and connect with their consumers effectively on a convenient platform. The argument against social media is that it narrows the mindset and activity of humans, and effectively reduces proper real-life engagement interaction. However, a panelist at the event then went on to elaborate on how social media is reconnecting us to long lost friends and family. The increased occurrence of college and school reunions which would not have been possible without the platforms of Facebook, Whatsapp, and Instagram is a testament to this.

Another discussion emphasised in this event was how forms of education and the functions of teaching are bound to evolve in the future. One participant went on to throw light on how future education models may include ‘campus-less’ or ‘teacher-less’ forms of imparting knowledge. While we are yet to witness these types of education, the closest adaptation of this we have seen is ‘blended learning’. Blended learning is a form of education which integrates features of physical classroom learning with elements of technology, mainly, online platforms. This method of learning allows students to control aspects such as timings of the class, and place of learning. The applicability of ‘campus-less’ or ‘teacher-less’ education was questions by panelists. They believed that the main essence of learning is real-life interaction and social engagement which actually enables productive learning.

The second event in the What’s Next installment, held on 15th March integrated viewpoints and thoughts of an array of talented professional of the entertainment industry in India. One of the themes discussed at this confluence was – New business models in Digital Entertainment. Discussions on this theme aimed at educating the students on how businesses have had to adapt their marketing models based on the dynamic structure of the internet. Models such as pay per click, content marketing, and social media engagement metrics. These are relatively new modules and features of marketing which are vital in today’s age in order to effectively communicate with and capture a target audience. Engagement metrics on platforms like Instagram and Facebook provide essential information to brands which were never available prior to the advent of social media.

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