Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Sputnic & Venus

Who comes up with these acronyms? I remember the Dilbert cartoon where the project team meets up and is told that all "the good words" have been used up in previous project titles and the only two acronyms left for them are "phlegm" and "placenta"!!

Seriously, though, the discussions today, as part of the Sputnic forum were interesting. Gilly Salmon kicked things off with some more of her visions of the future of learning and she described her work at Leicester with her "Media Zoo" approach to encouraging academics to play with technologies. As is the norm in this conference, her university also has a presence on Second Life and part of the presentation was a video of an interview with her avatar.

After this, the Venus project presented their experiences of using videoconferencing to host a series of international seminars on the theme of 'Global issues for European Citizens". Issues such as the linguistic challenges and the promotion of discussion in local venues as well as across the 6 or 7 sites were raised. It reminded me very much of the joint videoconferenced lectures project that I was involved in years ago in Scottish universities and some of our other seminar programmes in other projects since. Good to see more people realising the potential of this technology, particularly now that it is well-established, stable and of high quality. The biggest issue in projects such as these is the administrative aspect of booking rooms in other institutions, rather than the technology!!
I spoke with Kamakshi Rajagopal about the project for a forthcoming podcast.

Tomorrow, Online Educa starts in earnest with about 78 parallel sessions! I'll try to get to as many as possible, but it could be tricky!

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