Video Bridge / Grundtvig Workshop /







The Workshop in all its diversity had a lot of outcomes that we try to summarize on these pages:

See also Diary, especially 26th of January

The Participants

The participants have been a very diverse group from 11 countries, of diverse age and gender, comprising:

  • Teachers and Teacher Supporters
  • Community Activists and Artivists
  • Technical Enablers
  • Human Potential Specialists
  • People from other state institutions
  • Young people looking for their possibilities in life
The Content

In eight work days and 2 very busy free days the whole group managed to

  • get to know each other
  • appreciate the importance of the visual medium for learning
  • get first hand knowledge about the current developments in digital video, videoconferencing, broadcasting, postproduction.
  • discuss the importance of pattern language as a tool that allows us for the participatory design of living, working systems
  • look at different aspects of production and the emerging empowerment of prosumers
  • experience first-hand a fully fledged videobridge setup and take active part in the various dimensions and chanels of videobridging
  • learn some skills of documenting and authoring multimedia content
  • share their practical goals and develop common projects
There was a widespread acceptance of the premise that the development of a new video based format of synchronous communication between learning groups and learning venues would spark learning in disadvantaged regions and provide the "tipping point" from which non - computer - literate people could be reached and included - all with the help and on the base of broadband ICTs.

So me might formulate a mission statement for a community of Video Bridge Builders. Containing some of the following essentials:

  • recognize the value of expanding learning processes beyond spatial boundaries in real time with the help of ICT
  • recognizing the value of the audiovisual medium as the most information - intensive channel that we have, allowing to add many layers of perception and acquaintance.
  • praising the fact that this could help overcome many barriers and limitations and constraints of places, especially in the peripheries, that are no longer excluded from so many advantages that only the centers and large cities held.
  • stating the goal to use synergies and connections to explore the new possibilities, explain them to others through a well-conceived pattern language and build up a stable, community-led infrastructure for learning.
The immediate effect on GIVE

Hosting an international workshop without the help of a professional congress organizer was an entirely new experience for GIVE, this increased self-confidence also in our own ability to successfully and professionally run complex, innovative adult education events - thus being able to disseminate results of our research and to convene learning and researching circles.

It also meant to improve the infrastructure and test the cooperation with our host hotel, to revitalise a lot of contacts and (very importantly) to position ourselves again in the community of technology drivers. It also meant to be forced to practically approach partners, and most of all being driven to face detailled problems often overseen.

It also helped us to become more visible in the local community, helped them to see the practical value of educational events (we had external visitors "from the street" at the 25th january videobridge event). We also targeted future partners and venues in Vienna with our event like Tools at work, Pro Com Strasser and NUU, Telekom Austria, Peter Baumgartner and Donauuniversität Krems, plus some people who might be professional videobridge providers.

The orientation towards continuing the community work

In general there is an orientation towards the following goals:

  • Keep the community alive as source of knowledge, partnerships, development and further research.
  • start national (or bilateral) projects based on common experience and philosophy - and then seek to create a Grundtvig Network proposal for submission in early 2011.
  • organize for a preparatory visit towards this proposal in Greece summer of 2010 (maybe with 2 persons per country because technical and social skills are needed)
  • plan also for repetition of this workshop with new participants in 2011 because demand is high. Repetition also means redesign on the base of experiences, more targeted preparation etc.
Inspiration for Projects that came out

see CountryPages

  • Greek teachers project (Marina) see VideoBridge/Greece
  • Polish project "virtual university of rural areas" in Opolske Region (Jakub)
  • Greek - Latvian - Finish village police project (Markus - Marina - Laura)
  • Austrian Project "university meets public"
  • Austrian Project with ATTAC "regional solidarity economics"
  • Latvia - England Project in second life (Law - education - domocracy)
  • Parcours des Artistes Project
Venues and Cohesion

  • We discussed various online venues and strategies to assure that our community can grow and work together well:
  • 1. Cohesion by Videoconferencing: Beside individual bilateral Skype calls and multilateral Skype chats, we should make use of Multiopoint Conferencing Tools allowing us to see eight or twelve participants simultaneously on the screen. One that we can use for free is ''Scopia Desktop Client''' which is the interface for a multipoint conferencing unit (MCU) transcoding streams from diverse Input devices. We might install a regular monthly videoconference with this tool. (see explaining video here and Technical advice here)
  • 2. Cohesion by the NING Community : This will be the centerpiece of our work, allowing social networking and the formation of Special Interest Groups - communities of practise. (pattern!)
    • Groups that were discussed comprise
      • task - oriented groups like national, bi- or multilateral projects
      • subject - oriented groups like "How To Skype", "Filming for Synchronicity" etc.
  • 3. Dorfwiki - VideoBridge pages should be kept as the main venue for publication for the time being.
General agreements

  • share Videobridge events so we could look into them and learn from each other.
    • by streaming
    • recording
    • documenting
    • evaluating
  • 'hack events' and promote sharing
    • an example was given from 10th to 14th of March in Lithuania - what is that?
  • use more mental maps and metaphors to promote understanding
Assure additional resources

  • Bring in experienced and passionate people like Les Squires (Les is now member of the videobridge ning)
  • Create sponsorhips to keep the work alive (Andrius is thinking about proposing MyVideoStory as a sponsored project)
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