SchoolNet South Africa: ICT in the Classroom Conference – for all those who missed our talk

Frederic Kastner, Programme Manager for The Virtual School and Malik Adam Wilson, Creative Manager for The Virtual School were invited to the SchoolNet Conference in South Africa to talk to over 600 teachers on the Open Educational Resource Movement, how it’s changing the world of education and how teachers from everywhere can get involved.

The talk also includes the OER Organisations around the world creating free educational resources for everyone – Khan Academy, Coursera, The Virtual School, Udacity, Siyavula, TED-Ed and Bread Bin.

As always, it would be great if you could leave us your feedback or if you simply got in touch if you can think of a way of collaborating with us around Open Educational Resources, no matter where you are around the world! We need the help of animators, designers, teachers, NGOs and charities, governments and higher education institutions, as well as social enterprises, to get spread engaging, localised Open Educational Resources around the world.

Tweet at us with the hashtags #oer, #schoolnetSA:
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Luke: I Can See Lights

So, we’ve heard from Murillo manager Malik, but what about our interns? Here’s Luke to give us an intern’s perspective on Seville so far.

I don´t like it one bit.

The christmas lights going up in Seville yesterday, though a nice reminder that St.Nic’s elves will soon get a day off, also means that our time in Seville is starting to look a bit short. We’re now at the less than one month to go phase. Most of the work is actually behind us.

And it’s been quite a lot of stuff. Plenty of opportunities to learn and plenty of opportunities to create. You only need to look at our new team page to see what a diverse bunch of creatives we are. It means that when a new project comes calling, there’s bound to be someone who knows the right program to use, or right method to display something effectively.

Our bread and butter is of course the key knowledge videos that make up the bulk of content on The Virtual School. It’s exciting not only to be creating the videos, but also to be defining the style that they are presented in. The quality of the videos, in my opinion, is increasing as we get used to the workflow and the most effective ways of visualising audio provided to us by the teachers. The audio quality is improving too, which was the area I am usually most concerned about in what´s been created so far. Here’s one on Ecological Pyramids from Tom:

The other content we’re producing for The Virtual School are engagement and marketing videos. The Molar Eclipse of the Heart video sits at 6,600 views on Youtube right now. The target I had at the back of my mind when spreading it through twitter like wildfire was for the viewcount to get to 10,000. It’s perhaps a bit ambitious but we’ll see how close it gets. In the week it was released, I calculated our maximum potential twitter reach (people exposed to a tweet containing the Youtube link directly through VS or through retweets) was over 50,000. Twitter´s just one way we’re driving people to the video too. By the way, if you haven´t seen it yet it’s here.

But there´s more where that came from. We´re about to release the first suite of key knowledge videos from our group as teachers and colleagues’ suggestions get taken on board to make informative and engaging learning resources. Subscribe to our Youtube EDU channel and look out for them! Additionally, they will soon be joined by two new engagement videos: A One-Direction Parody Music Video, called “Live While We Can”, for Ecological Systems which involved all the Murillos but was lead by Imi, Carl and Freya and “The Odds of Love” a silent romance short on probability directed by Emilie, Sarah and myself with additional camerawork from Kim. The final bit of shooting for our video takes place this afternoon and “Live While We Can” is well into the editing stages. While we put them together, here’s a behind-the-scenes teaser of “Live While We Can” from Liane:

There´s been plenty of chances for personal development too. Most of us have each had a “Sharing Tuesday” session now, and skillshare sessions have been teaching us new pieces of software. Under the tutorlidge of Freya I turned the Torro Del Oro into a colourful funhouse in photoshop. It’s probably best that I never became an architect.

I won’t end this post with the faux-negativity I started it with. One month to go is no reason to start slowing down, it means one more month to make as much of an impact as I can and to let it, the Murillos and the beautiful city of Seville impact me with the same relentless enthusiasm.

Meet the Team

In the summer of 2012 The Virtual School began recruiting a team of designers, producers, illustrators and photographers to begin whipping up teachers’ best explanations into vibrant video animations.

These creative individuals have been working on The Virtual School in partnership with Project Murillo, an internship scheme funded by the EU’s life long learning program, Leonardo Da Vinci.

Working with Project Murillo has meant that our interns spend half of their time working on world class educational videos and the other half developing their skills through creative communication work placements in sunny Seville.

Click ‘Continue’ to meet the team!

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