Yesterday, a message arrived in my mail box announcing that new UN e-Learning initiative, launched in Berlin, will offer developing countries opportunities to draw upon a rich array of training and capacity-building resources. This is a really interesitng development.
Sixteeen UN agencies came together at the Online-Educa conference, and the UNU was represented by Dr. Virginie Aimard from the European Vice Rectorate.
Here is the cool part. “By agreeing to pool and share their collective training resources and shift towards technology supported learning, the initiative will help UN agencies eliminate duplicative activities, reduce costs, and reach a wider client base.”
But one thing to remember please, UNESCO have a brilliant platform for sharing course materiials that is really worth looking at. It is called the Open Training Platform and it would provide an excellent vehicle for UN agencies to stock-take on the courses that are currently available in the UN system – simply by inputing the information into OTP.
Anyway, sounds like UN elearn is off to a good start. You can download all the presentations from the UNEP supported website. The photo is courtesy of the UNEP organizing team.
By the way, this blog post marks the 100th posting by the UNU Media Studio!
We have started selling the DVDs of our documentaries with UNU Press. So far you can purchase both the Voices of the Chichinautzin (in English and Spanish) and the Wisdom Years (in English and Japanese). Later this month, we will add Saving the Ayuquila River (again in English and Spanish).
We anticipate that these DVDs will mainly be of interest to educators and to members of the general public who follow social and environmental trends.
Just got back from a two day workshop on e-learning organized by the UNU in Bonn. It was a wonderful opportunity to brainstorm on the future direction for e-learning within and beyond the UNU system.
The workshop was facilitated by Nancy White from Full Circle Associates. She did a brilliant job of breaking the ice and getting people to work closely together over the two days.
We worked on a definition of e-learning and came to the conclusion that we were really talking about “e-stuff” – online ways of communicating, collaborating and learning. One recommendation was that we create an e-stuff manifesto for the UNU.
This was followed by the World Cafe, where we split into groups and each presenter was given five minutes to introduce their e-learning project.
At the end of day one, we highlighted the strengths and gaps facing the UNU in this area. We came to the conclusion that the UNU currently lacks both focus and the resources needed to effectively pursue e-learning.
Day two began with a recap, followed by a chat show style discussion about how to use e-learning in Africa.
Finally, we reviewed the new UNU strategic plan and voted (using dotmocracy) on the ways in which e-learning could support the UNU’s strategic goals. A full report will be accessible online soon!
On 16 November 2008, the Society for New Communications Research awarded the United Natons University and the WHO Centre for Health Development with the award for Wisdom Years documentary and e-case study.
The award for collaboration and co-creation was announced at a special gala dinner held in Cambridge Mass, on 14 November. This is the second year in a row that the UNU has recieved an award from the SNCR.
We have recently gone online with the first on a new series of video documentaries from the United Nations University Media Studio. The video is titled ¨The Electric Sunflower¨, and it is part of Our World 2.0 initiative.
We will be calling this series VideoBriefs, as they are short high-definition documentaries which examine key issues relating to climate change, energy, and food security, the subjects at the heart of the Our World 2.0 webmagazine.
On addition to the webmagazine, this first videobrief is being shown daily on the big Akihabara screen of Yodobashi camera. As the project evolves we intend to find new and diverse distribution channels for the videobriefs.
It has taken longer than we had planned, but we are delighted to announce the launch of the Japanese version of the Our World 2.0 web magazine.
You may recall that this web magazine deals with the interaction between climate change, peak oil and food security, and that we launched the English version in July 2008.
We have spent the past few months writing new articles and translating the entire web magazine. As we moved forward from now on, we hope to publish every article in English and Japanese at the same time.
We are also looking for people to help us run the web magazine and for sponsors to support its future development.
Michael Wesch and his class of digital ethnographers from Kansas State University have some interesting observations to share about the nature of Youtube. This hour long video gives an entertaining overview of the social developments of youtube and its vlogging community. If you want to skip to the good bits, there is a fairly comprehensive contents menu under the “more info” link on the actual youtube page. Thanks to Gary Hayes (Personalize Media and AFTRS) for passing on this lecture.
Over the last couple of months we have been doing quite a lot of work on Climate Change. A recent UNU symposium “Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Time of Climate Change” brought together some of the world’s leading scientists and writers on environmental issues, including ground breaking thinkers whose work and research are at the intersection of science, policy making and communications. The symposium invited them to examine how our thinking needs to change if we are to collectively take on the myriad challenges presented by global warming.
The Media Studio was lucky enough to interview several of the speakers throughout the day and the resulting videos offer an insightful, and at times confronting, perspective on current Climate Change dialogues.
The below interviews embedded in the neat new vimeo gallery player include:
Dr. James E. Hansen from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, USA
Prof. Gwyn Prins, Director of the Mackinder Centre at the London Schools of Economic and Political Science, UK
Prof David Sanborn Scott, from the University of Victoria, Canada
Dr. Alex Evans, Centre on International Cooperation, New York University, USA
Ted Nordhaus, Chairman, Breakthrough Institute, USA
Prof. Shuzo Nishioka, Senior Advisor, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
David Steven, Managing Director, River Path Associates, UK