Bye bye “Pontydysgu Studio” – good luck Pontydysgu Ltd & Pontydysgu SL!

April 20th, 2018 by Pekka Kamarainen

Pontydysgu headquarters in Pontypridd, Wales and ‘Pontydysgu Studio’ as its filial in Bremen – that is how we have experienced it quite a long time. The name “Pontydysgu Studio” was used by Graham Attwell and Dirk Stieglitz when they worked with projects that had a radio program as its major contribution. Altogether, the years when that ‘studio’ was used, they were to a great extent characterised by multimedia, radio and video productions, e-learning … all this as a support for learning in the context of work. But then came the time for changes. Pontydysgu Ltd will continue as usual, but next to it there is the Valencia-based Pontydysgu SL. And alongside these changes the “Pontydysgu Studio” was closed. This week Graham and several friends have emptied it and closed that chapter of Pontydysgu history. Bye bye Pontydysgu Studio, good luck with Pontydysgu Ltd and Pontydysgu SL! I give the word to Paul McCartney to spell out his greetings:

Memories of the “Pontydysgu Studio” and of our joint activities of that era

My earliest memories on working in and with this Pontydysgu Studio go to the years 2004-2005 just before I started working in ITB and the University of Bremen (but had already got the status of Visiting Fellow). Graham had already become a renown blogger with his “Wales-Wide-Web” and he was promoting Open Source software in Education. We remember the pioneering project SIGOSSEE that brought several key actors together. And in the next phase the successor project Bazaar started to look at possibilities to spread out Open Educational Resources by different stalls under the common umbrella of the Bazaar. However, the greatest success story of this project was the radio program “Sounds of the Bazaar” that was continued in several successor projects. And it was then followed by other similar radio initiatives like the conference radio programs for Online Educa Berlin (OEB) or European Conference on Educational Research (ECER). During these years several radio interviews were also made with international guests visiting the Pontydysgu Studio – I still remember the interviews with Ji Li and Tien Je from Beijing, Nikitas from Athens, Lewis and Libby from Melbourne and several others.

But our cooperation was not only about multimedia, there were many research & development projects and initiatives in the field of vocational education and training (VET). Here it is worthwhile to mention that Graham had been recognised as a life-time Visiting Fellow (Gastwissenschaftler) of ITB. So, research in VET had a high priority. However, thanks to Graham and Dirk, the web and multimedia components started to play a greater role in these projects – one after another. And when these components started to become increasingly important, the projects became ‘learning laboratories’ for the research partners as well. Here I try to give a more or less comprehensive overview of projects or initiatives in which we (me and my ITB colleagues) have worked together with Pontydysgu during those years. After the acronym of the project and a nutshell description I have added in brackets the work with multimedia and web resources:

  • WLP – Workplace Learning Partnerships (Project website that was enriched with project blog, project wiki and a gallery of video interviews and external video clips);
  • TTplus – Framework for training of trainers (Conceptual and field-oriented project, summarised in a project wiki);
  • iKoopNet – Initiative for a networked project to introduce e-portfolios and digital tools to vocational learning (was given up because the leading industrial partner was hit severely by the economic crisis);
  • “Trainers in Europe” (EuroTrainer 2) – A network activity based on a Europe-wide consortium to promote networking among workplace trainers and trainers of training centres (Creation of a network platform with many communication and sharing functions);
  • “Consultation seminars” – Europe-wide series of ‘regional’ consultation seminars (for different stakeholders) to discuss the role of common frameworks for promoting professional development of trainers (Web platform to bring together the results of different regional workshops; enriched with video material from the latest workshops);
  • Euronet-PBL – promoting practice-based learning as a work-related learning component in higher education with focus on three domains – engineering, business management, vocational teacher education (Web platform enriched with project blog and a number of video interviews with partners and students);
  • Politics – promoting learning about politics by means of storytelling, media commentaries and informal learning (Creation of a single platform with sections using multiple languages and with different kinds of ‘educational resources’, ‘competitions’ and storytelling components);
  • Coop-PBL in VET – transnational project for sharing knowledge on problem- and project-based learning in VET with support of specific learning software and ‘virtual community’ section (Pontydysgu was not a partner but supported me in producing a large section of video interviews into the ‘virtual community’);
  • Learning Layers – Major European research, technology and development (RTD) project funded from EU FP7 with a several technical, research-oriented and intermediate partners as well as application partners from two pilot sectors (construction and healthcare); the aim was to support learning and knowledge processes in SMEs with the help of widely usable digital tools (that networked web resources and were available as mobile apps). (Pontydsygu was leading the work package in which the digital toolset “Learning Toolbox (LTB” was initiated, developed and piloted in a highly participative and interactive process).

I guess this is enough of the memories and of the project history. A lot of working and learning was involved in those activities that in many respects were linked to this famous “Pontydysgu Studio” (and to its extension, the “Pontydysgu Meeting Room” further down at Horner Strasse). Those were the days, but times – they are a-cha-anging as the old song tells us. So, we say goodbye to the Pontydysgu Studio with good memories in our minds and wish all the best to Pontydysgu Ltd and Pontydysgu SL in the new situation.

More blogs to come …

 

Learning Layers – Learning lessons from prior projects – part 1

November 29th, 2012 by Pekka Kamarainen

At the moment several contributors to Learning Layers project (from Pontydysgu, ITB, CIMNE, Bau ABC and Agentur) are participating in Online Educa Berlin. Pontydysgu will keep us updated on their contributions via live radio program (Sounds of the Bazaar),  podcasts and via Graham’s blogs on Wales-Wide Web.

While the travel team is busy over there, the home team is doing some stock-taking on lessons to be learned from prior projects. As a first contribution I have collected some links to video interviews that I produced as the ITB partner for another European project (Coop-PBL in VET).  As you see from the list below, the interview partners (from Pontydysgu and ITB) discussed issues that are relevant for the Learning Layers project as well:

  • The interviews with Graham Attwell (four videos) focused on the development of European projects on ICT, Web and learning (in SMEs).
  • The interviews with Jenny Hughes (two videos) focused on the experiences of two TACCLE projects in supporting teachers to create and share user-generated web contents.
  • The interviews with Joanna Burchert and Sven Schulte (three videos in English, parallel versions in German) focused on the experiences with the German project expertAzubi that developed an interactive online platform for apprentices, workplace trainers and vocational teachers in the Bremen region.
  • The interviews with Ludger Deitmer (four videos in English) focused on regional cooperation between vocational education providers, partner enterprises and different innovation programs since the early 1990s to present day.

It is not our intention to dwell in the past. But we do understand ourselves as part of a living tradition of innovation research and part of that ‘living’ is the ability to look back how certain ideas and cooperation patterns have developed. It is interesting to see new issues coming up in Graham’s and Ludger’s overviews. Moreover, it is interesting to see, how dynamic cooperation culture has developed in rather short-lived projects (as Jenny and Joanna & Sven tell in their reports of recent projects).

The story goes on …

Acknowledgements. This work is supported by the European Commission under the FP7 project LAYERS (no. 318209), http://www.learning-layers.eu.

Podcast: Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE from Educamp

April 20th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

educamp09

EduCamp 2009 in Ilmenau was cool. Great people, wonderful atmosphere and engaging discussions.  I will be posting soon on the vent and what I saw as the major issues emerging from it. enough now to say that it was an event for EduHackers.

And of course Sounds of the Bazaar was there with a live Saturday lunchtime show. I think it was the best of the live shows we have done. Despite English being a second language for most particpants, they were queuing up to come on the programme. But don’t take my word for it. Listen yourself to the podcast below.

NB Thanks to all the production crew – Helen Keegan, Cristina Costa, Dirk Stieglitz together with myself, Graham Attwell. Thanks to to all the kind people from educamp which made this show so much fun to produce.

The music is by Cool Cavemen from their albums Raw und All Cool Hits. Youcan find more great Creative Commons music on Jamendo.com.

Open education – Spring programme

January 9th, 2009 by Graham Attwell

It is the season of predictions for 2009. Here is mine – 2009 will be the year of Open Education. Seminars, workshops, lectures, courses – all available on line and for free. I am not sere I trust my  star-gazing ability – or my ability to predict technology development trends for that matter – so we are doing our best to make sure it comes true by organising a series of events ourselves.

Over the next few days I will be posting details of a whole series of different events. First up, here is the spring Open Seminar series being organised by the JISC Evolve network in collaboration with the German Educamp Network who are staging a series of conferences around Web2.0 social software and elearning. is organising the third EduCamp in Germany.

Emerging Sounds of the Bazaar Live

26 January 1900 CET, 1800 UK time – Dragons Den special – Learning and Multi user Virtual Environments

23 February 1900 CET, 1800 UK time – The reality of communities

March 2009 – time and date ot be announced – LIVE broadcast from JISC Emerge conference.

You can listen live to all the programmes by going to http://tinyurl.com/6df6ar in your web browser. This will open the live stream in your MP3 player of choice.

Emerging Mondays Seminars

The open online seminars will take place on the Elluminate platform. We will announce the address for the events shortly, together with the final line line up of presenters. Each seminar will feature tow short introductions with most time being given over to discussion.

PLEs and E-Portfolios – is this the future of education?
January, 19th 2009, 1900 CET, 1800 UK time. Click here for access to Elluminate.
Speakers: Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu
Moderators: Thomas Bernhardt and Marcel Kirchner

  • What does a PLE look like?
  • What is PLE? A technical concept or a pedagogic method?
  • How can we use e-Portfolios and PLEs in practice?What is the difference between a PLE and an E-Portfolio?
  • Is the PLE the future of education?

Careers and the Internet – how does Web 2.0 impact on our Online Reputation and Identity
February, 16th 2009 – 1900 CET, 1800 UK time. Click here for access to Elluminate.
Speakers: Steven Warburton, Kings College, Eduserve funded Rhizomes project
Moderators: Cristina Costa and Marcel Kirchner

  • How can we use E-Portfolios and other tools for applying for jobs and building identities
  • The risks and opportunities in developing a web identity
  • Privacy 2.0

Enterprise 2.0 – the potential of Social Software for learning in enterprises
March, 16th 2009 – 1900 CET, 1800 UK time. Click here for access to Elluminate.
Speakers: Timothy Hall, University of Limerick, Ireland
Moderators: Cristina Costa and Steffen Büffel

  • How is social software being used for learning in enterprises
  • Can social software support communities of practice
  • How can social software support informal learning

Edupunk – Free the educational system
April, 6th 2009 1900 CET, 1800 UK time
Speakers: Dr. Martin Ebner and Steven Wheeler, University of Plymouth
Moderators: Thomas Bernhardt, Marcel Kirchner and Cristina Costa

  • Edupunk – hype or reality
  • Does e-teaching need a pedagogical apprenticeship?
  • Why and how far students should be involved in the developing process of courses?

ThoughtFest 09

5-6 March, Salford, Manchester, UK
Thought Fest is a two-day event being organized by Pontydysgu with the support of the JISC Evolve network and
the European Mature-IP project.

The event will bring together researchers in Technology Enhanced Learning in an open forum to debate the current issues surrounding educational technologies and discuss how and where research impacts on practice and where practice drives research.

Whilst there will be keynotes by Graham Attwell and Steven Warburton, Thought Fest is a user driven workshop and we welcome ideas for sessions, demontsrations activities. Accomodation and food for free – you juts have to pay for your travel.

More details here or sign up on this page.

Educamp
April 17th – 19th
Venue: Ilmenau, Thuringia, Germnay
What is the EduCamp all about?
The EduCamp-Network (http://educamp.mixxt.de/) is organising the third EduCamp in Germany. This will also be the first international EduCamp. The event will take place from the 17th to the 19th of April, 2009 in Ilmenau, Thuringia. Details of previous EduCamps can be found at http://educamp.mixxt.de.

There will be some initial structure for the programme, but after the panel discussion on Friday, the EduCamp will be organized as a barcamp. Sessions and workshops will be organised by participants at the beginning of the event. On Sunday the topic under discussion is “EduOpenSpace” (OpenSpace?). Participants will form clusters to discuss some of the related topics.

Topics
The issue of how we can use social software, such as weblogs, podcasts, wikis, micro-blogging, VoIP in education in schools, universities and companies is a subject attracting much interest. Developing connections to other people and joining learning networks is central to the Information society. Mulitple knowledge resources all access to the exchange of experiences and the construction of knowledge.

The last EduCamps meeting discussed ‘Teaching and Learning 2.0’. This meeting will continue those discussions.

EduCamp is an open event and everyone interested in welcome to attend. It will take place at the Humboldtbau at the Technical University of Ilmenau.

The main topics for the EduCamp are Corporate Learning 2.0 and e-learning in schools or universities. Other topics include the use of E-Portfolios, Digital games and virtual worlds in education. In line with the idea of barcamp, everyone is invited to propose their own topics for discussion.

Join us at On-Line Educa Berlin

November 28th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

its that time of year again. And next week me, Dirk and Crsitina will be heading off to the InterContinental hotel in Berlin for three days of fun.

And, as you would expect we are organising our own programme around the conference. We are working with Josie, Steve, George, Paul and Joe from Emerge to put together a some unconferencing enents and demos of Emerge projects. Here are some of the events (I will post the times for the project demos as soon as I get confirmation).

Wednesday 3 December – 2030 CET Edubloggers meetup – Ambassador lounge bar  Sorat Hotel Ambassador Berlin, Bayreuther Straße 42 · D-10787 Berlin (Five minutes walk from InterContinental)

Thursday 4 December – 11.00 CET – Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE from the conference.  ICWE stand B54.

If you cannot make it to the conference listen to the programme live – go to http://tinyurl.com/6df6ar in your web browser. The programme will open in your MP3 player of choice.

Thursday 4 December – 19.30 CET – Microblogging debate, Marlene Bar, Intercontinental Hotel

Friday 5 December – 11.00 CET – Sounds of the Bazaar LIVE from the conference.  ICWE stand B54.

Friday 5 December – 13.00 CET – Special Interest Group Lunch on microblogging (SIG lunches), Bellevue Room, InterContinental Hotel

Further Special Interest Group Lunches to be announced.

With the exception of the Special Interest Group lunches all these events are free and open to anyone regardless of whether you have registered at the conference. If you are in Berlin just drop in and find us. Between events you will have a good chance of finding one of us on the Jisc Stand.

To keep in touch with what we are doing follow Graham Attwell, Josie Fraser and Cristina Costa on Twitter. Or join our Sounds of the Baazaar Facebook group.

Innovation abounds

November 27th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

I am going to be coming back to the subject of innovation in next few days. I have much to say (well that’s not a change) and think the subject is going to become fairly central to the next wave of development of Technology Enhanced Learning. Anyway, returning to a more colloquial use of the word, here are a couple of innovations from today.

The first is technical. Elluminate has brought out a new edition of their conferencing programme with suppport for up to six simultaneous video streams. And they have done it well. Whilst the default is to coarse grey scales to account for slower computers it can be changed to fine colour as in the pciture above. And you can select which stream you wish to see largest. The refresh rate is pretty high wuit little pixalisation. It certainly adds a new dimension to online meetings. Indded, today we had no problems with the video streaming although as usual the audio provided a few hiccups.

And teh second innovation you ask. Well it is certainly not techncial. Cristina has launched a Facebook group for our LIVE Sounds of the Bazaar broadcasts from Online Educa Berlin next Thursday and Friday. Oh – had I forgotten to tell you? Yes, we will broadcasting live from the conference at 11.00 CET on Thursday and Friday. Please join us face to face at live at the ICWE stand B54 near the front of the Intercontinental hotel. Or if you cannot make it to Berlin then listen in at http://radio.jiscemerge.org.uk/Emerge.m3u . You can also join Cristina in the chat room – details soon. And please join the Facebook group.

I will post tomorrow on more of the unconferencing fun we will be getting up to in Berlin.

Dragons Den – the podcast

November 25th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

Here it is – the podcast of the live radio show.

On Monday we broke new ground with our Sounds of the Bazaar radio show. We produced a special issue of Emerging Sound of the Bazaar entitled ‘Into the Dragons Den’.  The programme was a fly on the wall special following the progress of a Dragons Den session organised by the Jisc Emerge project. What’s it all about? Emerge supports a range of projects funded by the Jisc Users and Innovation programme. The projects are mainly focused on developing social software for use in education. Part of the support process has been through a four stage development model. As part of that model, at different times during the project development, project developers get invited to a session where they are quizzed by ‘Dragons’ on the progress of their project.

The Dragons Den session featured on Sounds of the Bazaar podcast is the Preview project which is developing and piloting models for Problem Based Learning in Second Life. Maggie Savin-Baden represented the project. Paul Bailey and Chris Fowler were the dragons.

I’m not sure the Dragons roared. In fact, I think Maggie slayed the Dragons. But judge for yourself.

As always many thanks to all those who took part in the programme including our phone in guests. Production and music by Dirk Stieglitz. (NB – don’t be offput by the volume on the first minute – I got overexcited).

Your chance to participate in tonight’s radio show

November 24th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

Tonight we broadcast a Sounds of the Bazaar Soecial radio show ‘Into the Dragons Den’.  The programme is a fly on the wall special following the progress of a Dragons Den session organised by Emerge. The show goes out at 19.00 UK time, 20.00 Central European Time as the kick off for the Emerge online conference on Altered States: practitioners, innovation and institutions. Read on for details of how to listen to the show.

The Dragons Den session featured on Sounds of the Bazaar is the Preview project which is developing and piloting models for Problem Based Learning in Second Life. Maggie Savin-Baden will represent the project. Paul Bailey and Chris Fowler wil be the dragons. It is going to be great fun.

This programme will be a little different in format to previous Sounds of the Bazaar broadcasts. It is a documentary. And we want you to skype us with your reactions to the programme. Our skype line – just search for GrahamAttwell in skype – wil open at the start of the programme and will remain open until half an hour after the programme. It will also be open from 10.00 – 1300 UK time, 9.00 – 12.00 tomorrow, Tuesday, 25 November. We will record all your reactions and broadcast these as a follow up podcast. Please participate – it is a new experiment for us in broadcasting your views.

The programme will last about 45 minutes. To listen to the programme just go to http://radio.jiscemerge.org.uk/Emerge.m3u in your browser. The stream should open in your MP3 player of choice. And if you’d like to chat during the programme Cristina Costa will be in the chat room at http://tinyurl.com/soundschat. Just add your name in the text field (leaving the password field blank) and chat away.

Sounds of the Bazaar Special – Into the Dragons Den

November 20th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

Next Monday we break new ground with our Sounds of the Bazaar radio show. We are producing a special issue of Emerging Sound of the Bazaar entitled ‘Into the Dragons Den’.  The programme is a fly on the wall special following the progress of a Dragons Den session organised by the Jisc Emerge project. What’s it all about? Emerge supports a range of projects funded by the Jisc Users and Innovation programme. The projects are mainly focused on developing social software for use in education. Part of the support process has been through a four stage development model. As part of that model, at different times during the project development, project developers get invited to a session where they are quizzed by ‘Dragons’ on the progress of their project.

The Dragons Den session featured on Sounds of the Bazaar is the Preview project which is developing and piloting models for Problem Based Learning in Second Life. Maggie Savin-Baden will represent the project. Paul Bailey and Chris Fowler wil be the dragons. It is going to be great fun.

The programme, whih will last about 45 minutes, goes out at 19.00 UK time, 20.00 Central European Time. To listen to the programme just go to http://radio.jiscemerge.org.uk/Emerge.m3u in your browser. The stream should open in your MP3 player of choice. And if you’d like to chat during the programme Crsitina Costa will be in the chat room at http://tinyurl.com/soundschat. Just add your name in the text field (leaving the password field blank) and chat away.

How you can participate in Alt-C

September 7th, 2008 by Graham Attwell

This post provides a summary of how you can particpate in the Alt-C conference wherever you are.

It’s the Adanveced Learning Technologies (ALT) conference this week in Leeds in the UK. Together with Cristina Costa I will be reporting from the conference on the Pontydysgu blogs.

In the past if you couldn’t spare the time, forgot to submit your abstract and thus had no institutional support for the conference fees or just couldn’t face another four days of papers and workshops, that would be it. No conference, no networking. The times they are a changing. First we have all manner of distance communications. And secondly we are beggining to loosen up in our ides of how knowledge is shared with the grwing popularity of technology enhanced unconferencing. AltC is not open to all this year. But there are events you can participate in wherever you are and differents spaces to interact with conference delegates.

First a plug for Sounds of the Bazaar. We are broadcasting LIVE from the Jisc Emerge social at Alt-C on Tuesady at 1725 UK summer time, 18.25 Central European time. Sit back and relax (perhaps with a glass of wine yourself) and listen to what the party goers are saying.  Just point your browser to http://radio.jiscemerge.org.uk/Emerge.m3u This should open in your MP3 player of choice and after a few seconds delay start streaming. Better still, if you’d like to join in the fun, you can join our conference special chat room and share your opinions with others. You can also ask questions to the people being interviewed. Cristina Costa will be moderating the chat LIVE at Leeds at the following url – http://tinyurl.com/soundschat – no account needed.

What else is going on? Alt-C themselves have go in on the act and are providing access to the keynote speeches through Elluminate. Just head  over here to get the full details. Alt has provided a Crowdvine social network site for the conferrnce. Sadly that is only open to registered delegates. But there is an open aggregator here (or download an OPML file with the aggregator RSS feeds).

F-Alt is the first ever fringe being held at Alt-C. It sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun. You can get full details on the F-Alt wiki. There’s a chance that sessions may be broadcast live on ustream. Keep watching on twitter for more details. You can find a FriendFeed aggregator here.

Last but not least, the Alt-C Digital Divide slam is open to all. Full details on the wiki. Go on – its much more fun than that report you should be writing. Create your own entry.

I am sure there will be more. Just hang out in the right spaces to find out what is going on. Or, of course, you can watch this blog for regular conference updates.

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    News Bites

    Cyborg patented?

    Forbes reports that Microsoft has obtained a patent for a “conversational chatbot of a specific person” created from images, recordings, participation in social networks, emails, letters, etc., coupled with the possible generation of a 2D or 3D model of the person.


    Racial bias in algorithms

    From the UK Open Data Institute’s Week in Data newsletter

    This week, Twitter apologised for racial bias within its image-cropping algorithm. The feature is designed to automatically crop images to highlight focal points – including faces. But, Twitter users discovered that, in practice, white faces were focused on, and black faces were cropped out. And, Twitter isn’t the only platform struggling with its algorithm – YouTube has also announced plans to bring back higher levels of human moderation for removing content, after its AI-centred approach resulted in over-censorship, with videos being removed at far higher rates than with human moderators.


    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

    Via The Canary.

    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.


    Quality Training

    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.


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      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

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