Learning through frustration – ELVSS12

We bring you… Entertainment Lab for the Very Small Screen

I love this project. I feel very lucky to be part of a committed team, working on something that is not funded – a genuine Community of Practice where our passion for mobile filmmaking has brought us together in an international collaboration which spans disciplines, levels… and timezones.

The logistics of coordinating a project like this are not for the faint-hearted. Luckily we have Dan Wagner (NZ), who has done an awesome job of overseeing the whole project – and who is a JOY to work with – alongside Thom Cochrane (NZ), Laurent Antonzak (FR/NZ), Solene Trousse (FR), and Max Schleser (DE)

We started a couple of months ago with 24 frames 24 hours – each student filmed a 2 hour segment of their day, edited it down to 2 minutes, used some kind of timepiece as the opening/closing 5 second sequence… and these will be edited into one film, split screen, triptych. I have every faith that the finished product will be awesome.

The MAIN project was then Mobile In Global Out, where teams made up of students from NZ, UK and FR collaborated on the co-creation of films around the topic of sustainability.

What’s quite beautiful is the shift – which we have experienced on a weekly, sometimes daily basis – towards an emergent CoP model where learners are gradually taking on responsibilities and becoming coordinators. I remember Dan saying ‘I’m starting to feel like I know your students now’. That was a magical moment. Next time, we’ll develop the model further so that we’ll all be hanging out with one another’s students from the start.

With ELVSS12, it’s about the lived experience – it’s the students who are experiencing this collaboration, alongside us as tutors. The boundaries become blurred however. We start to meet one another’s friends/families (in the spirit of the project we may hangout any place/any time). The sense of community is further strengthened as we get to know one another away from our traditional roles.

ELVSS12 is also about learning through frustration (at least, I think it is). To hear the students speak so eloquently about international communication and collaboration from a distance, and with such deep understanding of the issues, I do believe that even if the films are maybe not so polished as they had hoped, they’ve actually taken away something much more valuable from this collaboration – the ability to collaborate, co-create, coordinate a major project with people that they have never met. We’re 12 hours apart, which doesn’t leave much room in terms of windows of opportunity for hangouts. But they’ve persevered – and I’m incredibly proud of them.

Our first group hangout was great fun. I think it was probably 8pm for us in the UK, 9pm for France, and 8am for New Zealand? So the Europeans had beers, the Kiwis had breakfast. It was a great way to break the ice – and I think we had nearly 50 people in the hangout (sharing screens of course).

Since then we’ve had big group/small group hangouts, student hangouts, tutor hangouts, student-tutor hangouts… it becomes such a normal way of working after a while that it can feel quite disorienting, in that I feel closer to people involved in ELVSS12 than most of the people I actually ‘work with’. That may relate to the fact that we see one another in our home environments (or other people’s homes, at times)… first thing in the morning… last thing at night… It’s certainly not a 9-5 project, it never is when you move towards the social web and it’s affordances. We’re hanging out/chatting late at night, early in the morning. Nobody has ever complained – they’re truly experiencing a connected existence, where we can work together any place, any time… as long as we’re awake.

I’m really feeling that the module was a journey and we were all in it together. I can’t believe what the students have achieved in a relatively short space of time. Thinking back to our first class, where we started exploring and developing online identities, followed by producing mashup vids, then podcasts, then the BBC Archive project (a major project in itself), and now ELVSS12. I’m quite blown away by the #stec12 (our Social Tech module here in the UK) students and everything they’ve experiences/achieved in such a short space of time. I’m equally as proud of our colleagues in NZ and FR, and am (as usual) quite sad that the project has ended.

Luckily, it’s not the end. We’ll DEFINITELY be doing this again, and I do hope that some of this year’s students will come on board as mentors for next year – this is just the beginning!

Thanks again to everybody involved in the project – and here’s a quick feedback vid from me:

10 thoughts on “Learning through frustration – ELVSS12

  1. It’s been brilliant. Really enjoyed being part of this!! An honour to have been involved and loved working using G+ hangouts, that was real fun! I’d definitely do it again!

  2. Thanks Jayy – it’s been brilliant having you in the group. Thanks so much for all your contributions during the module. I’m seriously impressed by the amount of work you’ve all done – need to write a post about the BBC Archive project too, that was pretty major! Just about to get the final report together, but you’ll be pleased to know that the beeb are very happy – and the work of #stec12 will be informing developments for Higher Ed (BBC)!

    • Ah yes, well it’s fair to say the Custard Connoisseurs were the least traumatised by the experience 😉
      Thanks so much for everything Ric, you’ve been a pleasure to work with!

      • yes… thanks very much Helen.. honestly, i have gained a lot of things from your class… not just the experience but having Social Technology and presence in the internet and I am using this ideas in my masterclasses…
        gonna miss all…

      • great to hear you’ll be able to bring this stuff into your own work Ric – the thing i love about this module is that it never really ends, or rather, the connections are always there 🙂

      • true… im creating my 70th blog post now and it is the final track in Studio Production Friends… because of Social Tech I manage to collaborate with a guitarist from Ireland which I included his work on my final submission. Brilliant guitar lines and project done thru the net… thanks again… music production on the net possible…

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