Invitation for “Future of Education” is out today!

Today the invitation for the final project presentation & workshop was sent out on the following channels:

There will be updates and follow up in the “BABEL One World Forum” group, which is free to join:

The presentation platform is ready for the first contributions, messages and builds.

- Presentation Platform for "Future of Education" on May 2, 2013, 12:00 PM sl-time

– Presentation Platform for “Future of Education” on May 2, 2013, 12:00 PM sl-time

We hope for a splendid participation and look forward to see many of you.

Bill & Mike

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DIT - Logo

Workshop “Future of Education”

 on May 2, 2013, 12:00 PM SL-Time

Which contemporary media do we expect to make the way in the future?

Which steps can be done to incorporate the use of social media and virtual worlds in education?

How can multicultural online communities contribute to learning and knowledge achievement?

How will education act in this field of in social media and virtual worlds engaged students?

The workshop is carried out by Jonathan Cooney and Michael Großpietsch as the final project presentation of their study in Dublin Institute of Technology’s online module “Is One Life Enough?” on May 2, 2013 at the second life location: .

Participation is free for all, both students, educators and others interested in the topic!

► Furthermore participants are more than welcome to come to the presentation platform prior to the workshop on May 2 to compose and leave a message on what kind of social media use and which needed new educational approaches they see ahead on the interactive screens at the platform. ◄

At the presentation on May 2 we will go through a brief introduction and by hands-on activities make builds of the present bricks of social media and discuss their importance for a future education. The results and individual messages will  finally be published in the connected blogs.

As there will be used “shared media” for the presentation it is recommended to log into Second Life with Viewer 2 or Firestorm. There will be played world music and “Pink Floyd: The Wall” along with music by Edvard Grieg. Discussions will take place both in voice & local chat. Participants will get a t-shirt in black with the question “Is One Life Enough?” on the front and a surprise answer on the back as a thank you 🙂

For more information, please consider to read the following blog posts: – Wish You Were Here – Cross-Cultural Art Interventions & Documentation – Future of Education with the accomplished Technology used for a multicultural Approach – Preparing the Workshop “Education for the Future in the Light of Multiculturalism & Web 2.0 Tools” on May 2, 12:00 PM SL-Time

Jonathan Cooney                                                      Michael Großpietsch

Student at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT)        Head of BABEL Language School (SL)

ak: BowlingBallBill Resident                                      ak: Mike Meltzer


Wish You Were Here – Cross-Cultural Art Interventions & Documentation

From the last week’s preparations for the presentation of Bill’s & Mike’s and the project team’s work in the “Is One Life Enough?” module it was left to figure out, how they best possible could ensure the documentation of the hands-on activities and the included messages of visitors and audience. The presentation scene was changed to offer a huge space in the middle for the guests to put the bricks of social media together, which they would want to point out for their beliefs of, what future education would contain. The project team’s prepared bricks hang as a web in the ceiling of the platform to be taken copy of and to be arranged on the floor by their visitors.

Hanging Web of Social Media Bricks

Hanging Web of Social Media Bricks

But how would the option for the desired documentation of the brick walls or brick builds the guests would create be established and how would they be given the possibility for further comments?
On Bill’s and Mike’s wish I did some research and looked at, what others recently have done to document cross-cultural interventions and art expressions in a contemporary way.

From 2002 – 2011 “Das Beckwerk” took place:

Introduction to "Das Beckwerk"

Introduction to “Das Beckwerk”

After these 9 years of active work on several world stages, the documentation was put into a website called “Das Beckwerk Museum”, which means as an entirely online documentation of the world affairs which have been touched in Cairo, Beijing, Herning and elsewhere. The intention was to “freeze” the project at the state it had, by the closing day, January 17, 2011.

Closing of "Das Beckwerk" in 2011

Closing of “Das Beckwerk” in 2011

The above mentioned interactive map with the attached content of “Das Beckwerk”’s activities is best explored, by visiting the website: .

Closing “Das Beckwerk” down in this way and bringing all information together on the static website’s museum to establish a solid documentation of the work and art expressions, which have been carried out, provides a memorable way of saving the artwork for the future. Anyway, others go other ways with their audiences.

In the book “Wish You Were Here” art & development interventions from Nepal from 2006-2009 are reflected, with the focus, to engage both the readers and the NGO aid workers in mutual understanding:

Introduction to "Wish You Were Here", 2010

Introduction to “Wish You Were Here”, 2010

In the attempt of finding ways to involve multiple cultures in the observed world affairs, they ask:

Consequently they start the book with a 9 pages long questionnaire to the readers with topics to consider such as these:

Questionnaire to the reader

Questionnaire to the reader

This approach definitely intends to involve the readers of a “normal book” and to illustrate the dilemmas we face in our century: There might not be final solutions and truth in many topics of our existence in 2013, but it is essential to take position, to express and to substantiate our point of view.
There are many postcards in this book, which were sent home to increase involvement and cross-cultural understanding:

Postcard from Nepal to Denmark

Postcard from Nepal to Denmark

Even if we have to do with a much smaller project in the presentation of the work in the IOLE module than “Das Beckwerk” and “Wish You Were Here” were, these examples give raise to the idea, both to initiate active involvement in the documentation of the completed work and to open for individual commenting and dialogue hereby.
After bringing these thoughts back to Bill and Mike, they therefore decided to ensure, that they actually would have some documentation by snapshots of the visitor’s 3 dimensional work, which then could be pasted in an open document with space for comments and as a visible inspiration for new guests to come. For this purpose Bill and Mike created 6 interactive boards to be dragged down to the middle of the presentation platform, so that the hands-on and 3D creations easily could be transferred to the 2D open documents, which then could become the start of the project archive.

Project presentation platform with 6 dragged down interactive screens

Project presentation platform with 6 dragged down interactive screens

Nynne Haugaard & Nikolaj Kilsmark: Wish You Were Here. Revolver Publishing, Berlin. 2010


Impressions of the Visit in Bulgaria

Going to Bulgaria felt as a challenge. I had so many questions to ask myself:
– How would the surroundings be and how would they be maintained?
– Which signals would the country’s people send out?
– Would the infrastructure be fitting to normal needs in civilized countries, e. g. with available WIFIs at common places?
– How would the national culture and the country’s symbols be visible for a guest like me?
– Would I meet happy people or at least not too many who seemed to go through struggles?

There was a very flat landscape mostly around the capital city Sofia  and real mountains first on the horizon and since nearby on the way to Asenovgrad. Some Bulgarian taxi drivers clearly would have appreciated the tour with the luggage equipped guests to their country, but we had our arrangements in place and were to be picked up by a bus sent out by our hosts. Males were pretty much  dressed in casual clothing, while several younger females’ appearance was with tight pants and high heeled boots.
Apart from the first meeting with our Portuguese and Swedish partners at the airport, another multicultural meeting just had taken place outside the airport with a Bulgarian man sitting in the sunset waiting on something with his limited luggage and drinking a beer. He was in good mood – pretty sportive dressed in red and he so much wanted a little chat, but my Bulgarian Language was not existing and his English much too poor for a conversation. But it didn’t matter – we clearly wished the other a fine trip and a pleasant day in a kind of natural language.

Street View at Asenovgrad

Street View at Asenovgrad

Driving two and a half hours showed both busy villages and pretty much left back, unused and from times without a present owner damaged houses and sites – and roads could be in bad shape too. At arrival there was a warm welcome with a kiss on both chins and big smiles on all faces. Our hosts were all well educated and better situated as many others in Bulgaria it should show soon, and it immediately felt, that we were highly estimated guests in this town and that there was a deep wish, to build further on the friendship we already had and to make our relationship closer – and there was free WIFI at the hotel. Already on this first day I also saw the Bulgarian and regional flag along with European flag everywhere as an expression of the national feeling to have become part of this big union of friendly minded and sharing countries.

The first thing in the following morning was to visit the Church of “St Holy Virgin” with it’s very rich ornamental decoration. Some dedicated and believing women in the church offered and hoped to sell some of the souvenirs the church holds for visitors and here it got clear for the first time, that we have a part of the population in Bulgaria with a daily struggle to get together what is needed for living.

Then the welcome at the school was ahead and it’s nearly impossible to describe the impression this intensive show of folklore, music, traditional costumes as well as the hospitality left.

Welcome at Hristo Botev Junior School

Singing and Performance for the Guests in the School Hall

All and any from school and the connected community were present, lined up for performances, translating, explanations, for serving refreshers and to make us feel comfortable. If it is possible to welcome through singing and dancing, playing bagpipe and together to jump over the fire in the school yard as a part of these rituals of the celebration of the 1st of March, we felt it here. I have a Martenitsi wristband at my left hand still, which is expected to stay until the first green of the spring outburst is seen.

Later during the visit we visited even more churches, the old town of Plovdiv, which showed the very little of the origin Bulgarian architecture after the many centuries of oppression of the national culture, and we participated in the rituals of Kukeri dances in the poorer mountain site of Shiroka Laka.

Kukeri Dancers at Shiroka Laka

Kukeri Parade and Dancers at Shiroka Laka

People were on the streets and gathered in this festival atmosphere on outside terraces and balconies for the first time in this year. The parades and together chain dances of everyone, inhabitant or guests and visitors, were testimonies of the togetherness these rituals should trigger – including all and everyone present. We had some tough negotiations with some street sellers of folkloric souvenirs, who seemed very much in need to get just a little money for their day from us, but also that was done with a final smile.

Looking back on what this visit showed, it was amazing to see the identification the Bulgarians have with their cultural heritage and the wish to share it as their valuable contribution to a more friendly and including world. Where no common language is available, warm smiles and taking in arms come easy as an expression in a very natural language. There were not many computers seen on our way, but the best educated friends we met worked in huge and networking companies. Nevertheless it also felt, that there is a huge need for development of several parts of the infrastructure and to get into joint ventures, such as the Japanese investments, which were done, to maintain some of the old houses in Plovdiv – the country needs the friends from abroad, who they welcome so warmly, in many ways.