Two steps and building bridges
Yes - that seems right Alberto. As we discussed at the unMonastery - a great way to maximise the synergy between these two projects is to take advantage of the difference between the time-scales of the two projects. While the unMonastery-in-Matera project is hoping to extend its stay from the end of May this year, and secure additional funding, the Viral Academy has a longer timescale. I’m currently negotiating to reschedule the project and extend the timescale to the end of the year. The best strategy for effective synergy is to use the Viral Academy project as online support for any technology related training here in Matera, and to link it as strongly as possible to the unMonastery project I have here to create a sustainable festival owned and run by the local community here.
The link between these two things - festival and Viral Academy is already explicitly scheduled into the project plan agreed with Nominet (the funder), and is part of my original proposal to the unMonastery to work on the festival here as part of my residency, and lay the ground for a September event in Matera (working closely with the local community). We’ve made a lot of progress on this over the last two weeks which I will post about tomorrow.
The rational for this link is that the core outcomes for the Viral Academy are:
- To make learning technology more exciting
- To make learning technology more relevant
- To make learning technology more accessible
These three outcomes fit very closely with the methodology of project based learning, hackathons supported by an ongoing programme of online group work, and an eventual celebration of these projects in a couple of public events designed to inspire contributions and give projects a firm deadline for completion.
I understand from @alberto, that the September Edgeryders event to build a community-owned digital asset repository in Matera (back-to-back with OSMIT14 and the Italian OpenStreetMap community’s meetup) would be a great focal point for both the original festival proposal I’ve been working on here with the unMonastery, and a chance to celebrate the work of local students of the Viral Academy.
The Viral Academy is not a project focussed explicitly on teaching coding, but is designed to be applied to any form of learning. The context of the current EdgeRyders project is to teach technology - this includes elements such as video, radio, and more general skills such as event and project management. In the context of a festival all these skills can be taught and the focus of the festival gives an inspiring target for students otherwise put off by pure abstract technology training to get involved.