ICTP Workshop 2007/Themes

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{{#titlehere:}} Please note that the present pages on the ICTP workshop were obtained from a mediawiki used during the workshop. There may be a number of links that go to missing pages, and other inconsistencies. Much of it is also very informal, and should be seen as workshop notes!From a content production perspective, the main themes of the workshop fell into two strands: Content management and content development. (Some of the participants felt that it would have been helpful to separate those strands from the outset.)

With regard to Content Management (including content hosting), the following work flow was of interest to many participants: Ubuntu -> Apache -> Moodle -> MIT OCW. We would first install Ubuntu on a lab computer, then install Apache, and Moodle, and finally popular moodle courses with MIT OCW content. The whole process could be coined 'instant undergraduate learning environment'.

More generally, web-based tools, deployed on local servers, included Moodle, Wiki (e.g. mediawiki), and Wordpress.

With regard to Content Development, we covered tools for modification, and creation, of resources. These resources might be media-rich, or they might be more basic. Resources would be added to public website, or would be added to local moodle installation.

Open source and free tools for multimedia creation were of interest. We explored existing tools, and came to three conclusions:

  • Existing tools need to be improved, to give better usability and easy of use
  • In some area, new tools need to be created or made more readily available (e.g. open source lecture capturing)
  • Training in the above tools is needed.

Many of the improvements of existing tools are very minor, but have a strong impact in overall usability. For instance: With Audacity we found that the mp3 export option lacks a mono setting (crucial for reducing bandwidth). With Kdenlive for video, we found that 16:9 export exports as 4:3, and that there can be synchronisation issues on export. With Wink (screen capture to flash), we found that it's not open source, and might need some more flexible export options, e.g. as data and xml.

Another theme of the workshop was to survey the free and open content that is currently available, including OCW, OER, Open Journals (PLoS). Models for low bandwith access to these resources are needed.

Many participants were interested in Content sharing: E.g. simply across different campusses, or more widely: between different Universities, regionally, or internationally.

There was also interest in web-based tools for free hosting, Wordpress for websites and blogs, YouTube or SciVee for video.

Reduction of bandwidth and optimisation was also a central theme, both to deliver media adequately from a poorly connected local network, as well as to conserve costs when paying an external hosting company for traffic.

Finally, a theme of the workshop was possibilities for future collaboration.