‘Media Culture 2020‘ was an EU Erasmus Intensive Programme (EU ERASMUS project number 2012-1-FI1-ERA10-09673) which took place throughout 2013. As a prototype for a decentralised, pan-European model of teaching and learning, the project utilised a range of social media platforms and interactive computer software to create open, virtual learning environments where students from different countries and fields could explore and learn together. The multi-disciplinary venture featured staff and students from five universities from across Europe: the University of Vic (Spain), Tampere University of Applied Sciences (Finland), Liepaja University (Latvia), the University of Lincoln (United Kingdom) and HKU Hilversum (Netherlands). The students involved were third and fourth year BA students of fine arts, interactive media, business, film and television, whilst the participating lecturers all came from different practice and theory backgrounds. MC2020 was designed to enable participants with a diverse range skills and cultural experiences to develop new working practices that respond to the convergence of digital media and art, as well as the internationalisation of media production and business. To enable collaboration between each of the partner institutions, MC2020 made use of a number of networked technologies (including Facebook, Twitter, Google Hangout, Google Docs and Blogger).
The project was comprised of two, two-week workshops which featured an additional 6 weeks of online activities, team meetings, interactive ‘webinars’ hosted by each partner university, as well as ongoing modes of social networking and collaborative practice. The main activities during the pre-workshop phase were team building, project planning and researching online. The learning outcomes include skills in art and media production for 21st century platforms, market research, business planning, pitching, working in international, multidisciplinary teams and the application of social media services.
The Project Brief:
Students formed mixed-nationality groups, with the use of social media and a range of pre-workshop tasks designed to foster collaborative partnerships. The groups were asked to imagine what digital media technology in the year 2020 might be like, with the aim to design and develop a concept for a technological innovation that might impact on or improve a shared European culture. The focus of the course content included interface design, ‘smart’ technologies, ‘open data’ and future developments in ICT, with groups having to explore these ideas, collaborating on mock-ups, workflow models, animations and concept designs. The initial concepts developed throughout the first workshop in Tampere were developed further during the second workshop in Liepaja.