Here is a short account of the weekend spent at Mozilla Festival 2012 at Ravensbourne college which is adjacent to The O2 Dome, Greenwich London. In the first place I didn’t have a ticket till Jane Whyatt handed over of her pass as she couldn’t attend due to post opp leg pain (ooh) thanks for that !
I went along on Friday night to pick up the pass and have a good look about the event fair being held on the 4th floor lounge space where many of the workshop hosts and other exhibitors were already previewing their work. I was also very pleased to meet up with Mick Fuzz scoff a few canope’ and sup red wine..
So on Saturday I arrived 10am sharp to join a large workshop being held by development group of Zeega which is a well crafted media compositor which works in the browser (chrome and safari) allowing for quick authoring of rich narratives out of web resources both from mammoth concentrators such as youtube, flickr and twitter as well as any privately hosted elements. These are cast to time using a layered approach that is instinctive and rapidly returns satisfaction as we discovered at the end of the two hours (wow that passed quick) with a review of some of the published compositions.
In much the same way (using firefox) with more emphasis on editable timeline and syncing of sources the loudly heralded WebMaker Popcorn carries you swiftly along to a very presentable outcome integrating Google maps, Twitter ticker-tape, Wikipedia data and a range of sound, text overlays to your core still or moving images. Over the course of the weekend I overheard many glowing references to the sound aspects of Popcorn and I expect more reward will follow on from effort sustained. Both systems are most impressive and well worth the attention.
Lunch was great! I met with friends who had attended last years event and again had good reports of their morning sessions to share. We split up to try and cover the huge range of afternoon activities to find many already entrenched in investigative process or exchanging on varied and impassioned aspects of education, topography and mechanics of encoding. I gravitated to the Radio session where new friends in the Airtime development group held a working session on aspect of production management and facilitation of transmission and enjoyed the detailed and attentive considerations of the group reviewing issues of the audience, interaction as well as scope for evolutionary progress to come.
There was definitely the sense of being well catered for with almost every level offering refreshments and snack food, in addition to an attentive support from those staffing the sessions and directing traffic. I was intrigued with the coding for teens and webmaker badge areas but didn’t find the moment to stop and investigate the latest scratch offering in any detail though did have a conversation over coffee with keen badge advocates to acknowledge the value this initiative leads on. Yes I see this being effective in the drive to account on renewed effort promoting overdue upscaling of ICT education standards and a fun way to navigate an increasingly fragmented learning environment we all experience.
On Sunday I took an even more leisurely approach toward the sessions sitting in on the articulately presented Craftyy game building environment where near instantaneous game play, graphic drafting and behaviour aspects of the computer game are made easily accessible and intriguingly handsome even for a non game player like me! Lunch was great again (this stuff is important!) renewed contact with attendee of the radio session and speculated on explosive potential of this educational surge in progress. Attended an Arduino codebender session without laptop and fortunately was able to share with some great girls the not inconsiderable effort to keep up with the electronics (primer) and the code being bent.
I found myself back a the Popcorn workspace in more of a (minor) nurturing role this time helping a fresh user get started and reviewing the basics again, reminding myself of the ideals of the festival in the process. Its taken me all day to distil some of my experience to this account which I have been able to recall easily as I write, that’s a good sign.