[Gllug] OSHUG #7 - Learning (BBC, Tinker London).

Andrew Back andrew at osmosoft.com
Mon Jan 10 18:46:59 UTC 2011


The seventh Open Source Hardware User Group meeting will be on Thursday 10th
February and is kindly hosted by BBC Learning Development, with talks on BBC
Micro, BBC Domesday Project and teaching Arduino. As ever there is no cost
to attend but registration is required. If you are thinking about heading
along I would recommend registering sooner rather than later, as we've
already had >20 people register in the two days this has been open.


Details also pasted below.




OSHUG #7 — Learning (BBC, Tinker London)

On the 10th Feb 2011, 18:00 - 20:30 at BBC White City Media Centre, 201 Wood
Lane, London, W12 7TQ, UK (51.513359, -0.227874)

The ability to study and improve the design of open source hardware is a
core principle and it follows therefore that as a methodology it is well
suited to learning environments. Community, collaboration and ecosystem are
also central open source hardware, however, ambitious projects that embraced
these principles existed long before its advent.

At the seventh OSHUG meeting we'll be hearing from ex-BBC employees that
were intimately involved in the BBC's Computer Literacy Project, the
creation of the BBC Micro and the Domesday project. First hand experiences
from that heady time during the 1980s when the UK was at the forefront of
microcomputer development will frame the opportunity that faces us once
again. Whereas lessons learnt will help us to build on these experiences and
to strive to ensure that pitfalls are avoided.

We will also be hearing from Tinker London about experiences of teaching
open source technologies and how this differs from more traditional
approaches to learning.

Kindly hosted by BBC Learning Development.

// The BBC Computer Literacy Project

Why did the BBC embark on one of its most ambitious projects - the Computer
Literacy Project - in 1982? What was the scene like then and how successful
was the enterprise. What technical issues were involved? 85% of schools used
BBC Micros and millions were sold, along with best selling books and
software, including 'telesoftware'. What is the legacy - if at all? How did
the work then benefit BBC technology now?

After being Head of Science at Beaumont and Stonyhurst Colleges, David Allen
joined the BBC in 1969 as an Assistant producer/director. He became producer
and then executive producer of a range of programmes. As a programme maker,
he was series editor of the BBC Computer Literacy Project 1982-1986 and
intimately connected with the creation of the BBC Microcomputer. He received
seven awards (including the New York Film Festival, Sony Innovation awards,
RTS Judges Award and Times Technology Programme of the Year two years
running. With BBC R&D helped evolve radio cameras and virtual studio
production. When David retired he was executive producer in Production
Modernisation. He is currently making documentaries for BBC R&D and for
Historic Royal Palaces.

// The BBC Domesday Project - If I could Do it All Over Again

The BBC Domesday Project was an interactive media production made as part of
celebrations of the 900th anniversary of William the Conqueror's Domesday
Book of 1086. It was a technical triumph, combining digital data with
analogue pictures, video and sound with an innovative user interface running
on an 8-bit BBC Microcomputer controlling a state-of-the-art laser
videodisc. 25 years later it has still not been possible to republish
something that over a million people helped to make, and despite sometime
heroic reclamation and preservation, it is still virtually impossible to
access the original software. Andy Finney was one of the project founders
and he produced some of the material in the project. He will explain the
origins and technical background to the Domesday discs in the context of
both it 1980s origins and how much of what it pioneered has since become

Andy Finney started in radio and moved into television, video and
interactive video within the BBC over a 21 year career. Since leaving he has
concentrated on web-based technologies including databases, these days with
a lean towards digital television reception. He worked with the then Public
Record Office and the BBC to help preserve the audio-visual content of the
Domesday discs and still keeps a fatherly eye out for re-publication.

// Standing on the Shoulders of Hackers

Learning is an intrinsic aspect of open source projects. Practices such as
documenting and sharing work, following one’s own interests, and ad hoc
organizing open up - and complicate - opportunities for learning and
teaching, especially in informal and semi-formal contexts. Drawing on his
experiences teaching Arduino workshops, Daniel will talk about how both the
hardware and open-source aspects of OSH affect processes and tools for
learning and teaching.

Daniel Soltis is an interaction designer specializing in physical
interfaces, play and games, and the rough edges where engineering, design,
art, and learning meet. He has been working with Tinker London since 2008,
studied physical computing and game design at NYU’s Interactive
Telecommunications Program, and in prior life had various adventures in math
and physics, teaching, editing, and medical writing. He has taught Arduino,
Processing, and rapid prototyping for events and institutions including
Thinking Digital, CIID, the V&A, and dConstruct, and has spoken about games
and hardware at events including SXSW, the SIGGRAPH Video Game Symposium,
Playful, and Open Hardware Camp.

Note: Please aim to arrive for 18:00 - 18:15 as the event will start at
18:30 prompt. Note also that the venue is the Media Centre at White City and
not the main White City building itself! On arrival please report to

Andrew Back
mailto:andrew at osmosoft.com
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