A good week in the office. Of course it helps if your ‘office’ for a week is a short walk from the Parthenon and you are contributing to the buzz surrounding the Future Internet Assembly (FIA): over 750 attendees incorporating the leaders of over 150 European projects worth more than half a billion Euros. The event was opened by Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission, endorsing the latest research developments within the next generation Internet based upon Cloud technologies and the movement of networks from being a hardware based infrastructure to software founded on multiple layers layers of virtualisation.
Pre-FIA workshops covered, Cloud, data services and Smart Cities. John Domingue chaired one of these: “Cross-breeding social networks and networked media in the Future Internet”. This workshop was based upon the observation that users today primarily access video content through social networking sites. The talks explored the synergy between social media analytics and networked media delivery and its impact on user experience leading to a roadmap on how to exploit synergies between these two technologies.
Within FIA proper, John Domingue chaired the session “Beyond MOOCs: The Future of Learning on the Future Internet” which was well attended. Speakers in this session outlined a number of new and emerging learning paradigms based on innovative uses of the Internet and also how large-scale infrastructures could support the new requirements generated. One of the speakers
Natalia Arredondo from the University of Newcastle, described a new project funded through a one million dollar TED award, teaching disadvantaged children in India through “Cloud Schools”. This team’s early work apparently inspired the Danny Boyle film “Slumdog Millionaire”. Other speakers covered the OU’s FutureLearn (given by IET’s Rebecca Ferguson), Cisco’s Networking Academy which trains over 1 million network engineers per year (given by Andrew Smith of the Department of Communication and Systems), industrial training from a large corporation (ATOS) and SME perspective and how the large ultrafast network infrastructures in the US (GENI) and Europe (GRNET) currently support teaching and learning.
The personal highlight of the week though was FORGE, which is coordinated by KMi, claiming first place for the FIA Poster awards. Competition for this award is very stiff as over 150 projects are eligible to enter. The FORGE project will connect the large European Future Internet Research and Experimentation (FIRE) facilities to learning technologies. Specifically, the project will enable students to setup and run large scale internet experiments from within eBooks. Due credit to the design of the poster should go to Harriett Cornish who had to generate the final version under usual KMi conditions: significant time pressure and several conflicting constraints. The whole of the FORGE consortium are extremely grateful to Harriett for her contribution.
All-in-all it was a very successful week for KMi at FIA …. and this was not the only event in Athens this week where we were present. More on this to follow shortly….
- Athens Future Internet Assembly Website
- Cross-breeding social networks and networked media in the Future Internet Session Website
- Beyond MOOCs: The Future of Learning on the Future Internet Session
- A short interview with John Domingue from the FIA Athens website
- The FORGE project website which contains a first draft demo iBook
- Blog post covering the Beyond MOOCs session