Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Award-winning VideoLectures.NET

We already wrote about VideoLectures.NET, a Slovenian service providing a global web portal for publishing select academic educational video content a few months ago when the renowned American university MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) moved all of its web-based video educational services to the Slovenian web portal.

Now, VideoLectures.NET has also won global expert acclaim and has been awarded a prestigious award in the category of e-content. This is an outstanding achievement of the portal’s creators, researchers at the Centre for Knowledge Transfer in Information Technologies (CT3) working within the Jožef Stefan Institute. Simultaneously, this is a great achievement for Slovenia for it offers us the opportunity to become one of the centres of global e-education.

We talked about these ambitions and the Award with Mitja Jermol, Director of CT3, and Davor Orlič, Editor of the VideoLectures.NET portal. We would like to congratulate their entire team for the achievement.

VideoLectures.NET Team
Source: CT3 archive

INTERVIEW WITH THE CREATORS OF VIDEOLECTURES.NET

VIB: What is the World Summit Award about?
CT3: The World Summit Award (WSA) is awarded at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), organised by the United Nations. It is a unique global contest for awarding prizes to the best e-content and examples of creativity in the world.

VIB: What is its significance?
CT3: The Award is an indicator of global trends in e-education and a showcase of how its boundaries are surpassed through development of e-content. The Award signifies recognition that we have exceeded the Slovenian and European media space and entered global space, and that our users and critics understand what we are trying to promote with the portal.
WSA is a non-profit initiative of the global Information Society Forum working within the United Nations with the aim of reducing the digital gap among members of the United Nations. The aim of these awards is to recognize achievement in the global e-content industry and support creativity in the global network. In 2009, the WAS’s expert jury reviewed contest entries of 545 national finalists who were proposed by national experts from the field of e-science and technology. Five contestants were awarded in each category. The VideoLectures.NET was one of the five winners in the e-science and technology category. The World Summit Award Gala, which we will attend, will take place between September 2nd and 4th in Monterrey, Mexico. The Videolectures.net portal was proposed by the Slovenian member of the expert jury Borka Jerman-Blažič, DSc, Head of the Laboratory for Open Systems and Networks at the Jožef Stefan Institute and a professor at the Faculty of Economics, the presiding member of the Slovenian Internet Society (ISOC-SI).
VIB: What do you expect to gain from the Award?
CT3: Global recognition. We expect our initiative will be joined by other similar initiatives in promoting global access to high-quality educational content. Together, we will be able to provide this content free of charge and without limitations to all interested publics, especially to those whose access to education is limited (including students from Third-world countries). We are promoting equal access to knowledge for all. Slovenia already plays an important role as the VideoLectures.NET portal provides global access to premium educational content. We believe Slovenia can become one of the centres of global e-education.

Mitja Jermol and Violeta Bulc
Source: Vibacom

VIB: What’s new in your laboratory since November 11th 2008 when we last reported on your achievement?
CT3: Since November we have published 1200 new lectures on the portal. The number of visitors has increased by 50% and the portal was visited by 850,000 visitors during this period.

VIB: What next, what are your ambitions?
CT3: Primarily, we would like to improve the viewing frequency of lectures and expand the dimensions of the content to include humanist studies, medicine, law, etc. Our public currently comprises post-graduate and doctorate students, but we would like to offer educational content for undergraduate and secondary school publics at Slovenian and global levels. At the same time, we would like to refine the portal and equip it with better pedagogic strategies and the latest semantic technologies. We would like to achieve a breakthrough from the exclusively scientific realm to the wider social environment and cooperate with other stakeholders to achieve interdisciplinarity and integration at various generational, social and status levels.

Their quick steps forward are unquestionably stimulating. The services they offer and the initiatives in which they participate are developing towards the creation of a global model that can change the existing forms of education and will be based on open standards, content and software. We are looking forward to the next success story!

Vibacom Team

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