On December 16, 2010 I participated to an international conference in Milan, “New Media Art Education & Research 3: Always Already New”, organized by the Planetary Collegium’s M-Node (Milan Node) PhD and the NABA degree course in Media Design & New Media Art, in collaboration with NoemaLab and Mediateca Santa Teresa. In the same conference I moderated a panel with Stephen Kovats and Giovanni Boccia Artieri. My presentation, entitled “Media education, education and media”, will be published in the symposium’s proceedings.

Here the abstract and the video (in four parts) of my presentation.

Media education, education and media
Pier Luigi Capucci

The current mediascape requires a deep inquiry on the use of the media (of the “old” and “new” media) in many fields and in particular in the educational realm. Tools like computers, consoles, smartphones, extended TV, MP3 readers, photo and videocameras are of common use today and give rise to many applications which can change the way we get in touch each other, communicate, learn and teach. In our culture the remote and mediated communication has become increasingly relevant. In order to have an idea of the extent of this process, which occurred in less than 200 years, we could compare today’s many opportunities – synchronous communications like cellular and old plain telephony, IP based communications like Skype and chats, and asynchronous communications like email, fora, blogs, social networks and so on… – which can be very inexpensive, with the communications technologies which were available by mid of the XIX Century. Before the mass diffusion of photography (which Baudelaire considered as a bane) only a small number of people was able to create pictures. Today everybody can easily create images through many devices, like cameras, computers, smartphones, webcams… And photography has become that “brothel without walls” as defined by McLuhan. Today people can create videos in an easy and economic way, a common task that only twenty years ago was very difficult and expensive, and, more, they can share online their videos with millions people. Ten years ago the audiovisual remote synchronous communication was complex and expensive and only the television organizations could manage it. Today a videoconference can be made with cheap and personal tools which everybody can manage, just like PCs, smartphones and wired or wireless connections. And many other examples could be done.

This evolution is opening up a wide bunch of unprecedented communication possibilities, which have changed and are changing the way people live, work, study, learn. People are experts in communication, are information producers, gatherers, disseminators, sharers, modifiers and storers. Communities are no more only country (locally)-based. Today an increasing part of the knowledge on the world we live in is achieved through the media (in a mediated way) and a relevant role in this trend is performed by the remote communications, both synchronous and asynchronous. People can instantly, inexpensively and easily communicate in remote and an increasing part of the communication is in remote. What for centuries has been the dream of the political and economic power, of the governments, of the inventors and of the magicians, is here and cheap today.

This has a relevant role in teaching, since teachers are often in front of students who daily use these tools, who are born with them and maybe they are the best users of these tools. Experiences like e-learning, distance learning, videoconference, learning in the metaverse, interactive learning…, are usual. Since the early two thousand Noema has been developing and using some of these tools and experiences, and in 2010, in the Xth anniversary of Noema’s foundation, we are restructuring and improving the tools related to (new) media education and research.”

Here the videos of the panel that I moderated.