Producer delivers lectures via weblink

Oscar and Bafta-winning producer David Puttnam yesterday delivered the first of a series of lectures from his West Cork home to university students in Australia.

The initiative will see the producer deliver modules to university students outside Ireland from his Skibbereen residence using technology that has been enabled and powered by BT and Cisco.

The model, known as Atticus Education, is due to be rolled out in Asia, Britain and the US later this year.

The 10-part seminar series is based on the changing nature of screen production and distribution in the digital era and offers students at the Griffith University Film School in Brisbane a rare and personal glimpse into Puttnam’s career.

His successes as a producer include Chariots of Fire, Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, and The Mission.

Yesterday’s lecture was facilitated using a Cisco TelePresence video conferencing solution with high-speed internet access provided by BT Ireland’s national fibre and ethernet network.

This allows users to connect face-to-face in high definition while simultaneously being able to access presentations such as Microsoft PowerPoint, use and send information from a Promethean Whiteboard, and view video clips from an external source all while having full internet access.

Puttnam said he was delighted that the project had finally come to fruition.

“We need the world of education and learning to embrace these technologies in ways that make the present rate of progress look exactly what it is — woefully inadequate. My goal is to develop more imaginative education which leverages the immense power of technology and this collaboration with Griffith University is the first step in achieving this.”

Colm O’Neill, BT Ireland chief executive, said the company was proud to be part of a venture breaking down the barriers to education worldwide. He said: “BT’s connectivity and our investment in high-quality communications network infrastructure have enabled David to connect to students from a small place like Skibbereen on the edge of Europe to the other side of the world.”

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