Virtually There 2 – Love your Learning Platform Filming

For the past two months Hal and Matt have been driving around Yorkshire filming and editing footage about creative uses of learning platforms in schools. The project concludes work started in 2007 on a project called ‘Virtually There’. The project ended in a conference.
Work and research was done for YHGfL (Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning Foundation)
Some images from the event:

Fasttrack DVD Production Completed and Distributed Nationally

The Fasttrack Community was one of several developed for the National College for School Leadership by Ultralab and originally used the software, later to become ‘Talk2Learn’. The Department for Education and Skills (DfES), who were the ‘owners’ of the Fasttrack project, requested a training DVD to help users learn about how the community software worked. The project was funded by NCSL.
We discussed how this project might work and decided with the DfES that it would be far better if the people engaged in the Fasttrack process were the ones who explained how the community software worked, and described how it helps them (or not) with the things that they do.
Consequently, Matthew Eaves and I found ourselves filming in different parts of the country interviewing ‘Fasttrackers’ and finding out what they did when they went on line. We went from Canterbury to Reading to Skipton to Cambridge – a real ‘points of the compass’ kind of project.
It was important to aim the content of this disc at the intended audience and so a deliberate approach was taken to show the Fasttrack people in their own environment at work and reflect realistically how they used the online community throughout the day. We could have simply run a number of ‘talking head’ kind of shots, but the result would have been too ‘dry’ and wouldn’t have captured the spirit of the users adequately.
We focussed on their schools and their way of working and tried to show that each user was unique and had different needs. Some fast cuts in the editing ensured it remained upbeat and ‘young’, combined with wider shots of the schools and footage of the legs of the children in school (we didn’t want to capture too many individuals as it would have been a permission nightmare!) moving back and forth between lessons.The resulting footage was compressed to MPEG2, and audio converted to Dolby Digital (AC3) format and the material put on to a DVD which was distributed to all Fasttrackers entering the programme. It therefore had a nationwide distribution and we are pleased that we still get comments from Fasttrackers today asking about the community software.EDIT: Since filming and producing this disc, the NCSL took over the communities and changed the software to be ‘Talk2Learn’ in January 2004.
Click ‘Play Now’ (below) to watch one of the films included on the DVD.
Fasttrack Teaching DVD Film: Play NowPlay in Popup

Lifeboats.TV Burnham on Crouch

The Lifeboats.TV team rolled into Burnham-on-Crouch today to begin the film research for the RNLI’s Lifeboats.TV website.
Thanks to all the team from Burnham involved in the pilot filming.
Burnham Image
Matthew Eaves (Ultralab)
Colin Elsey (Ultralab)
George Variopoulos (Ultralab)
From the initial footage, George Variopoulos made this initial film (it will take a while to load, but is worth the wait):
George’s Action Film: Play NowPlay in Popup

RNLI calls on young people and Ultralab to explore image and brand perception

On 19 January 2001 the very creative SEEVEAZ Summer School researchers came together at Burnham-on-Crouch Lifeboat Station to assist with Ultralab’s joint project with the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) to come up with ideas how the lifeboat service could be made ‘cool’ in the eyes of young people.


Ultralab used the research findings to embark on the ‘’ project in conjunction with the education department of the RNLI.


The Summer School researchers came up with a variety of ideas which led to the launch of Lifeboats.TV, the biggest video based website on the Internet, and home of the ‘Virtual Lifeboat Station’. 467 movies were created and made available in various formats.


Lifeboats.TV ran for three years and is now offline, research complete.


Stephen Heppell (Ultralab)
Matthew Eaves (Ultralab)
James Vaughan (RNLI)
Anne Millman (RNLI)

The below films will take some time to load, please be patient:

 Watch the RNLI project movie, with early Matthew Eaves and Colin Elsey footage.: Play Now | Play in Popup
 Watch 180 people the movie – made by Matthew Eaves this film includes nearly everyone who was a part of the Lifeboats.TV project.: Play Now | Play in Popup
 Filmed and made in Burnham this film was created to initiate the project vision.: Play Now | Play in Popup
 Also by George, a dramatic cut using RNLI archive footage: Cut 21 Movie. It was made from a lot of archive training video footage, the objective to demonstrate to the RNLI that existing footage could be recycled.: Play Now | Play in Popup