Webcasting workshop begins at Turkeyen
-- participants to learn principles, practices of streaming audio, video within E-learning context

Guyana Chronicle
February 4, 2003

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A FIVE-day workshop on webcasting began yesterday at the Centre For Communication Studies, University of Guyana, Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara.

The workshop is a collaborative effort among the Centre For Communications, the University of Technology, Jamaica and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), which has provided the finding.

According to the organisers, participants will be involved in simulations and practical work taught by qualified and experienced facilitators from the Multimedia Centre of the University of Technology, Jamaica.

The objectives of the seminar are to create a learning community by exposing participants to the technologies, principles and practices of streaming audio and video within an E-learning context and to facilitate brainstorming exploration of potential applications for different target audiences and industries through hands-on sessions and group projects.

At the opening session yesterday, Professor James Rose, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, said the training that would be executed at the workshop represents the act of taking "one fragile step" towards achieving the dream of the centre becoming one of excellence. He hoped that by the end of the seminar "we would have moved out from the domain of fragility".

Rose observed that the upgrading of the Centre for Communications represents a further step to prove to detractors of the university that it is committed to the ideals, which the founders of the institution had intended it to pursue.

The Vice-Chancellor said the institution could not afford to "mark time", for if it does in this period of rapid changes in technology and a market environment, "we will be condemned to the dustbin of history".

He advised that in order to become competitive the university must follow the imperative of continuously upgrading skills.

Secretary General of the Guyana Commission of UNESCO, Mrs. Carmen Jarvis alluded to the rapid changes that have taken place in Information Technology, and noted that it has been difficult for Guyana to keep pace.

Relating the profound changes that the application of technology have made in the field of education, Mrs. Jarvis said the role of the teacher will change from being a lecturer to one who provides advice and coaching.

Caribbean Communications Representative to UNESCO Ms. Joycelyn Josiah declared that the workshop is an "important milestone" for Communication Studies, noting that Information Technology can be applied to all sectors of society, including education and culture.

Ms. Josiah also urged that the Centre for Communications Study should become pro-active, contributing to the development of a knowledge-based society.

Ms. Velma Gregory, Head of the Multimedia Centre of the University of Technology, Jamaica, observed that the emergence of the Internet has put aside the barriers of distance and time and makes education "more distributable and portable".

She noted that during the course of the workshop, participants would be exposed to the evolution of new technology and would observe how webcasting fits into the evolutionary process.

Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Guyana, Dr. Mark Kirton said that under the plan to transform the Centre for Communication Studies into a `Centre of Excellence', the university would not become the sole beneficiary. The entire society stands to benefit, he said.

He suggested that the training given during the workshop would help to provide the tools for the institution to move into the information age and on to the "information super highway."

Dr. Kirton urged the participants to impart what they would have learnt at the conclusion of the workshop to others in their respective constituencies.

He also reiterated the commitment of the University of Guyana to inter-university partnership, which he said, is very important in the developing world. (CHAMANLALL NAIPAUL)

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