Meet the Media and Education Special Interest Group (M&E SIG) in the Netherlands

Some twenty years ago the universities and other institutions for Higher Education(HE) in the Netherlands decided to extend the collaboration to the educational support units. Before it concentrated on the IT and audio-visual centres only. In 2000 people from both IT centres, AVC’s and educational support units joined forces and created Webstroom with the objective to promote the use of audio-visual material in education via the digital network. At the same time the broadcasting of lectures via streaming media was coming up, from audio via audio plus slides to full video recordings. As both worlds grew more and more together the special interest group Media and Education (M&E) was formed in 2011. More sigs exist under the umbrella of SURF, the national platform for collaboration on ICT and education, each specialising in its own niche. M&E has some 180 members from all over the HE institutes with technical,educational or audio-visual background. Four times a year M&E holds a workshop on video in education related subjects.  Whereas at the beginning the focus was mostly on technical subjects this gradually evolved to didactics. Collaboration with other sigs like Blended learning, Open and online education is then obvious.These meetings last normally an afternoon and close with a drink for networking purposes. Reports about the presentations and the recordings of the same are published on the website www.media-and-education.nl, nearly all in Dutch.

Our members are also interested in European contacts. At first through the network Diverse, now via the Media and Learning Association. The challenges are the same everywhere, the solutions are not always already known, so learning from one another is rewarding.

The exchange of recorded material is not yet common practice. Neither in the Netherlands, where there should not be a language barrier to prevent this nor in Europe. At the same time, both the European Commission and often the local ministries of Education strive for open education material by the year 2025. If we want to succeed in offering our educational video material to anybody by that time we should start analysing the impediments that need to be tackled and how we want to overcome them. At the last Media and Learning conference a meeting on this subject was held. The next step is an exchange of information about our respective forms of working together in our own countries.

The chairperson of the M&E SIG is Martin Hoeke, lecturer at van Hall institute.If you would like more information about the SIG you can contact him, martijn.hoeke@hvhl.nl. If you want to cooperate in a European context, you can contact him or me, Hans Bronkhorst, hans.bronkhorst@onlinekennis.org