Audiocourses.com has been operational for around 7 years now, since being started way back in 2000 as a Post Graduate research project. Since then the school has graduated people all over the globe and has a member base of over 12 thousand and become a Private Limited Company.
The main activities of the school are:
• Providing distance learning solutions in the field of music technology
• Providing daily pro-audio news press releases
• Continual research into educational methodologies, particularly immersive environments for the enhancement of our virtual community.
I’m really proud of the way the audiocourses.com community has grown so well, there are some wonderful people involved with it, and students regularly come back and stay in touch. The “virtual community” is the essential link in the chain, the glue, the driving force of what makes it all work.
Over the last 12 months the school started exploring additional concepts for bolstering the virtual community including regular podcasts, (though we did “audioblog” back in 2005) and began researching SecondLife as an educational platform, to add value to our students. I’m actually working on a PhD proposal in educational technology, so it ties in beautifully.
It soon became apparent that we needed a group within the 3D world, so the ACHUB was founded in 06. The ACHUB has always been a not-for-profit venture which has an abundance of volunteers getting involved with promoting some wonderful events, mainly with an educational/research slant. One particular highlight was our Spring Festival back in March which saw (among others) Oxford University present a paper on using SecondLife for medical research and simulation.
So I see the ACHUB as a potential “gem” for our virtual community to move forward and share, what we do at the school, and also with others working in education, new-media, podcasting, blogging, machinima etc. by way of extending events into real-life meet-ups. I also want the ACHUB concept to grow in an organic fashion and encourage anyone to run events themselves relating to anything it is that the ACHUB is concerned with, we have a Charity event coming up for example in June.
I was intending to host/plan/organise an event at BCUC this coming October, under the brand of Podcamp, I was directly asked to get involved. I love the Podcamp concept, (and it is awesome), I enjoyed the experience PodcampNYC immensely and I think what those guys do and will do with that is outstanding for all concerned. But by including that brand into my very early-seed event planning in the UK I have been presented with difficulties which are more than tedious, and selfishly, and from a business perspective, see no reason why I should follow the idea through any further. I see no reason to be a champion for the brand here when there are enough apparent champions currently, it’s just banging a head against a wall to get people to see it.
So I am now completely withdrawing the planned event from the Podcamp brand, (sorry guys) and I will be hosting an event under the brand ACHUB which amounts to the same thing in almost every way, it will be a MediaCamp of sorts, but of course has zero history or baggage, zero relatedness and void of politics from any existing community. It’s new, fresh, dynamic, and will rock, no matter the size, everyone will be welcome, anyone can run with it, anywhere anytime.
I’ll still attend Podcamps, I’ve met some awesome people, but I’ll selfishly not fight to organise something which has too many traffic cops involved currently, everyone seems to be an expert. I guess you can’t please all of the people all of the time, just some of the people some of the time.
So moving forward, do check out the ACHUB activities that have taken place in the past and what is planned for the future. The ACBASH in Amsterdam in July is one I’m excited about, as a school we have been mentioning a real-life meet-up for what seems years, students I’ve only met virtually and staff too, will be there!! Feel free to come meet us in Amsterdam or any of the other events that take shape, and hey set one going yourself!