Lord David Puttnam to Deliver World Premiere in Education Series from Skibereen to Australia

August 27th 2012

Lord David Puttnam today delivered the inaugural lecture from his home in Skibbereen, Cork, on the very western-most edge of Europe to university students on the other side of the world in Brisbane, Australia — the first stage in a new venture in worldwide online education. Through the innovation and connectivity provided by BT, one of the world’s leading communications and IT services companies; David Puttnam will demonstrate his long standing vision that technology can fundamentally change global education.

This initiative will see David Puttnam deliver modules to university students outside Ireland from his home using technology that has been enabled and powered by BT and Cisco. The model, known as Atticus Education, is due to be rolled in Asia, the UK and US later this year.

The ten-part seminar series is based on the changing nature of screen production and distribution in the digital era and offers Griffith University Film School students a rare and personal glimpse into his extraordinary career which gave rise to film classics such as The Killing Fields, Chariots of Fire, Bugsy Malone and Midnight Express. His films have won ten Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme D’or at Cannes.

This innovative education model is facilitated using a Cisco TelePresence high definition video conferencing solution with high speed internet access provided by BT Ireland’s next generation 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 PowerPoint, use and send information from a Promethean Whiteboard and view video clips from an external source all while having full internet access.

Lord Puttnam said, 'We have been working hard on this model for several years, and I am delighted it has 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, CEO, BT Ireland said, 'BT Ireland is proud to be part of a venture that is breaking down the barriers to education worldwide. 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.

'BT Ireland is committed to finding innovative ways to enhance learning through technology, not only through this venture but through the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, and the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp.'