Students learn best from the best

EUROPRIX Multimedia Festival, Graz November 11-13 2010

I've spent three days at the EUROPRIX Multimedia Festival in Graz with nineteen students of our Degree Programme in Media. My colleagues from universities all over Europe did frequently asked me, why does our university spend so much in travel and accommodation of the students. Is it not enough that professors travel, and report to students after-wards what happened?

My answer is: I want to offer my students the best possible education with the limited means we have. I can save on less important costs, but the presentations of EUROPRIX Award nominees at EUROPRIX Multimedia Festival is the most valuable educational content I can offer my students. All multimedia lecturers and students should take advantage of this show, it's the ultimate resource of knowledge and wisdom in Multimedia production.

What surprises me most is that the teams whose projects are nominated because of their excellence in multimedia creation are also top level presenters. One of my students said that only the ideas he got about project presentation justifies the effort of traveling here. Another precious feature is the premium moderation of the show. The Head of Europrix, Peter A. Bruck, has amazing gifts in squeezing out the last drops of experience and wisdom from nominees for the audience to share.

I can tell my students every day about the importance of research before implementing a project and pay fortunes to high ranking experts for convincing my students about this. It does not really pay off. But when my students listen to talents of the same age reporting about the significance of research, they become believers.

I'm convinced my students (they have started their second year) learned at least the following rules:
Do the research carefully before kicking off the project. Make sketches and demos. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, but recognize them in time and learn from them. Document carefully what you do, or you might not be able to repeat successful solutions nor avoid failure. Make time-lines. Collaborate with people who manage what you are not able to do. There is no short cut to fame, hard work and again hard work is the key to everything.

The "lessons learned" reports heard during one day had more value than weeks of regular education. Thus the trip to Graz with my students was most affordable.

Added value was of course gained from networking. Every student had an assignment to interview one of the nominee team members. Most students created also additional contacts. At least one of my students seemed to network with all 23 teams. Media production is international, and having a friend and colleague in every country is vital. My students have excellent opportunities to make contacts with established international academics and multimedia professionals at our school and during events in Tampere like MindTrek, but the best place to meet the future researchers and producers is the EUROPRIX festival.
I will be there again with the next group of my students, for sure.

Cai Melakoski
Read all stories about IMPs at EUROPRIX Festival 2010
IMPs are students of our international Degree Programme in Media
Read more about the IMPs
Photo: Entrance to Berg in Dom, the venue of EUROPRIX Gala