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David Puttnam

Lord Puttnam To Deliver World Premiere In Education Series From Skibbereen To Australia

Lord Puttnam To Deliver World Premiere In Education Series From Skibbereen To Australia

29 August, 2012


University modules delivered using technology from BT and Cisco

Dublin, Belfast & Cork, August 27, 2012: Lord 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.

David Puttnam at his home in SkibbereenThis 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.”


Notes to Editor
Lord Puttnam was the first chancellor of the University of Sunderland from 1997 until 13 July 2007. In 1998 he founded the UK’s National Teaching Awards and became its first chairman. He was the founding chairman of the UK’s General Teaching Council 2000-2002.  He was appointed as chancellor of the Open University in 2006, the same year as he was appointed Deputy Chairman of Channel 4. He was also the Chairman of NESTA (The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) from 1998 until 2003. He is chairman of Futurelab and serves on the board of directors of learning technologies company Promethean.  In 2009 in partnership with Sir Michael Barber, Lord Puttnam released We Are the People, an education documentary featuring high-profile figures discussing their own experiences of education.

For further information please contact:
Rachel Heron, BT, T: +44 (0) 7789 758580 E: rachel.heron@bt.com
Aidan McLaughlin, Fleishman-Hillard, 01 6188425/ 085 7490484 or
Maria Doyle, Fleishman-Hillard, 01 6188431/ 087 9907831

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries.  Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband and internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services.  BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Retail, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
In the year ended 31 March 2012, BT Group’s revenue was £18,897m with profit before taxation of £2,445m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group.  BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York. 
For more information, visit www.btplc.com