Descolagem #4: Convergence culture’s impact on learning and entertainment

Brazilian high school hosts event on Transmedia Storytelling on August 22nd. Heroes and Smallville’s associate producer Mark Warshaw will speak and the event will be livestreamed

Imagine a high school where students are not only allowed to use computers and gadgets but encouraged to learn to create software, electronic games, videos and programs for digital television, cell phones and the internet. Such a school is a reality in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and it’s called NAVE (Núcleo Avançado em Educação – Advanced Education Center). NAVE is a public school that was adopted by Oi, one of the biggest telecom companies in the country. “I am very impressed with NAVE. They make a strong effort to integrate technology into education, a truly exceptional piece of work. It beats schools I’ve seen in the US.” said Microsoft researcher Johnny Chung Lee during his visit to NAVE last year.

On August 22, NAVE will host Descolagem (read full description below), one of a series of events that brings together students, professionals and guest speakers to discuss technology-related themes. In this issue of Descolagem, Mark Warshaw, Geoffrey Long and Maurício Mota will discuss the impact of the culture of convergence on education and entertainment.

Instead of just explaining the concept of Transmedia Storytelling, pioneered at MIT, the speakers will guide the audience through a true transmedia experience. The event will be livestreamed, and both the live and the online audiences will participate on an interactive SMS game.

On the same day, there will be the release of the Descolagem App, an application about the project that will be available for free on iTunes. This app has more resources than apps related to other technology events, such as TED (, and was developed by the startup Bitix.

All participants in the live event will be entered a prize drawing for a “dPod”: a customized Apple iPod Touch loaded with text, videos and images generated during previous editions of Descolagem and, of course, with the Descolagem App.

Curator Beto Largman hopes the event’s format will prove that transmedia storytelling is a resource storytellers, game designers and educators can use to develop strategies to reach out to their audiences and spread content in a unique way: using the best features of every platform but never forgetting the importance of a good story. Mass audiences are more and more willing to be engaged through different media, such as games, internet and the “old” media, both for learning and entertainment purposes.

The livestream will be available on Saturday, August 22nd, 11am PDT/2pm EDT, with Portuguese and English audio channels at


Mark Warshaw>>
Mark Warshaw is a writer, producer and director who produces interactive content, working on the edge between old and new media. His degree is in Journalism and Mass Media, and he has developed seven webseries. He joined Heroes in 2006 to help launch the series’ transmedia department, which ultimately brought the “Outstanding Interactive Programming” Emmy to the Heroes Evolutions channel. Mark is also a graphic novel writer. Prior to joining Heroes, Warshaw spent six years on the TV show Smallville, overseeing all of its digital, DVD and integrated advertiser marketing initiatives. Recently, he has been involved in the first open-source television show Imagine This! (, a project that aims to bring people together to promote sustainability and the environment.

Geoffrey Long>>
Geoffrey Long is a media analyst, scholar, and creative consultant. He is currently a researcher and Communications Director for the Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab, a research project of the Comparative Media Studies program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a writer, designer, musician, artist, filmmaker, and shameless media addict. His professional career includes a decade-long run as the editor-in-chief of the literature, culture and technology magazine Inkblots and co-founding the software collective Untyped, the film troupe Tohubohu Productions, and the creative consulting company Dreamsbay. Geoffrey is a frequent lecturer on narratives in different media, particularly transmedia storytelling, and his own storytelling has appeared in Polaris, Gothik, Hika and {fray}.

Maurício Mota>>
Maurício started his career as an entrepreneur at age 15, when he and writer Sonia Rodrigues developed a platform to transform stories into games and software. In two years it was applied in over 4,000 schools, sold in stores all over the country and is being used as an innovation and creativity tool by companies and institutions including the United Nations, Kraft Foods, Coke and local companies such as TV networks, studios, carriers and internet portals. Maurício was the first Latin American to speak at MIT’s Futures of Entertainment conference. He was judge at the Festival of Media in Valencia (Spain) and is part of the international board for the Medici Institute. For the past five years he has been involved in innovative projects for several clients, allying convergence to content development. He also launched the Portuguese version of Henry Jenkins’ Convergence Culture: Where New and Old Media Collide.

Beto Largman>>
Beto writes the blog Feira Moderna, for Globo Online. As a journalist specialized in technology, internet and design, he has managed several projects involving electronic media, art and culture; participated in various radio and tv shows; and edited magazines. He writes for weekly magazines and is a blogger for the portal Mundo Oi. Due to the success of his spot on the program “Qual é a boa?” on Multishow, he was invited to narrate the show about games “Cybernet”, on the same channel.

Descolagem is a partnership between journalist/blogger Beto Largman and Oi Futuro that aims to debate the impact of new technologies on the production and sharing of knowledge and information. A Descolagem event can be a talk, round table, movie, performance, workshop, course or whichever format is useful for the subject. Descolagem happens at NAVE, and intends to be a test tube to try new formats of interaction in a learning environment. Anyone can participate, because social networks such as Twitter, Flickr, YouTube and blogs are shown on screens around the room. The event can also be followed live online, through live streaming video. All content generated during Descolagem (videos, posts, presentations) is available online after the meetings, so the project generates research material that can be used by NAVE friends and the general public.