The New Media Center at Akron was called upon to provide technical assistance
for the theater department's production of "Fahrenheit 451." The project
provided several challenges, including the use of both old and new media,
and raised the question, "Is it a good idea to run a two-hour show via
computers?" The answer we settled on, for THIS show, anyway, was "No."
This project documents an historically valuable and irreplaceable
collection of almost 2,000 quilts and quilt fragments that were made
by Utah women over the past 2 centuries. The project began over 15 years
ago, when a massive effort was undertaken by many volunteers to collect
detailed information about each quilt, as well as about the women who
made them. The project was previously documented in a book (1997) and
public television documentary. The online database phase of the project
was a joint venture between Cornell University and the Utah Quilt Heritage
Corporation, made possible by a grant from the Utah Humanities Council.
Bennington student Ujwal Bahadur Thapa has been experimenting with navigation
inside an immersive environment. The Secret Garden intermingles images
of real spaces at Bennington with imaginary places to create a virtual
environment that could not exist in the physical world. What's more,
seasons change in the Secret Garden! What does winter look like in an
imaginary environment? The user can enjoy a playful experience with
time and space.
This is probably the most complex cross-divisional project we have supported
at Kent, involving multiple technical departments on campus (New Media
Services, Academic Computing, Teleproductions, AV Services), staff expertise
from across the campus, and student development teams. The key faculty
member was a master at ferreting out resources, skills, expertise, to
make a multimedia rich course, impressing the department so much, that
now a similar treatment is planned for French.
Getting students to interact with a text together, as a group, rather
than individually and privately, will demonstrate to them that we actually
read by drawing on all our culturally determined preconceptions and
expectations. This professor's vision has been translated into a working
application by the UCLA New Media Center, where interest in the "Rhetoricon"
has led the NMC here at UCLA to refocus its efforts away from animation,
digital video and other aspects of traditional "multimedia" and onto
database-driven web-based text-analysis tools.
MetaCat is a web-based server which links together distributed
multimedia collections so that they appear as one collection to the
user. MetaCat controls access privileges, security, copyright ownership
and permissions for functions such as downloading or printing. MetaCat
also includes a toolbox to allow easy and dynamic use of search results
in applications such as quizzes and presentations. These applications
can be saved to the server for use anytime, anywhere over the Internet.
Imagine students in 5 overseas campuses collaborating in a project-based,
team-based globally distributed course in the humanities. The course
encourages them to be 'field' researchers, working in local teams and
globally distributed teams. The initial experiment, combining weekly
synchronous chat sessions, asynchronous Forum contributions, and independent
work, is currently being redesigned for a second iteration. The concept
of 'distributed' courses within the Overseas Studies Program has been
introduced to two new courses.
Computer Science 240 employs multiple techniques and technologies to
help students gain mastery in the subject of Computer Animation. The
goal of this course is to provide distance learners the same quality
of education as is given to students on campus. Students from 14 remote
sites across the United States work on projects, view lectures via the
satellite, and respond to discussions. Students come away from this
class with portfolio pieces that require creative storytelling as well
as proficiency in the basic principles of animation. The professor also
expects self-criticism and group evaluation from students who nominate
one another's work to be exhibited in the Top Ten best class examples.
You can visit the Educause web site at