Think back to 1993. The internet was a tool largely enjoyed by specialists in computer science, high energy physics and a few other scientific disciplines. Creating multimedia presentations for tomorrow's class was an activity only for the most technically adept faculty.
New Media Centers was born when hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers realized that their multimedia-capable products would work well together, and would best be presented to the higher education audience in an integrated way. These companies guessed that a community of innovators would amplify the impact of their tools in a wide range of disciplines, and that this community could inspire each other to greater facility. The first group of 22 academic institutions included Stanford University, the original pilot project site, and other sites chosen for their demonstrated competence at using new media technologies, as well as their geographic distribution and breadth of academic specialties.
The hub of collaborative activities - called New Media Centers - quickly evolved into an independent non-profit 501(c)3 organization by early 1994, with headquarters in San Francisco. A key function of this collaboration became integrating feedback to the companies about product requirements for the education marketplace, so that successive generations of products would meet the needs of education's customers even better.
New Media Centers has since grown to include over 100 academic institutions. Today's New Media Centers continues to promote communication among and between corporate entities and higher education for the benefit of student learning, faculty development and staff proficiency in using new media tools and technologies.