MIT has been selected to become a member of the New Media Centers Consortium, a nonprofit group of higher-education institutions and digital technology companies promoting teaching and learning with new media.
The New Media Centers Consortium, established in 1993, works to improve higher education through the use of innovative media tools and technologies. Through partnership with hardware, software and publishing companies such as Apple Computer, Adobe, Macromedia and Korg, the New Media Center on campus will introduce faculty to the tools and techniques of digital media.
Consortium activities focus on developing media-based curriculum materials in classroom, laboratory, studio and other settings. Members also reach out to K-12 educators, the local business community, government and professionals in a variety of fields where digital technology is changing professional practice.
"The New Media Centers Consortium will help us acquire and utilize state-of-the-art technology to create a hands-on laboratory for multimedia development and training," said Katie Livingston of academic computing in Information Systems.
"Although MIT already possesses a high-quality computing environment, a new microcomputer-based multimedia facility will permit us to offer an expanded range of services to the Institute community. Our New Media Center will be a place where students can complete media-based homework (such as digital photography or audio/video editing), and faculty can create instructional materials or run workshops requiring multimedia-based microcomputer software," she said.
The New Media Centers Consortium offers an ethnic diversity unusual in the media technology arena. Along with MIT, this year's new consortium members include El Centro College in Dallas, an urban campus with more than 50 percent African-American and Hispanic students; Florida A&M University, an historically black university; and Santa Fe (NM) Community College, serving a rural population rich in Native American culture and arts.
MIT's facility will be managed by academic computing, with Ms. Livingston acting as primary coordinator for the Center. She will be assisted by an advisory board to be named, which will include other I/S staff (including Dr. Vijay Kumar, director of academic computing, who coordinated the New Media Center at Mount Holyoke College) plus faculty from various departments.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 7, 1997.