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July 26, 2007

Digital Media Studio to provide technology assistance on and off campus

The Digital Media Studio, established in 2006 through grants and donations, is the University of Louisiana at Monroe resource dedicated to enhancing the teaching profession with the best that technology has to offer.

The College of Education and Human Development established DMS, located in Strauss Hall, room 266. The service houses 10 iMAC G5 computers, 10 scanners, and 10 video and digital still cameras. Student workers there are trained to assist education majors, faculty, and staff with a variety of technology-based services, though there are plans to include local elementary and secondary schools in the training.

The studio intends for its clients to leave with a tangible achievement as well as expanded knowledge and skills. Each student has to create a job portfolio on CD containing lesson plans, projects, an updated resume, and a video displaying them teaching. Thillainataraja Sivakumaran, coordinator for instructional technology for the college, surveyed high school principals throughout Louisiana for insight on what they look for in job portfolios.

Sivakumaran helped create the DMS, which he directs with a Ph.D in instructional technology and a master’s degree in secondary education under his belt. “This technology doesn’t replace teaching, it enhances it,” he said. “Faculty and students have been using it, including faculty from other departments, and are working with KEDM to put up some of their shows on iTunes U.”

DMS teaches faculty and students ways to bring technology into the classroom, using modern techniques like podcasting, which incorporates video and audio through the GarageBand software application.

Ed Corkern, a teacher at Richwood Jr. High School with four years’ experience, is studying podcasting at DMS. “You have to learn this technology so that you can teach it. You have to keep up with the students and the technology they’re using.”

The studio provides support across all teacher preparation programs, including, but not limited to, TaskStream, portfolio artifacts, digital video and still camera circulation, and professional development. Workshops are regularly held in the studio on various topics ranging from TaskStream to digital video.

The studio also acts as a resource and support center for faculty who are working on online courses and course material by implementing programs like START, the Student Technology Assistants for Research and Teaching. START pairs a faculty member interested in integrating technology into their course or creating an online course with a student worker, who assists them in reaching those goals.

More information about the Digital Media Studio may be found online at:

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