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Center for Digital Media opens in Grasselli

March 18th, 2010

John Carroll University’s new Center for Digital Media was officially opened to students and faculty on March 11. The Center is located on the first floor of the Grasselli Library.

The Center combines the resources and services of the Faculty Technology Innovation Center, previously located in the Bohannon Science Center, with those of the Student Multimedia Center, previously located in the basement of the Grasselli Library.

The  Center has a student lab, as well as a faculty lab, where professors can prepare lessons and upload presentations.

Jay Tarby, faculty liaison to the Center and Blackboard specialist, said he was very pleased with the opening of the new Center.

“The response to the Center has been really great. A lot of people worked very hard to make this possible and demand for the Center has been more popular than we ever could have imagined,” Tarby said. “The school needed a place that would be fully equipped with updated technology accessible to both students and faculty, and the Center for Digital Media will meet the needs of everyone.”

The Center is equipped with Flip cameras that can be loaned out, as well as both PC and Mac computers complete with specialized graphic, photo and video editing software. Work stations are also available for scanning documents and graphics.John Carroll also has BlueStream, a file-sharing system, available for use by students and faculty.

“BlueStream is just like YouTube except that there is no limit on the file size that can be uploaded. Some professors have already started recording lectures and putting them on BlueStream. Anyone can loan out a Flip camera, make a video and then upload it to BlueStream,” said Tarby.

He stressed that students do not need to be enrolled in an electronic design course to loan out equipment and said that once the Center becomes more established, it will run workshops to teach students and faculty how to use Adobe and DreamWeaver programs.

“The Center is available to everyone at John Carroll University. Today, digital literacy is more important than ever, and the Center will serve as a one-stop-shop providing the necessary resources for faculty and students to create sophisticated presentations, videos, graphics, simulations, interactive games and other forms of multimedia for classroom use,” said Tarby.

Director of the Center Patricia Dawson said that she was very happy with the support the Center has received so far.

“I am thrilled by the reception the Center has been given. The Center is here to help all students actively create projects with digital media,” said Dawson.

Although the actual cost of the Center was not specified, Mike Bestul, chief information officer at JCU, said that much of the equipment was already owned by JCU.

Bestul said, “The Center was not costly, and most of our equipment was either stockpiled or needed to be updated anyway, which is often the case with IT equipment. The Center represents a great collaboration between the IT department and the Library and it will allow students to use technological resources much more effectively.”

Students have already started using the Center, which has the same opening hours as the Grasselli Library.

Freshman Megan Lowes said, “Now that the Center is in a good location and has so much equipment available, I’m going to take advantage of it.”

Freshman Max Harscar works in the Center and said that he’s pleased with how the Center has changed.

“I really like the new look of the Center. Hopefully more students will make use of the Center and, as it becomes more popular, even more equipment will be added so that John Carroll can be a fully digitalized campus.”