Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Taking a Second Look

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Taking a Second Look

Article excerpt

Q: In an environment as diverse as a major research university, what do the associate dean of medicine, a film professor, the head of the library's special collection, the university president, an emeritus professor of education and an undergraduate social work major have in common?

A: They all congregate at Second Look Computing to develop computer-based multimedia for instruction, research or presentation. The head-turning level of multimedia integration on the University of Iowa campus resulted from a concerted effort to provide access, expertise, committment and last, but certainly not least, enthusiasm.

What is Second Look?

Second Look Computing, part of the Weeg Computing Center, the University of Iowa'a center for academic computing, began computer-based multimedia development in 1978 with one of the first interactive videodisc projects in the world. Since then it has continued its goal of research, development and training in multimedia computing.

The name "Second Look" reflects our approach toward computing: that what we're doing is worth taking a second look at--it's new, exciting, creative and useful. Our primary goal is to give students, faculty and staff the access, ability and confidence to use multimedia tools and new technologies in teaching and learning. Some projects are large scale; many more are day-to-day responses to student needs, substituting dynamic media for traditiona1 lectures and print handouts.

Boosting Awareness, Expertise

Despite the widespread media attention that multimedia computing has been accorded, it's often difficult to initiate those first steps that lead to comfort and skill. We've implemented a five-prong strategy to raise awareness and increase expertise among administrators, faculty, students and staff. These include short courses, seminars, circuit riding hand holding and committee support.

We offer over 20 short courses, which are taught each month in two-hour blocks. These courses typically change from semester to semester to keep up with new products and currently include:

Media Acquisition/Creaton

* Introduction to image scanning * Advanced scanning: Tips and tricks * Intro to digital audio: Sound Edit Pro * Advanced digital audio: AutoMedia * Capturing video: Video Vision and Premiere * Introduction to 3D: Alias Sketch

Media Manipulation

* Photoshop, Part 1 * Photoshop, Part 2 * Digital video editing on Marc: Premiere * Video special effects: COSA After Effects

Media Integration

* Introduction to Aldus Persuasion * Introduction to Passport Producer Pro * Introduction to Macromedia Director * Advanced Macromedia Director * Introduction to interText * Introduction to Apple Media Tool * Introduction to Macromedia Authorware Professional * Introduction to HyperTalk

New Technologies

* Introduction to Apple Newton

* Intro to CD-ROM mastering services

We are considering offering a Second Look certificate in multimedia development, which would be earned by not only taking the short courses, but by demonstrating competency in each. Would this certificate yield academic credit? No. Would it provide real-world source credibility? Yes.

Our students and staff are widely sought after--and occasionally raided--based on our reputation. We believe it would be a service to our community to provide a more responsive means of training than can be accommodated by traditional academic course restructuring.

Given their frequency, short courses offer just-in-time training. Once interested in a process or product, or to help determine interests and needs, one can pinpoint his or her needs by attending a short course. But the 20 short courses are taught over an entire month. Even if motivated by a need to get a project done, few people can take the time to attend all of them. …

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