Thursday, 16 August 2012

Creative Media Suite

I wrote yesterday about the impact of technology on learning and teaching, and one of the things we are encouraging is the creation of media by students.  In the Information Commons we have a Creative Media Suite which consists of a production room and an edit suite.

in the production room students can create media - it's got equipment in for students to produce many kinds of multimedia projects including video editing, podcasts, screencasting, presentation recording and motion graphics creation. It contains both an iMac and a PC, as well as recording equipment and is bookable, and our staff are on hand to help and advise students. We also loan out equipment to students including digital video camcorders and audio/video recorders - these can be loaned to students for up to 7 days at a time.

The newest of our facilities is the edit suite, which has been open for about 5 months now, and is very popular with staff and students. It contains 5 managed iMacs and you can create media work directly over a network using 100 specially created accounts with access to 20GB of storage. This means we don't have to give individual students access to large amounts of filestore, but more importanly, allows students to work collaboratively on group projects through a joint account.

The suite is open 24/7 so students can work when they want to, and we hope to be able to open the production room 24/7 in the near future.  Having just iMacs in there isn't a problem, and we get a lot of feedback saying how easy they are to use and produce media.  There's lots of info about the facilities, including video of how to use them here.  Our staff are available to help, support and advise, and have worked closely with academic staff and students on a number of projects, including Storying Sheffield. This is a community project based in the School of English where students and people from the city  are working and studying together to produce, record, and collect stories,  of the lives of Sheffield people, and the `life´ of Sheffield using a variety of media. A recent workshop made extenisve use of the suite, and thanks to Andy Brown for these photographs.

We expect demand for this sort of facility to increase, and we're intending to put more "media pods" in the IC space we're designing in the new engineering building.

1 comment:

Zak Mensah said...

As an advisor on digital media for JISC Digital Media it is great to see your response to the growing demand for creation tools.

Whilst there appears to be less of a demand for general purpose computers, there seems to be a desire for specialist kit such as media suites.

I wonder if we will see an increase in these types of suites outside of the normal creative areas as I think it could be a real asset across all subjects for a variety of tasks.