Fall 2014 ushered in some very neat changes to the Educational Technology Services department, and I’d like to share some of them with you.
In terms of new resources, I am extremely happy to announce the launch of a new technology facility called the TWIG (Technology Workspace for Innovative Geeks) which officially opened for business on October 13, 2014.
Located on the lower level of the Library, in room L003, the TWIG is a digital media makerspace. The purpose of the TWIG is to provide a place where students, can access and experiment with tools and resources that will help them make the shift from “passive consumers” of digital content to “producers” of messages using images, language and sound. On campuses across the country and at Marygrove, students are being prepared for 21st century life by not just being asked to outline and revise papers, but also to storyboard videos, build websites, and repurpose existing content that can educate, persuade, motivate and inspire others, in new, innovative and meaningful ways.
Students in all disciplines will benefit from the resources in the TWIG. For example, an Education student might use resources in the facility to create an Infographic of the changing state of education in the Unites States, or to create an educational video game for first graders. A student in any discipline might use the space to create a digital portfolio to showcase their growth and understanding of their discipline over time, and to store artifacts as proof of their achievement of learning outcomes, a Social Work student might create a visual essay to call attention to a social problem. A CIS student might create a website of resources that are helpful in understanding complex topics in the major. An English student might create a book trailer (think movie trailer) for reporting on the salient parts of an assigned novel. A business student might use it to create a useful phone app that can be uploaded and sold online for profit, or to print a prototype of a product they designed. A faculty member might use it to video record a lecture or to add audio to lecture notes. All of these things and much more can be created in the TWIG.
The following is a list of equipment/resources available in the TWIG:
- Makerbot 3-D Printer (print 3-D objects)
- Recording Studio (create podcasts, voiceovers, and other audio files)
- High end digital video camera (digital storytelling, creating visual essays)
- Green Screen (built in set which can be used as a background to conduct interviews, create a video, create a talk show)
- Software: A variety of commercial as well as open source software is available for creating all of the content types mentioned above
Training and Support
Personalized walkthroughs of the TWIG are available to faculty who are interested in learning more about TWIG resources and how non-traditional content types can be incorporated into their courses. Faculty may also request an in class presentation for their students on TWIG resources.
There will be a Tea & Technology event that will provide an overview of TWIG resources and showcase projects and assignments that have been created by students at other institutions using similar resources. Be on the lookout for the announcement for this event
One on one training will be available on an appointment basis for anyone interested in learning to use the equipment/software available in the TWIG. Beginning in winter 2015 full workshops will be available on using many of the programs available in the TWIG.
After a successful pilot during the winter 2014 semester, we have included the following workshops to our lineup:
Game Development Basics
In this workshop participants will gain an exposure to game creation concepts, and will use the popular GameMaker software program to create a basic action game.
Work Smarter not Harder
Geared toward staff, but open to all members of the community, this four workshop series covers advanced Microsoft Word topics including creating forms, mail merge, templates and styles and integrating documents.