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UK Faculty Invited to Grand Opening of Faculty Media Depot

by: Patsy Carruthers, Lee Bessette, Kathi Kern

(Jan. 28, 2015) — An opening reception is set for Jan. 30 to celebrate the Faculty Media Depot and its services for University of Kentucky faculty. UK Analytics and Technologies’ Academic Technology Group (ATG) and the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) are bringing together technology and pedagogy in the depot, nestled away in the Science Library, located in the M.I. King Library.

The opening reception for the Faculty Media Depot will take place from 9 to11 a.m. Friday, Jan.30, with the official opening and ribbon cutting at 10:15 a.m. All UK faculty are invited to stop by to tour the space and chat with staff. Coffee and refreshments will be provided.

Media DepotThe new recording studio and editing facility is open to all UK faculty looking to develop video and interactive instructional materials for their courses. The Faculty Media Depot, located in Room 213H of the Science Library, is a technology and media facility staffed and supported by ATG’s Office of eLearning, also located in the King Library. Within the new space, faculty can reserve time in two recording studios: a voiceover recording studio for screen capture and narrating course lectures, and a larger studio for multi-camera video productions to be recorded or streamed live.

A common workspace also provides drop-in support for faculty to learn how to implement educational technologies in the classroom. Faculty may make appointments to consult with eLearning staff and/or CELT staff, or may arrange for other collaborations to take place in the Faculty Media Depot.

An innovative teaching option available to faculty in the larger studio is a Lightboard enabling faculty to present to their audience in a frontward facing manner, demonstrated in the video below, in contrast to the back and forth of a traditional whiteboard or blackboard. Integrating this tool with the existing set of multi-media production tools enables the creation of inventive and engaging lectures in a recorded format.

The Lightboard came to the Faculty Media Depot as the result of an eLearning Innovation Initiative (eLII) grant with the faculty from the Department of Statistics. Conceptualized during the early state of the collaborative process between the faculty grant winners and representatives from CELT and eLearning, the Lightboard became a centerpiece for the initiative, which took the time and industriousness of Derek Eggers at CELT and Alex Cutadean of eLearning. 

"While CELT and eLearning used the open-source hardware plans developed by Dr. Michael Peshkin at Northwestern University, Derek and Alex have contributed some significant design and technology improvements that took this Lightboard to the next level,” said Christopher Rice, associate director for teaching and technology at CELT. “Changes such as the use of software to perform the image reversal and the inclusion of a Kinect 2 and a contact film on the Lightboard to enable 3-D manipulation of content by instructors is a marked improvement to the original concept. I’m proud of both Derek and Alex for making contributions like this to the open-source hardware Lightboard community that will help improve the student and faculty experience not only at the University of Kentucky, but at other universities that will be adopting the Lightboard technology."

New lightboard

“The Lightboard offers a whole new range of possibilities for blended and online learning. It allows for more dynamic and integrated presentations than voice-over PowerPoints or Kahn Academy-style tablet presentations,” said William Rayens, a professor in the Department of Statistics and the lead for the eLII grant. “One can even imagine professors using this type of setup in front of a large lecture hall, with the real-time camera feeds being dispersed to screens and personal devices around the room – or even around the world. There are just so many possibilities. Our first priority in the Department of Statistics will be to use it to develop and deploy the content for our new online master's program. We are confident that it is the ideal medium to communicate highly technical, graphical, and computational material to a remote audience. We can’t wait to get started.”

Initially, the Department of Statistics will be given priority for scheduling Lightboard sessions as they develop the content for their new online master's program. CELT and eLearning, however, look forward to working with a variety of faculty to create their own pedagogically innovative uses for the Lightboard and Media Depot space.

Sarah Wylie VanMeter is one of the first instructors who has been able to experience the Faculty Media Depot firsthand while developing videos for her "Intro to Digital Art" course. This hybrid UKCore class, offered through the School of Art and Visual Studies, will include recordings of guest speakers discussing and displaying their artwork using the audio and visual resources of the Faculty Media Depot.

VanMeter voiced her enthusiasm at the opportunities offered in the space. “I was so excited and inspired by the outfitting, including two Black Magic cameras, excellent lighting, and a number of backdrop and furniture options. It was clear that there were a ton of possibilities for using the space. I couldn't stop thinking of the ways my courses and the students could benefit from it."

For more information about the Faculty Media Depot visit or call 859-218-5574.