Digital media popularity growing

Attempting to meet the demand for digital technology, the Digital Video Program at the Student Technology Center is becoming a widely utilized tool on campus. Offering opportunities for students to borrow digital video cameras, the center has seen a significant increase in the usage of iMovie software.

“The amount of people that took out digital video cameras last fall semester, was more than those who took them out for the entire school year the year before,” said Kim Fleshman, program coordinator of the center. “We’re doubling easily so that would make me think that the use of iMovie and everything that goes along with it has also doubled.”

A product on the Macintosh computers in the center, iMovie allows students to import their recorded footage and rearrange sections of their film.

“[Students] can put their digital video onto the computer in iMovie,” Kaye Puthoff, senior and technical communication coordinator of the center, said. “They can put in sound effects, narration, titles and special effects and then export the movie back to tape or it can be burned onto a CD. It’s a media that can be put on the Web and other software programs like PowerPoint, so it’s pretty versatile.”

Trained student employees staff the center acting as tutors and are available to help students learning the ins and outs of iMovie. Amber Adler, senior and member of the University’s swimming and diving team, is currently using iMovie to make a video for their banquet on Sunday. However, she first came to the center for help making a video for her portfolio as a physical education major.

“I made sure I came in here when I worked on it because in the beginning I had a lot of questions and they were able to answer them for me,” she said. “If they wouldn’t have been here, I don’t know what I would have done.”

Though recently, most students are introduced to the services of the Student Technology Center through their academic coursework, it hasn’t always been this way.

“It’s my understanding that when this first started a lot of people were coming in for personal use, which was fine at the time because they wanted people to learn how to use the technology,” Duane Whitmire, director of the center, said. “But what we’re finding in the statistics that we keep is that more and more people are coming for academic classes. This has a more practical value at an institution of higher education.”

The Student Technology Center was originally created in the fall of 2000 by Executive Vice President Linda Dobb using more than $60,000 from Success Challenge, an Ohio program which offers state institutions rewards for having low-income students graduating in four years. Since then, the center has expanded in complexity and focus.

The center moved from its location in Jerome Library in October of 2002 to the second floor of the Saddlemire Student Services Building with the intention of becoming more focused on academics. The center is now under the direction of the University’s Chief Information Officer, Bruce Petryshak.

“What was important to me, was offering walk-in technical support to students,” Petryshak said. “That seems to be one area that a lot of Universities tend to not focus on right away. There’s walk-in or call-in support for faculty and staff that they can go to to get help, but students tend not to have that.”

On top of a broad technology foundation, the services provided by the Student Technology Center are unique to other colleges in Ohio. According to Whitmire, Notre-Dame and Ball State are the closest in proximity with similar opportunities for students.

“I think Bowling Green made a real commitment a couple of years ago when they did the BG Supernet project, as far as spending a fair amount of funds on technology trying to keep the University in a state-of-the-art situation for students,” Whitmire said. “The Student Technology Center is a natural spin-off of that because one of the University objectives is to try to find a niche in higher education in terms of digital video.”

According to Puthoff, the center has found this niche as far as students are concerned.

“I think the program has been really successful just by judging from the amount of traffic we receive,” she said. “A lot of people come back and check-out again and again.”

With end of the semester projects however, the availability of the center’s 40 digital cameras is currently limited. It is suggested that students call ahead to reserve cameras at least a week ahead of time. Each camera is loaned, free of charge, for two days, with the exception of those checked-out on Fridays being returned on Mondays.

For more information visit: To reserve a digital camera call: 372-9277.