Author Archives: Heather Stafford

I Know What You Did Last Summer! – Alex

Alex Brockelman '18

Alex Brockelman ’18

I Know What You Did Last Summer! This is part of a series of posts highlighting the work of the Summer 2017 Digital Media Tutors (DMTs) from the Wilson Media Lab found in the Davis Family Library Room 220. Meet Alex!

Hometown:  Tempe, Arizona

Year at Middlebury:  3 years / Rising Senior

Major: Political ScienceMinor: History

What’s a DMT and what you drew you to this job on campus?

A DMT is a Digital Media Tutor, a student hired to train in the uses of media for academic purposes and then aid students/faculty bolster their research/projects with a media presence.

What type of training have you received?

I have received a comprehensive training on media and web tools, including audio, video, web site, and graphics editing.

Do you have a strong talent with any particular software?

My strongest talent lies where I began my “media journey,” with sound editing.  I began working with sound when I was in high school as an amateur DJ and producer, and have always found the process interesting and rewarding.

What software tool would you like to learn better and why?

I would like to become better at video editing, because I see video (the confluence of audio and visuals) as the most versatile digital media tool.

Tell me about some of the projects you worked on this summer. Were there any that were especially interesting or challenging?

I have worked on a web site to help athletic teams at Middlebury communicate as a group, as well as do film study and perhaps even recruit.  My other big project has been a French Grammar Website (essentially an online grammar book).  That project has been a great way to practice my French, and an interesting exercise in understanding language pedagogy.

What advice would you give to any other Midd student interested in becoming a DMT?

Do it!  It is a fun and low-pressure environment which provides you with crucial skills.  Be prepared to be wrong sometimes, or struggle through complex problems.  In the end, those are the moments which will hold the most valuable lessons.

Click here to view more information about Alex’s projects. For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Rachel Kang '19

I Know What You Did Last Summer! – Rachel

Rachel Kang '19

Rachel Kang ’19

I Know What You Did Last Summer! This is part of a series of posts highlighting the work of the Summer 2017 Digital Media Tutors (DMTs) from the Wilson Media Lab found in the Davis Family Library Room 220. Meet Rachel!

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Year at Middlebury: 2

Major: Computer Science + Political Science

What’s a DMT and what you drew you to this job on campus?

DMT stands for “digital media tutor” and the DMT program on campus is a great resource for both students and faculty. This job focuses on tutoring services for media editing programs, including Adobe Suites. I have some experience using these softwares, but I wanted to learn more and become more proficient in them.

What type of training have you received?

We went through each software on the iMacs in the Wilson Media Lab and created simple projects to better understand its functionalities.

Do you have a strong talent with any particular software?

Going into training, I felt that I understood Adobe Photoshop well, but quickly realized there was much more to the program than I thought. After a couple months into the job, I feel confident navigating both Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro CC the best.

What software tool would you like to learn better and why?

While Photoshop is a great tool for modifying images, Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based software that emphasizes creating graphics with precision. I’d like to take on a project that heavily uses Illustrator one day.

Tell me about some of the projects you worked on this summer. Were there any that were especially interesting or challenging?

One of the projects I worked on was a nature-based film series I made for a professor, using both Audacity and Adobe Premiere Pro CC. Starting from scratch, with only raw footage and some rough audio, I created short 4-6 minute films which turned out to be more challenging than I thought. Because I had no prior experience with film editing and Premiere, taking on this project really helped me understand how to navigate Premiere quickly and efficiently.

What advice would you give to any other Midd student interested in becoming a DMT?

An important part of this job is to have the drive to understand these softwares—you get out what you put into it! Pushing yourself to learn what some of these complicated softwares can do will not only be helpful for tutoring purposes, but also useful for any basic media-related needs you may run into in the future.

 For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.
Dan Klemonski '19

I Know What You Did Last Summer! – Dan

Dan Klemonski '19

Dan Klemonski ’19

I Know What You Did Last Summer! This is part of a series of posts highlighting the work of the Summer 2017 Digital Media Tutors (DMTs) from the Wilson Media Lab found in the Davis Family Library Room 220. Meet Dan!

Hometown: East Hampton, Connecticut

Year at Middlebury: 2

Majors: History, Economics

What’s a DMT/What drew me:

DMTs are the first line of defense for multimedia-related technical issues, and one of several layers of support for technological literacy on campus. The opportunities to aid in content creation and work on topically diverse projects drew me to this job.

Training:

As a DMT, I’ve been trained in the Adobe Suite, WordPress, Scalar, iMovie, Audacity, Panopto, and Canvas. I’ve also been acquainted with digitizing tools and the plotter.

Talents:

I’ve become quite familiar with Illustrator and iMovie, and have worked a fair amount with digitization (video capture and scanning).

Software to learn:

I’d like to learn Premier better, because I find myself a little too willing to give up its added functionality for the enticing simplicity of iMovie.

Projects:

One particularly fun (and, at times, frustrating) project this summer involved the seemingly basic task of digitizing analog tapes. What I expected to be a straightforward click-and-drag affair turned into a week of hunting for the right cords, ports, and video capture software. The experience let me see the library basement I never knew existed, and left me rather thankful that easy-breezy digital storage is the norm among modern video cameras.

Advice:

No amount of prior training will guarantee that you always know the solution to a problem. A DMT-to-be should be prepared to fill in the inevitable gaps of their technical knowledge on the fly.

Click here to view some of Dan’s work. For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Fayza Rahman '20.5

I Know What You Did Last Summer! – Fayza

Fayza Rahman '20.5

Fayza Rahman ‘20.5

I Know What You Did Last Summer! This is the first of a series of posts highlighting the work of the Summer 2017 Digital Media Tutors (DMTs) from the Wilson Media Lab found in the Davis Family Library Room 220. We’ll begin with Fayza!

Birthplace: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Current Residence: Oberlin, Ohio
Year at Middlebury: 1
Major:  Film
What’s a DMT and what you drew you to this job on campus?
A DMT is a digital media tutor in the Wilson Media Lab who is knowledgeable about an array of softwares in order to help others with their digital projects.  As an intended film major, I love editing softwares and was inspired by the tutors that helped me through many of my film projects to take this job.

 

What type of training have you received?
I have received training in InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, iMovie, Audacity, WordPress, Panopto, Scalar, and so much more, it’s awesome!

Do you have a strong talent with any particular software?
I love video editing and working in Adobe Premiere! I love combining Premiere with AfterEffects or Character Animator to give my movies more variety.  I could edit films all day.

What software tool would you like to learn better and why?
I really want to further master Adobe Aftereffects because that software is an endless pit of editing opportunities.

Tell me about some of the projects you worked on this summer. Were there any that were especially interesting or challenging?
I am currently working on developing a website for a first year seminar based on Dan Brown’s upcoming novel Origin. Working on that project has been really fun because Professor Beyer is passionate about the books Brown has written and I can 100% relate as someone who has read most of his work myself.

I will be starting another project where I am creating instructional lab videos for the physics department.  I am excited to do camera work for that project and it’s also cool because the lab works with lasers!

What advice would you give to any other Midd student interested in becoming a DMT?
I think the main thing is self motivation, if you want to make the most of this job, you need to be willing to dive into new softwares and familiarize yourself with them when you get the chance.  Self teaching during the slower days in the lab and becoming well versed in as many programs as possible will make you a better tutor.

 

Click here to read more about Fayza’s projects. For more posts like these, like our Facebook page.

Poster Printing in the Wilson Media Lab

At a certain point in the semester the digital media tutors and I begin to develop a love/hate relationship with our plotter. Everyone loves the ability to create and print large scale graphic representations of our work but we hate the error messages, ink stripes, and “Plotter is down” signs on the doorway to the lab.

Finals week spring term 2014. Not a pretty day for the plotter.

Finals week spring term 2014. Not a pretty day for the plotter.

Like any piece of mechanical equipment that is heavily used, the plotter will occasionally break. Although we usually have no warning when this is about to happen, there are a few things that everyone can do to help us tame the plotter.

Professors –

  • Send an email to library-at@middlebury.edu to notify us of the timeframe when your students will be working on and printing poster projects. (The earlier – the better! First week of class = PERFECT!) If you can send us a copy of the assignment – even better!
  • Be sure your students know how to use the best tools to create a poster. (A lot of students come to the lab with PowerPoint files that can be challenging to scale correctly. We recommend using Illustrator and provide docs for how to do this too!) Faculty can also request a poster tutorial session for their class by submitting a helpdesk ticket here.  
  • If you are requiring posters for your class and want your department to cover the cost of poster printing follow these instructions early in the semester.

Students –

  • Don’t underestimate the amount of time it takes to create a visual piece of work. It might seem like it will come together faster than a paper, but often there is just one component that you can’t get to look just right, or a feature in Illustrator that is not working the way you expected.
  • Make an appointment with a digital media tutor if you need help with more than a couple of questions. This will allow us to dedicate more time focused on you rather than reloading paper and ink in the plotter and helping everyone else in the lab. (We’ll schedule another tutor to do that.)
  • Fully proof your poster on the screen before sending the file to print on the plotter.

Everyone

Recycle your scraps and remember that advanced planning is often the key to success!

 

Fall 2015 Wilson Media Lab Stats

After compiling the fall semester usage stats for the Wilson Media Lab one trend became apparent: increased usage. When compared with the usage stats for the fall 2014 semester we saw:

  • Increase in hourly lab usage counts from 5525 to 7154 which equates to a 29% increase over the 2014 count.
  • Peak hourly usage count increased from 454 to 657 (45% increase over the 2014 count). In 2014 this occurred during the 9 – 10 pm time block, in 2015 in occurred during the 3 – 4 pm time block.
  • Increase of help requests from 884 to 1075 (22% increase over the 2014 count). In both years help requests peaked the week prior to finals (145 in 2014 and 200 in 2015). Kudos to the digital media tutors for handling all these questions!!

Below is an infographic of lab data. If you are interested in more granular information feel free to contact Heather at hstafford@middlebury.edu.

Wilson Media Lab – Summer Stats

We’ve finished tabulating the usage counts for the Wilson Media Lab which can be found in the Piktochart below or here. Some interesting differences from last year’s summer session include:

  • An increase in requests for help from 11% in 2014 to 33% of users in 2015.
  • We are also seeing an increase in graphics and video usage and a decrease in text usage

If you haven’t visited the newly redesigned Wilson Media Lab we encourage you to do so!

Embedding a Kanopy Streaming Video in a Course Site

Good news! Thanks to our partners in ITS, faculty can now embed a video from Middlebury’s repository of Kanopy streaming videos in their WordPress sites. We’ve documented the process here. Below is a sample of what this would look like once it is embedded in the site.

You can do this in Moodle as well. The process is a little different, and is documented here. (Look in the section “Additional Options” below the YouTube instructions.)