Penn State faculty, staff, and students interested in digital media will find valuable information and resources through the Digital Media Resources (DMR) group. The DMR group coordinates the communication and promotional efforts of service units, colleges, and others who provide videoconferencing, audio and video streaming, digital video production, and digital asset management services.
The DMR Web site at http://its.psu.edu/dmr/ contains links to resources and service providers at Penn State, software and hardware vendors, news, information on DMR group projects, and more.
The DMR group collaborates through the Web site as well as a listserv and a monthly face-to-face meeting.
According to Mike Halm, manager of Special Projects for Teaching and Learning with Technology and chair of the DMR group, the objective is to "get everybody talking to each other" and to present innovative ideas "to stimulate thinking."
Halm explains that when the group formed in 2001, "We were looking at the (Web) pages as being both informational and directional," answering the questions: What services and technologies exist? and Where do I go for the service I need? However, they also visualized the DMR Web site not as one-way communication, just handing down information, but rather two-way. "We're trying to make it a lot more interactive," noted Halm.
In the near future, the group hopes to add a form to the Web site allowing Penn State faculty, staff, and students interested in digital media to post information, share news, or pose questions to the DMR community.
So far, most contributors to the Web site are service providers, such as Penn State Public Broadcasting and units of Information Technology Services. The DMR group would now like to reach out to more development units residing within colleges or academic departments, as well as individuals, to participate.
Current areas of particular interest for the DMR group are digital asset management and Web conferencing. Digital asset management is the organization of collections of digital photos, video files, or audio files into a coherent storage scheme using indexing strategies so that they will be easily retrievable. Web conferencing allows people to communicate across distances and, for example, to simultaneously view a document and discuss and view changes to it. Web conferencing reduces the need for travel between campuses.
"We invite people to contribute," says Halm, who noted that they can participate in the DMR group in several different ways: