CCNMTL (1999-2015) pages for archival purposes only. Please visit

CCNMTL Timeline

The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) is founded at Columbia University on March 1, 1999 as a University-wide initiative with the mission to enhance teaching and learning through the purposeful use of new media and technology. With its Faculty Support Lab open in Butler Library, CCNMTL begins its work with Columbia faculty by creating websites for instructors to post course content online. The Center also launches the first version of one of its flagship projects, Brownfield Action, and its first multimedia study environment, Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, F. Jameson.

CCNMTL’s services expand as the Center opens a new office in Lewisohn Hall. Columbia College Today features CCNMTL in a cover story on the digital revolution occurring on campus, entitled Columbia Goes Digital, and the Center releases the multimedia study environment, The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois. Other projects released during this year include Hell's Kitchen South Project and Paradise Lost Book IX by John Milton.

CCNMTL provokes discussion about new media, technology, and education with symposiums and seminars for the academic community. Its first major conference, Columbia University: Moving Education Into the 21st Century With New Media, focuses on the impact of new media on education, and the Center's University Seminars in Media Teaching and Learning bring together scholars and practitioners to discuss emerging technologies in higher education. CCNMTL also opens an office on the Columbia medical campus and establishes the Experimental Digital Classroom in Lewisohn Hall. The Center releases a series of e-seminars available on, and develops the teaching tool, CU Analyzer. In May, Yahoo! Picks features The Rohde to Srebrenica in its weekly selection of favorite websites.

CCNMTL and Columbia’s Academic Information Systems (AcIS) department launch CourseWorks, the University's course management system, and the Center begins providing CourseWorks support to Columbia faculty. CCNMTL also releases several new projects, including Epiville and the News Reporting Simulation, and receives a joint grant from the Mellon Foundation to develop Relief Sim with Oxford University. Physics Today highlights Seeing the Whole Symphony in the Web Watch section of their October 2002 issue.

CCNMTL moves under Columbia University's Information Services Division and continues to create innovative teaching tools and resources, including its first version of VITAL. This web-based video analysis tool allows students to analyze and annotate online video. Additionally, the Association American Colleges and Universities selects CCNMTL’s Brownfield Action as one of its four Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities models for 2003. Several other CCNMTL projects are released this year, including the Heart Simulator and the Cultura Project. The Center also begins to provide support for Columbia’s Frontiers of Science program and supported the Midnight's Children Humanities Festival with a website featuring information and video recordings of the various festival events and information on the performances at the Apollo Theatre.

Several grants are awarded to CCNMTL and its faculty partners in 2004, including three National Science Foundation grants to produce or expand on VITAL, Brownfield Action, and a web application for the Black Rock Forest Consortium. The U.S. Department of Education also awards CCNMTL and the College of Dental Medicine a grant to develop the Personalized Lifelong Learning Plan. New projects like Library Compass and Responsible Conduct of Research Modules, and Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's Annihilation of Caste are also released.

CCNMTL expands its project portfolio with a collection of multimedia study environments and web-based analysis tools. Noteworthy projects include The Autobiography of Malcolm X Multimedia Study Environment, which presents Malcolm X’s memoir as the textual “spine” of the environment with links to critical annotations, audio, video, and images about the text. The Image Annotation Tool is also created—providing the faculty and students with a web-based application that enables the collection, close study, and annotation of digital images. During this year, CCNMTL also developed projects like Kaleidoscope, the Journalism School Content Management, and the Online Music Reserves.

In addition to releasing projects like Virtual Techniques in Dentistry and Emergency Preparedness Directed Learning Experiences, CCNMTL partners with the Columbia University Arts Initiative to create the Havel at Columbia site, a multimedia resource to support former Czech President Václav Havel's residency at Columbia. The Center receives funding from the Centers for Disease Control to create Connect, and the CCNMTL video analysis tool, VITAL, is deployed in graduate and undergraduate courses at Hunter College. CCNMTL also begins using wikis as a platform for educational projects, creating the Social Justice Movements Wiki and the Reading and Writing Women Wiki. This year marks the fifth anniversary of CourseWorks, which is used by more than 2,7000 courses and 25,000 Columbia affiliates.

CCNMTL establishes the Triangle Initiative, the first of three initiatives designed to extend the scope and reach of the Center’s work. Connect and Collateral Consequences are borne from this initiative. Additionally, CCNMTL begins to support podcasting in courses and creates the site, Podcasting@Columbia, where students can subscribe to audio and video podcasts of course lectures. In spring 2007, the Center hosts a two-day conference on video and education, entitled Video, Education, and Open Content, and in fall 2007, the Center launches Columbia Wikispaces —a platform offering a wiki to every registered course at Columbia.

CCNMTL’s strategic initiatives, Global Learning and Digital Bridges, generate several projects, including Mapping the African American Past and the Global Classroom, and a team of Center staff embark on a research and development trip to South Africa as part of an NIMH-supported project on HIV-treatment adherence known as SMART +SA. CCNMTL also hosts two conferences, Innovation in the CUMC Classroom, designed for Columbia medical and dental faculty, and the New Media in Education 2008 conference, the Center’s fourth bi-annual event for the Columbia faculty to explore emerging technologies used in Columbia classrooms. CCNMTL also launches Columbia on iTunes U, an online platform that allows students, faculty, and the public to download Columbia-produced media content to mobile devices or personal computers

CCNMTL celebrates its 10th anniversary with a celebratory website offering a retrospective look at the Center’s work over the years. Continuing with project development and releases, the Center embarks on a number of partnerships with organizations, including Project Rebirth and Black Rock Forest. The Center also launches Engaging Digital Tibet, a project under the Digital Bridges initiative that allow students to work with Tibetan source materials in an online environment, and REAL —a web-based tutorial for Columbia University medical, dental, and nursing students to learn about internal cardioverter defibrillators. Projects on the horizon for 2009 include the Vietnam Digital Library, the Virtual Forest Initiative, and PediaLabs.