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Archive Category: 2004

CCNMTL Web Site Now Offers RSS Updates

December 11, 2004. The CCNMTL Web site now offers announcements, press releases, and events information via Really Simple Syndication (RSS). RSS is an XML-based format that syndicates content for use in news readers and Web logs, and is now being adopted by browsers like Firefox as a built-in feature. Other stand-alone RSS readers compile news from different sources to allow readers to access updates from a variety of sources easily. Future versions of Safari will also offer built-in RSS capabilities.

To subscribe to CCNMTL's RSS feed, point your RSS reader to In Firefox 1.0, a subscription button is visible at the bottom right of the browser window.

University Seminar: "Design Research Interventions"

December 10, 2004. Design Research has grown in importance since it was first conceptualized in the early 90s, but it has not yet been adopted for research in instructional technology in higher education to any great extent. Many researchers continue to conduct studies that principally seek to determine the effectiveness of the delivery medium, rather than the instructional strategies and tasks.

At the University Seminar for New Media Teaching and Learning on Thursday, December 9, Dr. Tom Reeves of the University of Georgia explored the various incentives for conducting research on the impact of computing and other technologies in higher education, examined the social relevance of that research, and recommended design research as a particularly appropriate approach to socially responsible inquiry. He described the characteristics of design research, together with an argument for the more widespread adoption of this approach to enhance the quality and usefulness of research in computers and other technologies in education.

University Seminar: Design Research Interventions

Open House: Experimental Digital Classroom

December 10, 2004. CCNMTL hosted an open house in the Experimental Digital Classroom (308 Lewisohn) on Thursday, December 9 to provide faculty with an opportunity to explore its interactive tools and to strategize ways of incorporating them into their courses.

Representatives from CCNMTL met with faculty to brainstorm creative uses of the room's features, to discuss connections to curriculum, and to demonstrate the room's resources to newcomers to the EDC.

The EDC is more than a venue for showing video or browsing the web. It enables faculty in a seminar setting to:

* Annotate primary texts and images
* Toggle between DVD movies and computer applications
* Access presentations prepared in advance for the SmartBoard
* Save group work for distribution after class
* Download and upload files to CourseWorks
* Video conference with remote locations
* Record lectures and SmartBoard interactions

For more information about the Experimental Digital Classroom, please visit

Press Release:
CCNMTL Releases New Multimedia Study Environment:The Annihilation of Caste

November 12, 2004. Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) has released a new multimedia study environment, The Annihilation of Caste, an undelivered 1936 speech by Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (’15 M.A., ’28 Ph.D., ’52 HON) advocating for the abolition of the Hindu caste system. The speech, intended for the annual conference of the Jat-Pat-Todak Mandal Society of Lahore, lays bare the inequities (and iniquities) of the caste system, its debilitating effects on all Hindus, and its stultifying influence on India's growth towards nationhood. Frances Pritchett, Professor of Modern Indic Languages in the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures conceived and developed the content of this annotated version of the text.

“The Annihilation of Caste is an important text, and by presenting it in this format, with strong annotations, students can do so much more with it. They can make connections between different parts of the text and other primary sources, providing a more comprehensive understanding of its historical context,” according to Pritchett. The multimedia study environment - - will be used in this semester’s “Introduction to Indian Civilization” undergraduate course. With the continued support of the CCNMTL and the Southern Asian Institute (which provided research funding for the first phase of the project), Pritchett plans to further develop the site to include additional commentary from Columbia faculty and other academics.

The multimedia study environment (MSE) of The Annihilation of Caste includes:
• An historical timeline of Ambedkar’s life
• Correspondence related to the speech, including Mahatma Gandhi’s published response
• Other works by Ambedkar, including The Constitution of India
• Links to the Imperial Gazetteer of India, housed at the Digital South Asia Library.

Ambedkar earned his master's degree in 1915 and his Ph.D. in economics in 1928 from Columbia University, where he formed many of his ideas about equality and social justice while studying under Columbia professor John Dewey. Ambedkar's work on the Constitution of India provided the legal framework for the abolition of many oppressive features of Indian society and gained rights for India's 60,000,000 untouchables. In 1952,Columbia presented him with an honorary doctorate of law for his accomplishment.

The Annihilation of Caste

Press Release

In The News:
Making History Relevant: Columbia Center to Release Malcolm X Web Site by Liz Fink

Columbia Spectator, November 17, 2004. The Columbia Spectator published an article about the Malcolm X multimedia study environment to be released this January. Dr. Manning Marable was quoted extensively.

For full article see Columbia Daily Spectator.

Ambedkar's "Annihilation of Caste" MSE Released

November 12, 2004. CCNMTL released its latest multimedia study environment (MSE), Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's The Annihilation of Caste, this month. In conjunction with Dr. Frances Pritchett of the Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures department and the South Asian Institute, CCNMTL has produced an annotated version of Ambedkar's famous, but undelivered, speech advocating for the dissolution of the Hindu caste system. Students in Pritchett's "Introduction to Indian Civilization" will use the MSE in their work this semester.

Ambedkar earned his master's degree in 1915 and his Ph.D. in economics in 1928 from Columbia. In 1952, Columbia presented him with an honorary doctorate of law for his writing of the Constitution of India.

The Annihilation of Caste

Press Release

Epiville Project Invited to AERA Conference

November 11, 2004. Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health Epidemiology faculty (Professors Lydia Zablotska, Daniel Herman, and Ian Lapp) and Ray Cha of CCNMTL staff have been invited to present the Epiville project at the annual American Education Research Association (AERA) meeting in Montreal in April. Epiville, an online simulation, is currently being utilized by over 250 students in a core course for Columbia's Masters of Public Health.

In this simulation, students play the role of an intern at the Department of Health, gathering facts and deciding actions to curb an outbreak which has struck "Epiville." The case study uses digital video newscasts, interviews, and municipal Web sites to provide information about commerce and diseases in an attempt to mirror real-life situations. Interactive web-based exercises allow students to test hypotheses about these cases.

Disease Outbreak Simulation: Epiville 

In The News:
$2.3 Million Grant to Help TC Students Technologically Teach Early Math by Leora Falk

Columbia Spectator, November 5, 2004. The Columbia Spectator published an article about the NSF grant awarded to Dr. Herbert Ginsburt and Dr. Fank Moretti of CCNMTL. Both principal invesigators were quoted extensively.

For full article see Columbia Daily Spectator.

Journalism Students Produce Live Election Coverage

November 3, 2004. On Election Night, students from the School of Journalism produced four live broadcasts of election news, commentary, and field reports from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The broadcasts were accessible to the public from the School of Journalism's home page.

The students were aided by the Radio Broadcast Content Management System (CMS), a database-driven application created by CCNMTL to model the editorial process of radio journalism. Kristen Sosulski, CCNMTL educational technologist, worked late into the night with the students, providing technical assistance with the Radio Broadcast CMS. Students found that using the Radio Broadcast CMS to produce the Election Night coverage provided a great opportunity to put their journalistic skills to the test, highlighting teamwork, organization, and professionalism with the immediacy of live updates.

Columbia Radio News

CourseWorks Utilization Numbers

October 27, 2004. This semester, 1396 CourseWorks sites have been activated by faculty, instructors, or course directors. In universities nationwide, the use of course sites is becoming a standard that students have come to expect — and the numbers at Columbia appear to confirm that trend. During the week ending October 10, 2004, 13,947 unique students and 1,239 instructors logged onto the CourseWorks system.

University Seminar: "Activity Centered Design"

October 21, 2004. Dr. Geri Gay of Cornell University discussed "Activity Centered Design: An Ecological Approach to Designing Smart Tools and Usable Systems" as part of the University Seminars on New Media Teaching and Learning. During this presentation, Dr. Geri Gay spoke about lessons learned from two current research projects. The first described the use of wireless computing in formal and informal learning contexts (Intel, Microsoft, NSF) and the second featured collaborative learning among distributed project teams (NASA, AT&T Foundation). Together, we discussed the applicability to Columbia University courses.

University Seminar: Activity Centered Design

Evaluation Reports Released

October 15, 2004. A number of new assessment reports have been released, including evaluation summaries of VITAL and Library Compass. The newly released reports include internal and external evaluations from 2001 through 2004. The reports cover a range of disciplines and types of technological interventions. CCNMTL is commited to evaluating our past projects in an effort to develop a uniform set of best practices, which will guide us in future projects.

A full listing of published reports can be found at the Design Research site.

In The News:
NSF Awards $2.3 Million for Math Teaching Resources

The Record, Columbia University in the City of New York, September 27, 2004. The Record included a brief of the recent National Science Foundation grant awarded jointly to Professor Herb Ginsburg and Frank Moretti of CCNMTL.

For full article see Columbia News.

FIPSE Grant Awarded to CCNMTL

September 29, 2004. The U.S. Department of Education awarded Columbia University's School of Dental & Oral Surgery, CCNMTL, and partners approximately $500,000 over three years through the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE). CCNMTL will receive approximately $162,000 of the grant.

The goals of the project are to produce and evaluate a Personalized Life-Long Learning Plan curriculum that will provide advanced didactic training in postgraduate dentistry to dental residents in clinical sites distant from universities.

University Seminar: "Digital Technologies for the Social Sciences"

September 23, 2004. Dr. Sunil Kumar, lecturer at the London School of Economics, addressed the University Seminar in New Media Teaching and Learning. His topic was "Utilizing Digital Technologies to Teach and Model the Social Sciences." Dr. Kumar discussed best practices for integrating on-line experiences with face-to-face classroom discussions in his Urbanization and Social Planning courses. To this end, he outlined his web-based resource for navigating the research process, which provides students with an understanding of how various components of the research process are interrelated. After the presentation, seminarians responded to Dr. Kumar and discussed the applicability of Dr. Kumar’s practice to Columbia University courses.

University Seminars on New Media Teaching and Learning

Film Language Glossary Released

September 17, 2004. A prototype of the Film Language Glossary, for use by students making and studying motion pictures, was released earlier this week. Specifically, the focus will be on defining film terms and film language, which are representative of all the major categories of Film Studies: practical terminology, technical terminology, the language of business, historical terms as well as the language of criticism and theory. Each glossary term is illustrated by film clips, images, and animations. 

The Film Language Glossary prototype will be used this fall in Richard Peña's Introduction to Film Studies course, a graduate class with an enrollment of seventy students. The prototype consists of eighteen terms and thirty film clips. Eleven of the film clips include a commentary track narrated by Peña. Access is currently restricted to the Columbia network. Instructors interested in using, or contributing to, this reference tool should send email to

Film Language Glossary

In The News:
EDC Open House photo

Columbia Spectator, September 17, 2004. The Columbia Spectator published a 4" × 6" photograph of Rachel Mlanao leading a session during the Experimental Digital Classroom open house. The caption used was "The 21st Century Classroom".

Experimental Digital Classroom Open House Held

September 16, 2004. CCNMTL held an Open House at the Experimental Digital Classroom (308 Lewisohn). The purpose of this event was to bring together current and future users of the room, to meet members of the CCNMTL team, and to showcase some of the tools CCNMTL has developed. Faculty from the School of the Arts, SIPA, Barnard, and ALP were among the attendees who were treated to demonstrations of the classroom's capabilities. All faculty were also given an opportunity to use the SmartBoard technology. The open house was successful in bringing together this faculty community to share teaching practices.

Experimental Digital Classroom

In The News:
"Too Far to Walk" by R.D.R. Hoffmann

The Greentree Gazette, July 2004. The business magazine for higher education, The Greentree Gazette, interviewed Maurice Matiz for an article entitled "Too Far To Walk", (page 48). The articled discussed the advantages of offshoring in higher education.

Sakai Project at Columbia

July 26, 2004. A group of about 30 Columbians representing numerous schools and departments attended a brief overview of the Sakai Project and Columbia's participation in the Sakai Educational Partners Program (SEPP). The aim of the Sakai Project is to be an open source course management system supported by its member schools. The contributing departments from Columbia, AcIS, AIS and CCNMTL, gave brief statements on their interest and reasons for participation. These initial remarks were followed by a review of the state of the project with information from the first Sakai conference held in late June 2004.

Transcript of CCNMTL statement from meeting

Ginsburg, CCNMTL Paper Published

June 16, 2004. The National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) has published a paper by Professor Herb Ginsburg, Michael Preston, David VanEsselstyn, and others entitled "Learning to Think about Early Childhood Mathematics Education." The paper, part of the monograph "Challenging Young Children Mathematically," discusses Prof. Ginsburg's course on the development of mathematical thinking, including the need for the course, its structure and methods, and, of course, VITAL.

Press Release:
CCNMTL Awarded $2.3 Million from NSF to Develop New Teaching Resource Supporting Early Childhood Mathematics

New York, June 7, 2004. The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $2.3 million to a consortium led by Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) to develop Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning (VITAL): A Learning Environment for Courses in Early Mathematics Education. This new resource will give prospective early childhood mathematics teachers new tools to improve their understanding of children’s mathematical thinking. The consortium also includes Teachers College and William Patterson University.

Frank Moretti, principal investigator and Executive Director at CCNMTL, and Herbert Ginsburg, the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, will lead teams that will develop a curriculum, a digital library of primary source material that includes video cases, expert and scholarly commentary, and an online community workspace.

Studies show that children employ mathematical ideas and methods developed prior to the onset of formal education. By analyzing videos of clinical interviews and classroom interactions, pre-service teachers gain a better understanding of how children employ these mathematical ideas with the anticipation that this will improve teacher performance. “At a time when there is less support for supervision and mentoring of teachers in the schools themselves, universities have a greater responsibility to insure that abstract theory and training in practical judgment are both part of a teacher's preparation,” explained Frank Moretti. “VITAL merges the two in a unique online environment, so that teachers of early childhood mathematics not only learn what is known in the field but also develop the skill to recognize the creative mathematical intelligence all children have as their natural endowment.”

A prototype of VITAL, developed by CCNMTL during the 2002-2003 academic year, is presently being used in Dr. Ginsburg’s classes. He has been working with video to supplement his teaching since the late 1960s and the VITAL prototype allowed Ginsburg to include interactive video lessons in classroom instruction more efficiently. The grant will allow for the creation of an enhanced VITAL that will be tested at Columbia University and William Paterson University. It will then be tested at six sites serving diverse pre-service teacher populations: Boston University, Georgia State University, Howard University, Kean University, Rutgers University-Newark, and San Diego University. By the end of the grant period, May 2009, the resource will be ready for distribution to teacher-education programs nationwide.

“This is an exciting and groundbreaking new program that will revolutionize the way children are taught mathematics,” added James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia. “We are grateful to the NSF for supporting a program that will have a powerful impact on teachers and learners.”

Press Release

Project Feature: Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning

CCNMTL Awarded $2.3 Million from NSF to Develop New Teaching Resource

June 1, 2004. The National Science Foundation has awarded CCNMTL a $2.3 million grant to develop VITAL: A Learning Environment for Courses in Early Mathematics Education, a resource to prepare teachers of early childhood mathematics. The grant will extend VITAL (Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning) beyond the prototype presently being tested in Columbia classes and by the end of the grant period, May 2009, it will be distributed to other education programs nationwide.

VITAL was developed with Herbert Ginsburg, Professor of Psychology and Education at Teachers College, to improve the ways that his video archive of clinical interviews, observations, and classroom lessons could be used to more effectively teach his subject matter.

See Press Release

Project Feature: Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning

NSF Award to Expand Monitoring of Black Rock Forest

May 24, 2004. The National Science Foundation has awarded the Black Rock Forest Consortium (BRFC) a grant to modernize and expand the ecosystem monitoring network at the Black Rock Forest Field Station. Extending earlier work by BRFC and CCNMTL, this three year grant includes a subaward for CCNMTL to develop Web applications that access real-time ecosystem data for use by scientists, educators, and students. These applications will give educators and their students authentic content for studying regional biology, geology, and environmental science and will expand the research capabilities of Columbia scientists. William Schuster, Executive Director of the BRFC and Frank Moretti, Executive Director at CCNMTL are co-principal investigators for the grant.

Black Rock Forest

Commencement Broadcast Archives

May 20, 2004. Broadcast archives for the Commencement of the 250th Academic Year held on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 are now available.

Please check the Commencement broadcast page for full details.

Commencement of the 250th Academic Year

Short Film: Highlights 2002/2003

New Look to CCNMTL Web Site

May 5, 2004. Today, the CCNTML Web site was relaunched with a new interface. The reorganized site provides a sharper focus on the Center's overall mission, a broader description of its service offerings, and easier to navigate Project Portfolio and News/Events sections. New documentation and services information are forthcoming this summer.

In The News:
Brownfield Action Curriculum to be Adopted by Connecticut College
by Petra Tuomi

Barnard News Center, April 7, 2004. The Brownfield Action simulation, developed by Professor Peter Bower and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL), is being modified to be used by Conneticut College. This adaptation is made possible through a National Science Foundation (NSF) "proof-of-concept" grant. See Barnard Press Release.

NSF Awards Grant to Enhance Brownfield Action

March 19, 2004. The National Science Foundation has awarded a proof-of-concept grant of $75,000 to Peter Bower (Barnard College) and CCNMTL to support the modularization and distribution of the Brownfield Action curriculum and simulation. The award, effective February 15th, will be used to assist Dr. Bower and CCNMTL to prototype a new, more modular version of the Brownfield Action environmental assessment simulation that will also be tested in an upper-level undergraduate hydrology course at Connecticut College. If successful with these efforts, the project will be considered for additional funding to facilitate a major re-development of the simulation and to establish a distribution method to other educational institutions.

For more information see links below.

AACU Selects Brownfield Action as a Model Course

Brownfield Action Showcase

CCNMTL Attends Higher-Ed Meeting with Cisco CEO

March 18, 2004. John Chambers, President and CEO of Cisco Systems, hosted an executive higher education dinner and discussion with representatives from New York metro area colleges and universities. Maurice Matiz, Vice Executive Director of CCNMTL, attended the dinner held at Le Cirque restaurant in midtown New York.

The dinner and discussion provided an opportunity to chat informally with the CEO of one of America's most successful technology companies. Chambers, who has served on President George W. Bush's Education Committee and has been given many awards for his efforts to improve education and performance, believes in the positive role that education can play in the economic growth of the United States. He was eager to hear comments and opinions about the role of technology in education from the assembled group.

In The News:
Interactive Video Learning System Developed

Inside TC, March 1, 2004. The Video Interaction for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) environment was featured by the Teachers College News Bureau. This article disscusses the collaboration between Dr. Herbert Ginsburg and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) in developing this tool for professional practice training.

Ted Nelson Visits Columbia

February 27, 2004. Theodor Holm Nelson, hypertext theorist and fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, visited the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning.

The purpose of Nelson's visit to CCNMTL was to introduce his latest vision of a non-hierarchal interface entitled, "ZigZag" to the Columbia community. "Zig Zag," cross-viewable multidimensional lists, provides a new paradigm for computer structures including database, inheritance, file management, simplified graphical programming, and other useful computer concepts. These structures appear to streamline many aspects of data and programming.

Nelson occupies a unique place in the computer field, a designer best known as an agitator and visionary. "I didn't know what to call these ideas; "hypertext" came to me in 1962, and I published it in 1965. I first heard strangers use it around 1986."

He has been called "the Thomas Paine of the computer revolution." His book Computer Lib, proposing a new Utopian world of intellect around the computer screen, came out in 1974, just four months before the first personal computer was advertised. Computer Lib is said to have inspired much of today's software design, as well as personally influencing Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates.

Nelson's vision for hypertext preceded the Web by three decades. Nelson was virtually alone in predicting a worldwide hypertext. His 1981 book, Literary Machines, while describing the work of his group on Project Xanadu, contains many passages that predict the World Wide Web.

For more information see links below.

Ted Nelson's Web site

Zig Zag

Library Compass Released

February 5, 2004. Library Compass, a new resource to develop and enhance academic research skills, was developed by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) in conjunction with the Columbia University Libraries and has been released today. It is an online environment that serves as an orientation tool to aid students in honing their research skills for academic scholarship. Through learning activities and detailed explanations, Library Compass supports the writing of academic papers by exposing students to specific library research skills and strategies. Students who work with the Library Compass environment can improve the quality of their research papers and also access online support and assistance during the research process. In addition, videotaped interviews with Columbia librarians offer guidance and advice to students new to academic research.

As students and researchers are challenged to find both method and meaning in the midst of an abundance of information, Library Compass points the way to new habits of mind in order to generate questions, locate sources for answers, evaluate the proffered solutions, and formulate responses. The Library Compass is another step taken by Columbia University Information Services to respond to a growing need to harness the University's vast knowledge resources.

Library Compass

VITAL Adapted for the School of Social Work

January 21, 2004. The VITAL environment has been adapted for use in five sections of "Clinical Practice with Couples," taught by Tazuko Shibusawa and Susan Oppenheim of the School of Social Work. VITAL was originally designed for Professor Herbert Ginsburg's "Development of Mathematical Thinking" course at Teachers College. VITAL has become a strategic technology for CCNMTL given the adaptability of the pedagogy and methodology for pre-professional and clinical training.

Students use VITAL to generate weekly essays based on video recordings of clinical sessions. In their personal workspace, students construct essays that can include video quotes to support their arguments. The linked video annotations within the essay allow faculty to follow student observations. Additionally, once completing an assignment, students have access to the essays submitted by their peers.

In "Clinical Practice with Couples," Professors Shibusawa and Oppenheim focus on relating concepts and theoretical frameworks studied in course readings to professionally produced recordings of couples' clinical sessions. Using VITAL, students identify and analyze different theoretical models and clinical techniques as well as consider their own intervention methods.

For more information regarding VITAL contact


QT Video: Prof. Herbert Ginsburg Demonstrates VITAL Project

New Media in Education 2003 Conference Footage

January 8, 2004. Please see the link below for video clips from our 2003 New Media in Education Conference that took place at the Low Library on September 26th.

NME 2003 Conference Videos

New Video Assets Added to Midnight's Children MSE

January 2, 2004. Video footage from last spring's Humanities Festival has now been added to the assets menu of the Midnight's Children MSE (Multimedia Study Environment). Panelists include Edward Said, Manning Marable, Linda Williams, Gauri Viswanathan, Russell Banks and Lee Bollinger, among others. In addition we have added an audio recording of a conversation between Edward Said and Salman Rushdie from 1996 that took place at Miller Theatre in the resources section of the MSE.

For more information regarding using the Midnight's Children MSE in your course contact: John Frankfurt at 212-854-1865 or

Midnight's Children MSE

In The News:
Technology May Be Very Good For Your Health
by Carol Power

The Irish Times, January 2004. Columbia University's School of Nursing is featured in The Irish Times for using PDAs in their teaching. The article mentions their collaboration with the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning to incorporate technology at the point of care. See full article.

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