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Archive Category: Press Release

Press Release:
CCNMTL and SIG Receive $3.5 Million Grant

New York, July 30, 2007. The Columbia University School of Social Work’s Social Intervention Group (SIG) and the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) announced today the receipt of a $3.5 million, five-year research grant award from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). The goal of the collaborative project is to evaluate the outcomes of using multimedia and Web-based technology to disseminate an HIV prevention program.

Project Connect is the first prevention program designed for heterosexual couples at risk of HIV infection. “The incidence of new HIV infections is not yet declining, but we know how to reduce potential risks,” said Dr. Susan Witte, principal investigator and associate professor at the School of Social Work. “While paper-based materials have been traditionally utilized in prevention programs, multimedia strategies promise a greater likelihood of more rapid and widespread risk reduction. Our goal is to determine the most effective method for the dissemination of important information to the larger community.”

Funds from NIMH will further this goal: 80 community-based organizations in New York State will be randomly selected to receive either the paper version of Connect or the Web-based Multimedia Connect developed by the SIG/CCNMTL team. Multimedia Connect incorporates videos, interactive tools and activities that support both the facilitator in sessions with clients as well as training of the facilitator. The technology also reduces facilitators' preparation time, enabling them to focus more on clients. SIG researchers will evaluate the successful adoption of the intervention at the end of the five-year period.

“CCNMTL's work with SIG on Multimedia Connect has advanced the research they pioneered, positioning them now to undertake the study of a large-scale dissemination of their proven intervention," said Frank Moretti, executive director of CCNMTL. "An additional and important benefit of this work is its active use in social work classrooms as well as in the field."

View full press release (PDF)

Read more about Multimedia Connect (PDF)

Press Release:
CCNMTL Symposium Discusses Video Archives and Open Access in Education

New York, June 7, 2007. The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) and Intelligent Television recently hosted a highly successful symposium on best practices in video, education, and open content. Video and audio recordings of the event and access to ongoing discussions will be available at

The two-day invitational symposium, gathering an international audience of leaders in the education, industry, and archival communities, built upon the work that CCNMTL and Intelligent Television have been conducting in the area of educational video, open productions, and commercial/noncommercial collaborations. The group discussed new approaches–economic, legal, and editorial–to the creation and distribution of important new resources for open education and explored how video and open education can work together for the public good amidst rising concerns of copyright and fair use violations.

Rick Prelinger, founder of Prelinger Archives and board president of the Internet Archive, challenged industry and educational leaders in his keynote address by stating, “We need to default to openness… archives will be in trouble if people look at them as a place that blocks access.” Typifying this statement of openness was Yale University’s initial announcement to make digital videos of selected undergraduate courses available through the Internet for free.

Senior representatives attended the conference from Columbia University, Creative Commons, Digital Library Federation, Google/YouTube, Hewlett Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Intelligent Television, Library of Congress, Mellon Foundation, Microsoft, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, Open Courseware Consortium, Renew Media, Rockefeller Foundation, Thirteen/WNET, VFinity, WGBH Public Broadcasting, and many universities around the United States. Peter B. Kaufman, CCNMTL associate director and Intelligent Television founder, convened the conference as part of his Columbia appointment supported by the Open Educational Resources program of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

View full press release (PDF)

View Video, Education, and Open Content web site

Press Release:
Havel at Columbia Site Released to Support Vaclav Havel's Residency

New York, October 26, 2006. The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, in partnership with the Columbia University Arts Initiative, has released the Havel at Columbia site, a resource to support former Czech President Václav Havel's seven-week residency on campus.

As an artist, thinker, essayist, human rights leader and transformational political leader, Václav Havel is one of the most significant cultural and political figures of our time. On December 29, 1989 he was elected president of a united and democratic Czechoslovakia. His residency at Columbia will be his first extended stay in New York since stepping down from office in early 2003. While he is on campus, the University community will pay tribute to his life and ideas with a number of lectures, symposia, screenings, and panel discussions.

The Havel at Columbia site contains a wide range of teaching and learning materials for classroom study of Havel's life and art, and will continue to grow throughout the semester as events and materials are added. The multimedia resource features video interviews with scholars, artists, and political figures contributing their insights on Václav Havel's legacy as an artist and political leader, including Dean Lisa Anderson from the School of International and Public Affairs, former President George H. W. Bush, Edward Albee, Milos Forman, Lou Reed, and George Soros. A timeline of events, an image glossary with photographs and primary documents, and archival footage from television and films provide historical context for the Velvet Revolution and Havel's presidency, making the site a rich educational resource both during and beyond his campus residency. The site will eventually feature video recordings of the many lectures, performances, and presentations that will take place through December. These will be available to view online and downloadable as podcasts.

Courses that will be using the Havel at Columbia site this fall include an undergraduate seminar in "History, Literature, Film and Dissent in Eastern European Culture" by Brad Abrams and Christopher Harwood and a multidisciplinary course at Barnard co-taught by Cathy Nepomnyashchy with theater lecturer Amy Trompetter that includes a study and performance of Havel's play "The Beggar's Opera." Anne Bogart will focus on the political theater of Clifford Odets and Havel in her graduate MFA course "Directing III." In addition, Literature Humanities students will study Havel's play "The Garden Party," Havel will deliver a lecture to the Core Curriculum's Contemporary Civilization course, for which students will read Havel's essay "Dear Dr. Husák."

To allow instructors to create a more customized experience of the site for their courses, CCNMTL has introduced a new feature called the Havel Notebook. Any Columbia University faculty member or student with a UNI can log in to the notebook to organize their own resources from the site by saving and annotating text, images, and links to a personalized page, or "notebook." Developed in coordination with faculty partners from the Harriman Institute, School of the Arts, and Barnard College, these notebooks can be shared with others, making them especially useful for classes that are using the Havel at Columbia site as a resource.

View press release (PDF)

Havel at Columbia

Press Release:
Successful Grant Proposals Help CCNMTL Expand Project Development

New York, August 10, 2006. The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) has secured or helped secure substantial grant funding this past spring. Most of the funding will support the deployment of innovative technologies for course work and the development of pedagogical strategies that encourage students to engage fully with course material in disciplines that span the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. A new facet to some of these grant-funded projects is a community service-oriented component, part of CCNMTL's new Triangle Initiative that seeks to extend the benefits of University research into the classroom and to the community beyond Columbia. Below is a sampling of these projects:

CCNMTL and the School of Social Work continue to build upon a strong partnership with two successful grant proposals that are key elements of the Triangle Initiative. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded Project Connect, led by PI Professor Susan Witte, a two-year grant of $400,000 to disseminate HIV interventions based on research produced by the Social Interventions Group. CCNMTL will receive approximately $271,000 to help develop technology and media for a multimedia version of Project Connect, components of which are currently being used in courses and tested in metro area clinics.

Also from the School of Social Work, Ellen Lukens (PI), Peggy O'Neill and Helle Thorning of the Center for Family Education and Resilience have been awarded a grant of $45,000 to develop HOPE-NY, a curriculum to train NYC officials and community leaders to deal with trauma in the event of community disasters or public health emergencies. CCNMTL will receive a subcontract for $16,000 to assist in the development of a small pilot prototype.

The Center for Jazz Studies, led by Professor Robert O'Meally, Director for Jazz Studies, has received a three-year $1 million grant from the Ford Foundation. CCNMTL will receive approximately $241,000 to produce a Jazz Sonic Glossary, as well as an implementation of Video Interactions in Teaching and Learning (VITAL) that will include a library of videos of jazz performances to be deployed this fall in Jazz Studies courses.

CCNTML has also received a one-year gift of $200,000 from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to increase the understanding of educators, technologists, video producers, and other stakeholders about potential uses of video and open content. As part of this grant, Peter Kaufman, director of Intelligent Television, joins CCNMTL as an associate director to provide leadership with initiatives related to video and open content, including producing a conference to be held at Columbia in the spring of 2007.

The School of Journalism received a $1.25 million grant from the Knight Foundation to establish the Knight Case Studies Initiative to promote journalism leadership. CCNMTL will develop the case studies into interactive modules, which, coupled with classroom discussion, will teach the process of newsroom decision-making in ways that further the creation of fair, accurate, contextual news in the public interest. Columbia has already tested three cases. The first follows one day’s news cycle at The Washington Post from the point of view of Leonard Downie Jr., the paper’s executive editor, who decides what to put on the front page. Another looks at the reporting from Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau on Iraq’s weapons capabilities during the buildup to and aftermath of the 2003 invasion. Knight Ridder was significantly more skeptical about those capabilities than most American news organizations, and the case illustrates how to question the official version of the news on national security matters. The third case leads students through an analysis of the data available to reporters covering Hurricane Katrina.

In addition, Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning (VITAL): A Learning Environment for Courses in Early Mathematics Education, was approved for a third year of funding from the National Science Foundation at approximately $460,000. Originally awarded to CCNMTL and Teachers College in 2004, this grant supports the development of a learning environment that consists of a curriculum for early childhood mathematics education and a digital library of videos within an online community workspace.

View release as PDF

Press Release:
Journalism School Announces Grant from Knight Foundation

June 22, 2006. The School of Journalism has received a $1.25 million grant from the Knight Foundation that will establish the Knight Case Studies Initiative
to promote journalism leadership. The case studies will be developed into interactive modules by CCNMTL, which, coupled with classroom discussion, will teach the process of newsroom decision-making in ways that further the creation of fair, accurate, contextual news in the public interest.

Columbia has already tested three cases. The first follows one day’s news cycle at The Washington Post from the point of view of Leonard Downie Jr., the paper’s executive editor, who decides what to put on the front page. Another looks at the reporting from Knight Ridder’s Washington bureau on Iraq’s weapons capabilities during the buildup to and aftermath of the 2003 invasion. Knight Ridder was significantly more skeptical about those capabilities than most American news organizations, and the case illustrates how to question the official version of the news on national security matters. The third case leads students through an analysis of the data available to reporters covering Hurricane Katrina.

Press release from the School of Journalism

Press Release:
CCNMTL Hosts Third New Media in Education Conference

New York, January 25, 2006. The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching & Learning (CCNMTL) will host its third biennial conference, “New Media in Education 2006: A Progress Report,” on Friday, January 27, 2006 in Low Memorial Library. The conference on new media technology in education will include faculty panels and demonstrations of many of CCNMTL’s projects, including Video Interactions in Teaching and Learning (VITAL), the Educational Multimedia Case Constructor (EMCC), and The Autobiography of Malcolm X Multimedia Study Environment.

“The goal of our third New Media in Education conference is to highlight some of the innovations that have evolved since CCNMTL began its work seven years ago,” says Dr. Frank Moretti, executive director of CCNMTL. "This conference provides an opportunity to share our commitment to current developments in technology while reflecting upon newly emerging pedagogical best practices."

This year’s conference includes panel discussions:

  • A Partnership in Educational Innovation, featuring Columbia College's core science course, Frontiers of Science and the School of Journalism's The Washington Post Case Study;
  • Virtual Fieldwork for Pre-Professional Education, featuring Video Interactions in Teaching and Learning (VITAL) and its role in graduate programs at Teachers College, the School of Social Work, and the School of Dental and Oral Surgery;
  • New Technologies Serving Educational Goals, highlighting collaborative Web sites and media-rich resources and study environments;
  • New Directions: Research, Education, and Community Service, discussing new efforts at CCNMTL to leverage multimedia adaptations of University research for use in Columbia's classes and the broader community.

In addition to these panels, the conference will include workshops on new technologies, such as podcasting, blogs, and Web services. There will be a faculty computer lab, where conference participants will be able to review CCNMTL projects and services and meet with panelists.

All members of the Columbia community are invited to attend this free conference. It will highlight the instructor's perspective, but librarians, information technology staff, and administrators supporting courses are welcome to participate. More information and online registration is available at

Press Release

Press Release:
CCNMTL Releases The Autobiography of Malcolm X MSE

January 18, 2005. The Autobiography of Malcolm X Multimedia Study Environment (MSE) presents Malcolm X's memoir as the textual "spine" with links to critical annotations, audio, video, and images within an innovative interactive Web site. The Autobiography is the 17th MSE produced by the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL). Professor Manning Marable, Director of Columbia's Center for Contemporary Black History (CCBH), served as CCNMTL's faculty partner and Executive Editor for this MSE, which will be used in his lecture course on Malcolm X.

As a personal account of his life story as told to Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X is the most popular and accessible text on Malcolm X. However, as an autobiography, it fails to reconcile certain inconsistencies and factual errors. The MSE seeks to provide a resource for studying and understanding Malcolm X by delving beyond the Haley text through critical annotations, interviews, and other primary sources organized by four "lenses," or perspectives: politics, culture, globalism, and faith.

In addition to annotating this landmark text, the MSE provides access to materials that make it an invaluable resource for scholars, including a case file on the assassination of Malcolm X. This unprecedented collection contains material not readily available to the public before, ranging from photographs of the contents of Malcolm X's pockets when he was shot to files from the FBI and the New York Municipal Archives. The multimedia archive features original interviews with Columbia Professors Farah J. Griffin and Robin Kelley, as well as Malcolm X's contemporaries Max Stanford and Ossie Davis, among others. The MSE also incorporates four video lectures by Dr. Marable on the Malcolm X/Alex Haley collaboration, the assassination, Malcolm X and politics, and Malcolm X and gender.

Frank Moretti, Executive Director of CCNMTL, points out that "The Malcolm X MSE represents the culmination of an ambitious, three-year collaboration between CCNMTL and CCBH. We have created a site that supports research and education, with information and commentary never before gathered in one place. We hope that the combination of its design, along with the power of the Autobiography and the life of Malcolm X himself, will make The Autobiography of Malcolm X MSE a powerful tool for African American scholarship."

Access to The Autobiography of Malcolm X MSE is available to faculty or students affiliated with a course using the MSE. For more information on this or any of the other 16 MSEs, please contact CCNMTL.

The Autobiography of Malcolm X MSE

Press Release

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

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

Press Release:
New Media in Education Conference at Columbia

October 7, 2003. On September 26th in Low Memorial Library, the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) and its faculty partners presented a series of innovative teaching approaches employing new media tools to an enthusiastic audience. Over two hundred people attended this year's conference, representing a cross-disciplinary array of faculty, technical specialists, and librarians both inside and outside the University.

The conference highlighted faculty panels constructed around approaches to teaching with new media, including "Third Spaces for Learning," "Using Multimedia Case Studies to Promote Focused Learning," and "Simulations as an Educational Tactic." These approaches have been applied across disciplines and have initiated new conversations between faculty regarding strategies for applying the distinctive properties of electronic spaces and instruments to particular challenges in teaching. Kiosks throughout the Rotunda gave attendees the opportunity to spend time with CCNMTL's Educational Technologists and experiment with a variety of new media projects. The workshops focused on scientific computing and visualization, the Courseworks course management system, and the use of digital video in the classroom.

Opening with remarks from Provost Alan Brinkley and University Librarian James Neal, this full-day conference incorporated faculty presentations, project kioks, and hands-on workshops. Neal placed the conference in the context of several pressing issues facing academic policy makers nationwide. "This transformation in higher education and response to preceived expansive markets for networked learning," he stated, "challenges the academy to rethink its nature and role. The electronic campus demands rampant digital content creation, new strategies for information storage and management, more sophisticated search and query techniques, dependable and secure distribution and access systems, and new approaches in rights management."

The goal of this conference was to share various strategies for incorporating new media technologies into teaching practices throughout the University. In the two years since CCNMTL's last conference there have been an increase in the number of its faculty partnerships and further advances in the application of new media. For streaming video of the conference presentations see link below.

New Media in Education Conference

Press Release

Press Release:
The Association of American Colleges and Universities Selects Brownfield Action as a Model Course

June 20, 2003. The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) has selected Brownfield Action and its curriculum as one of its four SENCER models for 2003. The SENCER models are defined as a "course or program [that] teaches science that is both challenging and rigorous." The SENCER, Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities, program is an NSF-funded major activity of the AACU.

Brownfield Action is an interactive simulation developed with Professor Peter Bower for use in his course "Introduction to Environmental Science" at Barnard College. The simulation and Dr. Bower's curriculum will become a national model that will benefit other science educators over the next five years.

Brownfield Action was first deployed in the fall of 1999. A major revision based on evaluation results was completed in time for the fall 2000 semester. The simulation enables students to conduct investigations of a suspected contamina
ted land site. The interactive study space captures much of the experience of an actual field investigation, including citizen interviews, financial constraints, and use of investigative and data-collecting tools. Students, working in pairs, assume the roles of environmental consulting companies and research the site to determine the presence, extent, and probable cause of any contamination. According to Dr. Bower, the Brownfield Action challenges students to integrate different forms of knowledge from the fields of geology, chemistry, physics, biology, history, civics, and law; at the end of the semester, Dr. Bower's students have an increased appreciation of the complexity of real-world environmental problems.

Press Release

Press Release:
Faculty Partners Recognized for Teaching Excellence

June 17, 2003. The Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) is proud to have partnered with Nicholas Turro, Lawrence Engel, and Amy Fairchild, three of the five recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching at the 2003 Columbia University Commencement Ceremony. All three were recognized for successfully incorporating new media technologies in their teaching.

Nicholas Turro, the William P. Schweitzer Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, has been a long-time partner of CCNMTL. During the award presentation, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger described Turro as "an influential curricular innovator and tireless promoter of the use of new digital technologies to enhance instruction and learning." In a discussion shortly after receiving his award, Professor Turro credited CCNMTL with "helping me ask questions of students throughout my course to gain feedback." He further stated that he would like to contribute to a scholarly view of this method as a means "to entice other faculty to embrace new media technologies in their teaching practice."

Larry Engel, Adjunct Professor in the School of the Arts, and CCNMTL recently completed the creation of a multimedia tool called the Deconstructor , which enables students to do a shot-by-shot analysis of film scenes by identifying dozens of elements related to cinematic structure. Professor Engel worked with CCNMTL to conceptualize and develop the Deconstructor as an integrated component of his course. "The Web tool gave me what I needed," he stated, "to improve what my students could learn about the specific structure of film -- it's sequence of shots that essentially convey the meaning, the mood, the actual narrative of the medium."

Amy Fairchild, Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, has incorporated many new media technologies into her teaching of history, health, and ethics in urban environments. President Bollinger credited Fairchild by stating, "She co
mbines the best of what teachers have always done in and out of the classroom with the imaginative use of the most advanced computer-based instructional strategies." She has frequently consulted CCNMTL in the use of the CU Analyzer and the SlideShow Maker in her lectures, tools created and supported by CCNMTL.

CCNMTL is honored to have such exemplary partners willing to explore the use of technology and new media in the classroom.

Press Release

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