University of Pittsburgh
June 26, 2002

University of Pittsburgh Recognized as New Media Center

Contact:  412-624-4147

June 27, 2002

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh, through its Faculty Instructional Development Lab (FIDL), has been admitted to membership in the New Media Centers (NMC), a nonprofit organization that consists of more than 100 select institutions.

According to NMC, the organization "brings forward-thinking colleges and universities together with innovative high-tech companies to explore new ways of teaching and learning through new media." Each NMC member institution must meet criteria demonstrating innovation; noticeable impact on teaching and learning; collaboration with other entities on campus and beyond; diversity within NMC through its location, institution size or type, student population, and/or structure; and viability.

In the acceptance letter sent to Pitt, NMC Chief Executive Officer Larry Johnson wrote that the NMC reviewers unanimously recommended the University be admitted to membership. FIDL, which is situated within Pitt's Center for Instructional Development & Distance Education (CIDDE), is the official home of the Pitt NMC, but the designation of "New Media Center" actually is conferred upon the University as a whole, and participation in NMC programs is open to any interested party at Pitt.

NMC defines new media as "a moving target," describing such new technologies as DVD, haptics, streaming video, wireless transmission, and Internet 2, as well as such new uses for existing technologies as digital libraries, interactive storytelling, and distance learning. A New Media Center is a designated place on campus where new media are incorporated into teaching and learning and where the emerging field of new media is being developed.

Benefits of academic membership in NMC include:

• Partnering with leading high-tech companies and collaborating with other colleges and universities equally committed to exploring the educational potential of new media;

• Becoming part of a select network of knowledgeable peers from diverse institutions;

• Getting quickly solutions to technical problems, suggestions for selecting appropriate technology, and techniques for evaluating pedagogical effectiveness;

• Exchanging ideas with other members at face-to-face events as well as through on-line discussions on topics such as staff development and training, working with faculty, and collaborating with other campus units;

• Training staff at the annual NMC conference with hands-on instruction and discussion of management issues;

• Testing advanced products before they become available to the public; and

• Increasing the visibility of new media on campus.

For more information about NMC, visit its Web site at The Pitt NMC Web site is