Dartmouth Faculty Pilot New Multimedia Teaching Tool

Originally published by Dartmouth Library News

Dartmouth faculty members Mark Williams (Department of Film and Media Studies) and Noelia Cirnigliaro (Department of Spanish and Portuguese) have been invited to join a seven-institution project to use and evaluate MediaKron, a new online tool for presenting and exploring multimedia course content.

Professor Noelia Cirnigliaro is one of the Dartmouth faculty members who will be using MediaKron next year. (photo by Joe Mehling ’69)

MediaKron is being developed at Boston College with a grant from the Davis Educational Foundation. It provides an easy way for instructors to upload and organize digital instructional materials and enables students to explore this content within a web browser. MediaKron lets faculty build customized web sites through a range of tools—such as maps and timelines—to organize and present images, video, audio, and text.

Both professors will be using MediaKron in their classes next academic year. Williams, an associate professor of film and media studies, will use it in his “History of U.S. Broadcast and Electronic Journalism” course in the fall term, and Cirnigliaro, an assistant professor of Spanish, will use it in “Introduction to Hispanic Studies I: Middle Ages to 17th Century” in the spring term.

Cirnigliaro comments, “I am interested in the platform for the visual ‘textures’ it can offer to understand early modern cultures, such as the Spanish Empire under scrutiny in my class, which relied on textual and visual documentation and symbolization to reinforce its sovereignty.”

Williams adds, “This is a welcome opportunity to organize for teaching purposes a wide variety of historical media across various time periods. For the students, it will help illustrate the complex dynamics of media history and underscore the ongoing significance of journalism to the goal of an informed citizenry. Platforms such as MediaKron produce new ways to engage and study primary historical materials and help to realize new relations between scholarship and teaching, which is one of Dartmouth's principal values.”

The work at Dartmouth is in partnership with the Library’s Jones Media Center, which supports the instruction and research needs of faculty, students, staff, and alumni by providing facilities, collections, and expertise for researching, viewing, and producing a wide range of media. Jones Media Center staff members have been trained to prepare content to load into MediaKron, to support Professors Williams and Cirnigliaro in the use of the software, and to help them integrate this tool into their teaching.

Other institutions in the MediaKron project include Boston University, Bucknell University, Clark University, Providence College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.