By Beth Russell
July 22, 2014
The NYU Abu Dhabi Academic Technology team, based within the NYU Abu Dhabi Library, supports the teaching, learning, and research needs of students and faculty. Some of the services that we support include: NYU Classes; software licensing across campus; specialized printing; digitization; data services; lecture capture; live streaming; and faculty teaching technology support. We also partner with faculty on digital humanities projects that will be supported out of the new Center for Digital Scholarship within the library at the Saadiyat campus. Our mission is to provide a seamless technology experience to our students and faculty as they move between Abu Dhabi and New York.
In order to give our global colleagues a sense of what we do, a few of our recent projects and services are described below. With our upcoming move to our new campus on Saadiyat Island, our team, and physical space, will grow in order to support an even broader range of initiatives.
On April 19, 2014, the NYU Abu Dhabi Academic Technology team broadcast the live TEDxNYU Talk with President Sexton from Common Ground in Sama Tower. The Talk centered around President Sexton’s vision for the Global Network University and its future growth and development.
The multifaceted event required considerable coordination and effort on behalf of the Academic Technology team, including a recording of the event using three manned cameras and one feed being streamed live over the Internet for viewing at the main event in New York and at the other global sites where "viewing parties" were organized. The final video has been edited and sent to New York, along with the raw footage, for dissemination to other audiences.
The Academic Technology team also supports instructional design initiatives and video services with our recent work with Economics Professor, Ted Chu, in creating mini-instructional videos that support educational concepts covered in his class. These 1-2 minute mini-lessons will be embedded into the class curriculum via NYU Classes and will support student learning outside of the classroom and at the point of need by providing them with easily accessible video lessons that cover core concepts.
Another recent initiative involves a collaboration with Associate Professor Cyrus Patell and his use of video to explain the concept of “cosmopolitanism.” Future discussions with students and other NYU Abu Dhabi faculty around this theme, are planned.
Additionally, the Academic Technology team is recording faculty and student recitations of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in English, Korean and Arabic, to support the Global Shakespeare program held annually at NYU Abu Dhabi.
The Academic Technology team has also been taking part in a portable video capture pilot using Panopto, a service that was being tested both in New York and Abu Dhabi. The pilot enabled participants to record classroom lectures of faculty candidates so that the talks could be shared with global colleagues. Panopto was also used to record faculty roundtable discussions and also as a means of quick lecture capture in order for students to be able to view faculty presentations at a later date. Faculty were also trained on doing their own recordings as voice-overs to their PowerPoint presentations. The pilot proved to be extremely successful, and Panopto has since been adopted as a portable lecture capture tool at NYU Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi's Digital Studio hosts the Library’s Print Lab, a space dedicated to specialized printing and scanning services. We support large format printing using the Epson 9880 plotter, photo printing using the Epson Stylus Pro 4900 and 3880, and 3D printing using the MakerBot Replicator 2X 3D printer. Solidworks, the 3D modeling program, is available to students and faculty who wish to design their own objects for the MakerBot. Our Espresso Book Machine is routinely used to bind collections of student work.
Additionally, we offer high quality scanning using the Epson Expression 10000 XL scanner, and film scanning using the Hasselblad Flextight X5 film scanner. The Flextight X5 scanner is a vertical optical scanner that offers 8000 dpi film scanning with up to 300 MB per minute scan speeds, and batch scanning is also possible.
The NYU Abu Dhabi Library, which includes the Digital Studio and is home to the Academic Technology team, is currently moving to its permanent home on Saadiyat Island in July 2014. Our space will grow exponentially, as will our staff and services. In addition to supporting the services described above, we will also assume responsibility for all classroom technology support across campus, develop an Advanced Media Studio, and open the new Center for Digital Scholarship within the Library, dedicated to the technology needs of faculty and advanced researchers.
Beth Russell is the Head of the Center for Digital Scholarship, NYU Abu Dhabi Library.