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Office of News & Public Affairs

Boston College Launches E-Teaching Initiative
With Six Other Colleges and Universities

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (June 2012) – Boston College is expanding access to its proprietary MediaKron digital instruction platform to faculty at six other colleges and universities, creating the most extensive educational technology initiative in the University’s history.

MediaKron logo

Following a nation-wide request for proposals, BC’s Office of Academic Technology invited faculty from six universities to use MediaKron’s unique technology to explore and create dynamic multi-media course content.

The universities selected to participate in the project are Boston University, Bucknell University, Clark University, Dartmouth College, Providence College and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

“Just as MediaKron brings together Boston College faculty and students to create dynamic digital instructional content, we’re excited to announce we’re now using MediaKron to connect with faculty at other institutions to expand the impact of this exciting technology,” said Rita Owens, executive director of Academic Technology at Boston College. “We’re thrilled to be able to create this unique community of scholars in a digital space.”

MediaKron allows faculty to organize a range of digital instructional material in chronological order and content layers. A web-based application developed by a team of faculty and designers in the University’s Instructional Design and eTeaching Services Department, MediaKron lets faculty build customized sites through a range of tools  – such as maps and timelines – to organize and present images, video, audio and text.

While there are similar private and public online tools used for file and content sharing, MediaKron gives faculty a secure space where they can manage multi-media content in support of course instruction. Metadata tags allow students to follow multiple pathways through the materials as they explore their course topics. Some sites are publicly accessible, but some projects are password protected.

MediaKron’s development, which started in 2006, has been supported by approximately $500,000 in funding from the Davis Educational Foundation.

At Boston College, the MediaKron platform now boasts thirty-five active projects, which are part of a rapidly expanding portfolio of web-based scholarship in the humanities at IDeS.

Emerging as a prime tool in the creation of digital humanities scholarship, MediaKron projects have covered topics including biology, Chinese culture, the Second Vatican Council, the art of Walt Disney studios, the death of Jesus, bilingual education, gender and religious images, the Gaelic Athletic Association, the history of public health, Irish studies, the sculptor Michelangelo, the poet Dante Alighieri and the artist Albrecht Durer.

The MediaKron initiative will now put these tools in the hands of scholars and researchers at other universities, including projects ranging from the arts and humanities to the sciences and engineering.

“As the digital world changes and evolves, so do the methods faculty use in their classrooms, labs and lecture halls on a daily basis,” said Owens. “MediaKron gives faculty the ability to teach using materials and online tools capable of delivering world-class content to their students. We’re looking forward to partnering with these great universities as we develop new ways of teaching in the digital era.”

The grant was received from the Davis Educational Foundation established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis's retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.

--Ed Hayward is associate director of the Office of News & Public Affairs;