Digital media students collaborate in flagship workshop

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Jeanette Blain | News Editor | [email protected]


For three weeks in July, the department of digital media hosted Chinese students in a unique exchange program that allowed them to collaborate with UVU students on a digital media project.

For the first part of the course, the six Chinese students and seven UVU students visited the Capitol Reef Field Station where they took photographs and explored the area.

Once they returned to the Orem campus, they used the images and information they had gathered to design an interactive media kit.

The workshop is especially important for the digital media school because it is part of what will potentially become a global network of similar international exchanges called the International Digital Media Consortium.

Mike Harper, the instructor for the workshop, said that they are working toward getting more universities from around the world to participate in the consortium. He hopes the program will lead to collaboration on an international academic level, something he said is needed in the field of digital media.

Colleges in three other countries—China, Austria and Israel—are already involved with the program. Harper said they will soon have a partnership with a Peruvian college as well.

In the summer workshop, students with different skill sets worked on different aspects of the project and even learned new skills. Some worked on still images, others worked on video media, animation and interactive web material, which will come together into an electronic book and a corresponding physical media kit.

Samson Zhou is a computer science student from China. He said in his major he doesn’t work with digital media, so this course is entirely new for him.

For the workshop he used photographs to create a suite of wallpaper images for desktops and phone screens. The images incorporated photos from both Capitol Reef National Park and a small village in China and paired them with multilingual descriptions.

He said this is his first time in America. He came to take the course because he wanted to learn something new about digital media and see Capitol Reef National Park.

“I don’t like to travel just to travel. I want to learn something,” Zhou said.

Tom Callister, a UVU student, worked on integrating the different pieces of media into in a final product. He said there was a parallel between working with an international team and designing multimedia.

“The whole idea of designing is making things simple and coming up with new ways to communicate,” Callister said.

Even though the Chinese students left campus July 27, the UVU students will work on the project for the remainder of the semester.

In fall semester, a group of exchange students from Austria will arrive to continue to work on the project.


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