About the Digital Convergence Lab

Where New Media and the NIU Community Come Together in Learning and Research

In 2009 the Digital Convergence Lab opened its doors with support from the Division of Outreach, Engagement, and Regional Development and the University Libraries. The lab staff consists of eLearning Services staff, graduate assistants, and student workers, as well as faculty researchers and coaches. The DCL resides in Founders Memorial Library rooms 337 - 340.  In 2011, the DCL was awarded support from the NIU Great Journeys Strategic Plan. As a result of that award the lab was able to expand capabilities and support more students, faculty, staff, and local community children and lifelong learners. 

Mission Statement

The Digital Convergence Lab empowers students, faculty, staff and members of the community by bringing people together in the exploration of new media, experiential learning, community engagement, and multi-disciplinary research. The lab brings new media technologies to the attention of the campus community, supports their use, and engages in research and development activities leading to the creation of innovative applications and tools.

Welcome to the Digital Convergence Lab

In the Digital Convergence Lab people come together in the exploration of new media, experiential learning, community outreach, and multi-disciplinary research. The DCL brings new media technologies to the attention of the campus community, and provides support for research and development activities leading to the creation of new digital media applications and tools.

Experience. Experiential Learning Opportunities
Provide NIU students with an opportunity to benefit from a team-based, experiential approach to learning, with a real client/project focused on interactive digital media.

Discover. Shared Research and Development
Offers professional expert staff to support faculty, staff, and graduate students in the investigation, design, development, and research of digital and interactive media for education.

Create. Community Engagement
Foster community engagement by actively extending educational experiences for our diverse northern Illinois community, including workshops and camps for all ages.

Goals and Strategies

Goal 1: Experience. Experiential Learning Opportunities

The Digital Convergence Lab provides Northern Illinois University students with an opportunity to benefit from a team-based, experiential approach to learning. Its focus on the development of sophisticated multimedia materials simultaneously allows student participants to benefit from perspectives provided by peers and instructors drawn from a variety of disciplines, enhance their technical skills, and gain hands-on experience while applying new media technologies to a variety of challenges similar to those found in a modern workplace. 

Strategy
Create a media and technology-focused experiential/service learning program; expand opportunities for NIU students to participate in a combination of experiential/service learning, multi-disciplinary, and collaborative projects that involve exploration and use of digital technologies.

Goal 2: Discover. Shared Research and Development
The Digital Convergence Lab offers a centralized lab and professional expert staff able to support faculty, staff, and graduate students in the investigation, design, development, and research of digital and interactive media for education.

Strategy
Conduct research, development, and assessment of emerging applications, media, and technologies converging in the digital environment for the academic and professional purposes of the university community and disseminate information, applications, and products developed by the lab.

Goal 3: Create. Community Engagement 
The Digital Convergence Lab will foster community engagement by actively extending educational experiences for our diverse regional community.

Strategy
Attract members from the surrounding community to the Digital Convergence Lab, the NIU Libraries, and the NIU campus by hosting community workshops, special interest camps, intellectual digitization products, research, and development opportunities.

Location

The Digital Convergence Lab is located in the NIU Founders Memorial Library rooms 337 - 340. 

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Partnership

Founding Partners

The founding partners include: Digital Scholarship at Founders Memorial Library and NIU Outreach eLearning Services. These partners bring a unique mix of technical and scholarly skills to the Lab. The Digitization Unit has compiled an impressive library of digitized historical documents and artifacts. eLearning Services has worked with faculty and other content experts to produce more than 100 online courses and learning modules, and a variety of online services for educators, state governments, associations, museums, and businesses.

The lab is co-directed by Aline Click of NIU Outreach eLearning Services and Drew Vandecreek of the NIU Digital Scholarship at Founders Memorial Library.

Aline Click is the Director of NIU eLearning Services and has provided leadership in online education for NIU since 1998. Her background in electronic media, web development, educational technology, project management and leadership of the highly successful eLearning Services team demonstrates her passion for NIU.

Drew VandeCreek is the Director of Digital Scholarship at Founders Memorial Library and is responsible for coordination of Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project activities with partner institutions, including the selection of material for digitization and establishment of standards for digital capture and cataloging of material.

Professional Staff

The DCL is supported by professional staff working together to achieve common goals for the university.

Faculty and Staff

NIU faculty and staff are invited to contribute their energy, enthusiasm, and expertise by partnering with the Digital Convergence Lab, participating in shared research, coaching a team of students on an experiential learning project, or presenting at a community workshop.

 

 

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