The New Media Interactive Development Laboratory is a specialized laboratory specifically designed to support the needs and curriculum of New Media students. The lab focuses specifically on support team-based work that use a workflow that spans the PC and Mac platforms. In addition, software and hardware are selected that will attempt to “bridge the gap” between the predominately Mac-based production world, and the other production environments within GCCIS that are based on PC hardware. The lab makes heavy use of the Adobe® Master Collection, and features specialized workstations for video capture and editing in addition to the array of workstations that are deployed throughout the lab. In addition, the lab is often an environment in which students can test customized physical installations of various projects – including customized lab furniture and installations for workflow improvements.
In addition to providing the lab for the NMID students of the IGM School, the New Media Interactive Development laboratory has the unique requirement of providing students with an interoperable development environment with the labs that support the New Media programs in the College of Imaging Arts & Sciences. Just as the curricula for these programs are highly intertwined and connected, so are the computing facilities. By using software packages and tools designed to span platforms and different team roles, the NMID Lab seeks to provide a comfortable working environment for students that are filling multiple different development environments across a wide variety of projects and experiences. One example of this is the use of multiple packages from Adobe to support the differentiation and collaboration of students as they explore the designer / developer paradigm, as was recently published by Adobe in this case example. [external link to Adobe Systems, Inc.]
Tutors and lab assistants are available to students in the NMID lab on a rotating basis. There is always a lab assistant on duty, and IGM lab assistants are specifically selected based on their ability to provide responses and offer assistance with basic questions on both the hardware and software in the laboratory environment. Indeed, it has become a point of cultural pride that “labbies” are able to assist the generalized student population with issues, and are adept and bringing forward suggestions and comments for the continual improvement of our laboratory environments. In addition, graduate students that are employed by the school as tutors hold hours in the lab on a rotating basis, as their schedules allow.