Mesa Community College students are now able to turn their written essays into well-edited mini-documentaries in a classroom right here on campus. The New Media Lab Experience, an award-winning program located in room AS 122, building AS 4 near the library, was started by Eddie Webb, an English professor here at Mesa Community College. His goal was to provide a place “for students to come create” and to give students a way to turn their assignments from normal English papers into short films, podcasts, and animations. “When the students write their essays,” said Keegan Choffat. “We adopt those into new media, into documentaries.”
The equipment in the room consists of projectors, microphones, multiple television screens, Apple Macs, and will soon include Wacom drawing tablets. The Macs themselves have been equipped with Adobe programs like Photoshop, Final Cut, and Premiere. Mr. Webb says it’s a way for students to learn many multimedia formats. “We have a full studio for video and audio,” he explained.
When it comes to what a student can do at the media lab, “the sky’s the limit” said Webb. “We want all the students to come over here as digital natives, to push the limits of what we can do with multimedia and academia, there are no boundaries.”
Currently, the media lab is the home to a new student-hosted, peer-reviewed academic literature podcast, as well as being a place for students to do more than just essays or documentaries. “There are students that come in here and use Blender for 3D Animation, students that come in here to work on art projects,” Choffat said. They’re even beginning work with drawing tablets “now people are coming in with their original designs,” said Webb. “It is way cool.” As far as student accessibility goes. “We’re trying to limit classes in here,” said Webb. “We want this to be a place for students to come.”