The Media Communication and Technology Department began as an offshoot of the Professional Education Department in 1971. The department, then known as “Educational Communications,” originally had three faculty members and two courses: Educational Communications and Television Production. The department was housed in the McGarry Communications Center where the WESS Radio Station is located today. Throughout the 1970’s, Filmmaking, Photography, and Videotaping Techniques were added to the mix. The department also offered an Associate’s Degree in Media Paraprofessional Training.
In 1980, the Bachelor of Science Degree in Media, Communication and Technology was established. Sound Recording, Multi-Image Techniques, Advanced Instructional Graphic Design and Computers in Education were some of the new courses to arrive during the eighties. In January 1982, the old Kemp Library was converted into the current Media Communications Wing; housing darkrooms, computer labs, classrooms and office space. In 1988, the department was officially re-titled into the Media Communication and Technology Department. In the 1990’s Digital Photography, Motion Media, and Imaging Technologies increased our course offerings, as well as Introduction to Multimedia. In 1999, both of our media classrooms were converted into “Smart Rooms” to help further enrich our courses with instructional technologies.
In 2000, the Instructional Technology graduate degree and Media Specialist Certification programs were added. A new concentration in Technology Integration was developed in 2009 and is now part of the Master’s Degree in Education.
In the summer of 2006, our facilities received a major renovation. The darkrooms were converted into The Convergence Center, which serves as both a production as well as Instructional Media training facility. Additionally, a new Portrait Studio was constructed, and additional office spaces were built. In 2009, the old portrait studio became the High-Definition editing suite, which features Macintosh Video Editing Suites.
In the summer of 2013, we updated our C classroom to create a high-end computer teaching classroom that also provides state of the art graduate classes. We also built a new Pro Tools professional quality audio recording studio, with all the technology, including instruments, to allow students to create professional level recordings.
In the Fall of 2013, we began the transition from being called the Department of Media Communication and Technology to Digital Media Technologies. During the Summer of 2014, we completed the renaming process, and also added new tracks to help guide students: photography, video and television, graphics and web, interactive, and generalist.
In the Summer of 2015, we upgraded all of the computers in the department to state-of-the-art systems, both PC and Apple. We received Dell workstations with Intel Xeon Processor Six Core E5-1650 v3, 32GB, Dual Nvidia Quadro K4200 4GB graphics cards, and solid-state drives. The Apples are 27-inch 5k Retina iMac’s with i7 Turbo boost 4.4GHz processors, 32GB memory, and AMD Radeon R9 4GB Graphics cards.
In the Summer of 2016, we upgraded all our video production equipment with new 4k Panasonic AD-DVX 200 cameras, new HD Sony cameras, new lavaliere and boom mics, Glidecam systems, tracked dolly systems, and other equipment. We also added Chrome books and a new dedicated DMET Creativity media computer server for students to save and share their work and to replicate industry standard file sharing practices.
In 2019 we fully upgraded our two TV studios in the McGarry Communication Center with an integrated industry standard 4k TV studio system including advanced 4k industry standard equipment and systems. These changes allow our students to create exceptionally high-quality TV content and broadcast it to the world.
In 2020 we added new TV backdrops and props to take the entire TV program to a new level. We also added Warrior TV, which is our new TV channel that can be seen throughout the ESU campus. This new TV channel allows students to showcase the content they create and share it on TV.
We have also been working on a National Science Foundation grant for $495,000, and then upgrading that to $597,000, that focuses on gaming and STEM that will run from 2018-2022. This has allowed us to focus on aspects of gaming and Esports, and we have also added new coursework in Esports that will be available in the Fall of 2021.
In the Summer of 2021, we added a virtual reality studio and 22 VIVE Focus Plus VR headsets and are adding VR to our classes. We are also in the process of upgrading all of our Apple computers and adding all new Alienware computers as our main computer in all of our labs and classrooms, where we will have 20 I9 processors, 64 gig memory iMacs, and 59 Alienware Aurora 12 computers with I9 processors, 64 gigs of memory, and NVIDIA RTX graphics cards. We are also designing a new Academic Esports Lab and Podcasting Studio, that will have Alienware computers, and allow students to play Esports, cast their sessions on our TV channel, and produce cutting edge broadcasts and content.
Today we offer an undergraduate degree and courses, ranging from TV and video production, graphics and web design to photography, sound, interactive media, Esports, social media as well as the opportunity to take our graduate courses for majors. We continue to offer students cutting edge technology and a wide range of coursework to prepare them for success in the 21st century.