The Media Commons Spring 2012 Forum, held this past Friday was a great success! Now that a few days have gone by, some data has been collected that I would like to share. But, first I would like to give a brief recap of the event.

The Spring Forum was held on Friday, February 24th, in the brand new, beautiful, Gaige Technology and Business Innovation Building on the Penn State Berks Campus.

People attended from many of the campuses including: Abington, Berks, Brandywine, Hazleton, Great Valley, Lehigh Valley, Mont Alto, Schuylkill, Wilkes-Barre, and Worthington – Scranton. Of the 42 attendees, 18 were faculty members, 14 were campus staff, 7 were Media Commons staff, and 3 were students.

Everyone seemed to find the campus, and the building quite easily. The attendees were greeted by the vibrant colors of the Gaige building. Though it was damp and cold outside, the many windows around the building let in plenty of natural light.

The tables in the room were set in a “U” like configuration, with extra tables in the center.

The day began with some wonderful coffee and bagels from campus catering, which seemed to get everyone comfortable for the opening session. To open the Forum we had a Welcoming address from the Chancellor of the Berks Campus, Dr. R. Keith Hillkirk. His opening included recognizing the pedagogically charged mission of the Media Commons, how technology can inspire students and faculty alike, and how it is important that students be exposed to technology so they are prepared for the world they will be entering.

Following this address, Chris Millet, Assistant Director of Educational Technology Services (ETS) gave the “State of the Media Commons” presentation. He discussed all of the new technologies and projects going on within Media Commons around the campuses and at University Park. He finished his presentation posing questions, about technology use in the classroom, to the attendees, which sparked lively discussion.

After a short break, we began the second part of the day with a faculty panel, moderated by Chris Millet. The panel included: Vippy Yee from the Brandywine campus representing video and audio projects, Kathy Maxwell from the Hazleton campus representing using Gaming in the classroom, and Karen Kackley – Dutt from the Lehigh Valley campus representing the mobile media pilot.

The faculty panel brought about great discussion regarding experiences using different media components in the classroom.

Next came the “Around ETS” portion of the program. This section of the day focused on the technologies being used or developed within ETS. To start Brian Young presented on Clickers, which sparked lively debate throughout the Forum. After Brian, there was an exciting presentation on the Educational Gaming Commons (EGC) given by Chris Stubbs. Lastly, Ryan Wetzel and Justin Miller presented on the new Knowledge Commons in Pattee Library, and the One Button Studio.

The Forum then broke for tours of the new Gaige Building, given by the Berks Campus Lion Ambassadors. While the attendees were on the tours, the Media Commons staff, rearranged the tables for lunch, making 5 large tables. Each presenter, Chris Millet, Brian Young, Chris Stubbs, Ryan Wetzel, and Justin Miller sat at a different table for lunch. When the attendees returned from their tours, they found a wonderful lunch waiting for them. They were encouraged to sit at one of the tables, where they could engage in discussion with the presenters.

This concluded the day around 2:00 in the afternoon.

I would like to thank Mary Ann Mengel, of the Berks Campus, for all her help to make this event a success.

Now for the feedback we have received so far from this event.

Immediately following the event an email was sent to all attendees asking them to answer a brief survey. These are the findings:

The first part of the survey asked questions about the Forum as a whole. We asked about the overall organization, the pacing of the event, the venue (the new Gaige Building), the communications sent prior to the Forum, and the quality of the food:

The following two charts concern the actual content and sessions of the Forum.

We were given great feedback, and very constructive comments, which will help us make future events even better.

Finally, the last question that we asked on our survey was, “Would you attend an event like this again?”, to which we had over 90% say they would.

For those of you who attended the event, we hope you enjoyed it! For more on upcoming Media Commons/ETS events please visit

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