University at MediaCityUK teaching week 2

October 11, 2011
Foyer of University of Salford at MediaCityUK

Foyer of University of Salford at MediaCityUK (pic by Heloukee)

I’ve been here 4 weeks now but we’re on week 2 for our students. Before we opened around 1600 students attended inductions for our building from courses covering areas such as TV, radio, journalism, media, audio, video, animation and multimedia. I’ve had a great week or so seeing the rooms I’ve spent the last three and a half years helping plan full of activity. There’s still snagging going on of course – it’s a new build and we lost a little testing time before opening but both staff and students are on a learning curve here so something of a shared adventure taking place.

Most of the facilities are up and running; TV and radio studios are full with training taking place every day, the Digital Performance Lab has film studies students analysing and discussing films shown on the big screen and PC and Mac labs are up and running. Most of the rooms have glass walls so there’s a nice buzz from walking round the place seeing learning taking place everywhere you look. Our Media Asset Management System (MAM) has passed initial user testing and the guys from MediaSmiths are putting finishing touches to this to phase in full operation over this semester.

Touchtable in the foyer

Multi touch interactive tables in the foyer at MediaCityUK (pic by Heloukee)

Touch tables in the foyer have been a big hit so far – they’re running internet browsers, information about programmes and the building itself and (the most popular) games. This is just the start for these as our students are going to be developing content for the tables as part of project work and with the foyer being open to visitors there’s going to be plenty of visibility for student work. Some interesting challenges as well because I’m hoping that academic colleagues will be setting live briefs for projects to showcase some of our research and other activity and this could come in from all three colleges in the University.

The big Christie tile wall in The Egg (mentioned in a previous post) is also attracting a bit of attention, at the moment we’re running basic (but hi-res) content but colleagues are planning all sorts of stuff to go here and with two Kinect units and motion tracking cameras some of it will allow people in the foyer to interact with the content. I’m already planning how we can disseminate research outputs from the FascinatE project that I’ve been working on with a number of European partners. I’d really like to see some of the outputs from Fraunhofer HHI’s OmniCam on here, it’ll look awesome. Also want to put an ambisonic audio rig in here to get the full effect of some of what we’ve worked on for the project.

There’s a bunch of other stuff happening around some of the partnerships that have sprung up around our MediaCityUK activity too. We had BBC R&D researchers visiting as part of the Audio Research Partnership yesterday, I’m hoping to revisit the Entertainment Technology Centre at Carnegie Mellon University soon to plan collaborative projects and some colleagues including Marianne Patera and colleagues from Fashion are planning a 12 hour fashion project linking University of Salford with RMIT in Melbourne linked by mobile video for tomorrow night.

I hope they have strong coffee.

Teaching is going great as well, I have the great pleasure of co-delivering some modules with @heloukee and last week’s session on Creative Commons licensing, media mashups and piracy (tweeted live as it happened form the class) was a pleasure to be part of. Great students and a great start!


  1. That’s excellent Ben! Thank you the mention 🙂 Hopefully everything will go smoothly during the 12hr Fashion project. If anyone wants to watch fashion students designing, creating and photographing a garment in 12 hours please tune in: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Salford-RMIT-Fashion/159105610845987

    Fingers cross…and loads of coffee!


    • I’ll be watching closely – need any assistance?

  2. Nice post. Would love to hear more abt how yu incorporated live tweeting into your teaching session. Looks like the students loved it!

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