University of Michigan and IBM Collaborate on Digital Asset Management System for Higher Education

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LOS ANGELES, CA - 05 Nov 2003: The University of Michigan has selected IBM to pursue a digital vision and to collaborate on a Digital Asset Management system in the Living Laboratory of the university's Media Union. The two are working on the university classroom of the near future, where faculty and students find and use audio, video, animation, and other rich media, as easily as they draw on text materials.

The project, termed DAMS (The Digital Asset Management System) by the university, is intended to make the university's huge stores of digital content (video, images, film, etc.) far easier to find and use. Examples of expected results from the university's digital infrastructure include: far more life-like tools to study anatomy, better pictures of earthquake dynamics, and more facile tools for teaching theater expression.

"We believe that the university endeavor of teaching, learning and research must embrace video, audio, simulations and other rich digital media in the same way that it has historically utilized text and still images," James Hilton, associate provost for Academic, Information and Instructional Technology Affairs, said. "The project is designed to examine solutions for issues particular to academe, and serve as a model for higher education institutions worldwide."

The system will make it possible for faculty and students to find, customize, and edit media assets, from the desktop. "While Digital Asset Management systems exist in corporate settings, the academic enterprise presents an environment that is far more complex in terms of the range of assets, the diversity of users, and intellectual property rights," Hilton said.

Several projects are already underway including: the School of Dentistry making video demonstrations of dental procedures available online giving dental students instant and repeated reference to a procedure, such as teeth cleaning, as they practice in the school's simulation laboratory.

The School of Business creating online video modules of senior faculty delivering lectures on specific core concepts. Students will view the lectures, as needed, to prepare for classes, thus preserving precious class time for higher level activities.

The School of Literature, Science, and the Arts beginning to digitize and post online one of the world's larger history of art collections, making it far more convenient to search and deliver these valuable artifacts to classroom, desktop, and class websites.

The project is now housed in the "Living Laboratory," located in the university's Media Union Digital Tools Lab, a specialized environment for information technology experimentation. The project utilizes IBM's DB2 Content Management software and other software solutions, including IBM business partner Ancept, Inc., and focuses on the access, manipulation, and control of video, audio, images and other digital content in a learning environment.

How the System will work
DAM systems are tools for organizing digital media assets for storage and retrieval. The university is deploying the use of an array of IBM Software products, with IBM's powerful DB2 Content Management software serving as the workhorse and central repository for the system.

Core technology components of the University of Michigan DAMS project include:

The University of Michigan selected IBM as its digital asset management partner because of IBM's experience in building asset management systems, its commitment to developing advanced solutions with and for the higher education community, and the strength of its partners.

The university is also exploring the possibility of joint research with IBM to develop digital rights management technology to address the unique requirements of academe.

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