Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet Interview - Paul Riismandel, Northwestern University

In this Streaming Media West 2009 Red Carpet interview, Peter Cervieri chats with Paul Riismandel, Director of Curriculum Support at the School of Communication at Northwestern University, about some of the challenges that educators face in adapting the classroom and lab experience into video along with the value that video brings for students. Paul specializes in educational technology for higher education, with a focus on digital media and conferencing. He writes for and has moderated many panel discussions at Streaming Media East and West. He blogs and podcasts about other media stuff at and is better known as the @mediageek on Twitter. 

In addition to all his new media work he also dabbles in old media. Paul is the adviser to Northwestern University's WNUR-FM 89.3 FM, where he now produces his radio show, mediageek, every Thursday at 9 PM Central Time. 

At Northwestern University, the demand for video is driven more by tech savvy students who rely on the video recordings rather than taking notes. This helps them stay more engaged since they don't have to worry about missing part of the lecture when they can just watch it later for review. Paul says that video in the classroom rewards the most motivated students who are challenged to do well, and it gives them the extra opportunity to do better. He says that for instructors, the learning experience has to lend itself to a form that translates well into video.
Supporting the technology are film students who staff two wired classrooms that have built-in remote controlled cameras, microphones with active mixing, SMART Podium interactive pen displays to capture notations and Mediasite recorders for Powerpoint and screen capture. Students log in through the Mediasite portal to access the content but Northwestern University is evaluating a broader, platform agnostic portal that would serve as a DAM (Digital Assessment Management) system. Paul pointed out that, with the thousands of universities out there, the market is ripe for SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions in higher education. 

Paul also moderated two panel sessions at this years Streaming Media West and the Online Video Platform Summit. The first session, How to Produce Effective Educational Content, featured Scott Nadzan, Director, Technology Services, Syracuse University, Richard Bloom, Course-cast Coordinator, UC Berkeley, Dan Balzer, Training Technology Manager, Retail Learning and Development, BP America and John Morris, CTO, Director of Operations, Drexel University who discussed how they work with subject matter experts, practical production techniques, and the tools used to get optimal results in service of learning goals.

At the Online Video Platform Summit, Paul moderated, Best Practices Round Table - Online Video Publishing Strategies and Tools, which featured Matt DeLoca, SVP, Sales & Marketing, KIT Digital, Wayne Kao, VP, Product Engineering, VMIX, Ken Kaplan, Broadcast and New Media Manager, Intel Global Communications Group and Linda Crowe,Group Manager, Media Strategy & Production, Sun Microsystems who discussed cost-effective tools, techniques, and best practices for online video publishing.

Linda Crowe also did a Red Carpet interview which focused on enterprise video which I'll feature in an upcoming post. Videos from both of those sessions will be available on

Here's a sample of Paul's Streaming Media articles from this past year, read more here: