Did you know that UNCG’s Jackson Library has not one, but two 3-D printers for students to design and create 3-D projects?

Navied Alamoudi, a senior majoring in finance and economics, is one of six student staff members who work in the Digital Media Commons. He helps his fellow students navigate projects in Excel, fixes his peers’ technology problems and assists them as they put together videos and other technology-heavy projects. His specialty, however, is programming the 3-D printers, as well as showing students how to use them.

Navied Alamoudi holds a prototype made on one of the library's 3-D printers.

Navied Alamoudi holds a prototype made on one of the library’s 3-D printers.

Just like UNCG has a writing center to assist students with written projects, the university’s Digital Media Commons and Digital ACT Studio help students with shooting and editing video, building websites and prototypes, and recording audio projects. Housed in the lower level of Jackson Library, the space gives students a place to study, access technology and get help using that technology, as well as produce stronger and more effective digital projects.

“Students uncomfortable with technology tend to learn better from a peer than from an authority figure,” said Armondo Collins, head of the Digital Media Commons, adding that as an added benefit, “student employees get hands-on experience.”

Over the summer, the Jackson Library’s lower level underwent a transformation, giving the Digital ACT Studio its own space. Three different maker labs were added to the Digital Media Commons space as well: a 3-D design lab, the VIA (video, image and audio) lab and an enhanced gaming lab. The labs provide students with hands-on access to 3-D printing and modeling technology, green screens for filming, tools for audio mixing and podcasting and an enhanced gaming technology for recreation and academics.

The Digital Media Commons is much more than a technology-driven tutoring space, however. There’s ample study space as well.

The furniture is arranged in clusters, is on wheels and can be easily moved, allowing students to design their own study spaces. There are data ports and electronic hook-ups around the room to encourage students to bring their own technology. High-top tables with bar stool seating line the perimeter of the room for students who want to study independently.

“Students who are able to create their study space generally have better study habits,” Collins said. “The DMC is one of the spaces of choice for students on campus.”


Story by Jeanie Groh, University Relations
Photography by Brian Speice, Intern, University Relations