New Media Consortium

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The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international 501(c)3 not-for-profit consortium of more than 250 colleges, universities, museums, corporations, and other learning-focused organizations dedicated to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies.

NMC member institutions are found in almost every state in the United States, across Canada, and in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Australia.[1]


The New Media Consortium (NMC) was founded in 1993 by a group of hardware manufacturers, software developers, and publishers who felt that the ultimate success of their multimedia-capable products depended upon their acceptance by the higher education community.

The founding partners launched an international search in April 1993 to identify schools in which an investment in multimedia capacity could bear fruit. The first New Media Center was established at Stanford University and 21 others quickly followed. The colleges among the first group of 22 academic institutions were chosen for their demonstrated competence at using new media technologies, as well as their geographic distribution and breadth of academic specialties.

Those 22 institutions initiated a number of collaborative activities, and their working group — then called the New Media Centers — quickly evolved into an independent not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation by early 1994, with headquarters in San Francisco.

In 1995 and 1998, the organization expanded the membership in two international searches. In 2002, the NMC moved its national headquarters from San Francisco, CA to Austin, TX.

Over the years, the NMC expanded to the present status (in 2006) of approximately 250 colleges, universities, research centers, and museums (current member list) and evolved into an organization known for exploring the frontiers of learning technology and the issues that surround it.

In early 2006 the NMC established a virtual campus in Second Life. The NMC Campus Observer is a blog that chronicles the activities on the virtual campus.


The consortium serves as a catalyst for the development of new applications of technology to support learning and creative expression, and sponsors programs and activities designed to stimulate innovation, encourage collaboration, and recognize excellence among its member institutions.


The NMC’s work is organized around major initiatives. Two of these support the NMC’s focus on stimulating innovation, and provide a framework for its explorations. The remaining initiatives provide the foundation for the work of the consortium.

  • The Emerging Technologies Initiative focuses on expanding the boundaries of teaching, learning and creative expression by creatively applying new tools in new contexts. The Horizon Project, the centerpiece of this initiative, charts the landscape of emerging technologies and produces the NMC’s annual Horizon Report. The 2006 Horizon Report can be found here.
  • The New Media Literacy & Learning Initiative, in 2006 the NMC’s newest, is a multi-year effort to explore and expand the potential of new developments in visual and digital literacy. The NMC held a summit and an online conference to launch the project in 2005. The NMC's experimental campus in the virtual world of Second Life falls under the banner of this initiative, as does the MacArthur-funded Series on Digital Media and Learning.
  • The Dynamic Knowledge Initiative provides a mechanism for the NMC to generate, distribute, and share knowledge on topics of interest to the organization. The NMC’s Series of Online Conferences, through which the NMC is building a web of knowledge and online resources, is the most visible expression of this initiative.
  • The New Collaborations Initiative encourages collaboration, knowledge exchange, and joint projects between colleges and universities, museums, libraries, research centers, and other learning-focused organizations. The Pachyderm Project is its current (2006) centerpiece and experimental test bed. The Marcus Foundation Digital Education Project extends the work of the Pachyderm Project to nearly all of the art museums in Texas.


The NMC holds three different types of conferences: its flagship annual NMC Summer Conference, a topical regional conference each fall, and two online conferences that also have a very topical focus.

The annual NMC Summer conference is the largest NMC event, and it is held each year at a different host institution, or institutions.[2]

The 2012 NMC Summer conference was hosted by The Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Past conferences have been hosted by

In 2005, the fall regional conference was held at Yale University. The 2006 fall regional conference was at Trinity University in San Antonio.

In 2005 and 2006, NMC Online conferences focused on visual literacy, educational gaming, personal broadcasting, and the impact of digital media. In fall 2006, the NMC's Series of Online Conferences was renamed the NMC Series of Virtual Symposia, a biannual series of topical forums held in the virtual world of Second Life. Symposium topics have included Creativity, the Evolution of Communication, Scholarly Mashups, and New Media and Learning. In 2009, a new annual symposium was launched entitled "The Symposium for the Future."

Corporate Partners[edit]


  • Executive Director — Eden Dahlstrom
  • Senior Director, Financial Services and Controller — Anne Treadway, CPA
  • Senior Director, Communications — Samantha Becker
  • Senior Director, Membership and Special Projects — Alex Freeman
  • Senior Director, CTO — Gordon Jackson


The NMC has offices in Texas in the United States. The headquarters office is in Austin, Texas.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]