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Americans had better get ready—and fast. Their old-fashioned television sets are becoming obsolete. A new, interactive media is just a few short years away from becoming the communications industry standard, and Ball State is playing a part.

Televisions will soon take on the many characteristics of computers, allowing viewers to control programming by simply pointing and clicking on the screen to access information instead of waiting for a reporter or emcee to provide the details.

For the last two years, Ball State students and faculty from computer science, journalism, and telecommunications have been working through an immersive learning project to develop and study the impact of interactive television (iTV). The class is a collaborative effort by Ball State's College of Communication, Information, and Media and the College of Science and Humanities in addition to the Teleplex and the Center for Media Design.

While the journalism students write the stories and telecommunication students provide video, computer science instructor Vinayak Tanksale brings his expertise in computer programming into the project, which has opened the eyes of participating undergraduates to new ways of thinking.

For example, computer science students must get out of the habit of talking about programming codes and take on new roles to complete multilayered and highly complex projects.

“Working as a team on a major project like iTV makes them more marketable because they are now outside their comfort zone in computer programming and taking on new roles. We are seeing hybrid professionals now—team-oriented and multitalented individuals who can take what they’ve learned in college and apply it immediately in a fast-paced and rapidly evolving workplace.”

Related links:

Computer Science

Journalism

Telecommunications

College of Communication, Information, and Media

College of Science and Humanities

Center for Media Design