The evolution of illumira
In July of 2004, the Educational Activities Task Force (EATF) of NJEdge was in discussion about an easy method to stream commercial video. Interest in digital video for teaching and learning further escalated as New Jersey faculty and students began increasing their production of self-created media content in online and blended courses accessible via institutional course management systems. Faculty needed a place to store and stream their content, but their local institutions were not always up to the task. YouTube, iTunesU and other commercial resources provided outlets, but had some severe drawbacks including lack of storage growth, limitations in size, advertising, and preservation. In addition, these delivery modes did not provide institutions a way to stream their commercial video content. Commercial video is a rich resource for educational usage as it is designed with instruction in mind, but it demands payment for licensing.
In 2005, the savings that could be gleaned from those institutions as part of the VALE Consortium was calculated at $7,400 per institution. However, even once negotiated, the commercial video vendors often had no way to deliver to the end user. Bringing costs down for commercial video was a good beginning, but delivering streaming video to the end user was still an issue. What remained to be developed was the physical statewide digital video portal and repository that tied it all together, and one that would take it a step further by providing not only commercial video content but local and user-created content as well.
A collaboration of New Jersey educational institutions through a unified streaming digital video portal and repository delivering member-wide benefits including cost avoidance of streaming video servers, storage or technical support personnel was proposed to the IMLS in 2006. In 2007, the grant was resubmitted using open source software. The proposal to develop NJVID was awarded close to $1 million dollars by the IMLS to William Paterson University with Rutgers University and NJEdge as partners and Sandra Miller, Director of Instruction and Research Technology at WPUNJ, as Principal Investigator.
In July 1, 2011, NJEdge started funding the project and offered the service to its members. Soon Merit, the Research and Education network of Michigan and CSM soon started offering this service to its members. In 2015, the service was offered to Higher Ed institution of Pennsylvania.
In November 2016, NJVID was rebranded as illumira.