Recording with the One Button Studio

The One Button Studio opened in the Hesburgh Library this month. Based on the model developed by Penn State, this recording studio allows video content to be recorded and saved to a flash drive with the push of a button. As a student with no video recording experience, I had to ask: is it really that simple? I headed to the Hesburgh Library to put the One Button Studio to the test.


The Studio: The room setup is streamlined with the screen and projector at one end of the room, and the cart which contains the recording equipment and the computer at the other end. When you plug the the flash drive into the USB hub, the lights turn on and you see a preview of what the camera will record. I was prompted to push the “One Button” to begin recording. Once the button is pushed, recording begins.

kiosksetup Kiosk computer and camera setup in the One Button Studio

You can incorporate presentations into your video recording by using the computer in the room, or by connecting your laptop with the cables  provided. Content is projected onto a gray screen. High contrast presentations and large, readable text will work best. You can also use the system in green screen mode. This lets you record content and then use iMovie to replace the background.

Gray screen  The gray screen in Notre Dame’s One Button Studio

When you’re done recording, simply push the button again and the file is saved to your USB drive. When it’s done copying, you are prompted to either remove the drive or press the button again to start another recording. When the USB drive is removed, the lights and camera turn off automatically. The file is saved in an MP4 format and can be imported into iMovie or Adobe Premiere for further editing.


The Verdict: The One Button Studio makes recording video content easier than I had imagined. As a recording novice, I was impressed with the easy, streamlined process and the quality of the recording. Here are a few tips I picked up during my trip to the One Button Studio:


  • The computer in the room can be used to move your recording to Cloud storage or to display notes.
  • There is a switch that allows the user to change from the gray screen backdrop or to select a blue or green screen effect.
  • Come prepared! Since time is limited, bring your notes and know what you’re going to say ahead of time.
  • USB drives, whiteboards, and projector remotes can be borrowed from the Hesburgh Library circulation desk.
  • If you do run into any issues, library staff will be available to help by phone or at the circulation desk.


Chris Clark created this video for his class using the One Button Studio:

Ready to start recording? For additional instruction regarding the studio, click here. You can reserve the One Button Studio in 30 minute blocks for up to two hours per day here.

Horizon Report 2015: Notre Dame and the Digital Horizon

In February, the Hesburgh Library Center for Digital Scholarship hosted the Horizon Report 2015 Event: Notre Dame and the Digital Horizon, which looked at emerging technological trends and how they will affect teaching, learning, and creative inquiry at Notre Dame over the next three to five years.  The Horizon Report is published annually, in collaboration with the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The event was a collaboration with the Hesburgh Libraries, the Kaneb Center, OIT, and the Office of Digital Learning. It consisted of a welcome lunch followed by lightening talks that focused on:


Online Learning

The value of online learning is now well understood and set to impact education with its flexibility, ease of access, and integration of sophisticated learning technologies. How can Notre Dame use online tools to enhance the excellent education we already provide?


Badges / Blending of formal and informal learning

Badges allow for reward incentive and progress monitoring with online learning. Incentives like this are increasingly prevalent with blended learning environments. The term flipped classroom refers to a pedagogical model where the in-class time with students is primarily focused on problem solving activities, rather than presentation of information.  The prerequisite information is reviewed by students prior to coming to class.  Many classrooms are being flipped in an attempt to integrate active learning. Blending this with traditional lectures promotes hands on, real world application of concepts that foster curiosity-based learning among students.


Data-Driven Learning and Assessment

Online applications and tools generate a lot of data as faculty and students use them.  Universities around the world are developing tools to help analyze the data in ways that can help us understand and predict student success or failure.  Learning progress can be monitored through data analytics services, providing a more personalized learning experience.



Makerspaces are workshops that offer the tools needed to carry out ideas from start to finish.  These tools often include traditional shop tools used in woodworking, but they also include newer technologies conducive to rapid prototyping such as 3D printers, laser-cutters, and CNC machines. Makerspaces help students develop critical skills in design, engineering, and creativity, preparing for their careers.



Many institutions and organizations are supporting the use of personal devices. Students and educators are bringing their own devices into the classroom and connecting them to the University’s network.


Understanding the findings of the Horizon Report is important for the Notre Dame community.  These trends are set to have great impact on teaching and learning in the coming years. Implementing them properly and understanding their impact will prepare our students for the future.