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AMP'd for Teaching

barclay_barrios
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We recently snagged a large grant from our school’s technology fee to outfit AMP, our Advanced Media Production lab.  It’s filled with geeky love including 15 high-end fully-kitted iMacs, a clutch of HD video cameras, a Livescribe pen, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Creative Cloud, and a 3D scanner and printer. Initially we’ll be using the lab for our graduate courses but the idea is that what students learn in their grad classes will trickle down into their own teaching.  That’s my explicit goal for the fall.  I’m slotted to teach ENC 6700: Introduction to Composition Theory and Methodology, our pedagogy course for new Graduate Teaching Assistants.  I’m planning multiple sessions in the AMP lab: one for our discussion of readings about teaching and technology, one for us to learn how to use some of the tech in a very hands-on way, and one for production where students will design a lesson plan or tool to use in their own classrooms. I’m not sure what we will end up producing.  I’ve always thought it would be interesting to visually represent an essay or a paper’s argument in three dimensions but I think it would also be interesting to create tutorial videos on common issues from a classroom. I hope to return to this at the end of the semester, so that I can share with all of you what happens on the near-bleeding edge of technology.  In the meantime, if you had your ultimate playground computer lab, what would you include?
About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.