Life at 30: Teaching and Technologies

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Apple celebrated the 30th birthday of the Mac with a short film created in a single day and filmed entirely with iPhones. Setting aside my unabashed Apple fanboy-ness, I’m struck by the ways in which advanced technologies have saturated our lives.  I can remember early computer lab proposals that included funds for expensive video camera that students could check out and use to make multimodal projects.  What Apple’s film highlights for me is that fact that these days most students are carrying around a small production studio in their pockets, whether powered by iOS, Android, or Windows.  Phones increasingly have extremely capable cameras that can be used to capture both photos and videos; apps (many of them free) allow students to work with still and moving images to create any number of compositions. In light of all this, I am wondering about the future of computer labs.  We may not be at the “Internet of everything” but as technology becomes cheaper, more portable, and more pervasive some part of me does wonder if the computer classroom is an endangered species. Have any of you tried leveraging student-owned technology like cell phones in the composition classroom?  I find the possibilities tantalizing and I am wondering what people have tried…
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.