Writer: D'Lyn Ford
LAS CRUCES - Barbara Chamberlin has rejoined New Mexico State University's agricultural communications department as an assistant professor and educational media and instructional technology specialist with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service.
Chamberlin, a media specialist and student employee with the department from 1989 to 2000, earned a doctorate in instructional technology from the University of Virginia earlier this year. She did her dissertation research on a U.S. Department of Agriculture food safety Web site for children, developed in conjunction with NMSU.
"I hope Barbara can be a catalyst to help teaching, research and Extension faculty use technology to enhance learning by helping faculty incorporate learning technologies into their plans and apply technology in the classroom and through distance education," said Terry Canup, agricultural communications department head. Chamberlin will work with faculty through the college's teaching technology lab in Room 270, Gerald Thomas Hall.
The Food Detectives Fight BAC site Chamberlin used for her dissertation research features games to teach 9- to 11-year-old students how to avoid foodborne illness as they prepare snacks, reheat leftovers, clear the table and help in the kitchen.
"The project taught me a lot about what makes a game fun and how it contributes to learning," Chamberlin said. "My doctoral wor k has made me much more comfortable in working with focus groups, and it's given me a deeper understanding of instructional design."
Chamberlin holds a bachelor's degree in communication studies and a master's in agricultural and extension education, both from NMSU.
As a media specialist with the department, she developed Web sites, CD-ROMs, touch-screen kiosks and computer animation.
Chamberlin won the 1998 Western region Pioneer Award from Agricultural Communicators in Education, given to members who demonstrate exceptional leadership and technical skills and make significant contributions to ACE during their early careers. She won ACE best of class awards in graphic design and information technology, and was a team member on award-winning Web sites, educational videos and multimedia productions.
Chamberlin, who will attend the National 4-H Technology Conference in St. Louis, Mo., in March, said she hopes to organize digital photography clubs and digital storytelling venues where teens can create and share their movies and Web sites.
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