New portable TV studio helps Appalachian students develop industry standard broadcast skills. Photo by Rob Gelber.

AppTV Chief Engineer and Production Manager Rob Gelber is confident that students’ ability to produce shows outside the studio is a skill essential to their future. Using a recently purchased portable studio, he’s partnering with campus organizations to ensure budding broadcast journalists have ample opportunity to learn outside the classroom.

Gelber teaches in Appalachian State University’s Department of Communication, specifically the live broadcast production course. Last fall, electronic media/broadcasting (EM/B) students enrolled in his course broke new ground Nov. 18 as the first group to use the portable studio. The students collaborated with the Hayes School of Music and the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts to record a live performance of the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra. They used the portable studio, which is a scaled-down version of the equipment students operate regularly inside the Beasley Media Complex television studios on campus, to capture audio and video of the university’s cornerstone orchestral ensemble.

In Gelber’s course, students learn how to work as a team to produce studio shows for AppTV, the university’s student-run television station, and cover athletics events for ESPN3. Last semester, 19 students were enrolled in the course, and this spring, enrollment has grown to 21. Gelber estimates they will record 10 live productions this semester.

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