New Video Technology Opens Accessibility

Posted on March 28, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

0089268400040_av2_500x500.jpgFlip Cams

 Jeff McCoy 

Not too many years ago, schools had to invest a lot of money in camcorders and video equipment in order to do classroom video projects. Because of the expense of these products, many teachers and administrators were hesitant to allow their students to handle the camcorders and very few would allow them to take the camcorders home to complete video interviews and other projects. This of course made video in the classroom more of a teacher tool than a student learning tool.

Recently, the market has been flooded with low cost, easy to use camcorders. They range in price from $116-$150 each…very affordable and cost effective enough that most teachers would not mind sending them home with students to complete projects. Most of these fall under the category of flip cams. Google “flip cam” or “flip video” and you will discover a large range of low cost video cameras for the classroom. Cost alone is reason to buy these cameras considering you can buy 5-10 for the price of what we spent a few years ago. The second great thing about the cameras is that you don’t need to keep up with a usb wire on most of them. Gone are the days of digging through that “catch all” box in your office full of impossible to untangle cords and adapters. Most come with a pop out USB on them so you just plug it into your computer and begin the download of video or pics to your computer. Everything is contained on the device.

The current generation of kids, the “M” generation or “media generation” are used to working with multimedia on a regular basis. They are much more tech savvy than we are. Video projects in the past were hard to do because the majority of the work had to be done at school or you had to send that expensive camcorder home with the child at the risk of it being broken.  The new flip cam allows the teacher to send the video cameras home without stressing too much about it being broken. Students can now interview grandparents for their career day or history preservation projects, complete that fine arts project, take video for year book and news show, etc. Best of all, it’s easy to download the video and edit it in your favorite video editing software.

There are many types of cameras like this out there, As of now, the flip cams can be bought to record 30 minutes or 60 minutes of video. Above in the picture is one example found on the walmart website.  The resolutions on the flip cams are pretty good and I know many schools use them to record short clips of sporting events etc. As technology advances, the quality of video should only improve and get better.  There are several types of these cameras available on the market and they range in price from $119-$150.

If you are considering doing video projects with your students, you may want to consider investing in an external hard drive as well. Even though these cams hold only 30-60 minutes of video, they will take up a considerable amount of disk space, especially if you have multiple students doing projects. Each video is going to range from 2GB to 4GB of memory. External storage is fairly cheap these days, so it may be well worth the investment.



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One Response to “New Video Technology Opens Accessibility”

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Many teachers may fear beginning to use video cameras in the classroom. . .partly because of the editing process. However, editing can be as easy or as difficult as one wants to make it. . .AND. . .students really love editing video. Put an 8th grade student who hates to write in a position to where she can tell a story with video. That linear thinking can be sliced and diced (edited) using a non-linear editing program…Editing without tears! Look Ma, no pen!

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