I have recently had the opportunity to work with a couple of districts on using Flip video cameras. The Flip is a video camera that is about the size of an iPod. Depending on the model you choose, you can store either 60 or 120 minutes of video on the camera. I am currently using the Mino, which allows you to shoot 60 minutes of video. I was able to find this online for $99. The beauty of this device is in its simplicity. There is a power button, a record button, a simple 2x zoom, and buttons to view your videos directly on the camera. One of the features I like the best is the fold away USB port. With the push of a button the USB pops up from the top of the unit and can be plugged directly into your computer – no cable needed to misplace or forget!
The camera comes with basic editing software, which is easy enough that my six-year old was able to put together a simple video from some clips that she had shot. It is also easy to export the video to a folder on your computer and then edit it using Windows Movie Maker or other editing software.
The Phys. Ed. teachers I am working with are using the Flip to video students in gymnastics and track, to show them their technique and help them improve their performances. Their students are creating PSAs for health class.
In world language, teachers will be recording students speaking and reading throughout the year as artifacts to include in electronic portfolios.
The Flip is a simple to use, reasonably priced camera that offers the functionality needed for effective classroom use.