Stop flipping out: quick tutorials for Flip video cameras

What is that little black device in your hand? An iPod? An iPhone? Some new kind of cellphone? Nope, its the ‘world’s smallest’ HD video camera – the Flip Mino HD.

Last semester, the Duke Digital Initiative (DDI) made several Flip Mino video cameras available to Duke faculty and students through both its grant program and a large ‘loaner’ pool of cameras available for checkout in the Link (which students and faculty can check out for up to 3 weeks at a time). This semester, DDI is once again offering a grant program to faculty and students interested in exploring the uses of the Flip camera for academic purposes.

Here’s a link to more information about the grant and other DDI programs.

Here at the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT), we’ve worked with many faculty to help them plan on the uses of Flip video cameras for their courses. Want your students to create mini video ethnographies? Try having them record interviews with a Flip. Want to see your students working on a project? Ask them to use a Flip camera to capture key moments of their work. Once you see how light, quick and portable the Flip is, you’ll start coming up with several uses for it – many you never anticipated.

While the Flip is great – the documentation isn’t. Using the Flip to record is as simple as clicking its big red button. Moving those files to your computer is another story. One of the nice things about the Flip is that it includes built-in software (called ‘FlipShare’) that allows users to quickly edit video and upload it to sites like YouTube, or download it to their computer for later use. We often get asked for help either a) working with this software, or b) figuring out ways to use the Flip video with Blackboard. To fill this need, we’ve provided a few videos on our YouTube channel to explain the process.

Basic editing/trimming function of the FlipShare software

Click here to see the video in a larger size and/or on YouTube.

Making a ‘movie’ using the FlipShare software

Click here to see the video in a larger size on YouTube.

Uploading a Flip video to YouTube

Click here to see the video in a larger size on YouTube.

How to embed a YouTube clip in a Blackboard wiki

Finally, we get several questions about how to get Flip video into Blackboard. There are several ways to do this, but one method that results in a nice looking presentation is to use the Blackboard wiki tool and ’embed’ the video there via YouTube. An ’embedded’ video is a video that can be watched and played in the context of the page it’s in (as I’ve done with the videos here).

Click here to watch the video in a larger size on YouTube.

If you have any comments on any of these videos and/or have a specific need to see something demonstrated, please let us know.

Image of Flip cameras used via Creative Commons license. Photo by

4 thoughts on “Stop flipping out: quick tutorials for Flip video cameras

  1. Richard Bowen


    Saw your video on trimming Flip videos, but I am still frustrated.

    This is how I’ve tried – unsuccessfully – to trim the video:

    1) I played the original video from the beginning until it gets to the point where I would like the new, trimmed video to start.

    2) I hit “Pause” and then clicked on the scissors (trim) icon.

    3) The “trim” window (or whatever it’s called) opened up and I clicked “Save as”, giving it a new name.

    4) I hit ‘Close’.

    5) When I’m returned to the Flip video-viewing area (or whatever it’s called), I find the ‘Saved as/Renamed’ video, but when I play it, it starts at the original place … not the one I wanted.

    What am I doing wrong?

    BTW, I even tried just ‘Save’ & ‘Close’. Same thing.


    the trim window opened,

  2. Richard Bowen

    BTW, the author & date of the tutorial was:

    January 16th, 2009 by Shawn Miller


  3. Shawn Miller

    Hi Richard –
    I think the problem you may be having is in pausing the movie before you click the scissor icon. Try clicking the scissor icon first (opening the ‘trim’ window/version of the movie), then moving the start point and end points.

  4. Pingback: Center for Teaching and Technology » Flipping out over the Flip?!

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