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
Making a ‘movie’ using the FlipShare software
Uploading a Flip video to 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).
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 http://flickr.com/photos/momentimedia/