Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Flipping Out

If you read my first blog post, you understand that I started the year with a mission to incorporate technology throughout the school year.  Purchasing a Flip Camcorder was my first step in utilizing some facet of technology.  It has been one of the best purchases that I have made as an educator to date.

It isn't surprising that many parents don't read every newsletter or communication that is sent home.  Parents are often too busy to stop, sit down, and read a two page newsletter.  What they will do is watch videos that are sent directly to email or posted on the school's web page.

What is a Flip Camera?

--A hand-held camera/camcorder that is simple to use.  You literally just have to turn it on, point it at whatever you would like to record, and push the red button.  That simple!
--A flip camera has a USB that can be directly plugged in to your computer.  This allows you to have the easiest download you could ever ask for.  Honestly, easiest download ever.

Here are the best uses I've found for the Flip:

1.) Email short videos to parents.

  • Parents love having the opportunity to be a mouse in the corner.  Sending a short video email is a great way to give parents a sneak peek into the learning going on in their child's class. They've really enjoyed these daily communications
  • As you make your way around the building, you will most likely see kids doing some great things in each classroom.  Quickly get your camera out and catch them 'in action'.  
  • Later, download the videos to your computer.  The Flip software has an 'email' button and you simply push it and type in the address you would like to send the video to.
2.)  Compile your videos into a movie.
  • What do you do with all the videos that you take?  Compile all of them using some movie editing software (iMovie, Flip Movie) and post them on your website.
  • This is another great way to draw parents and community members to your website as well as show them what is going on each month in the school.
  • Here is an example of a video in which you can quickly show what is going on in your building:

3.)  Teacher evaluation tool.
  • Taking them into the classroom during formal observations can be a great tool to use during your post observation meeting.  
There are so many ways you can use this handy little cam!  Post more ideas or uses if you have expertise in using a flip.  One thing is for sure, parents love to see their children in action.  This gives an opportunity to open your school to parents and the community.  It really is an awesome communication tool.

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