Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Facing up to production planning

So here I am, having bought a couple of cheap but rather useful Flip camcorders a few weeks ago. A quick reminder - they look like mobile phones, are cheap to buy, as close to idiot proof in terms of operation as a piece of techno-kit can get, and seemingly irresistible to staff and students alike.

Finally, I got one of my test models back yesterday and figured it was time I had a little play with them myself. One of my lower sixth classes was ready to give me and their peers quick pitches about the film ideas they're developing. Filming will begin in the new year, and with only a week to go before the Christmas break begins, it seemed like a perfect moment to put them on camera.

So, I popped the Flip on a tripod, let it record the presentations, including audience questions, then flipped out the USB stick that's inbuilt, connected the camera to my PC, went to YouTube, hit upload, and got on with something else.

As if by magic, when I came back there were the three videos online. Now, these aren't going to win any awards for cinematography, sound or anything else. In fact, with perfect timing, a workman started using a noisy drill half way through our recordings. But, it does mean we have a moving image record of what happened, which is a useful piece of research data to own.

Here are the three presentations. There'll be some more coming tomorrow, and I will also start, now that I've created a Berkhamsted Media channel on YouTube, to upload other student produced material.


Dan Felstead said...

Great video and great idea! I bet your students love it. What a great way to get them involved. These video cams are unbelievable nowadays. Just RAM memory, no hard drive and now tape ...right? The quality is not grainy at all. I understand they are inexpensive as well. I love this technological age we live in. Tell you students they are being watched in Evansville, Indiana....and they are stars!


Don said...

I enjoyed the post. The Flip technology (kit version) is accessible. I'm always on the look-out for affordable upgrades to my classroom and school. This is a good possibility for a mini-grant proposal. (I'd rather spend someone else's money!)

Some have the money, some have the ideas! Some "borrow" ideas from others. (Hmmm... which am I?)

Don said...


I see my daughter responded to your post of some time ago on her blog on stereotypes. She has another blog entry you might enjoy: It takes a family AND a village.

In one of your "spare" moments...


TesoriTrovati said...

Hi Sacha-
I actually came here to comment that I really enjoyed your poem from Pictures Poetry & Prose. Then I got sucked into this article about the Flip camera. Very cool technology and quite good video and audio. Amazing how simple (and small) things have become. I watched one of the videos and thougth that your students are quite well-versed. That is a class I think I would have liked in high school. Enjoy the day!