The Read, Write, Web site announced the demise of the Flip camera and its software yesterday. I heard about it from several sources, particularly in my reader and via Twitter yesterday. My friend John Woodring blogged about it today as well.
Point, Shoot, Record, Edit
And let’s face it, we like them because they are photo © 2008 kev_hickey_uk | more info (via: Wylio)
easy to use devices, and our school admin understand the device and what it could add to the curriculum in the name of student learning. Educators have been encouraged to get them and implement their use in classrooms. My school has several, and I even had a couple of teachers video-record their lessons for portfolio entries in their quest to become nationally board certified teachers. For those who have worked on or worked with a teacher on this journey, you know that indicates great faith in the little video camera.
Why are so many lamenting the demise of this ultra portable easy to use device? I would venture to say most middle and high school kids have the ability to capture video on their mobile phone devices, and even actually would use those if allowed in school. Just today I helped a student pull a drum cadence recording off his phone for a scholarship application (he needed it on a CD to go in the application envelope.) Funny, but I really believe if the scholarship application had said “post your recording to xyz website” he wouldn’t have needed me at all.
Ditch the Flips?
I am not saying ditch your flips. I have teachers who will continue to use these handy devices. We can’t beat easy, and let’s not forget at this time our administrators are allowing them in classrooms where they are channeled for student learning. I’ve even given consideration to making a Flip Camera a prize in one of our library contests. My high school students I feel pretty safe in saying know how to use the video from their mobile devices. But let’s face it–using the personally owned electronic mobile devices in the school is not allowed, at least in my school or most schools for that matter…yet. So as it stands now, Flip cameras (and others similar to this) are the most economical way to bring video recording and editing into the classroom as a way for students to have an innovative and interesting way to demonstrate concept mastery. It’s an alternative to the standard paper and pencil mode of student work. Let’s not forget how it can add an element of choice, freedom from failure (because of the ability to do over and edit), and be a spark for creative juices which could translate into interest in a school assignment. Yes, video editing has the potential to be a very engaging tool for the teacher’s tool box.
In discussing this yesterday and today in my various educational networking avenues, many were pushing back on my thinking. I mentioned that I did not find it surprising news, nor devastating. I reminded folks that mobile phones now come equipped with great video recording capabilities. Just today I read that Vimeo has released an app for mobile phones that allows members who use the service to edit and post their videos to their Vimeo site. How sweeeeet is that??
Filters, School Policies, and Younger Students
But the pushback came from the lower grade teachers and librarians and from those who work with lower socio-economic students. These students don’t have access to fancy mobile phones for a variety of reasons, ranging from age appropriateness to financial inability. And let’s not forget the ban for most schools on students using personally owned mobile devices. This may be all true, but in my mind, we as technology leaders in our school still owe it to our patrons (and I am defining patrons here as students, teachers, parents, administrators, and even community members) to teach them about video recordings from a phone. This act on Cisco’s part forces me to realize even more it is time to teach our teachers about videos from cell phones, and how to harness this avenue for student learning. I don’t really think that many kids need to be taught much, they just need to be given a green light to use them.
What does it mean for Teacher Librarians?
And so we add another paver to the developing road for open access on students’ personally owned devices in schools. No matter. Teacher Librarians everywhere should be jumping on this. In light of recent budget cuts that rein in spending for school libraries, some to the point of elimination, we MUST stay on the forefront of issues that impact us. THIS is definitely something to add to your job description. LEARN yourself. Teach your patrons. And remember, in the name of advocacy and saving your jobs, this is just one more thing you can do to make yourself indispensable in your school.
Happy? Sad? Happy? I need to make up my mind…
I’m sad but not overly sad to see this happen. We photo © 2010 Kate Ter Haar | more info (via: Wylio)
will still be able to buy these kinds of video recoding devices on the market at least for a little while. An added bonus now is that the price will in all likelihood come down–maybe even way down. So don’t despair. Start watching the gadget store sales fliers instead.