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April 25, 2010

How to Use the Pocket Digital Video Camera: Part 3


Today we are going over all the parts of the Flip Digital Pocket Video Camera, including the basic operations. Listed below are the Camcorder features. To see the picture up close, just double click on the picture below.

Basic Operations:
Recording Videos:
1. Press the Red Record button to start and stop.
2. Press Up/Down buttons to Zoom in/Out.

Playing Videos:
1. Press Play button to Start and Stop.
2. Press left/right buttons to view previous/next.

Deleting Videos:
1. Display the first from of the footage to be deleted.
2. Press the Trashcan button.
3. Press Yes to confirm.

For a great breakdown on the Camcorder basics, please see the video below.

Various Shots:

Wide shot: Establishes the scene.

Medium shot: Give more intimacy and focuses on one subject at a time.

Close Up: For emotion and direct connection to what is happening in the scene.

Extreme close up: Very close and personal, intimate and has an emotional effect to it.

For great video shooting tips with the Camcorder, please view the video below.

If you visit the following web site: you will get more information on storytelling, shooting, video production and distribution.

The camcorder comes with a step by step guide, instructions, strap, A/V cable, software and media are built in the camera. Additional items you can purchase include the rechargeable battery pack. If you invest in the rechargeable battery pack, you simply plug your camcorder in the computer to recharge it.

The specifications on the Camcorder are listed below:

Internal Memory: 4GB (120 minutes)

Screen Size: 2.0 (transflective TFT)

Screen Resolution: 960 x240 pixels

Video Resolution: 640 x 480 pixels

Frame Rate: 30 frames per second (constant frame rate, progressive scan)

Video Bitrate 4.0Mbps (average auto adaptive algorithm)

Video Format: H.264 video compression, AAC audio compression (Ipod ready), saves as MP4 file

Lens Type: Smooth multi-step 2x digital

Aperture: f/2.4 (fast lens for great results in low-light environments)

Zoom: Smooth multi-step 2x digital

Interface: 8 Buttons (Power, Play, Delete, Record and 4 way navigation)

Dimensions: 4.25" x 2.19" x 1.17 (H x W x D)

PC Connection: Built-in flip-out USB arm (up to USB 2.0 speed)

TV Out: Composite Video (cable included)

Battery Life: Up to 2.5 hours (with 2x AA Alkaline batteries). Up to 6.5 hours (with 2 x AA Energizer e2 batteries)

Tripod Mount: Yes

Operating Systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OSX

Min. Requirements: (PC) 2.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or faster processor, Windows XP SP2 with 512 MB of RAM 0r Vista with 1 GB of RAM, and USB 2.0 port. (Mac) 1.0 GHz Intel Core or faster processor, 512 MB of RAM, OS X Tiger 10.4, Leopard 10.5 or Snow Leopard 10.6 and USB 2.0 Port

Remember next week, I will be blogging about how to work with video footage and the software Flipshare. Hope to see you soon.

April 18, 2010

Digital Video Cameras in the Classroom: Part 2


Digital video can be a great lesson enhancement idea because video can provide pictures, illustrations, concepts, new ideas, innovation and steps for breaking down projects. With the new technology of the pocket digital flip camera prices pretty low.

The New Pocket Digital Flip video camera can be purchased for as little as $150. If you visit you can find various programs that will help you get these new video cameras for your students.

When we try to teach and reach students, digital video cameras can be used to capture their attention in an innovative way. Teachers or students can use them to create products for teaching others. When you use video it can be encouraging and motivating with students. Let's face it video usage online has gone up over the past year.

According to the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETST), effective teachers model and apply the National Educational Technology Standards for Students as they design, implement, and assess learning experiences to engage students and improve learning; enrich professional practice; and provide positive models for students, colleagues, and the community.

All teachers should meet the following standards and performance indicators. Teachers also exhibit knowledge, skills and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society. Teachers can teach students how to demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations. We can communicate relevant information and ideas effectively to students, parents, peers and anyone using a variety of digital-age media and formats.

Here are a few ideas of how teachers can use video cameras in the classroom.

1. Other teachers have created video clips for video blogs that teach a particular idea or concept.

2. Writing - Use videos as writing prompts. I have listed a few writing prompt that you could use: Imagine if you were the character in the video, how would you feel and what would you do in their situation? Please describe with great detail the video you just watched, as if you were teaching another student who has not seen the video.

3. Reading - Video tape yourself reading words, sentences, a story or a report to the students to demonstrate how to speak fluently or present information in front of others.

4. Language Arts - Video tape yourself using various sounds in fluency with younger children. To see an example of this fun technique please visit: Victor Borge & Dean Martin - Musical Phonetic Punctuation or click down below to see it.

5. Mathematics - Create a video to demonstrate a certain concept or objective in geometry or using word problem solving skills, demonstrating multiplication, division, and fractions. You could also demonstrate how decimals and percentages work by filming you actually going to store and buying an item that is 25% off. You can break down the process of how to figure out how much 25% off is. You can demonstrate measurement of different objects using time, units of length, perimeter and area. One teacher made a video of comparing different items in size to relate geometric spatial relationships.

6. Science - Document the growth of a plant or animal, the changing seasons, weather conditions, science experiments. One teacher created a science experiment using soda pop and mentos. For new teachers, you can borrow a sample of a science board from other experienced teachers to show your students ideas on how to construct a science fair project on a three fold white card board using the following: Purpose, Hypothesis, Procedure, Research, Data, Materials, Results and Conclusion.

I personally created a video with pictures from a digital camera for second grade students last year on living and nonliving matter. I showed pictures of items made of matter on the screen and added my voice as the narrator. The students had to identify the items being displayed as living and nonliving using a double bubble graphic organizer. Click on the play button down below to see this idea.

The students were mesmerized, because they could actually hear my own voice on the video. You can also who how to set up arrangements or a science experiment or safety practices for a discussion. We had a science fair last December at our School, and I used the digital camera to interview the winning students in grades Kindergarten thru fifth grade. They enjoyed the experience of describing their science fair project to me, as if I was a news reporter. Once you record it, you can put it on a DVD and give to the student to treasure.

7. Social Studies - Create video essays on historic locations and show clips of different facial expressions and emotions for students to create a book. You can interview a person of interest, maybe a war veteran and bring the video back to the students. Students could also take notes and document what they are learning from the war veteran. You could also have the students reenact a significant person, event, or speech in history such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Barrack Obama, Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony, Helen Keller, Florence Nightingale or others.

8. Art - Video a student artwork portfolio or you can show the various steps on how the art project evolved over a time lapse. You can also create a video of interviews of artists in the community enhancing an idea, concept or technique in art.

9. Physical Education - Show how to videos and step-by-step procedures to explain a technique or a game. You can also video tape a sporting event and create a discussion about the event with your students. You can also interview coaches or athletes on a particular strategy to teach an idea or a concept.

10. Music - Video student shows, programs, plays, acts and speeches. I used my flip digital camera to record the Holiday program in which prekindergarten and kindergarten students were dressed in a holiday manner while singing songs together on stage. You can video performance techniques, such as the correct placement of fingers for certain chords if you’re playing a guitar, piano or other musical instrument.

11. Speech - Video record speeches and give constructive feedback to students.

12. Business - Video a business and how to operate it as if you were the CEO.
Hopefully these ideas will help you come up with more innovative ideas on how to use the video camera. I know when I was younger I use to watch the Mr. Wizard show, and I would get ideas for science experiments that I could reproduce. I only wish I could have recorded them back then. Other ideas for instruction can be found on the following web sites:

Digital Video Project Ideas

Digital Video in the Classroom

Digital cameras are so common these days. However, it is very important to obtain Parental permission to take and use videos of student due to privacy concerns. You want to not use any identifying information in the video of your students. You also never want to post videos of students online.

Other forms of permission may include the following, securing arrangements with venues and locations to video buildings, performances, artifacts. You may want to contact the place you plan to visit before you get there to learn about photography or video policies.

Digital footage can be used in multimedia products. However when you add different forms of media such as music or text the products become more engaging and exciting! The Educational Multimedia Fair Use Guidelines provides the a list of guidelines you can follow regarding how much of various types of copyrighted works can be used without infringing on copyright laws.

Make sure to include citations and credits in the project. It is always best to get permission for products that will be shared beyond your school. Remember never post videos of students online or on any social networks or any online services. The following online resources provide a wealth of information on this contemporary topic:

Copyright and Fair Use in the Classroom

The CCUMC, Consortium of College and University Media Centers

The UT system Copyright Crash Course

Social Media in Plain English

Next week I will be talking about how to use the pocket digital video camera, including the various parts, set up, specifications, basic operations and some helpful hints and tips. So I will see you next week. If you have used a digital camera for instructions and wish to share your wonderful ideas, please email me at and I will add it to this blog post. Thanks again, and have a great week!

April 11, 2010

The Flip Digital Video Camera Introduction: Part 1


We are all now rested after the long break. I took a break from last week in observance of Easter. We are ready to go again, full speed. I have been looking online for tutorials on the New Flip Digital Camera Software, and so far I am unable to find any. So I decided to create one.

The training on this new digital camera is usually a 6 hour class, so I am going to break it down in my blog into a 5 part series. In the series I will be posting pictures and videos I took with the camera. I will also post helpful video tutorials you can find online. I will also post helpful ideas on how to use your Flip digital camera with your students or for you own personal use. Ok, lets get started.

Here are the titles of the blog session topics I will be following over the next 4 weeks.

Week 1 or Today: Introduction and Session Breakdown

Week 2: Digital Video Cameras in the Classroom

Week 3: How to Use the Pocket Digital Video Camera

Week 4: Working with Video Footage and the Software

Week 5: Using Video Footage with Other Compatible Software

Make sure you let all your colleagues know that I will be continuing with week 2 on this topic next week. For now you might want to visit the web site so you can get acquainted with the camera.

I recently saw comedian/singer and celebrity Jaime Foxx using the Flip digital camera at the Grammy award show a few months ago. I think he was recording one of the music acts. They showed him on TV holding up his flip digital camera. If celebrities are finding these cameras easy to use, then we can all learn to use them with ease for our own personal use.

I did a review about this camera a few months ago. If you have not read it, I recommend you read it before you go through this blog tutorial. It can be found by visiting my January 3, 2010 blog post, or you can just click here: The New Flip Camcord Camera by Pure Digital

Next week I will be blogging about how to use the digital video camera in the classroom with students. So don't forget to let all your colleagues know about my free technology blog. See you next week.