I was in beautiful Monterey, California this weekend as a proud presenter at the California League of High Schools' annual conference. In addition to a keynote by Dr. Robert Marzano, all manner of Google Goodness by Kyle Brumbaugh and a special presentation by the founders of Roadtrip Nation, this conference was the premier of the 'Lights, Camera, Learn! Flip for Movies in Education' workshop.
The concept of the workshop was simple: Take the basic process of the 'Door Scene' and apply it to the 'big red button simplicity' of the Flip MinoHD camera. Some basic VizEd, a hands-on demo, a shooting and editing challenge...in under 3 hours! What could possibly go wrong?!
I see some really exciting education applications for these tiny HD cameras on the horizon. The whole Flip Video line by Pure Digital are inexpensive, easy to use, and capture pretty good video and sound especially if the video is headed for YouTube. I think the Flips hold one advantage over tape cameras that make them ideal for education. They don't don't require a 'can opener' to work.
Think about it, you find an old camcorder at the bottom of a desk drawer and want to use it for some project at school. Unless you also find a compatible tape, a battery or charger you or your school are on the hook for the extra stuff that makes traditional tape cameras work....the 'can opener'. Even if the that camera has a charged battery and a tape, if you intend to do any editing or sharing you also need a cord to import the video and some software to edit and share your movie.
The Flips are ready to go out of the box with 60 or 120 mins worth of flash memory, a pop-out USB arm for importing files and charging the internal battery AND the simple, functional and cross-platform FlipShare management & editing software built right in. I think these cameras are ideal for cost-conscious and borderline techno-phobic educators looking to jump into project-based learning with video.
I think for a first time out with a new workshop it went really well in Monterey! The teachers and administrators all seemed to enjoy playing with their new toys and getting quick lesson on visual language and filmmaking.
I need to thank my fellow lead-learner Jim Sill from Visalia for expert assistance. The video below was part of my ill-fated iMovie demo and is of the class getting to know each other and the camera. enjoy!
I have to double back and say a few words about the Roadtrip Nation, imagine two guys just out of college and with no clue what to do with their lives. So they borrow an old motor home from the parents, paint it green and tour the us interviewing interesting and inspring people on camera about their journey. That roadtrip spawned a PBS series, books and an international following of young people taking their own roadtrips of self-discovery. Their website has a huge archive of interviews and stories, applications to participate in future seasons of the show. Roadtrip Nation also has a battery of materials and curriculum for educators, we're looking at a Roadtrip Nation program at LA County.
Remember, I've got another another FlipVideo in Education workshop on Saturday February, 27th at the California League of Middle Schools' conference in Sacramento. The workshop includes a Flip MinoHD camera! I'm also speaking at the Macworld 2010 Users Symposium on Febrary 12. I actually feel pretty honored to be on the bill for this event, there are some amazing speakers and educators presenting, including:
Milton Chen, Rushton Hurley, Carol Ann McGuire, Marco Torres, Chris Walsh, Randy Nelson and on and on. If you are interested in attending use the promo-code they gave me...check it out! I have my own promo-code!!!