This is one of those (many?) times in which my unofficial and official lives seem to at least cross, which is why I’m posting about this here tonight (even though I already posted about it on my unofficial blog): for reasons that I already discussed on the UOB, I ended up getting a Flip video camera for Father’s Day this year. I got mine at Costco for $90. Basically, they are tiny (a little bigger than a cell phone), low-end, easy-to-use, and (relatively) cheap digital video cameras. Mine holds up to 30 minutes worth of video on 512MB worth of flash memory– they make a 60 minute/1 GB version too. You can watch the videos on a tiny screen on the unit itself, on a TV with a cable, and, of course, on a computer.
It took me a little monkeying around and some DivX downloads to make it all work the way I wanted, but I can edit the video in QT Pro and in iMovie. Here’s an example:
I would have filmed something other than my dog, but Sophie was the only one who was willing to appear on camera. For some reason, I think the quality here is better than what Will Richardson demonstrated on Weblogg-ed about this; maybe an indoor/outdoor thing, maybe more of a close-up.
Now, these people are obviously going for the YouTube/viral video/let’s-make-a-movie-at-a-party-kind of crowd– they even describe YouTube and a site called grouper as partners– and I for one will enjoy my little tool/toy in this way too. But I got to say this makes me think in terms of teaching. I mean, while I did have a few software glitches getting it to work on the Mac, the hardest part about using it so far has been getting it out of the industrial-strength plastic wrapping. And at $100 a pop– well, that’s approaching a price where buying a whole bunch of them to check out to a group of students in first year composition or a related class seems perfectly reasonable.