Friday, November 28, 2008

Flip Camcorders in the Commons

I just read the EDUCAUSE "7 things you should know about" report on flip camcorders. If you haven't looked at the "7 things" reports before, they are excellent at giving you a very quick overview of a hot topic or technology. Basically the flip camcorder is a very portable, inexpensive video camera that opens up capturing video to anyone, not just experts or those with pricey equipment.

Imagine the possibilities for your students--or even for us, as we develop more creative projects in the library. I know we couldn't have done this video with a flip camcorder, but it does make creating similar projects much simpler, especially if you aren't fortunate to have the support of a creative team of experts.

About a year ago, at the Hub we investigated types of equipment that circulate at other information commons. Alice compiled some interesting findings--from the more predictable (headphones, cameras, graphing calculators, and so on) to the more unusual (GPS devices, video game consoles, webcams.) In an excellent webcast last week on the commons (it is archived), Crit Stewart mentioned students at Georgia Tech might check out a webcam in order to host a virtual tutoring session in the library. A specific example was a student who checked out a webcam and used it, a commons computer, and a whiteboard to tutor one student on site and another via the web. What a clever and relatively simple item to offer for checkout.

I know I would like to see us offer more technology items for checkout. I see so many possibilities with flip camcorders, webcams, and more.

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