Flip Cams RULE in School
I think Flip Cams are a technology tool that holds a great deal of promise for me as a special educator at my school. It is the "new" piece of technology that has single-handedly changed what I do the most. I use the Flip for two main applications. First, it is invaluable when it comes to social modeling. Practically everything I do is done on a case-by-case basis, so there is no single recipe for the behavioral and social modeling I facilitate with students, but thus far I have used my Flip to make videos of groups of students demonstrating procedures, i.e. proper way to go through the lunch line, as well as instructing a student practice the right and wrong way to do a specific task that has proven to be a difficult activity, i.e. sitting on the carpet during circle time. Due to confidentiality, I haven't necessarily saved these videos...but t would certainly be easy to do so and I should, because I don't want to forget some of the great things we have done!
I have also used the Flip to make transition videos. I make transition videos at the end of the school for many of my students. I find them especially effective for my students on the autism spectrum. It is helpful to remind the students over the summer of familiar faces and places around our school, so that it is easier to return to school in the fall. It is also extremely helpful when moving from ½ day Kindergarten to 1st grade. So many nuances about the school day change; it is a wonderful way to show students their new schedule.
A barrier I see with taking a fancy to the Flip is Cisco’s untimely decision to shut down their Flip division. After acquiring the 2-year old product in 2009, Cisco shut down their Flip camera division in April of 2011. According to Grobart and Rusli (2011), “As newer and faster technologies beget newer and faster technologies, consumers move on to the next big thing with alacrity. In four years, Flip has gone from start-up, to dominant camcorder maker, to defunct.” Technology is ever-changing. There will be other innovations that will come along and make a mark on our educational landscape. I believe the Flip will live on longer in our educational world than in our homes. After all, how many homes still play cassette tapes? Not many I would wager, but I still see listening stations in primary classrooms where the book on tape are ever-present. I just hope the online support continues to be available for the Flip cam. Perhaps forums like Edutopia will help!
GROBART, S & and RUSLI, E.(2011, April 12).For Flip Video Camera, Four Years From Hot Start-Up to Obsolete. The New York Times, p. B1.