FLIP Video Cameras - Winthrop University

FLIP Video Cameras - Winthrop University

FLIP Video Cameras - Winthrop University


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FLIP Video Cameras: A White Paper

Prepared By:

Kimberly J. Byrne


March 17, 2011

This white paper was written as an assignment for Dr. Marshall G. Jones's EDUC 651 class at

Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC. All rights reserved by the author. Permission is granted to

use this white paper provided the user notifies the author in writing prior to use.

An Overview: What are FLIP Cameras?

FLIP cameras were first introduced in May 2006. They are portable, hand held video cameras

made by Cisco Systems. These easy to use devices allow the user to record between 1 and 4

hours of video depending on the model purchased. Part of what makes the FLIP camera so easy

to use is the built in USB port which flips out allowing the user to plug the camera directly into a

computer for downloading, viewing, and sharing of videos instantly. FLIP cameras are installed

with built in software which allows the user to download videos and share them instantly on

applications such as Facebook©, YouTube©, and Twitter©.

Where to find them

FLIP cameras can be purchased online through www.theflip.com. They are also available in

most general retail establishments such as Target and Best Buy as well as through

www.amazon.com. There are 3 versions of the FLIP camera currently on the market, the Ultra

HD, Mino HD, and Slide HD. Each camera ranges in storage size from 4 gigabytes to 16

gigabytes of memory.

Private and public schools are eligible for discounts through preauthorized retailers. The

discount applied depends on individual needs. For a complete list of authorized retailers, visit


Individual teachers can receive 2 for 1 pricing on up to 4 cameras through partnership with

digital wish. Digital Wish is a non-profit organization whose goal is to modernize k-12

classrooms and prepare students for the workforce. Through this program, teachers create “wish

lists” of technology for their classroom. Donors from all over the world can then choose to

donate cash online toward the technology or donate the technology. For more information, visit


Details on each of the FLIP cameras Cisco offers are listed below.

Product Specifications


Ultra HD

4 or 8 GB

Mino HD

4 or 8 GB

Slide HD


Price $149.99 or 199.99 $179.99 or $229.99 $229.99

Digital Zoom 2x zoom 2x zoom 2x zoom

Weight 5.7 or 4.5 oz 4.1 oz 5.9 oz

LCD Screen Size 2.0” (diagonal) 2.0’ (diagonal) 3.0” (diagonal)

Resolution 320x240 320x240 400x240


Frame Rate


30 or 60 fps 60 fps 30 fps

Battery Type 2 AA (included) or Internal Lithium-ion Internal Lithium- ion

FLIP lithium

rechargeable battery


rechargeable battery rechargeable battery

Battery Life Up to 2 or 1.5 hours Up to 1.5 hours Up to 2 hours

Charge Time If using rechargeable Through USB 3 Through USB 3

battery packs 6 or 4 hours



Via power adapter

3.5 or 2 hours

What’s included? camera, 2 AA

batteries, and a

user’s guide or

camera, rechargeable

battery pack, wrist

strap, protective

case, and a user’s


Learning Related Problems

Via power adapter 2


camera, wrist strap,

protective case, and a

user’s guide

FLIP video cameras can be used to address a variety of learning related problems.

Via power adapter 2


camera, wrist strap,

protective case and a

user’s guide

Learning Related Problem How FLIP Cameras Can Address This

Student Engagement/Creativity This is an excellent creative outlet for students.

Students can use these to create various

projects, movies, and how to videos. Students

can interview school board or community

leaders, take cameras on field trips, create

virtual tours of the school, and recreate news

broadcasts of well known world events.

Student Participation Students have a desire to use technology in

learning. If used appropriately, students may

want to take an active role in the learning.

Students love to create and be active in

learning. Through FLIP cameras, they can

perform Reader’s Theatres and class

presentations. Students can take part in the

filming of the videos as well as being filmed.

Student Accountability FLIP cameras can be used for both formative

and summative assessments. Teachers can use

them to assess reading fluency or video

students completing a step by step task for


evaluation. Students can also record their own

behavior, analyze it, and write behavior

specific goals to increase learning.

Student Choice FLIP cameras can be provided as a student

choice option when demonstrating mastery of a

concept, creating a project, or creating book


National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)

Using FLIP video cameras in the classroom can address several student and teacher National

Education Technology Standards.

Standard How FLIPS can address this standard

Creativity and Innovation: The FLIP camera can be used in a variety of

ways to enhance student creativity. For

Students demonstrate thinking, construct example, students can create book reports or

knowledge and develop innovative products commercials about favorite scenes, characters,

using technology.

or famous people in history. After a unit on

Geometry, students can use the camera to

record examples of polygons and polyhedra in

everyday life.

Communication and Collaboration: Students can use the FLIP to create a virtual

tour of the school. This can then be shared

Students use digital media and environments to digitally with pen pals from other states. The

communicate and work collaboratively, FLIP can also be used as an assessment tool.

including at a distance, to support individual For example, students can record a

learning and contribute to the learning of demonstration of how to use a protractor in


math, or students can record themselves

reading books. The teacher can then use the

video to assess student understanding or

reading fluency. Parents who would like to

volunteer in the classroom but are unable to

can record themselves reading a picture book

to the class. The teacher can then play the

video at any time.

Research and Information Fluency: Students can record scientific experiments for

data collection. Students can also download

Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, videos and use Windows Movie Maker to edit

and use information.

and add effects.

Digital Citizenship:

Students can use the cameras to record various

projects and share them through multiple

Students understand human, cultural, and sources. An appropriate discussion of ethical

societal issues related to technology and behavior when sharing or downloading

practice legal and ethical behavior.

information from the Internet would be

necessary. Before using FLIPs in the


Technology Operations and Concepts:

Students demonstrate a sound understanding of

technology concepts, systems, and operations.

Facilitate and Inspire Student Learning and


Teachers use their knowledge of subject

matter, teaching and learning, and technology

to facilitate experiences that advance student

learning, creativity, and innovation in both

face-to-face and virtual environments.

Design and Develop Digital-Age Learning

Experiences and Assessments:

Teachers design, develop, and evaluate

authentic learning experiences and

assessments incorporating tools and resources

to maximize content learning in context and to

develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes

identified in NETS•S.

Environmental Factors

classroom, the teacher should send home video

permission slips ensuring students are allowed

to be videotaped. If the school allows students

to take cameras home, students should sign an

agreement of ethical use as well as personal

responsibility of the camera from loss or


Through the use of FLP cameras, students will

become familiar with how to record and

download videos.

FLIP cameras are versatile and can be used

across all subject areas and disciplines. Videos

created can be shared with parents via e mail or

the Internet to bridge home and school. Videos

and projects created can be shared with

students in other classrooms and schools.

Students can use FLIP cameras to record their

presentations and self-evaluate the

effectiveness of the presentation as well as the

knowledge gained. FLIPs can also be used for

students to self-evaluate their own behaviors

and determine goals and strategies to increase

learning. The use of FLIP video cameras in the

classroom also allows students of various

learning styles to work together to achieve a

common goal; visual learners can see the

learning take place, auditory learners can hear

it, and kinesthetic learners can be filmed

“doing” the activity or learning.

Prior knowledge, battery life, the USB arm, availability to students and video stabilization are

factors that should be taken into consideration when purchasing and/or using FLIP cameras in

the classroom.

Prior Knowledge of hardware and software: As with any piece of technology, students would

need instruction on how to operate the camera and how to download videos to a computer’s hard

drive. Students would also need to know how to save videos and backup files using a Flash

Drive or external hard drive.


Battery Life/Charging Time: When planning to use FLIPs in the classroom, the teacher needs to

be aware of the battery life remaining on the camera(s) and allow ample time to recharge them or

have access to additional AA batteries if necessary.

USB Arm: The USB arm on the FLIP camera is delicate. When downloading videos to a

computer, teachers and students need to take into account the weight of the camera and the

pressure being placed on the USB device while downloading videos. If the camera cannot rest

comfortably on a flat surface, students need to be instructed to hold the camera while videos are

downloading to prevent strain on the USB arm.

FLIP camera availability to students: When designing and implementing projects, the teacher

needs to take into account the amount of available FLIP cameras and assign student groups


Video Stabilization: To prevent unstable videos while students are filming, teachers or schools

may want to consider purchasing a tripod. Table top tripods specifically for FLIPs can be

purchased through www.theflip.com

How to use FLIPs

The FLIP camera is designed for easy use. To turn the device on, press the power button located

on the side of the camera. Press the red button underneath the LCD screen to record videos. The

up and down arrows can be used to zoom in and zoom out while recording. When finished

recording, press the red button again to stop. To playback the video that has just been recorded,

press the play button. The up or down arrows can now be used to adjust the sound during

playback. Delete unwanted video by pressing the delete button.

image: http://thedaringlibrarian.wikispaces.com/Flip_Video


To download videos to a computer, flip out the USB arm and plug it directly into the computer’s

USB port.

Connect the USB arm directly to the computer’s USB port.

image: http://www.theflip.com/en-us/products/flipshare.aspx#scene=sceneMain

Each FLIP video camera comes preloaded with FLIPshare; FLIP camera’s easy sharing software.

With FLIP share, users are able to organize, create and share videos quickly and easily.

image: http://www.theflip.com/en-us/products/flipshare.aspx#scene=sceneMain

For detailed, video tutorials on FLIP camera basics, production basics, importing files, and when

to use a FLIP camera, visit http://www.realtown.com/NoBloggerLeftBehind/blog/blog-tips/flipvide-tutorial

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits Drawbacks

Size: The cameras are small and lightweight.

They fit easily into the palm of your hand.

They are small enough for even the youngest

of students.

Ease of use: FLIPs are easy to use. Once they

are powered on, simply press one button to

record and the same one to stop.

Portable: Due to their size, they can be taken

anywhere; around the school, home, and on

field trips.

Video quality: FLIP video quality is good for

everyday classroom use but not for high

quality, professional productions.

Technology malfunctions: As with any piece of

technology there is always the possibility of a


Sound quality: The camera does pick up voices

and outside noises; therefore, the user needs to

take this into consideration when filming.

No tapes: There are no additional expenses No tapes: While having no tapes can be seen as


involved with purchasing tapes or discs. There

are no tapes to keep up with or store for later


Instant feedback: FLIP cameras provide

students and teachers instant feedback on

lessons and activities. Videos can be viewed

instantly from the camera or downloaded to a


a benefit, the camera’s internal memory only

stores so much, and the availability of a

computer to download videos is a necessity.

Battery Life: When using the FLIPs, students

and teachers need to be cognizant of the battery

life and plan projects accordingly.

Overall, I feel that FLIP video cameras are a versatile tool for any classroom. Their compact

size and ease of use makes them a great choice for Kindergarten teachers as well as high school

teachers. They can be integrated across the curriculum, and used independently as well as in

small groups. FLIP video cameras are user friendly for teachers, students, and parents.


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