As part of a grant that gives academics funding to purchases tool for pedagogical innovation, I have been able to make some really fantastic purchases: an iPad, an external hard disk, a webcam, and even posters for undergraduate research. Since the fiscal years ends today, I made some last-minute purchases.
I bought the Canon Vixia HF R200 HD video camera and some accessories (memory cards, tripod, case, etc.). I hope this changes the way that I give information to my class. I know that it will definitely change the way I communicate with them.
How did I end up using the Canon digital video camera? In a great many ways.
I have recorded lots of class lectures. This was not immediately met well by some. I recorded and recorded classes; I used the camera to record some pieces for just one term and others for years to come. I’ve loaned out the camera to other instructors and they’ve recorded classes, weeks, and even entire semesters.
I’ve used the camera to record community events and even components of my mission trips that I’ve traveled on–it has been a wonderful camera.
Why do I write all of this and why update the blog post about the camera? Because adding a camera to my classroom was the best choice I ever made! Students started coming to class more prepared, I came to class more prepared, and I learned to slowly shift the focus from myself to my students.
As an additional note, purchase a quality tripod with the quick release clip. It’s worth it and will make the production process even better. Also, consider (although it isn’t necessary) a quality microphone.
So, would I advocate a video camera in your class? Absolutely. You’ll learn about prep, casting, and post-production. Everything you do well on video will go well in class.