Wednesday, April 10, 2013

HoverCam Allows Any Teacher To "Flip" The Classroom & Create Flipped Videos

The success of the Khan Academy and the use of online recorded videos to demonstrate problem solving which students can access at any time is turning classrooms upside down.

Welcome to the world of "flipped learning" where the teacher's job is not to lecture and pontificate, but to coach, made possible by the high-speed web which hosts a world of instructional videos and education content. The concept of a flipped classroom is where students learn the concepts online at their pace (easily repeating when necessary) and the role of the teacher in class is to answer questions students couldn't figure out on their own.

Khan Academy and Internet searches will yield many results on how to solve specific types of exercises, but for those times when teachers feel compelled to create and post their own content online, what's the easiest way to create a high-quality instructional video? If the teacher doesn't have a stand or tripod for the smartphone, tablet or camera, attempting to make a recording by placing a device on a stack or books (or something more unstable) puts the device at risk.  And, where to find a special stand (with a clamp) that would hold a camera positioned over paper pointing down?

The HoverCam offers an easy solution. Essentially, a HoverCam is a high-resolution camera on a stick with software that allows recording in high-definition HD video.  Here's how it works.  The instructor plugs the HoverCam "document camera" into the USB port of a computer and launches the software. Next step is to position the paper or instructional materials directly under the camera and make sure everything is lined up. Then, press the record button in the software and the video is recorded directly to the computer's hard drive.  Because the HoverCam has a microphone, sound is also recorded. Viola, instant video on the computer which can be posted using HoverCam's software to a website, attached to an email, inserted into a PowerPoint and uploaded to Dropbox, Evernote, YouTube and other cloud services.

In addition to recording flipped videos, the HoverCam can also be used as a "document camera" to show live images of papers and solid objects to the class; used as a scanner to scan & file multiple documents or student assignments; used as a high-resolution webcam for distance learning and Skype; and used to grade tests.

Here's a step-by-step video tutorial from HoverCam's website showing how to create a flipped video for the classroom:

The HoverCam is priced right for schools with prices starting at $219 and is sold through a network of education specialist resellers throughout North America.  The company offers a free trial of its units to education institutions.  For additional information, please visit the company's website at

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