The backbone of the flipped course is the video. Its one of the main sources of content and information for your students. Screencasts as we have seen are great for sharing your computer screen but if you want to record more personal lectures, conduct demonstrations, or do field videos (on location) you will need some type of handheld video camera. These can come in a number of different types from simple to very complex. Before considering using digital video there are some things you should know. If you do not have your own camera this can become an expensive enterprise to buy one. If the institution you work for has video equipment or maybe if you are lucky enough they have a videographer who can record the videos for you. If this is the case you are in luck. However, if not then you might be in the position of having to create your own with whatever you have available or what you can afford. You may already have one or more of the following types of video capability.
1. Smart Phone video- usually affordable and odds are you already have one and can be surprisingly effective for online presentations.
2. Pocket video cameras- usually inexpensive and most are available with HD video. Around $75 to $200. Very simple to operate and many are HD but make sure you check. The cell phone market is putting these cameras out of the picture.
3. Point and shoot cameras- many of these little pocket cameras have excellent photographic quality and near HD quality video and sell in the $150 to $400 price range. Excellent cameras for those who like to travel light.
4. Handheld dedicated Video Camcorders – lower end versions are affordable and available in HD. Decent quality cameras run between $200 to $500. These are simple to operate and often give excellent results.
5. DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) – Can produce film quality video but prices start at around $500 and can go up to $2000+. Although these are most noted for their photo ability they make excellent video cameras. Many professionals are using them in this way. If you already own one to do photography you might want to consider using it as a video camera but beware to get excellent quality you have to use them in manual modes.
6. Higher end HD film quality digital video – These are professional grade video cameras that usually start at around $1,200 and go up to $10,000 easily. This prices most people out of this category.
7. Specialty video- Cameras usually marketed for special use such as action or underwater video. Prices start at around $200. The GoPro Hero3 and the Contour cameras are examples.