Videocasting and Swivl

The above video was shot on Friday using a new device that I think will be a solid asset for teachers looking to publish parts of their class online. Last week, I received a product that just came out of it’s Kickstarter campaign: the Swivl. This simple device allows a teacher to use his/her iPhone, iPad or digital camera to create hands-free digital video recordings of class using the base device in coordination with the supplied microphone.

I got a chance to try it in class, and was happy with the device. I simply connected the microphone to my shirt pocket and the RF transmitter in that mic and the device captured me everywhere I moved in the room.

A few notes on device usage for teachers:

1. Be sure to clip the microphone somewhere close to your head. The device comes with a lanyard, which is helpful, but I wouldn’t recommend holding the microphone in your hand–the device follows the mic, and if you tend to be demonstrative when you teach (as most of us do), you’l find that you get a lot of shots that cut your head off.

2. In order to record, you need to press a button on the microphone. In the brief time I’ve tried it, I’ve found that the button is not the most responsive piece of equipment. A lot of my classes start with some lecture, then allow time for group work, then conclude with a  culminating discussion. In these cases, I tried to turn the recording off after the lecture, then turn it back on for the concluding discussion, but was only successful in getting it back on about 50% of the time, even though the light on the device indicated it was recording. I’m going to be working more with it in the coming week to figure out if this was a problem with the device or simple user error.

These were just a few reactions after using the device for a few days. Overall, as a way to record a class in a more dynamic fashion, complete with easy publishing, I was very impressed with Swivl. With a device like this, teachers can easily videorecord and publish their classes for students in a wide variety of circumstances. It’s worth checking out.


3 thoughts on “Videocasting and Swivl

  1. Marshall McLuhan: I heard what you were saying. You know nothing of my work. How you got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing

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