I first heard about Flip Video cameras at a workshop held by Meg Ormiston, nearly four years ago. She said that they were the latest and greatest thing, destined to get big in the education circuit due to their user-friendliness and near indestructibility--and boy was she right! These little gadgets are everywhere now, for educational and extracurricular use. The fact that they have minimal buttons makes them simple to use, even for younger students. Plus, they plug into your computer's USB port, and come loaded with their own software, so there's nothing to download (although this can cause problems if you want to import the files into another program, such as Movie Maker). The sound and video quality are surprisingly high-quality, especially for the price point; the only problem I've run to is shooting video in dark areas (such as the school play). Other companies are now marketing their own responses to the Flip, but nobody seems to have caught up quite yet. Another selling point is that Digital Wish is offering a Buy 1 Get 1 Free option on the Flip Ultra HD.
Note: For converting Flip video files, try Format Factory.
Note: A common accessory that has been growing in popularity is the Flexible Tripod, which users can bend into shape to attach to various items for recording from different angles. When I purchased my Flip video cameras, I also picked up a few of these tripods at my local Radio Shack for about $5 on clearance.
Dr. Jessica Pilgreen, Ed.D.