#2 5 Minutes Meals for ICT

November 15, 2008 § Leave a comment

I cant remember the format, just give me two seconds to copy and paste it from the last meal, to keep things orderly.

Topic or Tool: Busbi Camera, small, portable and easy to use video cameras.

What does it cost? The Busbi’s we purchased were from Insight, look for a price bracket of £30-35. Google shop for it! We have a purchasing agreement with Insight, so quick, easy, next day delivery and the VAT back of course.We purchase 30, in our mind, 2 sets of 15.

What do you get?

The camera comes with a mini cd (basic arcsoft video editing software, not that you will use it, as you have access to Windows Movie Maker), USB Cable, 2 X AA Batteries, 1GB (no brand) SD Card (enough for around 60 minutes of video) already in the slot and a lanyard. Remember, the latest Windows Movie Maker now supports mjpegs so no conversion necessary. In summary, the Busbi is very easy to use, with just three buttons, record, playback and delete, staff and student training should be minimal, shouldnt it?

Can there be a downside? Well the video quality is not great, much like that from a webcam – recorded at a tiny 320×240. Think mobile phone video, but more of that later. The sound quality is passable. Look don’t expect it to look and feel like a £100 gadget, because it didnt cost you that much now did it.

How it could be used for teaching?

This is a difficult question, but here are a few ideas. Use the Busbis to record your instructions for class on a planned absence? Create technical models in for Physical Education GCSE. This was difficult to answer.

How it could be used for learning?

Remember, Busbi is not a powerful camera. Think of activities you can get close enough to, to record. Also,  with battery life of about an hour, think 1 lesson at a time, although batteries and SD Cards can be replaced. On the plus side, no re-charging necessary.

I apologise for the clearly obvious ideas on where/how to use the Busbi, but I hope to offer one or two potential ideas you can try or mull over. Any more ideas, please send to me and I will add them to the list.

  1. An Introduction to Video (there goes the obivous). Within 15 minutes of paired work we had footage on the desktops and imported into Windows Movie Maker. (This did not include getting the Busbis out of the packaging and the packaging in the bin. That took longer than 15 minutes!) The students were bouyed by the novelty factor, I am not sure how much longer that novelty factor will last.
  2. Recording small skits in English or Drama, but remember you will need to get close. The Busbi is not the tool for full stage productions.
  3. The Busbi is great for reflection, film gymnastic balances, science experiments, or how you solved a maths equation! Play back is instant and on the camera.
  4. Get students to edit a science expereincment using Windows Movie Maker.
  5. Mentor or tutor time. Preparing for interviews. There is little more powerful then seeing yourself at interview.
  6. Film a particular technique is Design Technology or Food Technology and upload to instrutables.
  7. Use as a remote tool to interview students on placements or students on vocational courses.
  8. We are currently geting short film clips from students, we are going to use these to make a talking wall on our website.
  9. In English, ask students to create the College news and post it on the website, rather than writing an article.

Step aside, here comes big brother, the Bubi Plus, the Flip Ultra and most recently Flip Mino (£120). Now suggesting the Mino is a little expensive for College use lets focus on the Ultra. Like the Busbi, ‘The Flip Ultra,’ which costs £99 now £79, is an astonishingly simple. Like the Busbi, you take it out of the box (with batteries) switch it on, press the red button and start shooting. Unlike the Busbi, the 2GB also gives you 60 minutes recording but at twice the resolution, a 2x digital zoom and when you want to get at the footage, you flick a switch and a USB arm flips out (hence the name) allowing you to upload everything to a computer in a couple of clicks. Now I wonder if that flip-arm is education proof? Anyone?

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