This week I explored ways to use a flip camera. This isn’t an expensive model. It’s a Vivitar 410 which you can get for about $25. The ability to plug it into my computer and have immediate viewing has made it valuable for feedback. I’m still learning how to use all the functions, but for the most part it has been record and play. I’ve been able to download files to both my home PC and the Mac I use at school. It also records sound. I have a program on my home computer that I’m able to segment, cut out portions, and add captions if I want. I’ve done that with the ‘Circle” video clips. The therapy clips I have played directly on my computer after taping them. They come up as a full screen, so the students get the impression they are on TV. It’s amazing what this does for motivation.
I started using it with the “Circle of Friends ” in the previous post to give my student with autism a preview of coming events. It has allowed him to join the group with less anxiety and has helped to give him visual instructions on the activity. Anyone that has worked with students with Autism know the visual representation is very important for instruction. It has also been a key motivator for the general education students in the group. It gives them a chance to do some rehearsal and feel that it is a special group.
I also tried using it with a student working with fluency. He came to that point where he needs to practice his speech in a less structured activity. I video taped him giving instructions on folding an origami animal. We then played it on the computer and judged his fluency. He enjoyed watching himself and I think it gave more feedback and confidence than the usual tape recording.
Finally I tried using it with two students with attention deficits that have difficulty keeping focused on any one activity for more than 10 minutes. I’m always struggling to keep their interest. They are always trying to get me to allow them to fold paper airplanes. Using the flip camera allowed me to combine both productively. I taped them giving directions on folding an airplane of their choice. We then watched the tape and discovered that key directional words or prepositions were missing. Next session can involve adding captions and using more directional words. I see there is also the potential for future storytelling. I think it is a worthwhile purchase for those considering it.
For those of you keeping up with the “Circle of Friends”, we did not meet this week. Friday was a teacher grading day and students were not present.