Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Swivl 'n Through the Classroom

I had an opportunity to try out a device on Monday at one of our school staff meetings called a Swivl. I was a Kickstarter backer for the company when they were first getting started. The Swivl bot allows you to take your iPhone or iPad and place it in a slot on the Swivl to assist with video recording. It comes with a “puck” like device that you hold in your hand or wear around your neck. The Swivl follows this puck and allows you to move around the room freely while video taping yourself. It’s a great solution if you are interested in improving your classroom instruction, but you don’t want somebody else videotaping you while you teach. My video is not the best, as I made a few rookie mistakes. Here’s a few things I learned:
  1. Be sure you place your Swivl in a location that is not facing any bright lights, such as a large window. Your device camera will underexpose the video due to all the light coming in the window. Duh.
  2. You can control the resolution of the video on your device, but if you do not, remember a 45 minute video will take a considerable amount of storage on your mobile device. My 49 minute video was 3.8GB. That might not seem like a lot on a computer, but on a year old mobile device, that is considerable. You will also want to load that video up to the Swivl Cloud, or move it to your computer so you can delete it from your mobile and free up that storage space on your mobile.
  3. Be sure your mobile device is completely charged. I recorded the example below and my iPhone5 was at a 95% charge. It died at 49 minutes. The age of your device will probably add or subtract time. The Swivl uses Bluetooth which has been known to be a little power hungry on mobile devices.
  4. Place your Swivl on a tripod to get it just above the heads of your audience.

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