Teacher Lee Briggs on technology in today's classroom. Brought to you by Weekly Reader.

A few years back, Flip Digital, the company that created the iconic Flip cam, was purchased by electronic giant Cisco. Cisco, more commonly known as specializing in networking equipment, was hoping that that the simple-to-use Flip cam could be adapted and allow users to teleconference and post video straight to their blogs.

So about a month ago, Cisco pulled the plug on the Flip camera. Why? The answer had to do with the big picture. You see, the Flip does one thing: video. Its ease of use was the main idea behind its design and software. Smartphones and tablets, on the other hand, do video as well, but they also do a million other things.  Smartphones and tablets are more popular and more profitable than the uni-tasker Flip cam.  Lo and behold, the powers at Cisco killed my beloved little camera.

Most of the teachers who have used them loved the Flip camera. The fact that they only did one thing was part of their appeal. You could hand them off to students on a field trip, give them to a parent, record a student reading, or any number of other activities.  A smartphone does all of those things but most smartphones are ill-suited for casual school use. Alas, what we do?

Thankfully, with the loss of the largest player in the entry-level camcorder market, plenty of other options are stepping up to fill the void, such as the Kodak Playsport. This camera not only films video as well as the Flip, but is also waterproof (and therefore field-trip proof). I hope to get one soon and put it through the paces.

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Comments on: "So Long, Flip Cam! (Long Live the Flip Cam!)" (2)

  1. I was told that the Flip software loaded on my computer will not change. I won’t loose any video and can continue using my Flip cameras. Is that true?

  2. Your flip camera will continue to work, and the software you have loaded will be fine, but there will be no more new flip cameras made and no new versions of the software. it is also unclear if there will be any support for your camera. basically its like buying a Yugo, it may still work, but the parts will be hard to come by.

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