The Video Camera Acquisition Project

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by bledsoe on June 27, 2013

A couple of years ago, I began experimenting with the flipped classroom model. I started creating lecture videos for my math classes, and I have become an enthusiastic proponent of the the use of video as a way to decrease the amount of class time used for lecturing, and increase the amount of class time in which my students are more actively engaged with math.

About this time I also began experimenting with having my students create videos, and found that this was a great way for students to get a deeper understanding about particular math topics.

As any teacher can tell you, before you can explain a topic or concept to someone else, you have to thoroughly understand it yourself, and it is exactly this level of deep understanding that my students gain when they create their videos.

So I'm anxious to have my students engage in more of these types of video creation projects and activities, but I only have three video cameras. This means that there is often a lot of "standing around time" when we make videos, and if I can get even a few more cameras I can reduce this down time substantially.

I'm calling this effort "Mr. Bledsoe's Video Camera Acquisition Project," and you can be a part of it! The video above provides details, but the short version is this:

  1. The camera brand I want is the Kodak Playfull HD Video Camera (approximately $100 at Amazon)
  2. You can donate to lance@lancebledsoe.com via PayPal by clicking the button below. (Please note that no amount is too small.) [No longer accepting donations, thanks to all who donated.]
  3. Or you can mail a check to me at 152 Skipping Rock Lane, Garner, NC 27529. (You can also use this address if you would prefer to purchase one of these cameras yourself and send it to me.)

I'd be thrilled with any amount you would care to donate; even $5 or $10 would be very much appreciated.

Feel free to contact me at lance@lancebledsoe.com if you have questions, or check out my FAQs below.

FAQs

How many video cameras do you have now?

I currently have 3 of the Kodak Playfull cameras. One I bought myself a couple of years ago, and the other two I purchased last year with some money I got from a "Teacher of the Month" award from my school.

How many are you hoping to get?

My ultimate target is 15 cameras for my classroom, and since I already have 3, I'm hoping to get an additional 12 cameras. My classes typically have about 30 students and they usually work in pairs when creating videos, so 15 cameras would mean one for each pair of students. (Though even one or two additional cameras would substantially decrease the wait time when students are working on video projects.)

Why don't you just get your school to pay for this?

That would be awesome, but money for education is pretty tight in my school district (and getting tighter). I'm hoping a few individual philanthropists will be interested in filling the gap.

Is this just a scam for you to pad your salary?

No, none of the money is going for any kind of stipend or salary supplement for me (or anyone else).

What if you get more donations than you need?

If I should bring in enough money to cover 12 cameras & SD cards, I'll stop taking donations (and do a big happy dance), though it's certainly possible that I could have some money left over. If that happens, I'll use the excess to pay for other classroom materials (whiteboards, markers, etc.) that I use in my classes. I typically spend $100 to $200 a year on these kinds of purchases.

Why didn't you run this project through a site like donorschoose.org?

I was originally hoping to do just that, but after I set up my donorschoose account I learned that they require you to purchase all materials through their pre-selected vendors, and none of the vendors sold a video camera that was similar to the one I want.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Unfortunately, no. As far as the IRS is concerned, I'm just a guy you're giving a gift to.

If you have other questions, please email me, or just post in the comments.

Photo Credit: ssh via Compfight cc

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