This blog is especially for my students. We use two types of cameras, the red Kodaks, and the black Olympus ones. Both have strengths and weaknesses. The red Kodak cameras do not have earphone jacks, and the internal microphone is quite poor. The black Olympus camera instead has both a mic and earphone jacks, and has excellent stereo microphones.
Red Kodak camera: microphone & Gorilla-pod tripod
Black Olympus recorder: Silver/grey tripod only
Set the black Olympus cameras to video (not audio)
Do the following:
- Only take one camera and tripod per group/pair. Take your own smartphone to also record, but use the audio recorder. Every year students have problems with the video cameras, so your smartphone audio will be a backup.
- Find a quiet place to record with your partner. Use ONLY English in this time; it’s still class time, and it’s still valuable workplace rehearsal/practice time.
- Test the sound and video images. Both people should be in the video together. Make sure the microphone is switched on, and the black Olympus cameras are set to video. Push the “Rec” button once for previewing the video, again to record. The light should not be too bright or too dark.
- Start the video with your name and student number
- Do your conversation, about 10 minutes.
- Note down your camera number
- Return to the classroom and make a copy of your video on the computer today, or the next lesson. Never “cut & paste” or delete the file from the SD card
- At home, fill in the self-reflection form
Red Kodak cameras: Through the year, someone will forget to do a sound check, and record their speaking test with the microphone either switched off or pointed away from the speakers.
Black Olympus cameras: The video does not play with sound on Windows Media Player. WMP is a cheap simple player, and so it lacks some important codecs, including the one used by the Olympus cameras. Consequently, you’ll need to download and use either:
If you still have problems, please ask.