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DIY Smartphone tripod hack

This week we were filming our RSA style videos.  We attempted to do it in a new way that classrooms with no school available technology and no expertise necessary could complete them (except tripods).  We need one more day to upload, and then hopefully I will get a chance to reflect here on our RSA “lite” style videos.

Normally it is an adventure to get enough cameras to allow all the groups to film at the same time.  This is the first year that I had classes in which every group was able to provide one smartphone to record their video with good quality video, but more importantly good quality audio.  While we are a day away from posting the videos, I wanted to share a couple simple things we did to support the smartphones.  After seeing the pictures, you’ll see why I will not be requesting the purchase of any cameras in the future, but the purchase of tripods.

The first item we used was a smartphone holder that can fit onto the hot shoe of a DSLR camera.  It allows you to take video with a smartphone while taking images with the DSLR, or visa versa.   If you take the hot shoe mount off it fits right onto a tripod.

RSA style videos 2015
 

RSA style videos 2015

It is a niffty little tool for $15.  We bought this one.  That clamp, with a simple tripod like this one,  will make a huge difference in future projects as we utilize the more powerful cameras and mics that are coming out with each new smartphone model.

Of course with only one clamp right now, we had a variety of other ways that the kids supported their cameras for filming.

We have the every popular “phone book” technique:

RSA videos
 

RSA videos

The daring “just hang it off a desk and don’t support it like Mr. Bogush told me too” method:

RSA style videos 2015

But the next method is my favorite that took off across the classes after one group tried it.  It’s the “get a big piece of duct tape and strap it down” method.  What is key here is to tape it to one side of the mounting plate, pull it over tight, and tape it to the other side of the mounting plate–not the round section of the tripod below the mounting plate.  You can see the first try in the two pictures below (when you tilt camera the tape pops off), and then done properly in the last image.

RSA videos
 

RSA videos
 

RSA videos
 

1 comment

  1. Hey Paul,

    My RSA student used combined a couple of your team’s ideas – the “duct tape to the edge of the table” worked OK too.
    For whatever reason, she felt more comfortable working under the table, with her drawing hand coming out from beneath the table onto the whiteboard – for those spatially/orientationally challenged, it may be more comfortable, I don’t know… this is her video:

    https://youtu.be/2emwiBD3fUc

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