Put to the test: Flip Mino(2)

Use the Flip Mino digital video camera to record science and observe results in slow motion. Use it in P.E. analyze athletic performance. Pair it with animations software to produce videos in a language arts class.

Pros: Small and lightweight. No real instruction needed for setup or use. Any teacher could record a lesson and post in on a web page as a media file. The image quality is excellent and the display is viewable in all but bright sunlight. The software also allows the user to add music to any video and publish your video to the web. You can even go to the Flip Web site and design the “skin” of your Flip Mino to be in your school colors with your school logo on it.

Cons: The digital zoom is ineffective at distances over 50 yards (images are not as crisp as one would like).

Overall Impression: This camera has many features that make it very educator friendly. It is basically point-and-shoot with little or no instruction, any frame in a movie can be converted to a still photo, and the built-in software is both Mac and PC compatible.

Retail price: $179

-- Joe Huber