Hardware lecture capture is great in certain circumstances - it allows a robust, systematic approach to recording what happens in the lecture room. And we've got some stellar lecture capture partners who are doing some awesome innovation in the area of hardware lecture capture.

But we also work with lots of universities who don't have the budget to deploy hardware lecture capture appliances, and are looking for a more cost-effective and flexible approach to content capture and video sharing - and in this post, I'll be covering three of the key tools and techniques that universities are using as an alternative.

1. Mobile capture

Video capture on mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, has come a long way in the past few years. Most professors are now carrying devices capable of taking beautiful 1080p HD video, right in their pockets. And leveraging these devices is a great way of universities implementing lecture capture without significant investment.

Mobile capture can also go to places that traditional appliances can't - like the operating room or the stables. It's quick, it's flexible, and it's portable - and it opens up exciting new possibilities for educational content capture.

At MediaCore, we've developed Capture Apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8, allowing HD content to be recorded, trimmed, tagged, and securely uploaded directly to a MediaCore collection over 3G/4G or WiFi, right from the lecture room.

And there are also lots of ways of extending the capture capabilities of mobile devices even further, by using add-on accessories such as lenses, microphones and mounts.

2. Desktop capture

Another alternative to a hardware capture appliance is desktop capture software - which simply records the screen and microphone - capturing a professor's presentation and voice during a lecture. This is a lightweight, affordable and easy to use method of capture - and it's also unintrusive requiring no extra effort on the part of the professor than simply hitting 'record' at the start of the lecture.

MediaCore can accept the video output from any desktop capture tool - but to make things as simple and seamless as possible, we've worked with our friends at TechSmith to incorporate MediaCore right inside of their Snagit capture tool - allowing content to be uploaded to MediaCore with a few simple clicks.

3. Flipped learning

Lecture capture is based on the assumption that a professor will be stood in front of a group of students, delivering a significant amount of material to all of the same students, at the same time. But lots of universities are now questioning this assumption, and are exploring alternatives to the traditional lecture-style approach to learning.

Having gained a strong foothold in K-12 schools across the world, flipped/asynchronous learning is increasingly being explored and adopted by higher education universities. Rather than delivering a lecture to a group of students at the same time, the professor instead creates a video containing the lecture content (the mobile and desktop capture tools mentioned above are great for this). This is then watched by students online - freeing up precious contact time between professor and students for more interactive, engaging modes of learning. We've created a video and resource site which covers the flipped learning concept, and how to implement the flipped approach.

Written By James Cross

James is MediaCore's Director of Education, and an Apple Distinguished Educator. He loves learning, technology, design, and things that bleep.

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