Recording accessories for improving classroom video

The Sibme iOS and Android apps make it easy to record video from a device you probably own. While the internal mic and camera are adequate for capturing video, recording accessories can enhance both the picture and audio quality of your videos.

Keeping cost in mind, we’ve reviewed accessories such as tripod mounts, microphones, and wide-angle lenses that work well with iOS and Android devices.

For $100 – $200 you can improve the audio and video quality in your classroom.

Video enhancement

To a achieve a more panoramic view of your classroom, you might try the Olloclip or the Universal Professional HD camera lens by Techo. Both are great for capturing a large classroom. The Super Wide angle lens by Techo can almost capture an entire classroom and retails for only $25 dollars on Amazon.

The Olloclip provides exceptional quality for around $70-$80, but is not quite as flexible as the Super Wide angle lens by Techo, since you have to purchase it for a particular iPhone, Android, or iPad version; however, it includes other lenses besides a wide angle option.



Universal Professional HD camera lens by Techo



Step two in putting together a simple kit is choosing an audio enhancer (a microphone). Though there are some pretty nifty mics out there, we’ve put some thought into keeping things well within a modest budget.

From Rode, we have The VideoMic Me.  This recently released directional microphone manufactured by Rode is designed specifically for smartphones and tables. At $59 USD, the VideoMic Me plugs directly into the headphone jack on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device and is held in place with a very simple adjustable clip so that it works with nearly any device

Rode VideoMic Me



The VideoMic Pro is a more expensive Rode option for professional quality sound. This shotgun microphone is designed for use with camcorders, DSLR cameras and portable audio recorders.  It retails for around $200 and is a great option but a bit pricey.

VideoMic Pro


Take a Stand With Tripods and Mounts

The simplest component of an audio/visual enhancement kit for classroom observation is a mount. More than likely this will take the form of a tripod.

One mount we have reviewed is the Joby’s flexible tripod, GripTight GorillaPod Magnetic. It’s available for $36.00 online and holds smartphones, but isn’t large or sturdy enough for an iPad or Android tablet.

GripTight GorillaPod Magnetic


If you’re using a tablet device, the Wizgear Universal iPad and Tablet Tripod Mount Holder Adapter is an inexpensive option to mount on a large or mini tripod.  It retails for only $10 and is flexible to use with different iOS and Android tablet versions.

Wizgear Universal iPad and Tablet Tripod Mount



Another great mini tripod that works well with  the Wizgear Universal iPad and Tablet Tripod Mount is the Manfrotto Mini Tripod Black that also comes with a Universal Smartphone Clamp.  This package retails for only $35 and you can use it with both tablets and smartphones.

Manfrotto Mini Tripod with a Universal Smartphone Clamp



The important thing to remember is that this isn’t an exhaustive list of options for putting a classroom observation kit together. These are just a few ideas that you can explore to enhance the capturing capability of your tablet or smartphone at reasonable prices.

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