Thursday, May 29, 2014

Swivl Can Make Flipping Your Class Even Better #FlippedClassroom

I heard about Swivl from a friend who attended a conference on the Flipped Classroom and it sounded amazing. I reached out to Swivl and was able to use a demo model for this piece.

Swivl is a robot that allows you to record everything you have wanted in a classroom. By wearing or holding on to the Marker, Swivl will follow you around the room and record your audio. Take a look at the graphic below for more details.

The idea is pretty simple. Have a camera follow the user around as they teach a lesson. The Marker can hang around the neck and it will be tracked by Swivl. The Marker has a microphone in it, so it will record the audio from there, so standing far away from Swivl does not matter.

I was able to carry the Marker around and pass it to students so they could share their answers and have it recorded on the video. It was easy and the audio sounded great.

All of this is done through the Swivl Capture App that connects your device directly to the robot. From the app, you can record your lesson or upload slides that will then be incorporated into the video you are recording. So, if you have slides your students will see on the wall, you can upload those slides to the Swivl app and move through them with the Marker. This connection is all done through Bluetooth and it was seamless to set up and use.

Swivl runs on battery and can be charged each night so it is ready for the next day.

Swivl also provides a cloud service for all users. Everyone starts off with 200 total minutes of video, but they do offer upgrades you can purchase.

Using the Swivl Cloud is great for teachers that want to record their lessons, but restrict who has access to it. While the videos that are recorded could be downloaded and uploaded to YouTube, the Swivl Cloud allows users much more control over the content and would address privacy concerns some parents or districts might have regarding the recording of class. The group management is also very nice so the user can create specific groups for students to join and access specific videos that have been shared by the user. 

For me, I often have discussion that head in different directions in different classes. I would love it if other students could see those conversations and add that to their notes. It is a great way to expand my classroom as an English teacher so more of my students can see and hear the ideas of their peers. I also see this as being huge in Science, Math, Social Studies, Foreign Language and many other disciplines because of the ability to easily record video and audio and make it available to students. 

The Swivl robot is wonderfully made and works flawlessly with my 4th Generation iPad. It also works for the iPad Air, 2nd - 4th Gen, iPad Mini 1st and 2nd Gen, iPod Touch 4th and 5th Gen, as well as the iPhone 5S, 5C, 4S, and 4. They are testing other Android models and cameras as well. 

The overall price for the Swivl robot is $299 with options for a $499 and $799 package that will also add the different levels of Swivl Cloud. 

If you are looking to Flip your classroom and have been striving to find the right tool to make it possible, you should really consider the Swivl. It is portable, so it can be shared in the department. It is easy to set up and use. It works with devices you might already own. It provides wonderful audio recording that is perfect for making great videos. I'm recommending Swivl to all of my teachers looking to Flip their classrooms. You should check it out as well. 


  1. Would you be able to export swivl video to youtube?

  2. As an Android user, I'm curious how Swivl works with Nexus and Droid devices.

  3. I love this idea. I've recently become more into recording class events for students to use for future reference - I always think logistics and this seems like a great way to make it work! Thanks for the info!


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