New case studies, innovative faculty reveal GoPro cameras aren’t just for sports enthusiasts.

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3D printers, digital signage, educational video games—there’s just some technology that, while not vital to day-to-day campus operation, helps boost student engagement and communication, and ultimately makes your campus stand out from the competition.

Enter the GoPro camera. Often reserved for cool YouTube videos about extreme sports or creepy videos of cheerleaders hula-hooping, innovative institutions looking to technology as a branding and marketing tool are now using GoPro cameras to highlight campus life, build international brand awareness, enhance student campus activities, and even enrich lab work.

“In the past few years, [our Materials Science and Manufacturing] course has received negative feedback from students complaining that the lab sessions were ‘boring’ and ‘repetitive,’” explains Sara MsCaslin, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at Tyler. “The goal of [using technology in the course] was to make use of GoPro HD Hero2 action camera kits to stimulate student interest in the lab material, increase their understanding of material failures, and improve their technical communication skills.”

According to McCaslin and co-authors of a recent case study, the GoPro did increase student engagement and technical skills communication.

Including the results of McCaslin’s case study, here are four ways your institution can benefit from GoPro camera technology:

1. To gain career perspective: Most of today’s college students want to know that the courses they’re taking are relevant to their future career field, as well as be certain in their choice of career. According to Lisa Tossey, social media community manager and editor for the National Marine Educators Association (who’s also a doctoral candidate at the University of Delaware, studying  educational technology with a focus on marine science), a GoPro camera can be used to help students gain perspective in their career.

For example, in 2011 REEF, a SCUBA diving community that works to contribute to the understanding and protection of marine populations, joined with collaborators to develop an education program.

The program includes curricular materials and classroom lessons, as well as “meet the scientist” and “live from the field” sessions, in which GoPro cameras were used. They worked in collaboration with educators and students, and with funding from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Program, they piloted the program during the aggregation field season in 2012.

 

Another education project that uses GoPro cameras is Project Aether, which launches high altitude weather balloons in collaboration with institutions to teach students physics concepts, experimental research skills, and to make space exploration accessible.

Watch a Project Aether weather balloon lift a payload package composed of GoPro HD cameras, GPS tracking devices, and other science equipment:

 

(Next page: Increase engagement; campus branding)


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