Thanks for getting back with me so promptly. It has taken me this time to connect with the proper people to find out the information you requested.
The camera used to film the class was a Panasonic AG-HMC40P, owned by a local cable TV station; they use Kodak video encoding software, and a SD card was used to store the video. The file extension is .mts, and the mime file is MPEG 2 transport. He said I probably need an AVCHD converter, and the Mac app store lists 8 of those options, 4 free and 4 for up to $9.99. He said I'll also need a converter for later plans of posting on YouTube or on the website, and while some of those in the app store might work for the later needs, he knows one app called "Compressor" that would work for the uploading later. He also suggested I could try renaming the .mts file to .MP2T, but he wasn't sure that would work.
They don't work with Macs at the studio, but I had thought I could have some lessons there in editing, and apply what I learned to my iMac and iMovie.
First, though, I have to be able to see it and review it!