Step 8: Cools tools to embed

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Welcome to the seventh step in our free professional learning series on class and student blogging!

The aim of this step is to introduce you to a range of easy to use online tools that you can embed into posts and pages.  We’ve embedded examples of each tool in this post to help you work out how the tool could be used with your students.

Click on a link below to go to the section you want to work on:

  1. Why educators embed interactive tools
  2. Tools by activity type
  3. How to embed media in blog posts
  4. What now?


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WHY EDUCATORS ENHANCE POSTS WITH INTERACTIVE TOOLS

Cool tools

If you look closely at class blogs you’ll notice many of have cool interactive tools embedded in posts and pages.  Educators do this because things like slides, videos, comic strips, quizzes, polls grab attention, engage and create opportunities for interaction in ways not achievable using plain text or images.

There’s a gazillion online tools nowadays and most of them provide code that you can use to embed what you’ve found or created into your posts or pages.

Below are popular tools used by educators by activity type to help get you started.  We’ve included a brief explanation of why they are used, and embedded examples of each so you can check how they work.

Tools were chosen on the basis of their popularity, easy of use and being able to be embedded into posts/pages.

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Audio Hosting Websites

Audio is used for a wide range of purpose including: grammar and fluency reading practices; delivering content; and engaging auditory learners.

Educators use audio hosting websites when they want to embed their audio within embedded players rather than uploading them directly to posts as a link.  Audio Boo and SoundCloud are the most commonly used audio hosting websites.

AudioBoo

AudioBoo is a website, and a smartphone and tablet app, which allows users to post and share sound files.

The AudioBoo embedded below was used by the teacher to help students practice learning about nouns and naming words.  You can see how the teacher used Audio boo with her students in her Audioboo – Time for Grammar – Nouns and Naming Words post.

SoundCloud

SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that allows users to upload, record, promote and share their own sounds.

The Soundcloud embedded below was used by the teacher to engage the students, showcase their creativity while summarizing the essence of a story into something memorable.  You can read more about the activity and check out more of their Soundclouds here.


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Audio Presentation Tools

Audio is used for a wide range of purpose including: grammar and fluency reading practices; delivering content; and engaging auditory learners.

Audio presentation tools allow you to combine images (or videos) with audio.  Popular audio presentation tools include: FotobabbleVoiceThreads; and Voki.

The following websites include an extensive range of audio tools and how to use with students:

  1. 50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story Audio Tools
  2. WebTools4U2Use Audio & Podcasting tools

Fotobabble

Fotobabble enables you to create a talking photo.  This is excellent for speaking practice and students find it engaging.

The Fotobabble embedded below was created by an ESL student.  Their task was to choose a photo from a field trip and use Fotobabble to talk about what they like about the trip and what they learnt.  You”ll find links to all their fotobabble’s in the comments here.

Another tasks the students did was to make one minute Fotobabble review of a book using a book image sourced from Amazon.  You can read more about the process of creating the Fotobabble and check out all their book reviews here.

Voicethreads

VoiceThreads is an online media album that can contain any type of media and it allows other people to make comments in 5 different ways (voice using a microphone or telephone, text, audio or video).

Embedded below is a Voicethread created by Michael Graffin’s PLN Voicethread Project.

You can read more about using Voicethreads with students here.

Voki

Voki allows you to create talking avatars which is excellent for speaking practice and engaging students.   Teachers and students also like to add them to their blog sidebar to welcome visitors to their blogs. You can embed Vokis in posts and pages.


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Brainstorming Tools

Brainstorming tools help students think up new and creative ideas quickly and easily.  Brainstorming allows students to comprehend connections between concepts and helps them with their thinking process.

Popplet

Popplet is a popular collaborative brainstorming tool that can be used to create graphic organizers, timelines, and many other visual organization forms.  Popplet is also a powerful presentation tool.  Students can create popplets on their computers or using the iOS app.

The popplet embedded below shows how it can be used for maths.

Watch this video on how to use the Popplet lite app.

Padlet

Padlet, originally known as Wallwisher, is an online notice board creator.  Padlet’s popularity is how fast and easy it is to create engaging activities to use with students.

You can read more about using Padlet with students here.


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Comic and Cartoon Tools

Comic and cartoons tools can be very engaging for students, especially visual learners, and are another way that students can enhance their posts with images.

Bitstrips

Bitstrips web-based resource that enables any student to create their own great-looking, original comic strips without having to draw.

Learn more about Bitstrips with students here.

ToonDoo

ToonDoo is a comic strip and comic book creation tool. We’ve embedded examples of a Toondoo comic strip and comic book below. Learn more about using ToonDoo with students here.

BLOOM


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Curation tools

Curation tools allows you to collect, preserve, maintain, archive and share information.  The goal of content curation is to find the most relevant content pertaining to a specific category and funneling this information for yourself and your readers in a very targeted way.

Livebinders

Livebinders allows you to curate webpages, PDF, document, image, or video into a digital 3 ring binder.  Content can be curated by tab and subtabs within tabs.

The Livebinder below is used by the teacher to share resources from classes.

Check out the following for more information:

  1. Using livebinders with students
  2. Using Livebinders on iPads

Scoop.it!

Scoop.it! is a curation platform that enable users to collect news, articles, and other sources found on the Internet, and share them on their own custom-themed Scoop.it! site.  Scop.it! is like a social bookmarking website but with a visual, online magazine-like format.

Some bloggers set up their Scoop.it! account to autopost their scoops to their blog.  You can also embed a link to your Scoop.it site in a post or page.

Storify 

Storify allows you to curate your own stories from photos, video, tweets, what people post on social media sites and your own narration.

Read more about using Storify with students here.

The Storify embedded below demonstrates how you can incorporate a wide range of media into your stories.


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Poll, Survey and quizz tools

Online polling and survey tools help you gather opinions, collect votes, and see and share results immediately.  Some of these tools can also be used to create quizzes.

Google Forms

Google Forms is part of the freeware web based office suite offered by Google within Google Drive.  Google Forms can be used for planning events, surveys, student quizzes, and collect other information in an easy, streamlined way.

The Google Form embedded below is an example of how you can use it for a simple poll.   You’ll find an example of a more extensive Google Form embedded in this post.  Graphs and data generated from this form were compiled into our State of Educational Blogging 2013 post.

Watch this video to learn more about using Google Forms.

PollDaddy

PollDaddy allows you to quickly create online surveys, polls and quizzes.


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Presentation tools

Presentation tools allow you to publish and share presentations in a range of formats online.

Animoto

Animoto is a great site for quickly creating professional looking videos from your images.  It is a great tool to use with students because it allows them to focus on content creation rather than trying to learn an editing or manipulation tool. In the school context, Animoto For Education is ideal tool for students to create their own booktrailers, digital stories or music videos.

Below is an example of a student created animito.  Check out more student work here and learn more about using Animoto with students here!

Make a video of your own at Animoto.

AuthorStream

authorSTREAM is a web-based PowerPoint presentation sharing platform which also allows you to add audio to your presentation.

Glogster

Glogster allows you to combine images, video, music, photos and audio to create interactive posters.  Glogster encourages students to gather their information, synthesize it, remix it and then create their original presentation. It is an excellent alternative to the traditional classroom poster project by providing an online tool that is fun to use (and it’s not messy or bulky).

Learn more about using Glogster with students here.

Prezi

Prez is an online presentation and story telling tool that uses a single canvas instead of traditional series of slides.  The images, text, videos and other objects are placed on the canvas and users can zoom in and out.

Below is an example of a Prezzi created by a student.

SlideShare

SlideShare is a site where you can host your presentations and share with others.  Slideshare is ideal for those who want to embed Presentations in their posts and websites rather than upload their PowerPoints directly and insert as a link.

It’s also an excellent site for locating Presentations created by others.

Scribd

Scribd allows you to upload your MS Word documents, PDFs, PowerPoints and then share them within an embedded viewer on your blog.

10 Internet SafetyTips for Students Poster November 2012


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Slideshow Tools

Slideshow tools allow you to create and share slideshows.

Flickr SlideShow

Flickr slideshow allows you to create a slideshow from Flickr photos of a user, set or group.

Created with flickr slideshow.
PhotoPeach

PhotoPeach allows you to quickly upload photos to create great looking slideshows and even simple quizzes.  Refer to these instructions for creating PhotoPeach quizzes.

Learn more about animals on PhotoPeach


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How to embed in posts

Adding embed code to posts or pages is as simple as:

1.   Completely write your post including adding title, text, images, tags and categories.

2.  Click on Save Draft.

3.  Click on Preview to previewed your post.

4.  Check your post and make all necessary edits.

5.  Locate the embed code for the media you created or want to embed.

  • Websites use a range of different icons to represent Embed code.
  • Look for icons like </>, the word Embed or hover your mouse over icons until you see the word Embed.
Below are examples of where to look:
Finding the embed code

6.  Copy the embed code.

Copy the embed code

7.  Click on Text or HTML Tab on your post/page editor.

Click on the Text Tab

8.  Paste the embed code into your post where you want it to appear then click Publish.

9. Don’t click back to Visual Tab and close your post in HTML view.

  • Changing back to your Visual editing mode once you have added the embed code may remove or break the embed code.

10.  You should now see your embedded media when you view your post on your blog!

11.  Change back to Visual Editing mode when you write your next post by clicking on the Visual Tab.


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WHAT NOW?

How did you go?

What have you learnt about embedding media? Leave a comment below with a link to your blog and let us all take a look!

Also feel free to leave any questions you are having (or tips/advice) as well.

Or go to Step 9: All about video!

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