This post is part of the beginners series for 30 Days to Kick Start Your Blogging. You don’t have to have ever published a “post” before, or maybe you’ve started to blog once or twice but haven’t quite yet stuck with it.
Wherever you’re at — we’ll step you through the tasks designed to increase your skills while providing mentors who’ll support your learning. Don’t stress, have fun and remember to ask for help, by leaving a comment, any time you need assistance!
This series is focused on helping educators set up their own personal / professional educator blogs. Check out Blogging with Students if you want to work through our series designed to help you set up student and class blogs!
The aim of this activity is to show you how to use a range of online tools to enhance posts and pages.
Click on a link below to go to the section you want to work on:
Why educators enhance posts with interactive tools
If you look closely at blogs you’ll notice many of them add cool interactive tools to their blog post.
They do this because things like slides, videos, comic strips, quizzes, polls in blog posts grab attention, engage and create opportunities for interaction in ways not achievable using plain text and 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 blog posts or pages.
Try this embedded AnswerGarden to see how much fun they can be:
Prezi – 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. Here’s a Prezi embedded in a blog post.
SlideShare – A site where you can host your presentations and share with others. 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. Check out a SlideShare embedded in a blog post here!
Scribd – allows you to upload your MS Word documents, PDFs, PowerPoints and then share them within an embedded viewer on your blog. Here’s an example of a Scribd embedded in a blog post – check out the Scribd as it contains cool tips for backing up your blog!’
Some embed code is designed to be embedded into normal websites and can be too wide for the width of blog post.
Ideal width for embedding for most blog themes is 450 pixels wide.
If the online tool doesn’t provide the ability to adjust the embed size you can often do this by editing the code yourself. All you need to do is try adjusting the scale, width and/or height after you’ve added it to your post.
Now we’ve talked about embedding media it’s time for you to get creative while showing us your skills by writing a blog post that includes some embedded media.
Remember— if your blog doesn’t allow you to embed into your blog posts you’ll need to link to it.
Here’s some ideas of what you might like to write about or do:
Test a few of the online tools and write a review of them. What did you like? What did you find hard? How suitable are they to use with your students?
Create a quiz to test your readers knowledge. Quizzes can be a lot of fun. For those really wanting to extend themselves — try MyStudiyo, add some videos and get readers to answer questions based on what they can remember from the video
Create a poll to gather your readers opinion. Polls appeal to readers who like to express their opinion but don’t always like to leave comments.
Create a Slide tour of your class room or where you live to. Great for helping readers identify with who you are.
And remember to leave a comment with a link to your post so we can drop past to check it out! We like to include these links to your posts in our weekly reviews!
If a picture says 1000 words, what does a video, animated slide show or multi-media say?
In Challenge #5, participants and readers were asked to talk about the beach scene image in 5 words. To date, more than 53 have responded making more than 250 words for that pic. Thank you. If you have not responded please do so at – Images the “Eyes” of the Blog. Then check out the fabulous responses by clicking on this link to the google sheet.
Some blogging platforms will allow you to embed code. Such code can add rich, powerful and interactive media to blogs, giving real ‘nerve’ to the blog. See the beginners Kick Start Your Blog Challenge #6 for more of Sue Waters’ great sharing and advice on this topic.
Youtube, Teachertube and other popular video sites can be embedded in blog posts by seeking out the html embed code. Polls, voicethread, animated slideshows etc can also be added. Size of the media, file type, creative commons and copyright must all be considered.
It is fun to make your own movies using MS Photostory, MS Moviemaker, iMovie etc. Upload them to youtube or teachertube etc, grab the code and embed them back in your post. Audio and podcasts can be uploaded and shared as links within the blog post (rather than embedded).
My students made a text movie on “What makes a good teacher.” One of the girls tagged her post with ‘good teacher’, used the upload media button (the movie size was less than 3mb). See diagram below:-
Look for these buttons or similar to add audio and media
This added a hyperlink to Rachael’s movie within her post. It opens up in windows movie player (as it was an wmv file).
Several months later she got a comment from a university lecturer in USA saying that she would be using her movie to show the education graduate teachers what a young student thinks makes a good teacher. See Rachael’s post.
Below, is a voicethread (VT) embedded into this post. If you do not have a voicethread account, register for one and seek out the free educators version (access to more than three voicethreads). Add your tip(s) for successful blogging to the VT. Please use your voice where possible. If English is not your first language, please use your native language. If you need help with adding the audio, see the slideshare at the end of this post.
Your Challenge#6 – Add some “nerves” to your posts/pages.
Share your favourite media for embedding into your blogs. Give tips/hints/success stories and ways you have used it or
Find a variety of posts that have media embedded and share these with your readers. Discuss their impact and effectiveness or
Add a short survey to a blog post eg polldaddy and encourage your readers to share their votes or opinons or add a voicethread or try embedding a new tool to you or
Your choice of post, with the theme of embedding media.
Add the url to your blog post as a comment back on this post
Add the tag #ksyb (Kick Start Your Blog) and other appropriate tags. Adding #ksyb, means that if you key that tag into eg google, all the references with that tag will appear.
Find at least 5 other blog posts and comment back on their post. Try and find two other blogs that you have not checked out before.
Make an original short movie using MS Photostory, MS Moviemaker, iMovie or your choice of software, (ensure it is a small size), upload it to youtube or teachertube, then embed it back in a post or upload the media into your blog.
Upload one of your Powerpoint presentations (or create a new one) to slideshare, grab the code and embed in your blog post, or try prezi, create a presentation, grab the code and embed in a post.
Make sure you check out the wonderful array of tools suggested in the Beginners’ Challenge #6 and try some of them.