Daily Archives: January 30, 2011

The Nerve of that Blog!

If a picture says 1000 words, what does a video, animated slide show or multi-media say?

Embedding Media: the Nerves of the Blog! Kick Start Your Blog Challenge #6 –

The sixth challenge studied embedding media in blogs for added impact, engagement and effect. However this is one that I knew I would struggle with. For the challenge, I was tempted to use my class blog which is an  edublogs campus, as I knew  I could readily embed media to a wordpress blog. My thoughts are expressed in the wordle below.

Thoughts that came to mind at beginning of challenge

However, after reading many of the advanced bloggers’ posts where some had:-

  • shown such determination to succeed against odds
  • worked outside their comfort zones
  • shared excitement when challenging attempts succeeded
  • expressed signs of frustration that wordpress would not accept html as other blogging platforms do.

I decided to search online and see what could be done with wordpress. Surely there must be ways of embedding media in it.  My teacher blog looks very plain and bland with images, links and text in posts. Five of my favourite tools to embed are:-

  1. Voicethread – podcasting with images. Great for collaboration within the class or collaborating with classes across the globe. Can be edited at anytime and updates in real time. Excellent for student tutorials, reflections, reports, projects etc
  2. Slideshare – an online tool that allows MS Powerpoint presentations to be uploaded and then embedded in online spaces.
  3. Toondoo – cartoon making tool
  4. Videos eg youtube, teachertube, vimeo
  5. Wallwisher – sticky notes on a wall that can be collaborative.

Whilst working with the images challenge, I uploaded 12 images from the concert  by Chinese students at Surfers Paradise for the Chinese New Year. Ready to insert them as a gallery,  I noticed there was an option for a slideshow. Putting my inhibitions aside, I clicked that option. See the result in the post which caused some excitement Happy Chinese New Year.

1. Slideshare– Inspired I searched to see whether I could add a slideshare and to my surprise, I could. See  How to embed slideshare in a Word Press blog. Here is a presentation for one of my personal interests – travel.

2. Videos Still struggling with youtube embed code, whatedsaid recommended that I try vodpod. Therefore I registered for an account, uploaded my video, looked for the code for a wordpress blog and was successful for the first time in adding a video to a post. See the result in my application for the Google Teacher Academy A Classroom without Walls However youtube does provide wordpress code somewhere. (If you know where, I would love to find out).

3. Toondoo – The embed code works  in wordpress. See the toondoo below:-

quality blogs

4. Voicethread This is one tool that I am still unable to embed in wordpress. Here is a link to one of my favourite collaborative projects where Grade 2 Boston students (Lorraine Leo’s class) ask  my year 7 class a question. Enjoy their questions and answers.

5. Wallwisher – yet to try again

Here is a link for me to research further:  15 useful wordpress tips to make your theme even better.

Questions for reflection: Should we be embedding media when that media is housed elsewhere? Instead should we be providing links to the youtube videos, slideshares etc. Is it wise use of potential limited cyber space? Are we cluttering up cyber space? What do you think?

How to embed slideshare in WordPress blogs

Getting very frustrated over the last 12 months with not being able to embed a lot of media in my wordpress blog, I have hadto  add links to the sites where my media is housed eg youtube, slideshare, teachertube etc. My posts have simply used images and text.

Challenge #6 of the Kick Start your Blog Teacher Challenge looks at embedding media in blogs. This left a feeling of frustration and inadequacy knowing that this was one that I would dip out of! However, as I added a gallery of images for the recent Chinese New Year concert at Surfers Paradise to a post, I noticed the option of choosing slideshow.  As usual, being reluctant to try new things fearing that I would muck everything up, I took courage from other bloggers who had gone ‘outside their comfort zones’ during this challenge and decided to have a go. To my delight, I have a slideshow of the evening.

Another blogger was frustrated that she could not embed her powerpoint presentation in her wordpress blog. Determined to help, I googled for advice on how to embed slideshare in wordpress. To my delight one of the options came from slideshare themselves. It was then I noticed the option for wordpress on the lefthand side.

Here is what you do. Register for slideshare account>upload your presentation>look for the wordpress symbol on the LHS, click on it. (If you use blogger, there is an icon for blogger).

Find the wordpress symbol

Copy the code and paste that code in the html tab of the wordpress window when writing  a post. See the circled code in the image below from slideshare.

Copy resultant code

or click on customize and grab the short wordpress code. See image below:

Below is a sample slideshare of a presentation that I made at the VCTA conference 2010, embedded in this blog.

Happy Chinese New Year!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On the last night of our summer holidays in  Broadbeach, my husband and I decided to  go to the night craft markets at   Surfers Paradise . As we walked along the mall, we could hear music and singing. It was part of a celebration of the Chinese New Year. 120 students had come from 3 cities in China to help share Chinese culture through music, singing and dancing with the people of the Gold Coast. What a treat this was!

As I watched, I started to realise the impact that 2010 has had on me as a teacher and the amazing potential that  technology has for education.

During 2010:-

  • My year 11 Information Technology class  joined and merged virtually with a class in Malaysia for  a 5 week period, using the software – elluminate. There were Chinese students in this class.
  • In September, I travelled to Malaysia and spent time in a Chinese school, SMJK POI LAM, conducting workshops for teachers and students and met face to face the above virtual class from Kuala Lumpur.
  • Veronica Woo, my colleague from SMJK POI LAM, has used videoconferencing to share an eCultural Journey and the farewell celebrations for their Principal, including the Chinese Lion dance.

Implications for education

  • Classes/teachers can connect to anyone/anytime/anywhere for empowered classrooms using videoconferencing, virtual classroom software and virtual worlds.
  • My year 11 students maintain that the highlight of their time in Information Technology was the direct linkup with the Malaysian students where they could chat to each other, share a whiteboard with each other and discuss likes, cultural differences but also learn that they had the same ideals etc. They said that it felt like the Malaysian students were just next door to their room and not thousands of kilometres away.
  • Why should we use textbooks and read about other cultures when we can see, feel, hear, share by using technology  in a virtual classroom or by using videoconferencing.
  • Learn the language direct from each other
  • Share conversations and blog posts
  • When the timetable changed and we could not longer work in real time together, students found each other on facebook and the connections continue outside of school hours.

Technology has the power to transform education.Why aren’t we doing more of this? Why is it not becoming mainstream? How do we get it to become mainstream?

Finally, happy New Year to the Chinese Community!