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?

9 responses to “The Nerve of that Blog!

  1. I think the trick with embedding videos from sites like YouTube and SchoolTube is to use the old embed code option. The WordPress codex is not a fan of the iframe embed code which many video sites are moving towards. My understanding is because iframes can house malicious code and can cause security issues.

    If you click the “embed” button under a youtube video, three tick boxes appear under the embed code. If you choose the last one “use old embed code” it should work.

    I think embedding is okay. I really don’t think it involves cluttering up cyberspace. The sites with the content are providing the embed code and encouraging us to do it. It would be interesting to hear what others have to say about it, though.

    • Janelle, thank you so much for you advice and help here. As I am not a tech head, I always struggle with code and embedding objects. this makes sense and I have now been successful in getting a youtube video in to my blog. Unfortunately, I am blocked from youtube at school.n Do you have access to youtube at school?

  2. Hello Anne and Janelle
    I also think that embedding is fine. It avoids the otherwise overlooked important imformation you wanted everyone to see when you put in a link.

    Anne, I love your blog and I just subscribed to it. I also have WordPress blogs and I am a true beginner. Your comments and links will be very helpful. I was guided to your blog by the mentor page, and I am glad! I enjoyed the voicethread and can see it’s importance as an EFL teacher and will attempt to do one myself, inspired by your example. Thanks.

    • Thank you, Ellen for your kind comments. How are you finding the challenge? There is so much to learn and I have loved learning with you all. It keeps taking me back to the time when I knew absolutely nothing and was so eager to learn. I had no idea what I was doing and a lot was learned by trial and error. However, I had a great mentor called Heather Blakey who runs a fantastic writers’ blog and she ran an advent calendar of 24 steps to web2.0 tools. I would get up early in the morning waiting for each day’s aspect of blogging to be posted.
      I love that voicethread too and best of all the students did and got so much out of it. Did you listen to the question: “Do you wear shoes?”

    • Hello Ellen, thank you for subscribing to my blog. I have just checked out your post using the ppt presentation in a slideshare. It looks great, I enjoyed reading the content and got ideas for my accounting class. Voicethread is just fabulous for all sorts of acitivites. Have you seen voki? I know a lot of EFL teachers who use that as well.

  3. Pingback: Posts of the Week – Visit these blogs- Weeks 3/4 | Teacher Challenge

  4. Hello Anne
    Do you have a ‘recipe’ for putting in Voki into our WordPress blogs? I had so much fun making mine, and it seems a shame that I can’t seem to get it into my blogs.
    I loved the part of Voicethread where your student asked if they wore shoes! The importance of using Voicethread was underlined by that question…I get a lot of that too living in Mexico. Your student who answered definitely had a chuckle in his voice.

  5. I think embedding media into the blog makes it more interesting. Through our blogs, we are sharing resources with our readers and embedding them makes them easier to access, while still providing the original source for teachers to access on their own.

    While I haven’t tried some of the media you listed, I have been able to embed YouTube posts with no problem. In fact, it is the only thing I have been able to upload easily.

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