Web 2.0 Tools to Embed

When I first started blogging with my class, I simply used text and images in blog posts. As my skills and confidence grew, I started using different forms of media to make the blog posts more interesting and interactive. Using a range of online tools is a great way to showcase student work.

Tips

  • Go for free: There are so many free tools out there. I very rarely use a web 2.0 tool that isn’t free.
  • How to embed: These tools give you an HTML embed code which you can paste into the HTML editor of the post/page editor, or into a text box widget.
  • Under 13s: If you look in the terms and conditions of many tools, you will find that children under 13 are not allowed to create accounts. Read more about this and how to work around it on this post.
  • Don’t lose your tool: When working on Edublogs/Global2 blogs, you shouldn’t switch back to ‘Visual’ after pasting a code in ‘HTML’. Sometimes the tool you’ve embedded can be lost if you do this.
  • Keep it clean: Sometimes embedded tools come with titles or links above or below the main media. I like to remove these for a cleaner look (simply use backspace/delete).
  • Choose the right size: Preview your post with your embedded media before publishing. Embedded media that is too big or small for a post looks messy. There are two ways to adjust the size of your media. Sometimes the tool lets you choose the size you want. If not, take a careful look at the HTML code. You will see where it says width/height/scale. Try changing these numbers (sometimes they will appear numerous times in a code).
  • Think of iDevices: Many embeddable web 2.0 tools use Flash which means you can’t view them on iDevices. This is something to keep in mind if a lot of your readers view your blog on their iPhone or iPad etc.
  • Web 2.0 tools that you can’t embed: Occasionally you will find that some web 2.0 tools can’t be embedded. These could be anything from comics to word clouds to artwork etc. You can always take a screenshot using Snipping Tool in Windows 7 or other screen capturing software. Then you can simply upload the image like you would a normal picture.

Below is a collection of some web 2.0 tools that you can embed into blog posts.

PHOTO SLIDESHOWS

PhotoPeach (free for basic – login)

This tool is very intuitive to use. You simply upload photos, add music and write some captions to create an effective looking video style slideshow. Find more detailed instructions on how to use PhotoPeach here.

This is a PhotoPeach that we made for our class blog  after a visit from the Geelong Cats football players.

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PowerPoint to authorSTREAM/SlideShare (free for basic – login)

If you want photos that readers can click through at their own pace, one option is to insert photos into a PowerPoint and upload it to a PowerPoint sharing website. You can find the instructions on how to add a photo album to a PowerPoint presentation on the Microsoft Office website here.

I like authorSTREAM because of its clean, uncluttered design but there are many hosting options. This is a photo slideshow we put on our class blog to show our classroom transformation over the Christmas holidays.

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Flickr Slideshow (free for basic – login)

Flickr is a very popular photo storage and sharing site. The downside of Flickr is that you can only upload two videos and 300MB worth of photos per month, and only your 200 most recent photos are shown. Photos are also stored as lower resolution. Like many web 2.0 tools, there is a paid pro account available without these limitations.

Flickr slideshows are clean looking and easy to use. Sometimes you want a simple photo slideshow without music and transitions; this is a good option. Find the instructions on how to embed a Flickr slideshow here.

I made this sample Flickr slideshow to demonstrate what it looks like.

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SlideMyPics (free – login)

SlideMyPics uses HTML5 which allows you to create a photo slideshow that people can view on their iDevice. With a large number of people now using iPhones, iPods and iPads to access blogs, this is something to consider when putting slideshows in your posts.

To use this tool, you have to first upload photos to either Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa or SmugMug. You can add transitions and music from YouTube if you like.

I just made this sample slideshow to show what an embedded SlideMyPics slideshow looks like.

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Animoto for Education (free – login)

Animoto allows you to easily turn photos (and video clips) into videos complete with effective music and transitions. Animoto for Education gives teachers free access to premium features. Find an Animoto tutorial on Shawn Avery’s blog.

Animoto isn’t a tool I use overly often but my student bloggers love it. Here is an Animoto I made for our Ugandan Global Project in 2010.

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Google Docs  (free – login)

You can embed all sorts of Google Docs into blog posts including presentations, documents and spreadsheets. Putting photos into a presentation is a simple way of creating a photo slideshow on your blog.

Simply go to “file” and “publish to the web” to get started. Here is a presentation about apostrophes that I embedded on my class blog. 

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Kizoa (free for basic – login)

Kizoa‘s free account allows you to make a photo slideshow with special effects, music, text and transitions. Completed slideshows can be embedded, emailed, saved or shared online.

Here is a sample Kizoa.

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VARIOUS TOOLS

Scribd (free – login)

Scribd is a document sharing website where you can post documents of various formats and embed them into blogs and websites. This is a really versatile tool for embedding all sorts of things on your blog. Read a full tutorial on how to use Scribd here.

This is what an embedded Scribd document looks like.

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Fotobabble (free – login)

Fotobabble allows you to upload a photo and record a narration to create your own talking photo. There is also an app so you can create Fotobabbles on your iDevices. Here is a Fotobabble that a student in my class produced for our Collaboration Corner blog.

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Page Plugin (free – no login)

This site allows you to create all sorts of Flash tools such as clocks, calendars, countdowns, glitter text, banners, tshirt pics, photo puzzles etc.

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Make It Share It (free- login)

Create a drawing or animation to embed or share.

Here is a sample from a user on the website.

 

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Voki (free – login)

Create a personalised speaking avatar with Voki. These are great on a sidebar to introduce readers to your blog.

Check out this example from the 4KM and 4KJ blog (press play to hear the Voki speak).


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VoiceThread (free for basic – login)

VoiceThread is a tool that allows you to narrate images, documents and videos. Others can join in the conversation too. VoiceThread offers a free upgrade to educators. Read about it here.

Here is a Father’s Day VoiceThread that we embedded on my 2011 class blog.

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Wallwisher (free – login)

Wallwisher is a virtual sticky note builder. It’s a great way to have your class add their thoughts and opinions on any topic.

Here is a Wallwisher we made to celebrate Miss Kelly Jordan’s birthday on my class blog.

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VIDEOS

SchoolTube is a great place to upload your videos from your own classroom to embed on your blog. It’s free to use (login is required). Find a full tutorial here

Here is a Readers’ Theatre video I made with my students which we uploaded to SchoolTube and then embedded on our class blog.

YouTube and Howcast are also very useful places to find videos to embed on your blog. It’s important to note that these sites need to be monitored for inappropriate content. Find the video you want and simply copy the HTML embed code into the HTML section of your post editor.

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POLLS

Polls are a fun way to make your blog posts interactive. You can make a poll on PolldaddyBlogpoll or many other sites. Personally, I’ve found PollDaddy to be a little temperamental. student blogger, Skye, introduced me to another tool called Xat. It’s free and no login is required. 


Get your own Poll!

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CONCLUSION

There are so many free online tools out there that are fabulous to use in the classroom and embed on your blog. These tools can potentially allow your students to create, collaborate, communicate and express themselves in a multitude of ways.

To find recommendations of tried and tested online tools to use in the classroom with step-by-step instructions, visit my other website Tech Tools for Teachers. 

If you have any more recommendations or if any of these tools become outdated, please leave a comment and let me know.

 

This article is translated to Serbo-Croatian language by Jovana Milutinovich from Webhostinggeeks.com.

38 thoughts on “Web 2.0 Tools to Embed

  1. What a great list you’ve started. If I can I’d like to add Memiary; a diary of five things that students have learnt through the day. Great for individual recording or group/class records too. Once you’ve signed in you can get the code to embed as a widget in your page. It’s free too which is always a nice bonus.

    http://www.edu.memiary.com

  2. Great list. I sue Picturetrail (www.picturetrail.com) for my photo slideshows. We also use googledocs forms for book reviews, audits, surveys, gathering contact details etc.
    Xtranormal (http://xtranormal.com) is also a great way to stimulate interest with a video on the week’s topics.

    • Hi Pam,
      Thanks for the additions to the list! Xtranormal is great and I have posted about it a few times. I am just getting into Google Docs. I haven’t tried Picture Trail. Will check it out.
      Thanks!
      Kathleen

  3. Excellent list that you have put together! I just shared it with my staff through diigo. We and the students will find it very useful. We have found embedding Google Forms and presentations very useful. Picassa also allows you to embed a slideshow of images as well.

  4. I am new to blogging and I am trying to start up my own class blog. I am happy to see that I am on track and beginning to use some of the tools listed. I will need to investigate Photobabble. I have found this very blog very useful. Thank you, Kathleen.

  5. Hi Kathleen

    This is a great list of handy Web 2.0 Tools for teachers to use. I’ve been enjoying using some of them on my Library blog.

    Vocaroo is something I recently used to promote a new book and it was simple to use for voice recording at http://www.vocaroo.com/

    I’m going to use this list with a group of staff I’m introducing to blogging. Thank you for sharing. I also follow your 2KM class blog and am inspired by what you do…I’d love to be in your class!

    Kim :)

    • @ Kim, thanks for the link and your kind words! Vocaroo is something I had vaguely heard of but never used so I will have to check it out. I’m so glad you are finding this list useful and please feel free to share. I will head over to check out your blog now :-)
      Kathleen

  6. Thanks,
    I love these blog tools. Most of all I love exploring their functionality. My class blogs are really going to take off with this stuff.

    Well done and keep it coming.

    Simon

  7. Hi Kathleen
    I have been inspired by your blog to set up my own Prep blog. I have also shared many of your posts with the rest of the staff. Thanks for so many great ideas. My blog has only been up and running for about a week – but I’m hoping that parents and the children will really start to embrace the technology and hop on board! Thanks again for all your sharing!
    Marie

    • Hi Marie,
      Thanks for you kind words! It really means a lot. Well done for starting your own blog! I’m sure the parents and children will really get on board and you’ll find so many benefits from blogging.
      Kathleen

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  10. Hello Kathleen,

    I appreciate all of the tools you have shared as I was really stuck with how to create something in MS Word and share it on my blog. Is embedit the best way to do this? If I have created a document I want as part of a post such as a guide for commenting it this the only way to do it? Is there a way to also put it as an attachment so people can download it?

    I’m a new blogger and have been very inspired by you. I am setting up my classroom blog and trying to learn as much as I can before going back to work (I’m on Maternity Leave) in May.

    You can see what I have accomplished so far at http://mrsgeorganas@edublogs.com

    I’d appreciate any feedback or advice you can provide.

    Thanks,

    Mrs. Georganas, ALC, Canada

    • Hi Mrs. Georganas,

      embedit.in is a good way to show a document. But you can also attach the document for people to download. Here are the instructions

      I so glad you’re getting into blogging. I checked out your blog and it’s looking great. Just so you know for future, your blog address is actually http://mrsgeorganas.edublogs.org/ lol

      Just keep doing what you’re doing, it’s great you’re getting yourself ready so early. I’m sure you’ve very busy on maternity leave!

      Good luck,
      Kathleen

  11. I’m having such a fun time exploring these inovative tools and considering how they can enhance our new blog.
    I just created a poll for our blog to reflect on highlights from the term.
    Thank you again for your wonderful sharing and helping with our professional learning.
    – Sarah.

  12. Hey–great list! I use several but wanted to mention one more–symbaloo. They have symbaloo.edu for educators and it is a great VISUAL ICON webmix in which you can share all your favorite websites easily with parents/students/viewers. No more having to remember urls or copy/paste. The webmix will show you a nice graphic (icon) in a button format and will take your audience directly to the website.
    Since I’ve added symbaloo webmixes my students and parents have commented on how easy it is to get their students on the recommended sites. (You can choose already made webmixes on the site that may fit your needs or create your own-very easily)

  13. Hi,
    I was wondering what would be the best way to upload student videos to our blog. Up until now we have used YouTube and Vimeo but teachers feel the process is to complicated for students to use. Is there a tool for uploading videos that is student friendly? Would appreciate any ideas.
    Thanks
    Sally Morrison
    St Peters Hoppers Crossing

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the heads up! I should give this page a good update. I haven’t used embedit.in for quite a while as I found it to be temperamental. My favourite tool to embed things is now Scribd. I have written a how-to here.

      Thanks again!
      Kathleen

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  15. Hi
    What a great list and excellent explanations for each tool. We use some of these at our school but I was certainly not aware of all of them.
    Our P-2’s are putting together digital stories about visiting Flat Stanley and your recommendations will certainly help us choose the best tool for our kids.
    Thanks!
    Siobhan

    • Hi Siobhan,

      I’m so glad you find this list of tools useful. My grade two students loved the Flat Stanley project. I know yours will too.

      Good luck!
      Kathleen

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  17. This is an amazing list of free tools. I have used some of them, but there are several here I look forward to trying out. Have you used AnswerGarden before? It works by you posting a general question, then as users submit answers, they are generated in a cool word cloud which can be exported to Wordle or Tagxedo. Check it out at http://answergarden.ch. It’s free and doesn’t require a login. Thanks again for your great list of web tools!

    • Hi Angel,

      Yes, I used to embed AnswerGarden into some of the blog posts on my class blog. It’s a great tool so thanks for the reminder! I’m sure others will find it very useful and appreciate your suggestion.

      Thanks,
      Kathleen

  18. Hi,
    This is very helpful.

    How do I get the widgets onto my blog?
    Whenever I go on websites to get widgets they tell me to paste a code into my blog/website.
    Where do I paste the code in order to get the widget onto my blog?

    Please tell me.

    Here is a link to my blog…
    http://martinat.global2.vic.edu.au/

    Thanks

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