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Embed with ease

Virtual learning environments (VLE) such as Moodle, Canvas and Blackboard offer a whole host of features to make learning multimedia rich and interactive but they often don’t have the visual appeal or ease of use as tools that are available online.

Luckily many of these tools provide embed code. This enables you to add resources made elsewhere into your course page; learners don’t even need to know they’re doing an activity on a different website. There are an increasing number of tools which provide embed codes but here are a few of our favourites:

Tools with embed functions

Audio

Vocaroo an online voice recording tool. Simple to use and offers a variety of options – embed code, URL, download as MP3 and QR code.

Voki create your own speaking character great for explaining what is/was cover in this week’s lesson or for introducing an activity/assignment.

Video

There are of course the obvious video hosting websites that allow you to embed video such as Youtube and Vimeo but here are a few more:

Zaption, make video lessons – so much more than just a video. Pause the video to add a question, show an image, provide some additional information through text or direct the learner to a website. Great for flipped learning.

Telligami create your own animated videos, you can add your own pictures. Getting the embed code is a two stage process: firstly create your video, select the Share option and get the link, then paste the link into your web browser, select share and you’ll see the embed code option.

Collaboration

Padlet boards are the equivalent of a notice board – you can pin things to them. The difference is that because they are online you can add multimedia content and web links in addition to text, images and documents. This offers the opportunity to do so many collaborative activities for example, project work and peer reviews.

Bubbl.us  mind-mapping software is a great way to gather ideas from learners. To embed into your VLE course page follow these instructions to get the embed code.

Popplet is another mind-mapping tool (plus an app for iPads). It is really easy to use; try it for yourself on their demo website.

Pbworks is an online tool that enables teachers to set up a place for learners (even without email addresses) to collaborate, build wiki pages, share files etc. A really useful tool if you want to produce something as a whole class or provide a method of delivering peer review opportunities.

Quiz

Studystack offers a wide choice of readily available quizzes or you can register for an account and make your own. The great thing about this tool is you make one quiz and the tool makes a whole range of different versions automatically for you.

Blubbr, a video quiz tool, lets you introduce an element of competition. Learners watch short video clips before answering questions and scoring points. The quicker they answer the more points you gain.

lessons/content

Xtlearn  is a tool that allows you to collect resources together from the internet to make collections. You can order the contents of your collection and add additional items – text, images and documents. This means that you can create different types of resources – collections of useful websites (e.g. Fractions) or activities/tasks (watch this video, do this online quiz etc.)

Xerte Online Toolkit is a content creation tool that makes accessible multimedia rich interactive content. Your organisation could download and host Xerte on their own server or you can get external hosting. The learning objects produced can be embedded on your VLE page.

Prezi an interactive presentation tool that learners can access via a VLE page, these instructions show you how to embed a Prezi on a VLE page .

Surveys/Feedback

Surveymonkey is an online tool for creating and delivering surveys, including embedded on a VLE page. It allows you to analyse the results and to export them too.

Googleforms one of the Google applications offers a way to create online surveys that can be embedded. The results are stored in a Google

 

QR Codes a must have digital literacy skill

These 2D barcodes seem to be popping up everywhere from packaging to bus stops but are we realising their potential in education?QR (Quick Response) codes can be easily created to link to a range of things including websites, audio recordings, videos, text and social media.This variety provides all sorts of opportunities such as:

Information on Posters or Notices

Add QR Codes to information notices to have associated information or text read out. The QR code on the poster below links to an online recording made using the tool Vocaroo.

Vocaroo even has its own QR Code generator.

Mobile device reading QR code
A poster displaying a QR code that links to an audio file. An image showing how Vocaroo allows you to save recordings as QR codes.

Marketing

QR codes could link course information in booklets to taster courses on your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) or website, to videos of current learners talking about their course, or to online enrolment.

Open Days

Create QR Code tours for induction by placing the barcodes at various places within the building.
Provide examples of learners’ work with QR codes to hear more about it from the learners themselves.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Bring paper-based resources to life by adding a QR code that link to videos.
Provide extra support or extension activities on a subject area by adding QR codes to tasks, projects or assignments.
Provide task sheets that have solutions provided via the QR Code for self-assessment.
On employability courses, CVs could be designed with QR codes linked to a learner portfolio or to their digital CV.
Posters in a classroom could link to videos. For example, an image of a discount sign in a shop could have a QR code that links to a Calculating Percentages MathsEverywhere video on Youtube to support Functional Skills maths learners.

Equipment

Place QR codes on equipment/tools to explain what it is and how to use it. For example, weighing scales in a cookery class or a digital camera.

Evaluation

 Use a QR Code to take a learner directly to an online survey tool such as Google Forms or SurveyMonkey.

QR Codes are created with a QR Code Generator such as QRStuff and they are read using a QR Code Reader App such as Norton Snap (free).

How are you using QR codes? What other ideas can you think of? Add to this ideas list by using comments.

Written for HOLEX by Ideas4Learning Limited