Embedded content like slides, quizzes, polls, videos and storybooks are a great way to create opportunities for reader engagement and interaction not achievable using plain text or images.
Most online tools provide embed code that you can use to embed what you’ve found or created into posts.
We’ve assembled a list of the most popular tools used on class blogs, student blogs and personal educator blogs by activity type to help get you started. We’ve included:
- A brief explanation of why each tool is used with students.
- Embedded examples of each so you can check how they work.
- How to embed into posts.
- A chart to identify which of the sites allow students to create an account.
Tools were chosen on the basis of their popularity, easy of use and ability to be embedded into posts.
Audio Hosting Websites
Audio is used for a wide range of purpose including: grammar and fluency reading practices; delivering content; and engaging auditory learners.
Educators use audio hosting websites when they want to embed their audio within embedded players rather than uploading them directly to posts as a link. Audio Boo and SoundCloud are the most commonly used audio hosting websites.
AudioBoo is a website, and a smartphone and tablet app, which allows users to post and share sound files.
The AudioBoo embedded below was used by the teacher to help students practice learning about nouns and naming words. You can see how the teacher used Audio boo with her students in her Audioboo – Time for Grammar – Nouns and Naming Words post.
Students under 13 can create their own AudioBoo’s provided it is part of a school led initiative.
SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that allows users to upload, record, promote and share their own sounds.
The Soundcloud embedded below was used by the teacher to engage the students, showcase their creativity while summarizing the essence of a story into something memorable. You can read more about the activity and check out more of their Soundclouds here.
Your students must be over 13 if you want them to upload their own audio to Soundcloud.
Audio Presentation Tools
Audio is used for a wide range of purpose including: grammar and fluency reading practices; delivering content; and engaging auditory learners.
Fotobabble enables you to create a talking photo. It is excellent for speaking practice and students find it engaging.
The Fotobabble embedded below was created by an ESL student. Their task was to choose a photo from a field trip and use Fotobabble to talk about what they like about the trip and what they learnt. You”ll find links to all their fotobabble’s in the comments here.
Another tasks the students did was to make one minute Fotobabble review of a book using a book image sourced from Amazon. You can read more about the process of creating the Fotobabble and check out all their book reviews here. Fotobabble was also used to share their art work.
Your students must be over 13 if you want them to create their own Fotobabbles.
VoiceThreads is an online media album that can contain any type of media and it allows other people to make comments in 5 different ways (voice using a microphone or telephone, text, audio or video).
Embedded below is a Voicethread created by Michael Graffin’s PLN Voicethread Project.
You can read more about using Voicethreads with students here. Students under 13 are allowed to have a Voicethreads account provided it is created by the educator or school.
Voki allows you to create talking avatars which is excellent for speaking practice and engaging students. Teachers and students also like to add them to their blog sidebar to welcome visitors to their blogs. You can embed Vokis in posts and pages.
Students under 13 can create their own Vokis.
Brainstorming tools help students think up new and creative ideas quickly and easily. Brainstorming allows students to comprehend connections between concepts and helps them with their thinking process.
Popplet is a popular collaborative brainstorming tool that can be used to create graphic organizers, timelines, and many other visual organization forms. Popplet is also a powerful presentation tool. Students can create popplets on their computers or using the iOS app.
Students must be over 13 to create their own Popplet.
Watch this video on how to use the Popplet lite app.
Padlet, originally known as Wallwisher, is an online notice board creator. Padlet’s popularity is how fast and easy it is to create engaging activities to use with students.
You can read more about using Padlet with students here. Students under 13 are allowed to create their own padlet provided it is under the supervision of the teacher or school.
Book Creation Tools
Book creation tools allow students to quickly create their own beautiful books. We’ve included Book Creator for iPad in Step 9: All About Video because books created using this app are often shared as a video.
Storybird is an online book creation tool that provides artwork and templates that students can use to create their stories. Students can also browse their Picture book gallery and embed Storybird’s created by others into posts. You need to be logged into a Storybird account to access the embed code. You can only embed Picture Books into posts.
Students under 13 are allowed to create their own Storybirds.
We’ve embedded Storybirds: A Simple Guide for Teachers and Students below so you can see what a Storybird looks like. You can check out some examples of Storybird’s created by students here.
Comic and Cartoon Tools
Comic and cartoons tools can be very engaging for students, especially visual learners, and are another way that students can enhance their posts with images.
ToonDoo is a comic strip and comic book creation tool. We’ve embedded examples of a Toondoo comic strip and comic book below.
Learn more about using ToonDoo with students here. Students under 13 aren’t allowed to create their own ToonDoos.
Curation tools allows you to collect, preserve, maintain, archive and share information. The goal of content curation is to find the most relevant content pertaining to a specific category and funneling this information for yourself and your readers in a very targeted way.
Livebinders allows you to curate webpages, PDF, document, image, or video into a digital 3 ring binder. Content can be curated by tab and subtabs within tabs.
The Livebinder below is used by the teacher to share resources from classes.
Check out the following for more information:
Students under 13 are allowed to create their own Livebinders provided their parent or guardian agrees to their terms and conditions.
Click here to open this binder in a new window.
Scoop.it! is a curation platform that enable users to collect news, articles, and other sources found on the Internet, and share them on their own custom-themed Scoop.it! site. Scop.it! is like a social bookmarking website but with a visual, online magazine-like format.
Some bloggers set up their Scoop.it! account to autopost their scoops to their blog. You can also embed a link to your Scoop.it site in a post or page.
Students over 13 can use Scoop.it! with parent or guardian approval.
Storify allows you to curate your own stories from photos, video, tweets, what people post on social media sites and your own narration.
Read more about using Storify with students here.
Students under 13 can’t set up a Storify account but they could embed storify’s created by other users such as news services into posts.
Poll, Survey and quiz tools
Online polling and survey tools help you gather opinions, collect votes, and see and share results immediately. Some of these tools can also be used to create quizzes.
Google Forms is part of the freeware web based office suite offered by Google within Google Drive. Google Forms can be used for planning events, surveys, student quizzes, and collect other information in an easy, streamlined way.
The Google Form embedded below is an example of how you can use it for a simple poll. You’ll find an example of a more extensive Google Form embedded in this post. Graphs and data generated from this form were compiled into our State of Educational Blogging 2016 post.
PollDaddy allows you to quickly create online surveys, polls and quizzes.
Presentation tools allow you to publish and share presentations in a range of formats online.
Animoto is a great site for quickly creating professional looking videos from your images. It is a great tool to use with students because it allows them to focus on content creation rather than trying to learn an editing or manipulation tool. In the school context, Animoto For Education is ideal tool for students to create their own booktrailers, digital stories or music videos.
Students under 13 are allowed to use Animoto for Education under direct supervision of the teacher within the classroom.
Biteable online tools that allow you to make animated videos and presentations easily. Students under 13 are allowed to create their own Biteable presentation.
Below is an example of a presentation created using Biteable.
Watch this video to learn how to make a video using Biteable.
Glogster allows you to combine images, video, music, photos and audio to create interactive posters. Glogster encourages students to gather their information, synthesize it, remix it and then create their original presentation. It is an excellent alternative to the traditional classroom poster project by providing an online tool that is fun to use (and it’s not messy or bulky).
Learn more about using Glogster with students here.
Students under 13 are allowed to use the Glogster.
Google Presentation is part of the freeware web based office suite offered by Google within Google Drive.
Below is an example of a Google Presentation.
Haiku Deck is a tool that allows you to create presentations using their website on your computer or their app on your iOS device. Haiku Deck works by combining beautiful images with minimal text. As you type a word(s) on the slide Haiku Deck searches Creative Commons images to find images to match your text. You can also upload images from your computer.
Below is an example of a Haiku deck created by a student.
Students under 13 are allowed to create their own Haiku Deck presentations provided their parent or guardian agrees to the terms and conditions.
Persuasive Presentation – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;
For more ideas, check out Haiku Deck’s Pinterest board of Education case studies.
Below is a animated video created using Powtoon.
Refer to PowToon’s quick start guide to learn how to create a PowToon video.
Prez 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.
Below is an example of a Prezzi created by a student.
Students under 13 aren’t allowed to create their own Prezzi’s. Students over 13 are allowed to use provided their parent or guardian agrees to the terms and conditions.
SlideShare is a site where you can host your presentations and share with others. Slideshare is ideal for those who want to embed Presentations in their posts and websites rather than upload their PowerPoints directly and insert as a link.
Students under 13 can’t upload slides to Slideshare but they can embed Slideshare’s created by other people in posts.
ThingLink is an easy to use online tool that allows you to make any graphic or photo interactive. With ThingLink you can create multiple hot spots on specific parts of your image that link to a website, video, music, text, or audio file.
Read more about using ThingLink with students here. Students under 13 can use Thinglink under supervision of teacher or school.
Hover your mouse over the ThngLink below to check out how it works.
Slideshow tools allow you to create and share slideshows.
PhotoPeach allows you to quickly upload photos to create great looking slideshows and even simple quizzes. Students under 13 are allowed to create their own Photopeach presentation provided their parent or guardian agrees to the terms and conditions.
Watch this video to see how to create slideshows using PhotoPeach.
Video Sharing websites
Videos can be used for a wide range of purposes including: grammar and fluency reading practices; delivering content; and engaging visual learners.
Video sharing websites are used when teachers need to a site to host their video on or find video resources for using in class.
Google Drive allows you upload video files up to 10 GB in size on your desktop computer or using the Google Drive app on your mobile app, and share them with select people or embed them into posts and websites.
Google Drive is a popular video hosting option for schools using Google Apps for education.
You can embed videos uploaded to Google drive if you select Public on the Web or Anyone with the link in the Sharing settings.
TED is a media organization that posts talks online for free distributions. It is used to share the best ideas from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity.
Vimeo is another popular video sharing and viewing website. Less videos are hosted on Vimeo compared to YouTube. Vimeo is less likely to be blocked in schools compared to YouTube which is why it’s a popular video hosting website for uploading videos for class and for finding videos to use in class.
YouTube is the most popular video sharing and viewing website on the Internet. While some schools block YouTube there are lots of educators who use YouTube to share videos they, or their students have created, or to source video resources to use with their students.
We recommend you set up a class or teacher YouTube account if you plan to upload videos or create YouTube Playlists because this helps separate your work videos from your personal videos.
YouTube Playlists are fantastic way of compiling a list, or group, of videos that play in order to share with students. When one video finishes playing the next video starts. Using YouTube playlists you can control the start and finish times of each video — this is handy if you want students to watch specific parts of videos.
Embed in posts
Once you’ve created your content using one of the above online tools you embed into a post as follows:
1. Copy the embed code.
- Websites use a range of different icons to represent Embed code.
- Look for icons like </>, the word Embed, Share, the share icon, HTML or hover your mouse over icons until you see the word Embed.
For example, if you created a Biteable video the embed code is located in the Controls panel when you view your video:
2. Go to Posts > Add New
3. Place your cursor where you want the the video to appear and then click on the Add Media button.
4. In the Add Media window click on the Insert Embed Code tab.
5. Paste the embed code into the Insert Embed code box and click Insert into post.
6. When you have finished writing your post click Publish.
7. You should see your embedded content when you view the published post.
Using with students
Share your favorite tool
With so many online tools that you can to use, we are certain to have overlooked a few of your favorites.
Leave a comment below with any that we missed so that we can add to the list!