Thing 6: video

So, the limitations of completing the challenge only using mobile devices are starting to appear. I can’t find any way of grabbing YouTube code to embed here. It seems the best I can do is get the link. Well, I’d rather embed so even though that goes against the spirit of what I’m trying to achieve, so be it. I’ll publish this now ( from my phone, on the train ) but I’ll come back and edit next time I’m on my PC.

I’ve used video in a number of ways, both in the library and as part of my ICT coaching role. I’ve used both YouTube and Vimeo for uploading video; Jing, Debut and Screencast-o-matic for screencasting, and I’ve played around with various phone and iPad apps for video.

Talking Tom library welcome from Heather Bailie on Vimeo.

Some examples: as part of library orientation we made some short videos to incorporate in an online quiz; for book week I made a quiz for teachers and had some people read famous passages from books for the participants to identify author and title;

Nette1 from Heather Bailie on Vimeo.

I’ve videoed guest speakers and uploaded the videos to YouTube and then embedded the video in a Ning network. I regularly make screencasts for quick “how-to’s” – it’s so much simpler and more efficient to “show” rather than tell. My favourite tool for screencasting on a computer is screencast-o-matic – it’s great because you don’t need to download any software and it is very easy to share your video using YouTube or Google docs and you can save to your computer as well.

Creating instructional videos using an iPad is also quite easy and very effective using apps like Explain everything. Here’s one I made about the Flipboard app as part of a workshop at Slide2learn last year.


Embedding in the Ultranet – a new series

This is the first post in what I hope to make an ongoing series.ultranet_logo

Here in Victorian government schools we have a new-ish Learning Management System called the Ultranet.  Teachers will use the Ultranet to assign and assess Learning Tasks; to collaborate with their colleagues; record and share their professional learning and create resources for their students.

The Ultranet has Web 2.0-like tools such as wikis and blogs which can be used to provide access to all kinds of resources.  One of the key things I want to be able to do is to embed things I or others have created using other Web 2.0 tools – videos, podcasts,  animations, documents etc.  These might be resources I have prepared for my students or they might be the students own work.  I have found that some things embed easily while others simply will not.  My limited understanding of HTML code allows me to see the difference in the types of codes that embed and those that do not (any code that begins with “iframe” is guaranteed not to work) but sadly I don’t know what to do about it – perhaps someone will comment here and help me out.

What I do know is that it would be useful to others to know what will embed easily in the Ultranet before going to the trouble of creating something, rather than after, and that is what this series of posts will do.  Each post will also describe any other issues around using the tool in the school environment – for example something in the way my school’s network and internet filters are set up prevents me from uploading to certain sites even though I can visit and embed their content.

Future posts will describe a tool or range of tools that perform a particular function, with tips and ideas about how and when to use, but for today, just a couple of quick tips.


Something as ubiquitous as Youtube doesn’t require me to explain anything about what it is and does BUT it’s worth knowing that you need to use the Old embed code for Youtube embeds to work in the Ultranet.youtube


I’ve described authorSTREAM previously, in this post.  Its embed code works fine in the Ultranet and there is no problem uploading your PPT file from within the school network (it can be scarily slow though, be patient it will get there).


Again I’ve described Issuu in this post.  Embedding in the Ultranet is absolutely fine however I had to upload my PDF file from home.


6 word stories

We run a short story contest as part of book week and the expectation is that stories will be at least 1000 words.  That seems like a very big ask to me and I’ve been wondering if there is another approach.  I’d heard a bit about some ultra short story ideas so I did a bit of searching.  The first thing I found was a reference to a book that has been published called Not quite what I was planning: six word memoirs by writers famous and obscure.  The YouTube video has a sample of what is in the book with a music track and it is great.  The writers have selected pictures to illustrate their stories (or have they been inspired to write their 6 words by a picture they found??) either way the result is a very engaging 4 minutes or so.

When I went to show it to some colleagues at school I discovered that YouTube was now blocked (it hadn’t been previously but it seems we now have a blanket ban) so I went searching on TeacherTube.  I didn’t find the original one but I did find Six words on education which is described as Staff at Durant Road Middle School were asked to submit six-word memoirs about their educational philosophies.

Again, a fascinating video with some very wise, heartfelt and amusing sentiments.  It doesn’t have the visual appeal of the first one, this is simply some clever text effects on a black background, but it is very engaging none-the-less.  I’ve forwarded a link to my principal as it is exactly the sort of thing she likes to open staff meetings with.  I’d like to see if we can come up with some of our own.

The possibilities are endless.  Six word responses to a text.  Six word descriptions of your happiest/saddest/proudest/scariest moment.  I’m definitely going to try to get some kids involved and I’m thinking that next year for book week I’ll get staff to write their 6 word story about the book that has influenced them the most or similar.

I hope you get to see the first one, this blanket banning of YouTube is driving me nuts!  I’ve recently downloaded a YouTube downloader so that I can get the videos when I’m at home and show them at school but I’m fully aware that this almost certainly contravenes copyright – as I understand it, it is ok to show students a video directly from YouTube but it is not ok to show a downloaded copy.  I’ve only used this feature so I can share stuff with colleagues.

And I’ve only linked to the videos here instead of trying to embed them.  I’ve found the only way I can embed a video is to do that, and only that.  If I write any text or add tags or categories I end up with the blank box.  I’ve decided life is too short to keep worrying about that one!



Today I decided to go back and add tags and categories to some of my posts as I hadn’t done it before.  Recently I finally had success embedding a youtube video into a blog post – it worked when I started a new post, copied and pasted the code into the HTML view and then published immediately.  So now, having gone back and tagged and categorized, they’ve disappeared and all I have is the big blank box again.  What gives?


#21 YouTube

There’s no doubt there is some fantastic stuff available on You Tube and Teacher tube but it can be very frustrating too.  One video which I LOVE is actually an ad for a technology company in the US.  It’s about these people who build aeroplanes in the sky, while they are flying with passengers in them.  The workers tell us (one with a tear in his eye) how much they love their jobs!  To me it really sums up what we need to be doing with techology in schools.  We don’t have time to wait for the infrastructure to be perfect  we need to be getting into it and using what we do have and moving forward at all times.  If we wait until we have enough computers or network points or bandwith or whatever before we start using this in the classroom it’ll all be too late. 
Building planes in the air

I have tried and tried to actually embed the video instead of linking it but I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.  It all looks fine until I actually save it.  I shall persist, however.  I will consult with the resident geek girl when I get back to work tomorrow.

It took me a few goes to find this video again today which seems to be a bit of a problem with youtube/teacher tube.  I started doing this topic a few days ago and found a video I really liked that showed a girl putting a picture of herself on a noticeboard and then multiple people were able to take it from the noticeboard.  It was pointing out the problems with putting photos on the internet and how you can’t get them back once you have.  I thought it would be a good one to show to students but I can’t find it now.  Obviously it’s important to keep a note of what you see and like at the time you do because these videos seem to move in mysterious ways!

I’ve found another video that I like and will try to embed as well (if I ever work out how).  It’s a warning to educators to not be scared of technology and to use it rather than ban it in schools.  I think there are plenty of people in education out there who could learn something from this but unfortunately they may find the technique of SMS language incomprehensible…what do you think?  It’s called “Technology fear factor in education” .  Here’s the link, the video may or may not appear below now too. 



This is another video I loved, I’m just going to link it, it’s all about how NOT to do powerpoint presentations.  Very funny and unfortunately too true. How not to PowerPoint