Adding embedded photos and videos from YouTube

When you want to add photos or videos to your blog, you can do that in two ways:

  • upload the media to the blog storage section (in “admin” go to the media library and follow the link to upload)
  • embed a link from another site.

The first possibility is easy and quick if you have a small file size, but if you upload too many files or if they are large files (e.g. videos) then you will run out of free storage on your blog!

If you want to use a video (with permission) from YouTube, it is easy to link to that. First go to the YouTube video site and then copy the URL. Go back to your blog, and start a new post or page; where you want to add the video you can go to “add media” and then find the space to post the URL.

This is a video from YouTube

You can also embed – e.g. photos that are on flickr. Go to the host site (flickr in this instance) and find the media; find the link to “share” and then “embed”. You will be given a code that you should copy. Now, on your blog change the editor from “visual” to “text/html”. Paste the code and return to “visual”. Save your post/page, and the embedded media should show.

Here’s an example of an embedded photo:

This is what Edinburgh looks like from Fife

sunrise to edinburgh


videos on blogs

Ever thought about doing a video to post on a blog? It was quite trendy a few years ago to creat “podcasts” – regular audio clips about a topic. There are still some good ones out there (I have a look every so often at Stephen Fry )

Here’s a You-Tube video made by Scott Thornbury. It’s part of his alphabet of EFL idea – focussing on the letter “p” he has decided to talk about the PPP model. I think it’s really interesting to see someone like Scott and have him talking directly about a topic, although I wonder if he could have varied his approach or maybe added a different background at some point?

If you want to embed a video from YouTube in a blog post, here’s the way to do it in WordPress (it will be similar in other blog hosting sites):

  • first, get the URL (the web address) from the YouTube site; copy it onto the clipboard (highlight the whole address; on a PC hold the Ctrl + C keys)
  • start a new blog post in your blog
  • make sure the cursor (the mouse on the screen) is at the place in the blog post where you want to post the video
  • click the small icon in the editing screen next to upload/insert – choos the one for “video”
  • you will get a window with instructions; follow the link for embedding a Youtube video
  • finish editing your post and save – the video will not appear in the editing screen but will appear when you look at the saved blog post in the blog

Starting to use blogs

With a new course, we are starting to use blogs – although for the first year qutie a few people have already got blogs up and running and have been using them for some time. It will be interesting to see what they use them for, and why they would decide to create a new one (or not).

Once you’ve created a blog, the next difficult bit is deciding what to write in your blog. Before doing that, it’s probably quite good to have a browse and see what other people are doing. Then when you find a blog you like, you can keep a note of it on your own blog so that you can visit it again easily. That’s what I’m doing now with the new blogs you are creating.

To do this, you need to open the dashboard or admin area of your blog. There should be a link to “links”; click on that. Then you will see a new page on which you can type the name of the link (you can do whatever you want) then paste the URL. On this blog, I also created a new category to help to keep the blog in order. I called this “blogroll 2010-11”. In the new link for someone’s blog on my blog, I made it fit the category “blogroll 2010-11” by clicking on that category name.

Are these instructions clear? Please leave a comment …

Finding a journal article in the e-library

This is a set of instructions for finding a particular article in one of the online journals that you can use if you are a matriculated University of Edinburgh student. In this case I knew the article I was looking for (it was from a bibliography from another article).

Let me know what you think about the instructions: can you follow them? Would you prefer more/less detail? Does a visual explanation help (pictures)? Does it make sense? Does this encourage you to go and try something similar for yourself?

  1. First you need to be logged on. The MyEd login page is a shortcut for several other sites, which in the past required you to have a separate ID and login. So you need to go to MyEd and sign in. Once you’ve done that, lots of things will become available to you.
  2. Go to the online library. You have probably used the online library in the past but you have not realised that you are doing this – we are so used to finding things on the WWW these days! In your MyEd account you should have a tab for the library – go to that tab. There should be a link there for electronic journals and you should type in the name Recall
  3. Get the journal. On the window that appears, for this journal there is only one option (sometimes there are a couple of providers – you need to check the dates to make sure that you will choose one that offers the years you want). Click on the link to Cambridge University Press and again a new window might open on your computer.
  4. Find the volume and article. On the page for the journal, find the link for volume 20 issue 1. Click on the link and you should see a list of the titles of articles. Find the article byAndreas Lund called “Wikis: a collective approach to language production”. There should be a link to click for either the abstract or the pdf of the article; click for the pdf and it should open up. It is then possible to save a copy of that (for personal use only).
  5. Note the full bibliographic details. This is not really part of the “finding an article” process but it’s a good idea to have a note of the full details: Lund, A 2008 Wikis: a collective approach to language production ReCALL, Volume 20, Issue 01, January 2008, pp 35-54

To see the same instructions in a presentation, go to:

Finding a journal article (using VoiceThread)

Here is the presentation as a series of slides (the powerpoint presentation has been uploaded to Slideshare and then embedded here)

The blogroll for the course

I’ve added the links for the blogs for your blogs – you should see it on the “blogroll for 08-09” on the right. Some of you have already added links to your blogroll. You might find it useful to do this because you can then go to your own blog and find all the links.

Remember to leave a comment on the other blogs! Visit at least one and leave a comment on a post there.