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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Viewbix - Make YouTube Videos Interactive

Viewbix is a new service for making videos interactive. Viewbix works with videos that are hosted on YouTube and it works with videos that are hosted on Facebook. I gave Viewbix a try this evening and while "interactive" might be a slight overstatement, you can definitely add some enhancements to videos.

To use Viewbix you first specify the url of the video that you want to work with. Then you can add a custom "button" to your video. Buttons can be linked to webpages or to another video. You can also link to maps and images. Viewbix will put your selected video into their custom player that contains the hyperlinked elements you added. You can see my Viewbix video below.


The function of Viewbix is similar to that of the spotlight annotation tool in YouTube's video editor. The difference is that Viewbix allows you to work with any YouTube video that does not have embedding disabled. You can see classroom examples and directions for using YouTube's spotlight annotations in this post.

Applications for Education
Viewbix could be used by students or teachers to add clarifying content to a video. Similarly, Viewbix could be used to build upon the content provided in a video.

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing the info about ViewBix. 

PLNs Aren't Limited to Twitter

Perhaps it's just me, but from time to time I see people confusing following a bunch of people on Twitter with having developed an online personal learning network (PLN). There are two flaws with that logic. First, to get the most (however, you define that) out of your PLN experience you have to interact with people. It's hard to interact with all members of a large group which is why I've made many Twitter lists (some public and some private). Through lists I can keep up with and interact with the people that are really my PLN. Second, PLNs can exist wherever you want them too. The video below from John T. Spencer illustrates that point quite well.



Flubaroo - A Handy Tool for Grading Quizzes

This afternoon I facilitated a workshop in which teachers, librarians, and school administrators explored Google Advanced Search, Google Sites, and Google Documents. One of the most popular aspects of Google Documents that I showed to participants was collecting information through forms in Google Documents. One of the aspects of using forms in Google Documents that I often demonstrate is using the Flubaroo script to grade multiple choice and or true/false questions.

Flubaroo is a free script that you can use grade the quizzes that you administer through Google Docs. Flubaroo provides great step-by-step directions for using the script. I'll give an quick overview of how it works. First, create your multiple choice quiz using Forms in Google Docs (get directions here). Then take the quiz yourself and have students take the quiz (you can embed it in a webpage or direct students to the URL for your form). Now instead of trying to grade the spreadsheet cells you will insert the Flubaroo script by selecting it from the "insert" menu in your spreadsheet. Once the Flubaroo script is inserted just select it and it will grade the quiz for you.

Watch the video below for a demonstration of Flubaroo.


Applications for Education
While multiple choice quizzes definitely don't fall into the category of authentic assessment they are still used by teachers for a variety of purposes. If you use multiple choice quizzes for any purpose, giving that quiz through Google Docs and grading it with Flubaroo could save you a lot of time that you can put to better use on other tasks.

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