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Monday, February 25, 2013

5 Ways to Add Interactive Elements to Your Videos

Over the last few days I've featured a couple of free tools for adding interactive elements to your videos. In the last year I've reviewed a few other services and methods for doing the same thing. This is a round-up of the ways that you can add interactive elements to your videos. The first four tools could be used by students to create a series of choose your own adventure videos. These tools could be used by teachers to enhance the short videos that they create for flipped lessons.

YouTube has annotation tools built right into the editor that you can use when you upload your own content to the site. The combination of the annotation and spotlight options can be used to create a series of linked videos or choose your own adventure series. You can only annotate the videos that you own using these tools. Some of the other tools in this list allow you to annotate videos that you do not own. I've embedded directions for using YouTube annotations below.

The Mad Video is a new service for creating interactive videos. The service is kind of like ThingLink for videos. Using The Mad Video you can take a video that is hosted on YouTube and insert interactive tags. The tags can link to websites, images, or other video clips. People can see your tags when they place their cursors over your video. You can add multiple tags to each video in your The Mad Video account.

Embed Plus is a handy tool for editing and annotating videos that you find on YouTube. Embed Plus allows you to start a video at any point you specify. You can also use Embed Plus to skip scenes in a video, play it in slow motion, zoom into an area of a video, and annotate a video.The annotation feature of Embed Plus is a nice complement to the real-time reactions feature offered by Embed Plus. Real-time reactions pulls in Twitter and YouTube comments about your chosen video. The annotation feature lets you comment on specific parts of a video. Your annotations can include links that you insert.

wireWax is a new service that takes the concept of YouTube annotations and makes it much better. On wireWax you can build interactive tags into your videos. Each tag that you add to your video have another video from YouTube or Vimeo or an image from Facebook, Flickr, or Instagram. A tag can also include an audio track from SoundCloud or a reference article from Qwiki. What makes using wireWax different from using the YouTube annotations tool is that clicking on your tags (what YouTube calls annotations) does not send you outside of the video you're currently watching. This means that you can watch a video within a video or view a picture or listen to a different audio track within the original video. When you click a tag in the original video the video pauses and the tagged item is displayed.

Blubbr is a neat quiz creation service that you can use to create video-based quizzes. Using Blubbr you can create interactive quizzes that are based on YouTube clips. Your quizzes can be about anything of your choosing. The structure of the quizzes has a viewer watch a short clip then answer a multiple choice question about the clip. Viewers know right away if they chose the correct answer or not. To create a quiz on Blubbr start by entering a topic for your quiz. After entering your topic enter a search for a video about that topic. Blubbr will generate a list of videos that you can select from to use in your quiz. When you find a video that works for you, trim the clip to a length that you like then write out your question and answer choices. Repeat the process for as many video clips as you like. Click here to try a short Blubbr quiz about the human heart.

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