One of the common complaints I hear from teachers in schools where computers/tablets are common place in the classroom is that students are easily distracted when browsing websites they’ve been directed to by the teacher. One way to address this is by where ever possible, choosing content that can be embedded directly into your Learning Management System, which in our case is Moodle.
Prior to the introduction of Moodle at St Andrew’s College in 2012, a number of teaching staff had various blogs, wikis and websites around the internet where students would be directed to find content useful for their learning. One of the initial attractions of Moodle was that it would centralise the sharing of resources for all teachers and students, whilst still providing a convenient launching point to locate relevant content elsewhere on the internet.
Increasingly, however, content can now be embedded from the source provider directly into Moodle meaning students do not need to leave the Learning Management System at all which increases engagement and reduces the chance of distraction by clicking off to other websites.
When sourcing great eLearning content from around the internet, I immediately look to see if it allows sharing through embedding, and where it does I always promote this option to our staff rather than simply linking to an external website from Moodle.
One of the most popular resources to embed into Moodle is YouTube video clips and I created a video tutorial for our staff showing them how to do this:
At St Andrew’s College we have a Staff PD area within our Moodle site, and I’ve embedded all our video tutorials into a section of this site so that our staff can follow along with screencast tutorials like the one above.
Another valuable video source is ETV which more of our staff are finding the benefits of:
(I mentioned ETV embedding in this earlier post explaining various Moodle functions too)
I’ve been posting recently about the merits of Twitter for Staff Professional Development and increasingly I’m seeing interesting uses by teachers of Twitter in the classroom. One way to achieve this is to embed a twitter feed directly into Moodle – again, a video tutorial showing how to do this:
Having recently returned from the outstanding EduTech conference in Brisbane, the Twitter hashtag of #eduTECH continues to be very active and remains a good source of links and advice. Embedding this into Moodle, or indeed this blog, is achievable with minimal effort:Tweets by @samuelmcneill
Increasingly, more and more content is capable of being shared through embedding which is great news for teachers wanting to make their Learning Management Systems more engaging and interactive. A colleague recently tipped me off to using Wolfram Alpha maths resources that can be embedded into Moodle and I’ve demonstrated this briefly here:
Embedding Wolfram Alpha
There are so many other tools that can be embedded such as FotoBabble, Padlet and not to forget Google Docs / Presentations and Office365 WebApps that also allow for sharing through embedding into Moodle or other Learning Management Systems.
Feel free to share other great online resources that can be embedded in the comments below.
In the end, you want your students focusing on the content you’ve selected for that particular part of a lesson and by embedding the content you’re making it easier for them to access the content and stay on task.