Embedding in WordPress.com and Edublogs

When the Program for Online Teaching Certificate Class began over at Pedagogy First!, we asked everyone to start a blog for posting their weekly assignments. Not wanting to cost anyone anything, we recommended Edublogs and WordPress.com. We got together a big syllabus of assignments, and thought we were off and running.

Oooops. Some of the things we were asking people to do wouldn’t work, even though we tried to be helpful with the how-to. These were things that were second nature to those of us running our own blogs on our own servers, like embedding video, audio and slideshows. We’re used to full access to a myriad of plug-ins for doing fun things. But these just aren’t available on the free services, and we didn’t know.

It’s audio, video and screencast time, and some people can’t embed to show us their stuff.

So I’m researching workarounds.

For WordPress.com

Here’s one for using Vodpod to embed Flickr, by Gavin Wray. I tried it and here’s the result. It worked, but I did it differently.

So I went to all this trouble, only to find that Flickr slideshows (and YouTube and Vimeo) embed just fine anyway, just by putting their URL on a separate line in a post!

Vodpod as workaround

So I tried things that can’t be embedded that simple way. Vodpod was the answer to two issues:

1) Slideshare, a slidecast with music. Vodpod said it wouldn’t accept the embed code from that site. So I just put in the URL. And it worked.

2) Jing. I used the URL http://www.screencast.com/t/gL1VF7SS2 and no problem. (It wouldn’t work with a Quicktime upload I put in Screencast, but it worked fine with a standard Jing in the Flash format.)

(Vodpod kept saying it was uploading to Facebook instead. But I told it WordPress, and it can’t load to Facebook because it doesn’t have my account.)

For Edublogs

In Edublogs, this Vodpod trick doesn’t work. You get an error code in Vodpod saying you need XML-RPC services, which you can’t enable without Edublogs Pro. That makes Slideshare and Jing a problem for Edublogs. Know any workarounds?

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