Exploring the nerve center of the blog

Challenge #6 for the Teacher Challenge involves embedding media. I thought I would share with you the unit I wrote for my gifted endorsement last year.

In order to share it with our endorsement class, we had to “sell” our unit and also present information on what we taught and how students reacted. I created a “commercial” to “sell” my unit and a Prezi to explain the lessons and results.

I made the video below using Windows Movie Maker. I used lots of NASA images, which are always labeled for reuse. (The full bibliography is in the unit plan.) I recorded the narration using Audacity.

(Video has been remastered to included CC music, an oversight with the previous version.)

And here is a zip file of the unit in case you are interested in using any of the lessons in your own classroom. If you have questions about it, please feel free to ask.

When I usually embed media

On my class site, I most often embed media using slideshare to share presentations we have looked at in class with my students. I also occasionally embed videos. The list of sites that provide embed code is vast. One site I discovered this year that could be used in a variety of ways is simple booklet. You can create virtual booklets and brochures of many sizes and shapes and then embed them into your site. Another great thing about them is that although you can sign up for an account, it is not necessary to have one to create booklets.

Problems with embedding

I have noticed that although I can embed media into our class site, my students are not able to embed media into their sites which are sub sites to our main site. I looked into the WordPress Multisite documentation, and this seems to be written in the code and something that was done intentionally. Currently, there are plugins that allow work arounds for certain sites. Unfortunately, the sites are not ones that we tend to use. So with my kids, I just ask them to post the link to what they have to share.

By Janelle

Space geek, science nerd extraordinaire. That's me! Want to know more, visit the About page.


  1. Hi Janelle,

    Great post;I’ve been waiting for what you’d come up with. I particularly like the part in the Prezi where you zoom in from the milky way to our little, little, little part of the universe. I think that is a really good use of the tool.

    Thanks for dropping by my end of the digital universe and leaving supernova comment.


    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mayln!

      I have seen some really awesome uses of Prezi while perusing the site, and that’s where I got the idea to zoom in on our little part of the galaxy.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy.

      I originally created the commercial to sell the unit to another group of teachers. However, I think I will share it with my kids this year. (I created it after I taught the lessons last year.)

  2. Hi Janelle, thanks for sharing and explainging your work. The manner in which you ‘sold’ your space exploration unit looks great. Where did you get the music from? It fitted so well into the video. Second question, what did you use to embed the video into the blog? Prezi is certainly a tool that should be utilized more and love the fact that it can be embedded into a blog. It is great that you have shared your zipfiles with others, but at the same time displaying how blogging can be used to share files etc amongst teachers.
    Ilike the simple booklet link too. That is one that I have not seen and will find extremely useful.
    How do you find out about all the tools that you use?
    I would also really like to thank you for dropping that comment on my post about embedding media in wordpress with the explanation of the html codes and associated problems. That is much appreciated.

    1. Thanks, Anne!

      The music is the opening theme from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I purchased the track from Amazon to use in the video. The narration mirrors the opening narration from the show as well, with changes made to make it fit with the unit. I used SchoolTube to embed the video. I decided to use that instead of YouTube since it is not blocked as much by school filters.

      Most of the tools I use I find out about from other teachers I follow on Twitter or from the Free Technology for Teachers blog. I can’t remember exactly where I first heard about simple booklet, but it was earlier this year.

      I hope the info about embedding in WordPress helped you. I’d be really interested to know if it works using the old embed codes.

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