EmbedPlus “adds more controls to youtube embeds”

EmbedPlus is a unique free web application that adds extra controls to enhance playback of embedded YouTube videos. Some of the additional controls include setting chapters, zooming, slow motion playback and writing annotations. These additional features may be useful for teachers who want students to focus on relevant parts of a long YouTube video.

Features

  • Ÿ You can set the start and stop points for the YouTube clip
  • Allows slow motion viewing of YouTube videos, this is great for sports analysis.
  • Setting chapters or scenes, allows for skipping or rewinding to set points of interest.
  • Viewers can zoom in on any part of the video
  • Teachers can write annotation, such as titles, scene labels, character names, questions or comments, which will appear set points in the video
  • You can also have real time twitter and YouTube comments appear next to the video
embedplus controls

The extra controls can be seen in the right picture. Click on this image to try them out.

Ease of Use

EmbedPlus is straight forward to use, but in my opinion some features could be improved.
In theory you follow 3 steps.
1) Paste the YouTube videos URL into the EmbedPlus website.
2) Make optional personalised adjustments to the size, start / stop time, scene markers and annotations.
3) Get the new embed code that can be placed into your blog, website or wiki.

Possible Improvements

  • Ÿ Unfortunately WordPress websites, over 13% of all sites, requires a plug-in to get the EmbedPlus code to work. It is this reason why I have not embedded an example video into this page.
  • When resizing a video the width does not automatically rescale with the height.
  • Many schools block the use of YouTube and many teachers are forced to use TeacherTube instead. There are no options to use videos from other web sources yet.
  • The annotations do not stand out much. It would be great if you could choose a different colour for the annotation box background.

Value

100% free to use.

Overall Rating 4 stars

The additional controls provided through EmbedPlus won’t be necessary on all videos embedded by teachers from YouTube. The extra features will come in most useful for long video clips or for video clips requiring more detailed analysis, for examples science / nature films, sports clips or possibly to analyse special effects. The creators of EmbedPlus acknowledge that further developments are being made and they also welcome suggestions for new features, which is great.

With an increasing number of lessons utilising online videos and more lessons and homework being conducted via teachers’ blogs and wikis, this is a great tools to explore and to watch for in the future.

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Another great web 2.0 tool for sharing screen captures and video with students is Jing.

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Comments

  1. Jeremy,

    Thanks for your article and suggestions! We’ll be playing with ideas – especially with the annotations. Finally, there’s been interest by WordPress plugin developers in integrating EmbedPlus with their existing plugins. This might address your issue with new plugin installs as some of these existing ones are (already) highly downloaded/installed by bloggers.

    More coming…