Saturday, November 22, 2014

Interactive Video Widgets in iBooks

For the last couple of summers I had the pleasure to work along Tony DiLauraDave Bast and some great educators committed to making their own content with hopes of replacing traditional textbooks at iBooks Hackathons. I'd put together some material for those hackathons and I thought I'd share some of it here.

When I teach I try to always ask questions and never give answers. I want my students to struggle a bit and discover the answers through experimentation and discussion. This is very difficult to do in the videos I make. Due to the nature of video I don’t really give students time to think, nor do I give them a chance to investigate different answers. Derek Muller hit on a solution to this on his Veritasium YouTube Channel. YouTube allows you to put clickable hotspots on videos. Derek uses these to link to other videos he's made. He set up a kind of choose your own adventure allowing viewers to think about different answers to questions and each answer has it's own video. 

I thought this was an awesome way to get students thinking and set out to try it myself. But as it turns out, these hotspots don’t work on mobile devices, including iPads. We're in the midst of becoming a 1:1 iPad school, so I don't want to rely on cool internet features that I know won't work on mobile devices. 

After some though, I realized I could create the same sort of effect using either Keynote or Tumult Hype. Once created I can drop them into an iBook as an interactive widget and my students will be able to actually grapple with questions in their book rather than simply being presented with the answers. Each solution has its own advantages and disadvantages. Here's the version I made with Hype (I'm not sure this link will work correctly) to use with my students.

One big advantage with Keynote is it is easy to work with and if you have a Mac you probably already have it. Keynote’s biggest disadvantage is there is no way to control the video once it starts in an iBook widget. The video starts and then runs to completion, no pausing or rewinding.

In Hype you do have the video controls. The other big advantage in Hype is you can embed YouTube videos. I don’t know of any way to have YouTube videos auto-play in Hype. As far as I know, there is currently no way to embed a YouTube video in a Keynote. Embedding YouTube videos means you must have internet access to view, but it keeps the iBook size down to manageable levels. Unfortunately Hype is not free. It costs $30, but if you're going to be making iBooks it might be worth it in the long run. Make sure you buy it through the Tumult Education Store to get the discounted price.


Make your Keynote Presentation "Links Only":

Keynote for Interactive Video:

Hype for Interactive Video:

Putting YouTube Videos in Hype:

1 comment:

Tom Kenny said...

You're a terrific teacher. This was both helpful and enjoyable to watch.