Author Archives: Karen French added a Presentation Template with Full-Screen Preview

For our fans… If you are working on a presentation that needs to incorporate a high-end graphic design look and feel, check out the new presentation templates. As usual, some are free and some cost $1, but they offer a wide variety of eye-catching looks to choose from (without the dancing pandas). I like the full-screen preview option. I have to admit that it takes some discipline not to spend too much time surfing the designs, but that is my own issue.

Embedding a YouTube Video with Start and Stop Time into Canvas

I found the info on It worked like a charm. To have an embedded YouTube video begin playing at a specific timestamp, first calculate the start point in total number of seconds (60 times the number of minutes plus the number of seconds), then do the same for the end point. Grab the embed code from YouTube, by clicking on Share > Embed. To select the size of the video, click on Show More. Choose the preferred size and copy the embed code.

Embed Code
Embed Code

Paste the embed code into your Canvas page, and find the question mark. <iframe width=”1280″ height=”720″ src=”;showinfo=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Add this snippet after the question mark: start=___&end=___; and replace the underscores with the number of seconds for start and stop time. The snippet will look something like this: start=225&end=268;

Final code result? <iframe width=”1280″ height=”720″ src=”;rel=0&amp;showinfo=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

Embedding an Instagram Post into Canvas

The info referenced in this post comes from the ever-handy Canvas LMS community discussion boards.

I was looking for a way to give students a quick visual reference that would pop up in a social media account, show up in Canvas, and be something they could keep for long term reference (i.e. a good life lesson kind of thing). Instagram provides a platform for this. If a student follows the account, he or she sees the update, and can view it in Canvas or keep it for long-term reference. The trick is to embed the image in Canvas. We do that with a relatively simple iframe code.

Open a page or assignment in the text view and paste in this code:

<p><iframe src=”//” width=”612″ height=”710″></iframe></p>

Then, go to the Instagram post, and look at the URL. It will have a /p/ followed by a series of letters followed by another /. Copy that code. For example:

Instagram URL

Copy zY3M3goSt9 and paste into your code between the two /s.

Final result will be something like this:

<p><iframe src=”//” width=”612″ height=”710″></iframe></p>

Then save the page and publish in Canvas.

Review of Academic Twitter Accounts

This one is for fun.

The London School of Economics and Political Science has an Impact of Social Sciences blog that includes one of my favorite posts of the week. Titled
The Weird and Wonderful World of Academic Twitter: Accounts that mock, self-ridicule and bring a smile to academia, the post presents one of my personal favorites (Sh*t Academics Say) and introduces some others that are worthy of chuckles and a few head scratches. Anyone who walks in the shadow of the ivory tower will enjoy the quick read.

Going Web 2.0 Old School with Feedly

Ten years ago, we were very excited about websites that syndicated their content. Rather than having a static page that changed on a monthly basis, these new sites updated content on a regular (daily, even!) basis. To assist visitors in identifying that new content was available, these sites leveraged syndication (feeds) that notified aggregator tools that new information was available and provided headlines. Google Reader was one of the most popular of these RSS feed readers. (For a dive into this chapter of nerd history, go to:

Feedly is the modern offspring of these tools. It works in your web browser or as a mobile app to collect feeds from your favorite websites. A quick one-stop shop for the day’s headlines or podcasts. For a person who is interested in following a few threads of world discussion without turning on the firehose of Twitter, Feedly is one way to approach information management. I like it!

Screenshots from my Feedly

Feedly Screenshot
Feed Listing
Another Feedly Screenshot
Sample Headlines

A pro version allows users to share collections and integrate with other communications tools, but the free version is a great place to start.


Thinglink allows users to layer links to media on an image.

screenshot of thinglink
Thinglink Samples

A free {limited} educator license will allow teachers to create and share with one class and up to 100 students. An individual premium license runs $35 per year. For more info on licensing, go to

For a video overview of ThingLink in action, check out this video:

I got the Pindex Invite

Pindex looks easy to use. Very like Pinterest, but collects and organizes videos. Here’s a nicely organized (curated) collection on Health, Disease and Medicine. Pindex’s education focus also includes quiz functionality and an award that visitors receive if they view all of the material in a collection. Interesting idea.