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An interactive video round-up (seven tools to explore)

Interactive video is a powerful new tool that allows teachers and learners to enhance video they make themselves–as well as the videos they discover on the Web–with text, images, maps, links, and other media.

It transform video from static to dynamic, enabling the traditional medium to morph from monologue to conversation, often crowd-sourced style.

It appears that a new subgenre of interactive video creation tools is emerging.  If you are a lover of ThingLink for images, if you want to be part of the conversation, if you believe that video can do more than talk at you, you’ll be a lover of these powerful interactive annotation tools for video.

Here’s a round-up.


Back in January, I was excited to blog about Mozilla’s Popcorn Maker.  I’ve since used it for flipping–creating an interactive intro tour for my graduate course.  I used it as a student project option. Our ESL class enhanced and critically evaluated CC-licensed environmental videos with their research discoveries.

Here’s an example of an enhanced vocabulary video for Herr Martin’s German class.

And here’s an introduction to Popcorn Maker.

Since my January post, I’ve discovered other offerings in this emerging option for flipping and for student projects.


Now in free beta, The Mad Video, allows you to grab a YouTube-hosted video, add stored or created tags, and publish.  Tags come in the categories of people, places, products, music, and pets (?).  A simple timeline editor helps you to place interactive tags. Mouse over the tags and they open as little boxes over the video and link to maps, sites, other video that may be easily shared on social media.

Default sources of tagging content are contextual, including Wikipedia and IMDB for People, Google for Places, and Spotify and Lastfm for Music,  but links may be manually added as well.  This is the manual tag box for People.  (I did have trouble loading my images.)

I blogged about TED-Ed’s Flip this Lesson last year around this time.

The tools allows teachers to flip any TED-Ed video, in fact any other YouTube video. The About page explains: Flip is meant to indicate that teachers of all stripes can propel/catapult/slingshot the video to a wider audience.
The  flip this lesson button allows you to create instruction around video and assign to your own students or share more widely flip2 Flip this lesson! (a TED Ed update)via email or social media.  The tool allows teachers to add context, questions, quizzes, and follow-up suggestions (dig deeper) and measure student participation and progress. 
Check out this archive of Best Flips for inspiration.

Registered teachers can easily customize the existing supplementary materials that accompany TED-Ed’s archived content.  A teacher who creates content automatically renders a new, private web page, which the teacher can then distribute and use to track students’ progress on the assignment.  You can share the lesson with students and others via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter. It will exist on its own unique page on TED-Ed, and you can decide who gets to see that page.


wireWAX calls itself the world’s first taggable video tool.  Its use was championed effectively in this Nike video for the #makeitcount campaign. Users build motion tracking hotspots and our long list of user widgets into videos, allowing them to watch/discover/interact without leaving the wireWAX  video itself.  Interactive tags appearing throughout the video and as little dots below in the timeline, link viewers  to other videos, images, soundclips, maps, and sites.

Here’s an example:


YouTube Video Annotation Tools –speech bubbles, notes, and spotlights–are available in its own editor whenever you upload your own content or by clicking on the little speech bubble + icon.
This video introduction demonstrates the educational potential for linking videos together with annotations.

Available as a Chrome extension (soon to be available for Firefox as well), Embed Plus allows users to edit and annotate videos found on YouTube. The tool also allows users to start video at selected points, skip sections, zoom in, play video in slow motion, and add annotations.  Embed Plus videos solicit real-time reactions as comments from Google+, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube.  Try out the settings on the bottom of the video below.

7. Blubbr allows users to create video-based quizzes (or Trivs) based on YouTube clips.  This may be especially useful for flipping and will work nicely full-class on your interactive whiteboard.  Teachers may use the the Trivs of others or create their own.  After watching a short clip, viewers respond to multiple choice question.  See this education category for examples of classroom use.  Trivs come with gamey sounds and scoring that will likely invite competition.

Here’s Amy Murray’s Research Ready Triv

Users enter a topic for a Blubbr quiz and the program automatically generates a list of suggested videos.  Selected clips may be trimmed (20 seconds seems to be the default) and questions may be written using this handy template.  Though I wish the questions came in flavors other than multiple choice and I wish the feedback was somehow saveable, I can see kids and their teachers having fun creating their own Trivs for class use.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. You may also want to try our tool
    It provides in-video object interactivity with motion-tracked labels and the ability to draw item outlines with our online rotoscoping tool.


  1. […] An interactive video round-up seven tools to explore — @joycevalenza NeverEndingSearch. […]

  2. […] Valenza’s blog  “An interactive video round-up (seven tools to explore)” focuses on an aspect of technology that I have yet to use in my classroom:  interactive videos.  I […]

  3. […] MindNode, and Swipe might be the answer.  So might one of Joyce’s recommended interactive video tools. Or you could use Bamboo DiRT to find something. Share this:ShareEmailFacebookTwitterGoogle […]

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