Mashups provide a very quick and easy way to add rich content into your module from external sources. You can get photos from Flickr, presentations from SlideShare and videos from both YouTube and Vimeo. Content from the Teesside’s Helix Media Server is also added via a mashup tool. A mashup item can be added as a standalone item or added to a normal content item alongside other content to give the page a more visual appearance. The mashup tool eliminates the need for you to copy and paste embed code or worry about whether the content can be legally used – most of the hard work is done for you – all you need to do is search for the content and choose how you want it to be displayed.
This guide explains how to use the Flickr mashup tool.
Adding a Flickr Photo
Flickr is an online service for sharing photos across the world. You can search Flickr for photos uploaded under a variety of different Creative Commons licences. This allows you to use images without breach of copyright. As photos are uploaded from a wide range of sources, some photos are of much higher quality than others and as such you will be presented with a wide range of images. However, it can provide a very quick way of getting images into your module.
- Go to the content area in your module in which you want to add a Flickr photo.
- Select Build Content and then click Flickr Photo from the Mashups section.
- Enter your search information. Enter a search term or some keywords in the Keywords box and then select what you want to search by:
- Full Text – search on key words based on the name of a photo
- Tags – search based on any tags applied to photos
- Specific Photo (URL) – if you have a specific photo from Flickr and want to use it, then simply select this option and enter the URL.
- Click Go to perform the search. If you are getting too many results, or not finding the exact image you want, you can try clicking on the More Options button to have greater control over the search parameters. This will allow you to exclude certain words, search relating to licence agreements and search on dates for when a photo was added to Flickr.
- You can preview an image from the search results by clicking on the Preview button. Once you have found an image that you want to use, click on Select.
- On the Create Mash-up Item page, the Name will automatically be pre-populated with the title of the photo from Flickr (this can be changed if necessary). Optionally enter a Description – this can be used to provide more context to students.
- In the Mash-up Options section, choose how you want to display the photo and the size of the photo to use. You can also choose whether or not to display the Flickr URL of the photo and additional information about the photo.
- The Attachments section lets you attach files alongside the presentation. This is useful if you want to include an activity for students relating to the photo or some additional content.
- The Standard Options section lets you specify usual content availability settings such as date and time restrictions.
- Click Preview to see what you content will look like or simply click Submit to finish.
Adding a Flickr Photo in the VTBE
As mentioned earlier in this guide, you can also add mashup content in the Visual Text Box Editor (VTBE). Whenever you see the VTBE, look for the “Mashups” button. Click on the button to reveal a list of available mash-ups and then click Flickr Photo.
A pop-up window will appear, allowing you to search for a Flickr Photo. Simply follow the process as described above to search for a photo and select the one you want to use. The photo will automatically be placed inside the VTBE. You also have the option of entering additional content around the photo.
The following guides look at other Mashups available on Blackboard.