March 8, 2020

BTBGuide: Dynamic Content: Video Playlists

Embedding videos in blog posts and in the sidebar is fun and easy... but it's even better to embed videos in a playlist! That way you can contextualize the videos so that users can choose what to watch, plus they can keep on watching and learn more. You can embed playlists created by others, or you can create your own YouTube playlists to embed.

Creating your own playlists is a great example of distributed content too: when you update the playlist at YouTube by adding a new video, that new video shows up in the playlist everywhere it is embedded. Automatically!

Here's an example from the great folks at Crash Course (my students love these videos!). If you go to the Crash Course Playlist page, you can find out if they have a course playlist you can use.

For me, it's World Mythology! So I click on the full view of the play list, and then I can click on the arrow icon to get the embed code:

Here's the code! The trick is to learn how to change the height and width to fit your blog best. I know that for my blog posts, a video at width 400 and height 225 is good. For my sidebar, a width of 200 and height of 112 is the way to go. And believe it or not, having playlists in the sidebar can be great, especially if you want students mainly to listen and take notes as they listen, for example.

To embed, just switch your post editing mode to HTML, paste in the code, and then adjust the height and width if needed.

Here's the Crash Course playlist embedded in this post; you can navigate on through the videos to choose what you want to watch. There are so many great videos in here (over 40 of them so far, and if Crash Course does add more, the playlist will have the new items too).

The playlist navigation is the little hamburger menu with the arrow in the upper-right corner of the video display:

MAKE YOUR OWN PLAYLISTS! YouTube makes it very easy to do that! To create your own YouTube playlists, here's a tip I wrote about that for my students: YouTube / Blogger tips: Create a Playlist. So, if you want just some of the Crash Course World Myth videos and not others, or if you want them in a different order, just create your own playlist.

And for your listening pleasure, here is a playlist of my favorite Indian musical group, Maati Baani! I just added a couple of their latest videos to the playlist. Welcome to the pure delight that is Nirali and Kartik, a.k.a. Maati Baani:

Same thing works in a Canvas Page: just use the "media" button (second from right on lower editing bar row), and paste in the code from YouTube; you probably don't need to adjust width if you are putting them into a Canvas Page.

So, I go to my Maati Baani playlist (this is one I made; anyone can use it). I click on the arrow to access the embed code:

I copy that code, and then I go to a Canavs Page. I click on the insert media button (lower editing bar, second from left), choose the Embed dialogue pane, and paste in the code. 

Presto! Playlist in my Canvas Page. (That's an open Canvas course, so click and go; you can see how the playlist works right there in the Page.)