Adding Videos to Presentation Software

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During last week’s blog post, we learned how to use the Firefox add-on Download Helper to grab flash videos from the web.  This is beneficial for many reasons as we never know when the school’s network might be down, running slow, or what unscrupulous video links might show up in the YouTube sidebar!

Today, we will learn how to insert these videos into SMART notebook files and PowerPoint presentations.

Inserting flash videos in SMART notebook couldn’t be easier.  All you have to do is follow the path, Insert>Flash Video File from the menu.

Once you open this menu option, find the *.flv* file you saved using DL helper.  You can then resize and place the video within your SMART notebook file as you see fit.

Another common presentation software, PowerPoint, is also capable of inserting Flash and other types of video content.  To do this, select the “Insert” tab then click the “video” icon on the far right.

One problem we’ve ran into is inserting Flash videos into PowerPoint will sometimes cause the program to crash.  This can be solved by using DownloadHelper to download the video as a *.mp4* file instead of a *.flv* file.


Download Flash Videos

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Download Helper

In Mozilla Firefox, there is an Add-On called Download Helper that you can use to download videos or flash video content. This is especially helpful for when you find an online video you want to use for a class but do not want to risk internet connectivity issues or inappropriate ad content.

In the orange Firefox menu, select Add-ons and search “Download Helper”.  

Choose video DownloadHelper  and click Install. You will need to restart Firefox.

When you go to a site with a video (or flash content) that is available for download, the DownloadHelper icon will spin in the address bar. It will also show up beside the video title.

A menu pops up when you click on the icon next to the video. You can download and convert the file into a number of formats. Choose your format and download to your computer or server.

If you plan on inserting the video into a SMART notebook, make sure you download the file as a “.flv”

In the next blog post, we will show you how to insert the video content you’ve downloaded into your favorite presentation software. and Tinyurl

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Sharing links which are long or unwieldy can be a hassle. They are hard to remember and links can get cut off in emails.

What should be a simple online activity can turn into a classroom management nightmare! There are 2 tools that are particularly helpful in making these web addresses less difficult to type or remember.


If you need to create a quick shortcut with no need to save a record of it for the future, is a very efficient and useful tool. It requires no login and takes only a minute or so to create your truncated shortcut. Copy and paste the lengthy URL and assign a name to display instead.

Our own Ben Johnson used this tool to shorten the link to PSD’s Google Docs login from to which we are grateful for each time we log in.

#2 (

Bitly is a more robust tool that requires you to either create your own account or login using your Facebook or Twitter ID. It keeps a record of the website links you have created (bitmarks) and also keeps track of the number of clicks each website has received. If you update a version of your website you wish to link, you can change the original web address and transfer the record for number of clicks from the previous website. (Example: using a similar survey but updated for a new school year)