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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

5 Ways to Quickly Get Your Students On the Same Webpage

Getting all of your students on the same webpage at once is one of the small and annoying challenges of using websites and web tools in your classroom. Fortunately, there are some simple solutions to this challenge. The solution that you pick will be partially based upon the type of devices that your students use in your classroom. Here are five ways that you can quickly get all of your students on the same webpage.

1. QR Codes: This is a good solution in a classroom in which all students have an iPad, an Android tablet, or are allowed to use their mobile phones. You can create QR codes for any webpage by using QR Droid's QR Code Generator. While the name implies that you need an Android device, QR Droid's QR Code Generator works in your web browser. Once your QR code is created you can project it for students to scan and or print it and post it in your classroom for students to scan. Learn how to use QR Droid's QR Code Generator by watching the video in this post.

2. Shortened & Customized URLs: For years creating shortened and customized URLs has been my go-to method for directly people to webpages in my workshops. I use Bitly.com to create customized shortened URLs. Rather than relying on the default shortened URL provided by Bitly, I customize it to something that is easy to spell and is in all lowercase letters.

3. Share to Classroom: Share to Classroom is a Google Chrome extension designed to make easy for teachers to direct students to specific webpages. With the Share to Classroom extension installed you will be able to push webpages to your students' devices by simply opening the extension and specifying which of your Google Classroom classes you want to receive the page. Students do not need to do anything because the page will automatically load in their web browsers. You can also have students push pages to you.

GAFE domain administrators can install the Share to Classroom extension for all users in their domains by following the directions outlined here.

4. Post on Classroom Blog, Website, or Google Classroom: Rather than feeding your students a different link everyday, just get them in the habit of visiting your classroom blog, website, or Google Classroom in order to find the links for each webpage or web tool that you want them to use. Once they're in that habit you can simply post links there for them to click and use.

5. Text / Push Notification: Use a tool like Remind or Cel.ly to send links directly to your students' mobile devices.