Thursday, December 20, 2012

3 Ways To Quickly Share Bunches of Links With Your Students

If you have ever tried to get all of your students to the same set of websites at the same time, you know that just a couple of mistyped characters can create a frustrating experience. One solution is to post all of the links on your course blog. Another solution is to use a link bundling service that will group all of your links together into one package. Then instead of sending out a bunch of individual links you can just send one link that will open all of the bundled links for your students. Here are three services that you can use for just that purpose.

Bundlenut is a simple service for organizing a set of links and sharing them with others. To use the service just visit Bundlenut and start entering the links that you want to include in your bundle. You can include comments about each of the links. When you have added all of links that you want to include in your bundle, Bundlenut will assign a unique url to your bundle. Anyone with access to that url will be able to see all of your links and comments about those links. You can use the service with or without registering. The advantage of registration is that you can go back and modify your bundle whenever you would like to.

LinkBunch is a free service that you can use to quickly send a group of links to your friends, colleagues, and students. To use the service just visit LinkBunch, enter the links that you want to share, and click "Bunch." When you click on "Bunch" you will be given a URL to share with anyone you want to see the links in your bunch. When someone clicks on the URL for your Bunch he or she will be able to open the links you bunched together.

Bitly is one URL shortener that I have been using for years. It's simple to use, especially if you use the bookmarklet, allows you to customize URLs, and it offers good statistics about the use of your links. Bitly offers an option for bundling bookmarks into one package that you can share with just one link. Bitly bundles can be created collaboratively if you invite other Bitly users to bundle links with you.

Great Gatsby Crash Course Part 2

Yesterday, I shared John Green's new Crash Course video about The Great Gatsby. Today, Green released part two of that course. You can watch the video as embedded below or on YouTube. If you watch it on YouTube, take note of the "spoiler alert" for students.

8 Handy Windows 8 Shortcuts

Learning to navigate a new operating system on a computer can be a stressful experience for a lot people. Fortunately, whenever a new operating system is released to consumers there are lots of people producing and helpful tutorials for new users. YouTube is my go-to place when I need help learning how to do something new on a computer or tablet. So this afternoon when I wanted to learn a bit more about Windows 8 I went to YouTube and found a bunch of short tutorials. One tutorial that I think a lot people can benefit from watching is CNET's Best Windows 8 Keyboard Shortcuts. The three minute video is embedded below.

Core of Education Vodcast #4

This afternoon Dr. Rod Berger and I sat down to record the fourth installment of our video series. In today's episode we talked about some apps and web resources that can help when talking with children about tragic events. The video is embedded below. You can watch and listen to a bunch of Dr. Berger's other interviews on Core of Education.

What's Your Strategy for Getting Comments on Classroom Blogs?

Earlier this week I received an email from a teacher that was looking for ideas on how to get more comments on her students' group blog. My usual suggestions are as follows:

1. Connect with and ask other teachers on Twitter if they will comment or have their students comment.

2. Submit your blog to the Edublogs community.

3. Connect with teachers on a network like The Educator's PLN. Again, ask if there are people willing to comment or have their students comment. You might also consider starting a group within the network just for the purpose of connecting classroom blogs for commenting.

What's your strategy for getting people to comment on classroom blogs? Please leave a comment. (Comments containing links are moderated and may not appear immediately).

Image Credit: cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo by greggoconnell:

New Openings for Google Drive and the Common Core Webinars

Registrations keep coming in for the new January section of my online course Google Drive and the Common Core. For people who were interested in the first section a few seats opened last night due to some cancellations. The registration links for the both January sections of Google Drive and the Common Core are listed below. Both sections cover the same material.

Section 1 - Meets on Wednesday evenings at 7pm (Eastern) on January 9, 16, and 23. Click here to register. (Three seats available as of this morning) SOLD OUT
Section 2 - Meets on Thursday evenings at 7pm (Eastern) on January 10, 17, and 24. Click here to register. (6 seats available as of December 22).

Whole staff option - I have had a couple of school technology directors contact me about enrolling a big group of their teachers in the course. If you have 15 or more from your school district I can schedule a section of Google Drive and the Common Core just for your school. Email me at richardbyrne (at) for more information.

Google Drive and the Common Core is a three hour webinar series. While at $87 the webinar series is not free it is significantly less than the cost of flying me to your school for the day.

Course Highlights
Creating and sharing documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.
Using Google Documents and Presentations for collaborative writing and reading exercises.
Using Google Forms and Spreadsheets for collecting and analyzing data.
Using Google Documents as a publishing platform.
Managing the flow of files in your Google Drive.
Registration is limited to 25 students per course.

This course is designed for educators who:
*Are new to using Google Drive/ Documents.
*Have previously used Google Drive/ Documents but would like a refresher course.
*Would like to learn how Google Drive/ Documents can be used to help their students meet ELA Common Core Standards.

Registration Cost
The cost to register for either section of the course is $87 USD per student.
Section 1 - Meets on Wednesday evenings at 7pm (Eastern) on January 9, 16, and 23. Click here to register. (Three seats available as of this morning) SOLD OUT
Section 2 - Meets on Thursday evenings at 7pm (Eastern) on January 10, 17, and 24. Click here to register. (6 seats available as of this December 22).

Payments can be made with a personal credit card, with a school district credit card, or with PayPal. Checks and purchase orders can be accepted however the cost of registration is $15 higher to cover additional processing associated with those payments.
Please contact me directly at richardbyrne (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com with questions about course registration and or payment processing.