Friday, November 29, 2013

A Simple Trick to Save You and Your Students Lots of Classroom Time

I've shared this advice in the past, but I recently shared it again during a workshop where it was a big hit. That experience reminded me that some advice is worth re-posting from time to time. 

The one thing that every teacher wishes he or she had more of is time. While we can't create more time, we can use our classroom time more efficiently. One simple thing that you can do whenever you're starting a web-based activity with your students is to shorten long URLs into manageable, easy-to-type URLs. By shortening long and complex URLs into short and simple ones you'll reduce the amount of time it takes to get all of your students onto the same page before you can start your lesson.

URL shortening services make it very easy to create URLs that your students can quickly and accurately type into their browsers. My favorite URL shortening tools are Bitly.com and Goo.gl. Both tools allow you track how many times a link has been clicked which is useful for making sure every kid in the room has opened the link.

Bitly.com allows you to create customized shortened URL whereas Goo.gl does not give you the option to choose your shortened URL.