Friday, October 7, 2016

How to Password-protect Shortened URLs

Earlier this week I posted a tutorial on how to use Goo.gl to create, distribute, and track use of shortened URLs. After posting that tutorial on Facebook someone asked if it was possible to make the shortened URL private. Unfortunately, Goo.gl doesn't let you do that, but there are services that will let you do that. Thinfi is one of those services that lets you create shortened, password-protected URLs. In the video embedded below I provide a short demonstration of how to use Thinfi.


Applications for Education
As I mentioned in the video, Thinfi could be a good tool to use when you want to share a preview of a project before it is ready for public consumption. For example, if my students are working on developing websites and they want to gather feedback before showing the site to the whole world, sharing a password-protected URL could be a good way to do that.

How to Create Google Alerts

In one of yesterday's posts I mentioned using Google Alerts to track a topic on the web. A few hours after I published that post I was asked for clarification about how to create a Google Alert. In the following video I demonstrate how to create a Google Alert.

Differences Between American & Canadian Thanksgiving

This coming Monday in the United States is generally referred to as Columbus Day. In Canada this coming Monday is Thanksgiving. Start your Friday morning on a lighter note by watching one or both of the following humorous videos that explain the differences between Thanksgiving in Canada and Thanksgiving in the United States.



Definitely preview these videos and decide for yourself if they're appropriate for your classroom. I know a lot of high school teachers who will have no problem sharing these, but teachers of younger students probably won't want to share them.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Use Feedly & Google Keep to Keep Track of Your Favorite Blogs

A few months ago Evernote made changes to their free plan that essentially made it worthless. At that time I completely switched all of my bookmarking and mobile note-taking activities to Google Keep. It has been a few months now and I can honestly say that I don't miss Evernote one bit.

The primary way that I use Google Keep is to bookmark things that I find while reading through my favorite blogs in Feedly. Feedly is the RSS reader that I have used since Google shuttered Google Reader. In the videos embedded below I demonstrate how to use Feedly and Google Keep together. The first video is a demonstration of using the two tools on my desktop. The second video is a demonstration on my Android phone.



Applications for Education
Feedly provides a great way to keep up with your favorite blogs about education. It also provides a good way for students to track topics that they are researching. One way that students can do this is by creating a Google Alert then subscribing to that Alert in Feedly. Of course, they can also just follow a some blogs about the same topic in Feedly.

A Cute Video About Email Etiquette for Students

Next Vista for Learning is a unique video sharing website because it focuses on sharing videos made by students to help other students (you will also find some videos made by teachers). One good example of this can be found in Emailing Your Teacher, With Captain Communicator. The short video features two students demonstrating how to write an email to a teacher. It's cute and well worth 90 seconds of your time.


On a related note, the following video produced by a teacher and shared on YouTube outlines five email etiquette tips for students.