Sunday, May 21, 2017

Fill Up Your Toolbox

URL Shorteners take a long complicated URL and shorten it to something easier to share. I've used them a lot when sharing a Google Form with my students. It's much easier for primary students to access a site when the url has been shortened and when parts of it are color coded. Google URL Shortener has been my go-to site because if you are logged in to Google, it will track when the url was created and the number of times it was clicked. I created a shortened url for my blog: and one thing to remember about using the Google Shortener is that it is case sensitive.

Although URL shorteners can be useful, there are other tools that help share sites easily, such as QR codes. I have used QR codes quite a bit in the classroom when students only have access to iPads. I create my QR codes at QR Stuff, mainly because it is easy to use and it offers a variety options for the type of data source you are using. The app, QR Reader, easily allows users to scan the code and be directed to the site. For fun, I added a QR code to the table in my craft room. It links to the site with the building plans.

Recently, I supported a teacher at one of our sites whose students recorded TEDTalks. At the showcase for parents, we uploaded their videos to Google Drive and created QR codes to make it easy for guests to view them on their own devices.

The bookmarklet I chose to try out was Printliminator. This allows you to choose what you want to print and eliminate the ads or unnecessary clutter around the text. This would be very useful when printing an article for students. Many sites have a print option, which will clean up the page before printing, but others don't. This would be a great solution to that problem.

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