The following post is for my EDIM 514 Internet Tools For Teaching course.
This week we had to evaluate tools from 3 different categories: A URL shortener, QR Codes, and Bookmarklets. Here is a summary of the 3 tools I evaluated.
I have used a URL shortener many times. I often work with educators and am sharing many different web tools. Many of the URSL are long, and I have a lot to cover in a short amount of time with these teachers so I often use a URL shortener to give them a short link they can quickly type in or write down. I have only used Tinyurl.com as well as a URL shortener we have through Discovery. So I thought I would try Google’s Goo.gl. It is incredibly easy to use, you just copy and paste the long URL and press enter. What I really like about this is that it keeps track of how many people click on your shortened URL, so you can keep track of the traffic. You can even click on the “details” to find out what day and time people accessed your link. Because this is a tool by Google, if you are logged into your Google account, it will keep track of all of your URL shorteners when you visit http://goo.gl/. This is a great resource to use with students to create short links to class websites or links to student work so you can track the traffic.
I have experimented with QR codes but haven’t spent much time with them. I saw a great scavenger hunt activity using QR codes when I sat in on a Common Core PD session. Each table had several QR codes. When we scanned them, they took us to different questions about the Common Core. We had to use the resources provided to find the answers.
I saw another great use of QR codes by students where the students created QR codes that linked to websites they had created that had all sorts of information about what they were studying. They could like to a Discovery Ed board builder, a Wiki, or a Padlet for example.
The webiste we used for this activity (http://delivr.com/) was very easy to use. You simply type in the URL and create the code. You can download the QR code in a number of different types of file formats. I have embedded mine below. I downloaded it as a .jpeg and inserted it into this blog.
For this activity I explored Quietube. This is a GREAT tool that allows you to only see a YouTube Video without all of the comments and ads that often times accompany a page. This took 30 seconds to use. All I had to do is drag the Quietube button to my bookmark toolbar, and then when I go to a YouTube video I click the Quietube button and it gives me a simple page with just the video. You can even create a short link to the video using Bitly. Here is a video I used with Quietube. I think this is a great resource to use with students. Teachers can find great content on sites like YouTube but sometimes there are inappropriate comments or ads on that page. By using Quietube, all they will see is the video. This also helps to focus their attention because there aren’t a million things on the page to distract their attention.