The first technology that I found to be incredibly useful was the ability to shorten the URL for a specific webpage. While domain names are relatively short, you often times want to send people to a specific page on that website which can result in long URL’s. I know that with students, trying to copy down a long string of random numbers and letters will ALWAYS result in at least two students being unable to get to where you need them to be. To the rescue is Tinyurl.com. I like this particular website because it provides you the option of creating a custom alias for the URL you are trying to shorten. Now, I was going to show you how this would look on my class website but because of restrictions placed by my district that proved impossible. Instead I am linking you to a video that I created with my son earlier this year. When I posted it to Youtube I received the following URL, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfVx5rtgRVM. Which if I wanted anyone to see my video would be next to impossible for me to communicate to them over the phone. However, after visiting Tinyurl I now have the following link to the same video, http://tinyurl.com/EDIM511vid. This I can easily tell people over the phone or write on the board for students to type in and visit.
The next time saving piece of technology I am exploring today is a QR code creator. A QR code is basically a barcode for a digital item. By simply using a QR reader on any smartphone, people can instantly be linked to any information on the internet. For instance, I start off my second semester of the school year with a quick survey that I want the students to complete. What I would do is go to delivr.com and create a QR code for my survey. I would then post that code on the door for the students to scan as they come into the room. With the QR code I know that everyone is going to the right place and the students are providing me valuable data. With delivr.com, you can also keep the same QR code but change the link, meaning that QR code you have on the door to your room can lead the students to a different place everyday .
Taking these three ideas in their totality would allow anyone to simplify their digital lives. From creating short URL’s that can easily be shared to links to specific websites with just a click of your phone, the digital world is becoming easier to navigate. Hopefully you were able to grab onto some ideas for your classrooms, but if not just using these in your everyday lives will makes things easier.