Providing URL to students, simple or not?

It is true that teachers are relying on computers more than ever. Instead of using it simply to do research, computers can now be turned into pedagogical devices. Internet became more than a tool; it is a now a guide.

My cooperative teacher uses Iphones in his class. Without a SIM card, the Iphone can be used as a laptop. Portable and easy to use, these devices are reliable and safe. Each student can pick his/her own phone at the beginning of the class. The phone becomes a map, a guideline and an instrument. While some of the crucial information is still written on the board, everything the students need is in the device. All they have to do is scan the QR code on their table, and they will see all the links essential to the class.

What if they need to reach the links outside the class? Do you want your students to copy this: iamastudentandineedtowork.com/asdj.39/pea329f0-ad-69/…? What if they make a mistake while copying the URL? Who is the person to blame?

URL SHORTENER

To answer the last question, the person to blame is the teacher. Since 2006, a free website is available for anyone who wishes to share URLs effectively. This website is called: tiny.cc. Not only is it free to use, it doesn’t even require an account to work. To shorten your URL, just follow those 3 steps:

1. Choose the URL you want and copy it

2. Paste the URL in box beginning with http://

3. Press  »TINY! »

Once this is done, you only need to give a name to your new URL. Instead of looking like this  »www.iamastudentandineedtowork.com/asdj.39/pea329f0-ad-69/… », your URL will look like this  »tiny.cc/xxxxxx ». If you do not enter a title to your link, the website will provide 6 random digits.

PROS

CONS

  • Creating individual links for every student can be long, even with a single click.
  • Most features are only available if you create an account.
  • It has a limited amount of URL titles available. You might run into a title conflict after using it for a while (two students with the same name, two projects with the same title, etc.)
  • The person opening the link never knows where it leads. While you shouldn’t have problems with this as long as you use it only amongst the class, this gives criminals the potential to send legitimate sounding links that actually lead to malicious sites.
  • Students can still make mistakes while copying a shorter URL.

ESL TEACHING

As a teacher, this website is essential to have in a class directed toward ICTs development. If you are a teacher who does not rely on Internet in class, tiny.cc won’t be useful to you. I will definitely use this tool in my teaching career. In fact, I am already using it in my practicum. When working with GoogleDocs or Wix, students need an easy access to their page. Using QR codes to transfer important links to students is reliable and effective. Most students are already familiar with the process of scanning and reaching link provided by the teacher. Students who have difficulties with link sharing can rely on tiny.cc to keep it clear and simple. It is a safe tool to use in schools and I know students will like having a website link with their name in it. If they don’t want to put their name, they can choose what they want (as long as they can remember it). Teachers and students save time and avoid errors while using an URL shortener.

Here is a video tutorial to help you!

 

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