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taking for a spin: tools for The Five 8s

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Shortening Multiple URLs Equals More Class Time

Let’s say you brought your students to the computer laboratory, or used one of the roving Mac labs for a research activity in class. You also know that for some students, searching the net is distracting and because of this, you want to guide them in their research activity. When preparing for this particular session, you have visited and listed down or bookmarked the URLs of relevant websites. In class, you flash the different web addresses of the sites you want your students to visit on the board. And the students start working.

Great! The students are engaged and you go around the room supervising. But wait a minute, how did your students manage to visit your suggested sites? Did they have to type a long string every time they need to go to the next web address on your list? Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just that, there could be better and faster ways to do it. Yes you guessed it right, by using a URL shortener. So instead of typing, say: http://www.universetoday.com/75663/how-nasa-helped-rescue-the-chilean-miners/ you could just type: http://fur.ly/2j3e and arrive at the same site. Students will just need to type 18 characters instead of 76 for this particular site. Cool, huh? What’s more, there are plenty of URL shortening sites to choose from. Here’s an exhaustive list: http://fur.ly/2j3o

But here’s something cooler. Just one short URL for multiple sites. Yes just one. You as the teacher just need to type all the URLs in one page then generate one short web address. The students just visit this one web address that you supplied and they can browse all the sites you want them to look at. Here’s an example I made. This is about the stirring rescue of the Chilean miners last week. Just click on the shortened web address and you’ll be led to the five sites I listed: http://krunchd.com/c0a869 (you will find left and right arrows on the upper right hand corner of the page to navigate).

Go get your short URL for multiple websites at http://krunchd.com. The site actually has more features like editing your list or allowing others to edit your list for collaborative work. The generated short URL could be emailed or shared through networking sites.

This is not to say that teachers should be using this all the time. As we also want our students to find resources on their own by doing a proper search.

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